Sunday, December 28, 2008
Each year we travel to St Louis and celebrate Christmas with my wife's family. In the last few years, we've opened presents before the trip. This year, we decided to follow our tradition and open presents early, but to leave the stockings for Christmas day in St Louis (we like to have fun with stocking presents).
To our shock, Christmas morning, we found we had left my son's stocking stuffers at home. Yikes! We felt terrible (yep, we had remembered all the other presents).
Thinking quickly, but not so clearly, I jumped into the car and ran off to Walgreens (the only opened store) and tried to work some Christmas magic.
Understanding his real stocking stuffers were at home, he seemed to enjoy his make-shift stocking.
He got Ramen noodles, beef jerky, lots of gum, cool stickers, his favorite candy bars and a deck of "kitty" playing cards. :)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I feel there is a strong component of change management which needs to be addressed. What is the culture in your organization? How do individuals in your organization value the web? How do you develop a culture of online engagement and networking; one of collaboration, sharing and participation?
Please understand that I'm not an expert in organizational change, but I think to be successful, it will need to start with individual change. I like the ADKAR model for individual change (see definition in Wikipedia).
This model describes five required building blocks for change to be realized successfully on an individual level. The building blocks of the ADKAR Model include:
- Awareness – of why the change is needed
- Desire – to support and participate in the change
- Knowledge – of how to change
- Ability – to implement new skills and behaviors
- Reinforcement – to sustain the change
I’m not worried as much about Reinforcement (might be a mistake) because if you can find the value, gain the desire and skills, then I believe your new network will help sustain you. Of course having some administrative support at evaluation time (and possibly some nice numbers and anecdotal benefits will help).
I’d be interested in feedback. What do you think? What has been your experience bringing an organization (its people) into the world of social media?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Jackson, Bo and Daisy versus the Drums from Floyd Davenport on Vimeo.
Monday, November 24, 2008
We’ve spent a great deal of time working on the web presence, developing a content management strategy and struggling with the issue of navigation and structure.
My conclusion? There is more to engagement than good content.
This isn’t to suggest that content isn’t important, content is critical. However, when you have a solid content management system in place; when your systems supports good SEO guidelines; when your presentation is set and you have a model for your site map; it’s time to look at other technologies and engagement strategies to promote your content and build an audience.
Something is missing… or better yet, someone is missing. Where is everybody? Who creates this content? What do they bring to the table? I want more than what is edited and formatted into news, announcements, publications or even educational modules. I want humor, ideas, guidance, and opinions. You want engagement? Talk to me.
Tell me what you are doing. What’s important and relevant in your area of expertise and why? How do you feel about current events? I need your help to filter and find the most useful resources. Help me develop context. I already know how to use Google, Wikipedia, or to browse your site (although I may not bother).
To borrow some relevant insights from Nicholas Skytland of NASA in his post “Social Media: What’s the Point?”. Participation helps:
- Create a transparent and connected organization
- Encourage a modern communications structure
- Employ innovative technology to collaborate on and solve our challenges
- Improve how teams integrate to solve problems
- Ensure full and free access to information
- Share your compelling stories with the Public
- Flatten organization structures
- Change our approach to advertisement and marketing
Build a real engagement strategy. Put a face(s) on your organization. Participate. Use networking tools like Twitter, blogs and Friendfeed. Share more than your content, share your experiences. Employ staff who have passion and a message (voice) and let them go.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Now you may have to squint just a little bit, but if you look closely, you will see an image of Heaven... look closely.
I'm very interested in this topic as we consider the future of our own institutional web site, its role in strategic marketing and how we can better engage our clientele.
In addition to the physical attributes, a brand can represent the values and personality of a company or service. The key objective is to create a relationship of trust (Wikipedia).
In his post, David describes the Zappo's CEO's use of twitter.
If we really want to make an impact online, reach new audiences, and enhance our brand, then we need to participate in these online communities and conversations.
Tony doesn't just tweet about zappo promotions, he reveals his life and his personality to you in every tweet. He presents a very human face of a company - and he does it in a way that is open to real live human conversation.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
There was simply too much information for me to digest in real time... and when traffic was bad, forget it.
Years later, when I did get my chance behind the wheel; along with rules of the road, I learned how to ignore irrelevant activity and information (noise). When I began to teach my own children how to drive, I remember teaching them what to watch for... the small child playing on the curb as you drive by... basically what I felt was relevant when driving.
With all the resources online today, we hear a lot of complaints about information overload. I'm sure we have all felt overwhelmed at times, just as I did in my first driving lesson. Our challenge is to learn how to filter information.
If you think about it, we have been doing this all our lives. I was reminded of this fact when reading the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon.
Chapter 181. I see everything
if they are in the countryside, it might be
- I am standing in a field that is full of grass.
- There are some cows in the fields.
- It is sunny with a few clouds.
- There are some flowers in the grass.
- There is a village in the distance.
and I notice these things
- There are 19 cows in the field, 15 of which are black and white and 4 of which are brown and white.
- There is a village in the distance which has 31 visible houses and a church with a square tower, not a spire.
- There are ridges in the field, which means that in medieval times it was what is called a ridge and furrow filed and people who lived in the village would have a ridge each to do farming on.
