Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Occupy Toronto?

I have been trying to get my head around the "Occupy" movement, particularly in Canada. It seems to me there are a lot of points of contention and pain in other countries, but wonder what we have to complain about in Canada that would move people to these extreme measures. I'm also not sure I completely "get" this movement since there are not specific demands or direction. On the other hand, I defend their right to peaceful assembly and protest.

I was in New York last week and walked past the Occupy Wall Street encampment. I was surprised at how small a geographic space it takes up (no bigger than Toronto's, albeit a lot more densely populated). I was also surprised at how organized they appeared to be, obviously quite self-contained in the space they are occupying.

Last night my fellow Slaw law blogger Omar Ha-Redeye appeared on TV Ontario's current affairs talk show The Agenda with Steve Paikin supporting the Occupy Toronto movement. It is a thought-provoking exchange and helped clarify things for me. Here's that discussion--

As I have been writing this, word comes via Twitter that the people at Occupy Toronto have been served eviction notices by the city. Everything is peaceful so far, but the city (and the world) will be watching.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Top 5 Tips for Businesses Using Social Media

On Friday Phil Ridout put out the following question to some people in his Google Plus network:

Social media in business setting - top tips please!
I've been asked to make a presentation in 10 days time about using Social Media in a Business Setting. I've a bunch of ideas and stuff of my own but what better way to demonstrate the power of social networking than by asking people in my network for their top tips. So, what are your top 5 tips for businesses using Social Media please.
I quite like the list I came up with, so decided to share with you here. This has been derived from a lot of reading, course work learning and hard-won real world experience. I believe all these points apply whether your project is inward facing or outward facing.

My top 5:

1. Start small with a "quick win" project, especially with a small group (e.g. pilot project, proof of concept) and then slowly work into larger, strategic projects from there.

2. Don't build an "empty disco" - seed any new tool with content and invite a few people in to share specific contributions to get the ball rolling. If the dance floor is empty, no one is going to want to be the first to dance.

3. Solicit early adopter(s) to be champion(s) of the project. Give them support, including special training in the project's technology. Keep them in the loop so they can accurately sell/evangelize to others inside the organization.

4. To sell it to the executives, the initiative needs to tie back to the organization's or department's business goals. Don't just start using a tool because everyone else is doing it. (Hint: "It will improve collaboration" rarely ties back to business goals and is usually not a selling point.)

5. If the small project doesn't work, kill it quickly and move on to another "quick win."

What do you think of these tips? What are your top 5 tips for businesses using social media?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Are You Using Plaxo? How to Delete Your Account

A discussion on one of my listservs about Plaxo got me thinking about why I had signed up for it, and why I still had an account. It was many years ago that I signed on (probably when it was first launched). I signed on to see what it is about, but rarely went back. Few of my contacts were there, and those were mostly contacts I have connection with on other sites. So, I decided to delete my account and document the process for everyone.

Do you use Plaxo? I am curious to know what value you are getting from it. Why do you use it?

How to delete your Plaxo account

1. Go to the Plaxo site http://www.plaxo.com and click on the "sign in" button.

2. Sign in. If you don't remember your password, ask for a password reminder. Hopefully you remember the email address you used to sign up!

3. Once you successfully sign in, click on the drop down menu under your name. Then click on "Settings".

4. On the first screen under "Account info" find the line that says "If you no longer want to use Plaxo, you can delete your account." Click on the words "delete your account" (in blue).

5.  Plaxo will ask you to confirm the deletion. Note that this deletion (and the deletion of all your contacts) will be permanent. It asks you to review what will be deleted. If you prefer, there is a way to download your content from the very first screen (under "Sync and Back Up" in the menu at the top). I didn't bother with that since I did not have much content or many contacts.

Plaxo also asks for your reasons for leaving, and what they could have done better to keep you to stay.

6. Click on the blue "Delete account" button (above) and voila! your account has been permanently deleted.