Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Connie Crosby is Now Podcasting - Community Divas

This summer my friend Eden Spodek, a communications specialist known for her blog Bargainista.ca and one of my fellow Podcamp Toronto organizers, and I dared each other to start podcasting. What better way to fulfill that dare than to create that podcast together?!

Thus Community Divas was born! Our goal is to interview leaders in a wide range of communities, and talk about issues in building online communities. While our focus to start is online communities since that is where our personal interests lie, we will broaden our content out over time to talk about "face to face" communities as well.

In our first four episodes, we interviewed Jay Moonah, one of the driving forces behind Podcamp Toronto and a social media strategist, Saul Colt, the Smartest Man in the World! and the Director of Magic at Freshbooks, and Daniele Rossi, web designer, graphic artist and podcaster talks about how podcasting his Stuttering is Cool podcast has helped him accept his own stuttering.

Eden and I are just finding our sea legs with the podcast, figuring out both the technical side and finding our voice in the recordings, but what truly stands out is the discussion from our interview guests. My hope is that our discussions will be of interest to a wide audience--including both those interested in libraries and in social media/social networking.

You can catch us (among other places) directly from our blog communitydivas.com or, if you have an iPod or other MP3 player, on iTunes. If you are into it, we have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a FriendFeed Room. To send us feedback, please post a comment on the blog or email us at communitydivas@gmail.com . At some point we will get a comment line in place if you want to leave an audio/phone comment.

If you haven't tried listening to a podcast before, why not give it a try?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Product Recalls and Taking Corporate Responsibility

Wherever I turn today, I am running into news about recalls:

  • news that the horrific tainted milk scandal in China, where almost 53,000 children are sick and 13,000 are currently in hospital, has now led to a second recall in Canada. On Sunday there was a recall of Nissin Cha Cha Dessert and yesterday Ottawa recalled certain types of Mr. Brown 3-in-1 instant coffee. See the Globe & Mail story (Sept. 24/08).
  • Steve Matthews has made note that Stem Legal client Hissey Kientz LLP has launched a new website, Digitek Recall Help, that tracks the latest information regarding the recall of the heart medication Digitek, generically known as Digoxin. The site documents the related side effects, toxicity problems, lawsuits, and the latest news. It will function as an ongoing information gateway, updated regularly by the firm's Digitek practice group.
  • Apple has recalled USB adapters for recharging iPhones. As someone who recently opted for an iPhone to stay in touch with clients instead of a Blackberry, I was quite surprised today to receive a text message from Rogers about the recall. Apparently there is a small chance that the prongs in the adapter can break off in an electrical outlet, creating a shock hazard.
The main reason for recalls is public health and safety, so it is important to get word out on them. I was surprised at this method by Rogers (text message) to get the message out, but it is a quick, inexpensive way to reach the iPhone consumer quickly. In contrast, I heard on the news (but can't find a good source) there have been complaints about children getting sick from the milk products in China going back to 2006, and it is only as it reaches crisis proportions is there any real acknowledgment in the media.

Companies can no longer sweep problems under the carpet and hope they will go away. Word of mouth spreads too quickly with our Internet-based social networks such as blogs and Facebook; one small problem and soon a firestorm can erupt that can cause bad feelings about a company and a drop in sales.

In Canada we recently saw another recall, that of Maple Leaf Foods as potentially carrying Listeria bacteria. I was impressed with how quickly Maple Leaf responded, took ownership of the problem, recalled products as necessary, and inspected and cleaned their premises. In today's society it is no longer acceptable to sit on a problem of this magnitude while a plan is put together over a few weeks. Immediate response is necessary, and Maple Leaf handled themselves very well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update: recruiting with social networks & a new law KM online group

Hi folks! Here are a few of my recent blog posts you might be interested in:
  • On my business blog Connection I shared some of the resources I used and some of the websites we looked at during a workshop I taught last week on recruiting using Facebook and other social networks.
  • I also released a copy of the workbook I created for the course under Creative Commons. I wanted those who attended the workshop to be able to share with their colleagues back at the office, and also to share with others who might be thinking of using social networking tools in these ways. This sort of thing does not stay static, so I am hoping others can build and improve on what I have done.
  • Over on Slaw I made note of the group Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals being pulled together online by Patrick DeDomenico of Debevoise Plimpton LLP in NYC. I hope you will join us in one or all of those conversations!
Life on the entrepreneurial side has been hectic but quite enjoyable. I have to say, I don't miss having to prepare a budget as I did the last 10 years as a law firm library manager. I am thinking about my colleagues in the firms compiling and churning through the numbers, finding where the savings might be, and how they might accommodate the rising prices and cost of new products. That is definitely something I sympathize with them on, and don't miss. Still, I get to think about bookkeeping and cash flow instead. A whole new wonderful adventure!

Take care,