Since 1998 Birgit Pauli-Haack has worked with nonprofits as a web developer, a technology strategist, a trainer and community organizer. She founded Pauli Systems, LC in 2002, now a team of six. It is a 100% distributed company. Since 2010, her team has used WordPress to build new nonprofit sites and applications.
In her spare time, Birgit serves as a deputy with the WordPress Global Community team, as a WordPress Meetup organizer and a Tech4Good organizer.
By 2014, nearly 1.7 billion people around the globe will use social media on public networks like Googele+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest, YouTube and over 300 other social networks. Most users (51 percent) will access these platforms via mobile devices like smartphones, tablets or eReaders enabled with web browsers.
The presentation by Pauli-Haack will give an overview of social media strategies and tactics placed in the overall context of integration with business communication and business data systems.
You wil leave the presentation with a much clearer vision of social media’s role in today’s business world and where to learn even more about how to plot a path through the social media landscape.
With 93% of all American adults using e-mail as their primary online communication tool, any content distribution strategy will need toÂ include e-mail marketing solutions. So it is no wonder e-mail subscriptions for blogs and other sites are important and need to be optimized.
Three features any e-mail marketing system should have:
RSS Feed driven newsletters,
support for CRM sy
a flexible API that allows access to the open/click statistics per subscribers.
Among the many companies offering e-mail marketing services, I have only found one that has all features and then some. We looked atFeedblitz, JangoMail, Constant Contact and MailChimp. Our clear favorite, (and, we are not getting any money from them or other perks), is MailChimp. It is easy to use – very important for our clients -, it offers back-end integration with a reliable, extensible API, and offers integration with major CRMs, such as Salesforce, Highrise and Batchbook. The flexibility is quite impressive. We have built various web sites that integrate via the API. Our site registration process synchronizes the MC subscribers list, and allows access to open and click statistics per subscriber. We have published our API Wrapper for Coldfusion as open-source, to remove barriers for other developers to use the system.
With MailChimp you can manage an extensive action and reaction history with your contacts. You are able to target specific groups of subscribers, and be more flexible in managing relationships. The closer you are able to target your communication, the higher the probability is that your service suits your recipients needs. We embraced MailChimp wholeheartedly after they also allowed for RSS driven campaigns to automate notification of your lists of updates on your blog. We have integrated quite a few news pages with MailChimp ,and our clients have been very happy with the outcome and the increased traffic to their websites.
The time between the holidays before the new year, are for most of use a time to reflect on the last year, to catch-up with reading list or new developments in the business world. We all do this in one way or other when we set our goals for the next year or next weeks.
Twitter has been a great resource tool for me and our team to learn about new tools, insights in other people’s work or great articles around the Internet on the curring edge between marketing and technology. Over the last few weeks I have used the Amplify Plattform to create a ongoing record, use their features to share not only articles but also comment on them as to why this is an important piece of information and why I like to share it. Here are the articles for the last week I would like to share with you.
Whether your goals are advertising, informing, galvanizing advocates or garnering Facebook “likes”, the QR code is ready to link up your audience to
Advanced Twitter Insights: @Joseph Stop following me Getting overwhelmed with the stream? Joseph Haslam gives you a fast insight in how he set-up the flood gates (Twitter Tools). A great graphic is posted on top of this blog. A still from the movie: Forest Gump running on a bridge with his followers.Clipped from www.phoenixstrat.com Twitter makes me feel a little like Forrest Gump. Who are […]
Don’t overlook your fans! This is were engagement with followers and fans really pays off: If you are able to motivate your most engaged followers to post your content, like the shared link, comment on your blog & retweet your twitterstream. Find a few ideas on How to Activate Your Brand’s Super Influencers
Rich Tehrani’s 9 Social CRM Tips For 2011 Most initiatives stop at #4 – However there is more. A great list of actions and questions by Rich Tehrani – Chairman of this year’s ITExpo in Miami Beach Convention Center Feb 2 + 3, 2011.
If you want to build truly influential relationships online, you have to find places where you can consistently add value, spend quality time and have engaging conversations with members of your target demographic. LinkedIn Groups offers one of the best ways to make the most of your social media engagement time, but you must adopt […]
A few days ago Groundswell author Josh Bernoff posted an updated version of the Social Technographics Ladder, the method to catogorize the activities intensity levels for Internet users on the participatory online space. With the update also came a change to include Twitter as a microblogging environment of it’s own kind, that seems to change engagement levels, in the eyes of Josh Bernoff.