- There is an old plastic bag from Asda in the hedge and a squashed Coca-Colo can with a small snail on it, and a long piece of orange string.
Remember the first time you visited a very large and busy city? Didn't you feel overwhelmed? In time, you became more comfortable with your environment. Why? Because you learned how to filter out the noise and pay attention to those things which are relevant to you. We do this every day.
The Internet with all its services, information and technology can be very overwhelming, but in time, you can become both comfortable and productive once you begin to filter information in a meaningful way. Of course this requires that you participate. You can't develop filters without participation. It also helps to have tools which assist you in this process.
For me, this is one of the real payoffs for social networking. Good social networking tools help me filter information with people who share my interests both personal and professionally.
Another challenge for those who are in the business of publishing information is to make our content "filter friendly". What are the best filter tools? We have always talked about being "Google friendly". And while that is a must, we also need to consider how to become filter friendly in many new enviroments where people work and play.
Photo by Kyle May
Sunday, October 12, 2008
She showed me an image of the advertising on cigarettes being sold in Singapore. Evidently everyone smokes all the time in Singapore (not Emily, yeah). Not sure the advertising is working...
Amazing... buy our product, enjoy, relax... oh and yeah, it will kill you. OK, thanks.
Monday, October 6, 2008
On Saturday, my wife and I headed down south to do some shopping... when she suddenly realized she had left a sweater which she wanted to return (part of shopping I'm told). Seeing an opportunity, I turned left to work my way back to our home through uncharted territory. How fun.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
What was I doing ten years ago?
Pretty much what I'm doing now only in Illinois. At that time, I was an Assistant Director for Information Technology and Communications Services (ITCS) for Extension and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. A few things have changed... my kids are older and pretty much out of the house. I started swimming again instead of just running. And I feel like I'm more into management than doing the hands-on technology work.
Five snacks I enjoy:
- Dark Chocolate (not sure what Brian is thinking)
- Mixed Nuts (not hot on cachews)
- Corn Nuts
Five Things on My To-Do list today:
- Move son into the dorms at ISU
- Send daughter a gift box
- Get car fixed (struts and AC)
- Learn MS SharePoint (been on my list for a long time)
- Work on Accountability presentation (wish me luck)
Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Take care of the debts for my family
- Help others (not sure who, but wouldn't it be fun)
- Change my name?
- Beach property
- Feel guilty
- Pizza boy
- Garbage man
- Air Force
- Procrastination (note late post)
- Staying 0rganized
- Poor diet (see snacks)
- Good intentions (which can get you in trouble)
- I need to read more
- I've been married to a wonderful woman for 23 years.
- I have two children, as different as night and day. I love them both. One is currently in Singapore and wants to see the world. The other would be happy living in my basement.
- I love to swim and do so about three times a week - wish I was better.
- Tall buildings scare me (just not right)
- I love good southern seafood.
I hope their performances will inspire and excite more young people around the country to consider swimming as a sport. And I really hope it will also inspire more athletic directors around the country to support swimming as a sport.
Unfortunately, while Americans are extremely proud of our U.S. swimmers and the swimming events took center stage, I'm afraid that pride and interest will quickly fade. I'm just amazed at the quality of swimming in the U.S., we continue to be a powerhouse of swimming.
In 1978, I was a senior in high school and part of a winning swimming team - winning our state meet all four years. I wasn't a great swimmer, but I loved the sport and was considering my options for college. This is when I learned first-hand about the decline of swimming programs around the country. Oklahoma State, my first choice, dropped its swimming program that year. In the end, I decided to attend Southeast Missouri State University and continue swimming for this small Division II school. SEMO dropped its program my second year in school. As an example of the decline in swimming programs, believe the Big 12 now has only three men's teams remaining.
Just in case you think you know where this post it going... I don't believe the problem is with "Title IX". I think Title IX has been used as an excuse to close programs and in fact, if it weren't for Title IX, we would have probably lost most of the women's swimming programs as well.
While I would like to put the blame on athletic directors who can't see past football and basketball, it really isn't about blame (OK, I still blame them). America has great professional sports, and I believe it is their success that overshadows our amateur programs.
So, I'm not sure there is a real solution, but I'm very thankful to our Olympic swimmers who have certainly inspired me to get back into the pool.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I can think of three target audiences to meet this objective.
- Individuals who would be interested in the services you provide, but are unaware that you exist - a marketing issue in which the online environment may help you engage some of this audience (the segment which is online and should include the under 40 target).
- Individuals who know you, but demand new models of engagement; non-traditional communications. Again, you might expect this to include the under 40 age group.
- Individuals who are looking for new services/products, possibly not your target audience, but also possibly a relevance issue.
In the context of an online audience, specifically under 40 years of age, I will suggest that audiences #1 and #2 can be combined. My reasoning is that techniques and technologies to reach both these audiences will be the same, each are non-traditional audiences.
I'm willing to ignore audience #3 at this time since it suggests that we are in essence "selling Cadillacs" when we should be "selling hybrids". If this is the case, I would hope that audiences #1 and #2 will give us this feedback.
The next question is "how to engage these individuals?"
Over the next couple of months, we are going to attempt to answer this question, hopefully in partnership with the program teams.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Although I did consider the name alphafloyd. :)