Rob’s blog

My entry in Fast Company’s Influence Project

The social media world has been chewing over Fast Company’s Influence Project lately. And the initiative has sustained heavy fire from critics who point out that their method for determining who in the online world has the most influence…

Create a u…

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Join us at OSCON – and catch the session on Open SoSi!

Later this month, we’re packing up the tents, band instruments and trapezes, and taking the show down south to Portland, Oregon for a week to attend OSCON 2010.
I’ll be cartoon-blogging the event – and Alex and I will be presenting a session on our Ope…

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Is it ambush marketing, or conversation?

 
Last week saw much gnashing of clothes and rending of teeth over the fact that Nike (which is not a World Cup sponsor) is outdoing Adidas (which is) in Twitter mentions, blog references and a few other social media metrics.
Nike isn’t alone. Coke is…

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New Twitter feature lets you embed tweets in your blog posts with original formatting

Updated: Thanks to Mitch Cohen for this comment pointing to a one-click bookmarklet – even easier!

Blackbird Pie (kind of a gruesome name, if you’ve grown attached to the Twitter icon) is a new Twitter service that lets you post individual tweets to your blog or web site – keeping that good ol’ Twitter formatting intact, while picking up elements of your site’s design (such as the typeface) as well.

Blackbird Pie screen capture

Now, because of certain style overrides we have on SocialSignal.com, the result isn’t quite as picturesque as we might like:

Finally! A tool for blogging tweets about the new tool for blogging tweets! http://media.twitter.com/blackbird-pie/less than a minute ago via TweetDeckRob Cottingham
RobCottingham

There’s a certain amount of overlap and such. But it’s still pretty sweet, especially since our workflow used to be:

  1. Load tweet in browser.
  2. Capture screen. (We use Skitch, so we don’t have to…)
  3. Crop screen capture image and save.
  4. Upload image file to our site.
  5. Paste a link to the image file in our blog editor.
  6. Add alt text with the contents of the tweet.

With Blackbird Pie, the workflow is:

  1. Copy tweet URL.
  2. Paste into Blackbird Pie, and copy resulting embed code.
  3. Paste embed code into blog editor.

So much easier. And now the text is selectable by others – not a minor issue from an SEO standpoint, either. And it preserves hyperlinks to the original tweet, the Twitter client and the originating Twitter profile.

I like that for a number of reasons, not the least of which is making it easy for people to see the larger context of a tweet: a conversation, for instance, or the user’s Twitter stream. And if you’re trying to blog about a longer Twitter conversation, citing several tweets, this could save you a whole lot of time.

There are plenty of caveats – among other things, it doesn’t work on Tumblr yet, and I keep having to fight the urge to call it “Blackberry Pie” – but it’s a handy tool to have.

 

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This is the age of miracles and wonders

It's a small thing, I know. But one of the fine little pleasures of this era is posting a cartoon, and then watching it get retweeted on Twitter. Especially as the evening goes on, and the North American tweeting dies down... and I start to see people in India pick it...

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Free Social Signal ebook: 10 Ways Your Blog Can Provide Real Value to You, Your Organization and Your Brand

For anyone who’s been told to cut the blog from their communications proposal…

…for anyone who knows their social media activities could pull more of their own weight on the bottom line…

…for anyone who wants to take their blog from the experimental stage to having real-world impact – and real-world value…

…we have something for you.

Today we’re launching Social Signal’s first ebook, called 10 Ways Your Blog Can Provide Real Value to You, Your Organization and Your Brand.

It’s based on one of our most popular blog series, and we think you’ll find it timely. Budgets for organizations – whether they’re corporations, non-profits or government agencies – are tighter than they’ve been in a long time, and every program has to justify itself. That’s especially true when we’re talking about something as new as social media.

One thing you won’t have to justify is the purchase price for this book: it’s free, in the Open SoSi spirit.

This ebook will help you make a business case for your blog (and for other social media channels). But more importantly, it will help make sure you get as much value from your blog as possible: by building capacity for your team, putting a human face on your organization, creating a crisis communications channel, and more.

It’s illustrated with Noise to Signal cartoons, naturally, and licensed under a Creative Commons non-commercial attribution license (which basically means you can’t sell it, and if you reproduce it or portions of it, please attribute it to Social Signal with a link to this page).

We would love your comments. Even better, we’d like to hear your ideas for getting value from blogs and other social media tools.

In times like these, organizations have to make every bit of effort and investment count. We hope this book will help make that happen… and we hope you’ll join in.

Download it here (PDF)

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CPAWS seeks Ottawa web intern

Tell me this isn’t someone’s dream internship:

Our friends (and The Big Wild clients) at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Committee are looking for an intern to help them make their web, email and social media presence a thing of grace and beauty. If that sounds like someone you know, do pass along the details:

Deadline: March 30, 2010
Start date: May 10, 2010
Length and type: Full-time, for 3 months
Salary: $14/hour
This position will play a role in improving, updating and analyze CPAWS’ web activities.

Responsibilities may include

  • Making updates to CPAWS-managed sites as directed, using our CMS
  • Using public domain image repositories to find appropriate images for projects
  • Coding HTML emails
  • Suggesting ways to improve existing sites
  • Assembling statistics on our email blasts, websites and social media accounts for analysis
  • Organizing and tag images from our collection
  • Using services like Google maps, Twitter, etc. to create interactive tools for our sites
  • Researching and compare online service providers.
  • Working with our chapters to improve their websites
  • Writing and editing text for the web

The complete posting is here.

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Rob on what 2010 will bring for social media

I missed passing this along when it first came out, because I didn’t know those nice CBC people had put it on YouTube. It’s their segment on what to expect in 2010 for social media, based on an interview they did with me in their stunning new Vancouver studios.

The key point for me is that I’m finding people are becoming more deliberate and discerning about where they direct their attention, whether it’s in who they friend, what they watch or which applications they install on Facebook. (That doesn’t mean I’ll always agree with the choices they make: witness the rise of FarmVille. [shudder])

And in the background, yes, you’ll see VanTrash on my screen.

Enjoy… and see what you think of how my predictions are turning out one month in.

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Public speaking and speechwriting: the essential guides

(photo of books with text) Leadership communications: the essential guides

Looking for advice on public speaking, speechwriting and leadership communications? Here are some of my most comprehensive posts, on topics that people ask me about most often.

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