The Social Technographics Ladder was first published in April 2007 introducing the concept and the first % for the various levels of activities on the Web 2.0 environment. The participatory online space covers sites that allow user generated content, such as the whole blog-o-spere, review sites like Yelp, content sharing sites, like Flickr, YouTube, social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, online forums, wikis and usage of aggregation and syndication.
The levels were:
Bernoff and Li stressed that these categories are not exclusive. There are overlaps and depending on the site and interest of the user, individuals move up and down the ladder. “People participate in multiple behaviors, and not everyone at a higher level on the ladder actually does everything in the lower rungs.” writes Josh Bernoff. This month’s announcement added the “Conversationalists” between the Critics and Creators, which makes it harder to compare previous published data and follow progression. The Internet space does not stay still. Or does it? It seems that the Inactives are subsiding from almost half to a sixth of the online adult population. Almost every one got the bug and the buzz. The Spectators seem to have reached the plateau around 70% and so have the Creators around 25%. The levels in between are fluid and with introducing a new category, are also not quite helpful any more. This Ladder seems to have run it’s course. It was interesting to watch the development over the last 3.5 years, when the socialnet, Web 2.0 finally went mainstream in about six, seven years of coming.
Below graphic shows the various activity levels in their development from April 2007 to October 2009 and January 2010.
Each Twitter Search has it’s own RSS Feed. Enter the keywords, click on the “Feed for this query” link and add it to your RSS Reader. TwitterSearch is probably the best way to familiarize yourself with Twitter, by searching for a topic of interest. Just entering a few keywords will show you a set of Twitter users, talking about your chosen topic. Click on their Avatar (= profile picture) to check out the “ppl” (= ackrynom for “people”), and their other tweets (= posts to Twitter).
Sometimes a group of people (ppl) tweeting about a topic agree on a so-called hash (#) tag and a twackrynom, to post together on a particular topic. Southwest Florida Twitterers (also called “tweeple”) post under #swflorida or #swfl. A trending topic right now is “#iranelection”. Tomorrow starts the AAUW Bi-Annual National Convention, and you can follow #aauw09. If you would like to review the Google I/O conference (end of May, 2009), search #googleio.
Take any RSS feed and auto-tweet it with TwitterFeed and add a bit.ly link to it to keep track of click actions. Twitterfeed.com will auto-post any RSS feed you deem fit to post, and will do so automatically. The feed can be from your blog, from a client’s blog or from any other RSS feed. Twitterfeed allows you to prefix and postfix the tweets. If you have an account and an API key for your url shortener, Twitterfeed will use it to shorten your blog url, and it will allow you to keep click-through statistics for your posted Twitter links.
RSSFriends allows you to look at your followers, friends and favorites differently. The twitter.com web site is so rudimentary, that there are literally hundreds of twitter applications out there that make up for the short comings of twitter.com.
Many people actually do not speak of twitter as a web site, but as a platform, and there are rumors that extending the API (application programming interface) for commercial use might be a better business model than plastering advertising all over it.
Take a walk with Birgit through the maze of Web site analytics options as she shows you how to track the effectiveness of your Web site for little or no cost.
Utilizing Technology For The Success of Your Business Shelly Osterhout, Founder CSA, Inc.
Shelly answers your questions on topics ranging from determining what type of computer system is best for your business needs to the changing state of technology and how to harness its power to grow your business.
Getting The Monkey Off Your Back Charlie Ingram, FounderVeritas Employer Services You started your business because you enjoy your business not all the administrative stuff that comes with it a lot of it legal or regulated, thereby required. Explore ways to free up your time while stillkeeping up with the paperwork? and making all those deadlines.
Using Social Media As A Tool To Build Your Business Theresa Ayers, Owner Get Smart Women Theresa shows you how to incorporate internet technology, creativity and innovation to maximize your company’s Web presence through the use of social media.
Do You See What I SEO? Mike Ricker, Owner Management Specialties Web Services, LLC Mike understands what it takes to maximize yourWeb site presence through the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and will answer your questions regarding ways to improve your standing on the Internet.
A few days back, I found this short post in my news feed on Facebook. I was already familiar with PACE Center for Girls, and was interested, but I found the post sharing the good news a bit anti-climactic. What happened was that my friend used a tiny link for the sharing. And, it was minimal information. If I want to be an advocate for an organization I care about, I want to be able to do better for them. I would like for my Facebook friends to have a richer experience and, by showing more enthusiasm, I have a better chance to convince my friends to also care about causes important to me. At the very least, I would like to give more information about the organization and the link, so they can make an educated decision about this post.
