#Twask is a great initiative by a Birmingham University final year student in jourmalism, Kasper Sorenson. While he started it as a way to teach his fellow students about how to use Twitter it will hopefully allow Twitter newbies to ask and Twitter oldies to answer questions about the best ways to use Twitter. Adding a short word or acronym preceded by the hashtag (#) to a Twitter message allows it to be grouped with all the other twitter messages on that subject. It makes it very easy to talk about a particular event (Search for #ddire for example which is the hash tag for Dragon’s Den Ireland to read the conversations about it on Twitter.)
#twask kicks off at 2pm today and it’s a great opportunity to get some free lessons in how to tweet. And maybe how not to!
Are there better ways for non-twitterati to pick up this info? Please let me know via the comments below. Thanks!
At the beginning of December the IIA Social Media Working Group invited interested parties to join them in person or remotely in order to workshop their draft guide to business blogging. A very interesting session ensued with plenty of input from those in the room which you can hear on this three part podcast.
You can also subscribe in iTunes to the IIA podcast and receive any future podcasts from us.
We also had input from others via Twitter which caused me no end of half-brained responses. You can actually hear me saying “Ye wha?” as I try to respond to a tweet and a real live person at the same time. Nice. If we ever do this kind of workshop again I have a different plan for the live tweeting.
Much thanks for Brendan Hughes for chairing this event, Krishna De for facilitating the session and editing the podcast and to all those who participated. Input is still welcomed on the draft guide so please feel free to add your comments.
The Irish Internet Association’s Social Media Working Group chaired by Brendan Hughes, FBD.ie, are holding a workshop to discuss the first draft of their first Social Media Guidebook. This first draft publication is entitled “Blogging for Business: a Guide for Irish companies”.
In the spirit of Social Media this guide was developed collaboratively online by the members of the working group. Continuing this collaborative model the working group hope to share this draft with anyone interested in blogging for business and to discuss and develop it at a workshop. If you have never blogged before the Social Media Working Group are interested in your feedback. If you eat, sleep and work blogging, the Social Media Working Group are interested in your feedback. The draft will be circulated to all workshop attendees as soon as they register (so please register sooner rather than later).
It is hoped that remote attendance will be facilitated. Please follow www.twitter.com/iia or email email@example.com to express your interest in attending remotely if the facility is available on the day.]
Audience: Those interested in using Social Media for business be they expert or non-users.
Aim: To create a useful beginners guide for business people planning to get started in Social Media
Objectives: To discuss and develop the material prepared by the Blogging subgroup of the Social Media Working Group
Venue: Presentation Room, Digital Depot, Roe Lane, Thomas St., Dublin 8
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Date: Friday 5th December
Cost: Free to IIA members/ €20.00 non-members
A little tardy posting this (and more about the reasons for that later!) but very appropriately I am posting a review by Derek McGarry, a board member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland and a lecturer in the National College of Art and Design who attended the recent IIA event on Blogging, microblogging and podcasting. Appropriate because Krishna De, who presented that event, is presenting today at our event in Limerick “Word of Mouse Marketing: Building Brand and Attracting More Profits To Your Business”. (Also appropriate because the IDI are holding their coveted Design Awards tomorrow night.)
On Thursday 18th September I attended my first workshop on blogging, microblogging and podcasting run by Krishna De for the Irish Internet Association. It was my intention to fast track my way into an information world that I knew very little about but was eager to explore.
Krishna De was an excellent speaker who illustrated her expertise on the subject of blogs, microblogs and podcasts in an informal manner that helped everyone relax and enjoy the half day workshop. Having the class participate from the word go is always a smart way to ensure that you get everyone involved. More than that, it also ensures that there was little chance of going home unhappy that the class was meaningless because you can help direct the content. Our audience consisted of a good mix of complete novices, intermediates, and professionals. Everyone approached the workshop with a clear objective to use blogs, microblogs and podcasts as an essential part of their lives. Most had a good grasp of how it might help them build their business or that of the company in which they worked.
Krishna De provided lots of real examples or case studies that showed how others were using this technology to share information within a variety of social and business networks. Although I would not like to be tested on the full extent of my workshop comprehension, the great outcome for me was to leave the workshop with a conceptual toolbox and a new confidence to give it a go. I quickly purchased the software and equipment I needed to start a series of design podcasts. Within days I had recorded the first part of my new podcast series. With some more work I will soon be ready to launch myself as an official podcaster. From this first endeavour, I plan to gradually develop my skills through practice using tips and advice provided in the class. My first efforts may well prove real amateur hour but I don’t mind because I know that this time next year I’ll be much better.
While the workshop was just what I wanted, I was initially put off by the high cost of the training. In my opinion, I think the classes could be less expensive through clever marketing and sponsorship. The Irish Internet Association (IIA) should be able to attract such help through their impressive corporate connections. Certainly, if the workshops became more affordable I would definitely recommend them to all my students, colleagues and friends.
Finally, Krishna De orchestrated a really great workshop. Well done IIA!