So, I followed the Tiny link, and landed on the archive page of PACE Center for Girls newsletter at Constant Contact.
On the top of the page, I found a Facebook sharing link, which I clicked on.
Another window opened with the Facebook postÂ section and information already filled in.
You’ll notice that Facebook pulls various pieces of information from the web page:
The page title
A short description from the page
An thumbnail of an image it found on the web page
Select arrows to switch to different thumbnails of images found on the web page
Hopefully, both the page title and description provide my friends with relevant information about the page. And, that an image illustrates the post as much is it illustrates the web page.
Let’ take a closer look at the image section of the post: Left of it, you see a picture grabbed from the web page. We all know how a good picture or graphic can augment information or a message we would like to convey. Facebook collects all the pictures it finds on the linked web page, and makes them available to browse through. It displays the first one, and then you get previous/next picture arrows, that let you browse through the whole array.
The same process happens if you don’t find a Facebook share button on a particular web page, but copy and paste the URL from your browsers address bar into the link box and click onAttach?.
Now that we’ve managed the link part, we can add our opinion and write about the reasons my friends should be interested in this web page. I can add a tag to the PACE Center for Girls’ Facebook page, too, and my facebook friends can stay on Facebook and find out more about the organization on their page. More ways to interact with the organization.
This a so much richer sharing experience; ultimately it serves your facebook friends as well as your favorite organization. Your facebook friends read more information on your profile, and also helps the organization you care about, by offering a richer representation on your profile.
Depending on the organization’s Facebook page settings, they might allow others to post to their page and show to their community of people who liked? it. In this case, the organization has opted to not allow for others to post to their page.
Be a better advocate! Share your trips and tricks in the comments, and let us know if your have questions.
Don’t you love how some website display PDFs stored on their website like books the flip pages right there in the screen and you can actually see two pages at a time just like in a magazine? We tested a few online tools, that have free versions. We find they all are very easy to use and thought out. And we thought we can as examples display our eBooks the same way. What features were we looking for:
Allow an easy upload PDF, Doc, PPT or other formats,
Provide HTML code to embedd the uploaded document in basic FlipBook for on a webpage, and
In previous posts, we’ve talked about how to create a more dynamic Facebook experience through tagging, and more effective ways to share information with your friends about the organizations and causes you care about. Now, we’ll address how to setup your Facebook page so that it appears more approachable, and is more interactive.
To access your page settings, click Edit Page:
First setting: Post to Wall
These are the most interactive and inclusive settings for a Facebook wall:
Under View Settings: The Default View for the wall is set to All Post?:
If you use the setting Only Posts by Page?, only those users who are admins are able to post, and they won’t be able to post references to your Facebook page on their personal profile. For instance, I am the admin for Naples Free-Net , a new page with about 12 people that “like” it. If I post on the Naples Free-Net wall, it will only reach 12 people. On my personal profile, I have 354 friends, roughly 50% of them are in Southwest Florida. Of course, and especially in the beginning stage, I would rather post under my own profile when I want to share something about Naples Free-Net, but I also would like the shout-out be posted on the Naples Free-Net wall.
This is the post from my personal profile, including the comment a good friend and a long time volunteer posted:
At the same time, it also appears on the Naples Free-Net page:
(Note to self: Tagging does not work in comments, only in wall posts.)
Another good example of this is the Golden Gate Civic Association (posted on my profile), with “Golden Gate Civic Association” tagged:
Because I am among the people who “like”, my tagging shows up on the Golden Gate Civic Association Facebook page. As soon as you click on the link, you will go directly to the Golden Gate Association page, as they have their wall page set as default view, you will see other postings by the association as well as other people interested in it.
We compared three web-based applications that support you in your quest to produce works for your various writing assignments. And, yes, nowadays everyone has writing assignments, from letters to clients, a seminar curriculum, a how-to blog post, or a story about your favorite non-profit. However, as soon as I sit in front of the computer, with all the windows open on my computer screen, (i.e., e-mail, browser, facebook, etc.), fighting for my attention, I get distracted. Sometimes, I just need to write and shield myself from the world. It seems I am not alone. There is, yet, another software available.
Here we start with DarkCopy. You can start using it from the very first page. Very quickly, I found the full screen mode button, so everything else on my computer screen disappeared, and I only saw my green on black letters, filling the screen. It feels like channeling a time traveler who is stuck in the eighties with a monochrome screen. I wonder, to myself, if I can change the green to amber? Nope.