Derek Mc Garry
Deputy to Head of Design Faculty
National College of Art and Design, Dublin
A big thank you to Derek for taking the time to write this review. A quick note in relation to Derek’s comment about cost is that the cost of IIA events or membership hasn’t been increased for three years. If that isn’t inflation busting, I don’t know what is! Krishna also writes on her blog about assessing the value of training. Another of our members Clickstream (who recently revamped their own website) also attended this event and wrote about it on their Blog.
I have my bed bagsed in my brother’s place in Kilkenny. I look forward to seeing you at PodCamp Ireland if you are going. The excitement is mounting, not least because of the organisers’ use of social media to attract attention. I’ve been listening to their podcasts, for example, and I think that Krishna De’s interview from last week’s podcast with Michele Neylon of Blacknight Solutions has some great pointers for those planning their domain name purchases, especially if you are considering buying a second-hand domain. Also on the show, winner of Best Personal Blogger in last year’s Irish Blog Awards, Grannymar, talks about her experience of starting a blog, giving some very good pointers on the essence of blogs, saying that some days she might only write two lines or post a photo and other days she might do more. As Krishna herself says Grannymar is an inspiration not least because she tells listeners to just go for it and commenters to get involved, “they are the lifeblood of any blog”. Even though hers is a personl blog, much that she has to say holds true for anyone considering starting a business blog. You can listen here at BlogTalkRadio (no fancy players required!). PodCampIreland are making use of all types of new and social media like RSS and blogs and microblogs and of course podcasts to facilitate the varied audience they have. Most of their content is published once but received by many in “the flavour” they like and much of it is done using free or cost-effective online applications.
Speaking of considering starting a business blog, one of our members has recently taken the plunge and considering the summer we have had here in Ireland I am amazed they had the time. Aedan and Suzanne Ryan are the people behind PuddleDucks, a company who sell waterproof clothing for adults and children. Aedan commented that he was much inspired by what he heard at the IIA Congress back in May about how organisations big and small were using Social Media to engage with their customers. I particularly liked their timely post a couple of weeks ago about getting kitted out for Electric Picnic.
Another company who are getting really into social media recently are IIA members, FBD.ie. You may have read on the IIA.ie website that they have just launched their new site. Part of their marketing campaign involved Twitter, including an advance launch of their site to Twitterers. They are also actively seeking comments from bloggers and twitterers and are engaging with them. Other IIA members using Twitter are the aforemnetioned Blacknight Solutions for whom it is, as they, a no-brainer with the profile of their clients. Two other IIA members, The Irish Times and RTÉ are also on Twitter but rather than using Twitter to start a conversation, they are using it to facilitate Twitterers who want regular news updates. RTÉ are feeding each of their news types through different twitter channels using the RSS feeds from their site.
The great thing about Twitter for a company like FBD, for example, is that they can approach those who twitter and if the Twitterer wants to, they can choose to allow FBD to follow them or not and conversely they can choose to follow FBD or not. It’s all about permission so it suits both parties very well. I have to admit that when setting my own ground rules for the IIA Twitter I decided that I would not follow anyone unless they followed IIA becuase I did not wish to be intrusive. I had, as I have mentioned before, been twittering in a personal capacity for some time and many of those following me were happy to follow the IIA tweets as well. I suppose the single greatest thing about Twitter and other microblogging platforms is that they allow users who aren’t constantly in front of a computer remain connected through their mobile phone by either updating via text, receiving updates by text or if the user has mobile internet capability on their phone a third party application can often be installed to microblog from your phone. I use Twibble on my Nokia E51 and I also have a Twitterfone account (Twitterfone was developed by Irish company Maxroam) which allows me to leave voice messages that are converted into text, ready for Twitter. I also use TwitPic which allows me to send photos from my phone by SMS. So for example I was able to twitter the Liffey Swim last Saturday. Great fun no doubt but imagine you were able to show the world your latest product the minute it arrived? Or twitter pictures of new staff so people would know them? Or a picture of your exhibition stand at a conference so people would know exactly what to look for? (Let’s hear how you are using these applications in your business: leave a comment below.) The name of the game is facilitation and developers are creating all sorts of web and mobile applications for all sorts of platforms to facilitate users and business users can mix and match their social media to create a mix to suit their customer base. While I wonder about the longevity of Twitter’s tenure as a killer app, I find Twitter can be a good source of information, feedback and every now and then, great entertainment and I just hope others feel the same way about our Tweets!
It got your attention anyway didn’t it? I read it in this month’s edition of Marketing Age the Marketing Institute of Ireland’s bi-monthly publication. It’s from their adaptation of Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons Punk Marketing Manifesto and it is point number one of 14. My main reason for mentioning it is by way of introducing the IIA’s twitter channel. “Ah now hold on”, I hear you say, “I’m only just getting the hang of this blogging business and you introduce microblogging!!” I’ve been microblogging myself since earlier this year and it felt like a good channel to connect with people who might be interested in the IIA, it’s events, members and opportunities so I took the risk and so far, so good. Try it out yourself. You can follow me, I’ll follow you. I know some of our members use it to great effect and hopefully they will add their comments below about their experiences. You can zone in on the Irish Twitterati at www.twit.ie – you’ll probably see some familiar names and faces.
Let me know if you are using other microblogging platforms and if you would like the IIA to contribute there as well and I will look into it.