No fluff, no features. Just go to the site, hit the full screen button, and start writing. Click on Save as file? and your text is saved on your hard drive. If your browser is set to save downloads into a default directory for download, that’s where you will find it afterwards.
No login, no registration. Easy, fast and focused. A rare, refreshing experience.
Next one up: Writer. Again with the neon green on black background retro look. And, again, the question, does this come in amber? Yes. Under Preferences, you can select different font colors, select from three different line spacing settings, and select from a list of a few different font families. OK. Go crazy, and procrastinate once more, (he, he, he).
The links on the bottom of the writing box disappear after a few seconds, until you hover over to explore and use them. Writer is a little more advance for the everyday writer. It gives you word and character count. I tested it for postings to the Twitterverse, however, this revealed that character count doesn’t help; it doesn’t count spaces, which do count towards your 140 limit in Twitter. It also gives you a rudimentary version control/auto-save on the bottom of the page. It prevents you from loosing your text in the heat of your writing frenzy. You’ll get a little more options, apart from the one click save we saw in DarkCopy. This one actually seems to save it on the site’s server and you can send it, download it, .pdf it (nicely done!), and print it right from the space there. On the bottom underneath the writing box you’ll find a running list of documents you created, with information on size, modified date and shared status. Shared? No, not social-media-shared. Keeping it easy, basic, it converts the document into a public web page.
Some of the feature, of course, can only be used after you create an account, so your choices can have a more permanent existence. The link “Lost your document?”, which is supposed to give me peace of mind, scared me a bit. Â Now, I need to download. The download ended up again in my default download folder on my hard drive, but only with the filename “document.txt” which makes it easy to overwrite as soon as I download another file. But, my browser is smarter, and it automatically changed the file to document(1).txt.
Creating an account, works painlessly. You don’t have to give out your e-mail address, type in your username and password of choice. No fiddling with password #%@%&*I rules. Despite the basic and prehistorical look, this program is more than a mere typewriter. If you write on a project for more than one session, it makes sense to register and create an account. Depending on the cookie settings on your browser and the state of the web, you might loose your fragmented text, brilliant thoughts and collection of ideas, otherwise. This was also a pleasant experience. With just enough customization options to not be a big complicated application, it is also very focused in letting you do your work.
Now the last one, seems to be the odd one out. On the first screen/page of the application, I can read all about how simple it is supposed to be, and what I can and can’t do. And, for attention holding purposes, there are some icons next to each bullet. Well, it’s not that easy. After DarkCopy and Writer, I was spoiled, I wanted to get down to the writing matter immediately, and be able to do it. Not with this one. First, have to have a Google account in order to use it. On login, I was assured not to worry about giving my Google password to this developer, as it wouldn’t be shared with the application, and only my e-mail address would be saved. Although, I knew about the Google App Engine, and that this is very well the case, but anybody else would not be so sure if she proceeded at this point. This assurance feels a little creepy. Now, that wouldn’t be all that bad for a simple application, but this is way too much hassle. And, I noticed I am not able to test it while writing this review. I am already a hundred words into my thoughts about the start up before I am able to do what I came to do: just write.
Once logged in, I have this space, and, at first, I missed it the retro eighties monochrome look. In comparison to the silent dark space, where my lettere appear magically in neon color, this black on white is very bright. It comes back to the early web days, when it was considered too bright to use white background, and one considered light letteres on dark background much easier to read. I haven’t thought about this for a long time. It seems it’s still true, when you want to concentrate on words. It has big buttons like Save/Print and revision history, which remind me of the document writer in Google Apps, and if I am that far, I would rather use that.
When I tried to use the full screen mode, it wanted to open a new window, and, of course my pop-up blocker busted it. And, that was it. My text file is not in the league of the other two programs, DarkCopy and Writer, which support the mere writing task. It does get in the way a lot. This is a total disappointment.
Just writing this post, while reviewing the three web applications, made Writer by BigHugeLabs.com the clear winner. It gets out of the way quickly and the set of features is exceptionally well balanced. Just enough to make me feel at home, and not too much to get me all distracted with a large number of decisions to make. It is a role model in application development: focused, direct and complete.
The web isn’t the only place that houses ˜distraction free writing tools”, and it’s not everyone’s favorite environment.
Here is a list of desktop applications, also free of charge.