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The Social Web

Everything you could ever possibly want to know about building web sites

How’s that for an ambitious headline? Seriously though, here are a few ideas that I’ve found to be useful over the years, by way of framing what this process we call “web design” is really about. Then there’s the really useful stuff: resources for learning more about html, css, design, content, ux, and more!

First, a few guiding principles:

  1. Focus on a purpose.
    The first thing to do when starting to build any new web site is to ask questions.  This question in particular: “What purpose does this serve?” Once you have a succinct and well-thought-out reason why this new (or redesigned) site needs to exist, write it down, commit it to memory, make it your mantra. It’ll help you stay on track later on. Continue reading: Everything you could ever possibly want to know about building web sites

The Economics of Innovation, Storified

Storify is a tool that allows you to create and display stories or timelines assembled from various social media sources, and includes text, tweets, photos, videos, and more. EC365 is the Economics of Innovation class, taught in Block 7, that experienced a week of field work in Boston. Combine the two with a healthy dose of Twitter and here’s what you get, courtesy of Professor Dan Johnson.
Continue reading: The Economics of Innovation, Storified

KRCC’s Social Media Refresher: What We Learned.

What is social media?

Over the past semester, KRCC has had an intern who did a substantial amount of work with social media for her degree. We asked her to give the KRCC staff a bit of a refresher course on social media. What follows are many of the lessons we learned from her presentation.

KRCC’s Mission: Offer programming that reflects Colorado College’s commitment to the liberal arts and diverse ideas and people.

Purpose: Engage our listeners in an ongoing conversation that adds depth to our content and a persona to the KRCC personality.

Short Term: Provide promotional information. This could be about artists, songs from the playlist, and daily news content.
Long Term: Engage community by speaking to them and encouraging them to carry on discussions amongst themselves.  Increase listener base.  Generate new, paying members who contribute regularly.

Tactics: KRCC needs to change how it is presenting itself via social media.  KRCC mainly uses Facebook and Twitter.  A typical “tweet” from KRCC used to look like this: “The Middle Distance, 2/24/12: “Sweet Old Lady”: In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance: Kathryn Eastburn…”  KRCC needs to examine the format of our tweets, and learn to use the vocabulary of Twitter.  Out tweets need to look more like this example from Colorado Public Radio: “  Ryan Warner talks to @hickforco about #budget, #childwelfare and more on @NewsCPR”.  It’s tempting to use a service that automatically posts to Twitter based on your Facebook post or blog.  However, we were discouraged from doing this because each service possesses its own specific methods for tagging posts, i.e. Facebook lets you tag other users; Twitter lets you tag other users, retweet and categorize with the hash tag.  In sum, posts to social media cannot be an afterthought; they should be given the same care that you would developing and writing a blog post or some other post to your website.

About those posts…. KRCC needs to Prioritize, Organize and Humanize its posts.  It’s recommended that we post five to 10 times a day at Twitter and two to four times a day at Facebook.  The content that we’re providing via social media should always be mission-based, objective/unbiased and gracious/courteous.  The content also needs to be fun!  Our goal should be to provide content that is interesting enough that KRCC is included as a “close friend” in our fans content filters on Facebook.  We’re developing a PERSONA online, a persona that readers/listeners will find themselves, with hope, attached and attracted to.

We need to OWN what we create, which includes the use of a byline whenever posting to Facebook.  This is especially important with news content.  For example, we want our fans to know that a statement about local news can be attributed to our News Director; it adds credibility.

Another noteworthy comment about our use of Twitter: we discovered that we were committing a Twitter faux-pas because we were not following enough people.  Apparently this is seen as being rather snobby.

Conclusion: KRCC needs to humanize its posts to Twitter and Facebook.  They need more oomph.  Remember that we’re part of a conversation that, often, we started.  We have to make sure that we’re continuing the conversation.  We should display humanity and authenticity.  We should use social media consistently, often retweeting other conversations.  All content needs to read like a one on one conversation.  Anything less than posts that read like a human conversation will detract from the goal of bringing new listeners and members to the station.


CASE Social Media and Community Conference Resources

#casesmcWhile many of us here at CC were busy with getting through the madness that is April, the third annual CASE Social Media and Community Conference, also known as #casesmc, was held in Chicago (April 18-20 to be precise). Even if you missed it like I did,  never fear, mStoner‘s Mallory Wood (@MalloryWood) has compiled a great list of resources from the conference. Also Jen Doak (@jpdoak), online communications specialist at CASE, covers what has changed over the past year in “How Have We Grown? The CASE Social Media Conference, Then and Now“.

Friday quick hits

Happy Friday! I just wanted to share a couple of things I found interesting this week:

Doing facebook wrong? According to Pandemic Labs, what brands post on facebook and what users want are not are not even close to the same thing. Users really want photos and video, but what we tend to give them are links. As the infographic shows, videos are ten times more likely to be shared than links, and photos are 5 times more popular than links. Full article + infographic: You’re Doing Facebook Wrong!!!

More things not to do on facebook… A facebook marketer (@jonloomer) grows weary of the things other facebook marketers do, like demanding reciprocation, comment baiting, and chasing the wrong numbers. Full article: The Most Insincere Business Behavior On Facebook

On simplifying. Matt Klawitter (@mattklawitter), a higher education and non-profit marketing consultant, expands on his popular but very brief post about “the ultimate, ultra-simple, real, authentic, University website homepage wireframe concept” and discusses how and why higher ed websites are just too complex. Full article: Your .edu Website is Too Complicated

Cool HTML5 Tricks: Of a slightly more technical nature, Web Design Ledger shows how easy it can be to use HTML5 for embedding audio and video into web pages. Full article: Audio and Video with HTML5

Population explosion. The world’s Internet population has nearly doubled over the past 5 years from 1.15 billion to 2.27 billion. This infographic shows where most of that growth has come from.

Here’s an interesting tidbit…

From this morning’s “Media Bistro” enewsletter:
One In Five U.S. Adults Does Not Use The Internet (TechCrunch)
Internet adoption among U.S. adults increased rapidly from the mid-’90s to about 2005. Since then, though, the number of adult Internet users has remained almost stable at around 75 to 80 percent. The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest poll shows that this trend continued in 2011. (FishbowlLA) Of that one in five, half don’t go online because “they don’t think the Internet is relevant to them.” That equals 30 million Americans who don’t think that newfangled Internetz is worth all the hubbub.

Facebook’s new Groups for Schools

FB groups for schoolsFacebook’s big announcement this week was a new/old feature called “Groups for Schools.” While it is new (and still being rolled out, CC’s not on it yet) it also is reminiscent of the time when only college students were on Facebook, and your network was limited to only your school.

From the Facebook press release“Today we’re announcing Groups for Schools, which allow people with an active school email address to join groups at their college or university… You can join a group for your major to discuss classes, for your sorority to plan upcoming events, or for your dorm to share photos…. We are also introducing file sharing for these groups, to make it even easier to share lecture notes, sports schedules or class assignments… Groups for Schools will gradually be rolling out to colleges and universities around the world.” Continue reading: Facebook’s new Groups for Schools

An .eduGuru Summit session report: The Future Friendly Campus

Presented by Dave Olsen (@dmolsen) developer/project manager at WVU as part of the 2012 .eduGuru Summit. Dave knows a ton about the intersection between higher ed, mobile web, and social, and we even use some of his open source code here at CC, the Mobile Web OSP. From the description:

“Social media and mobile devices have combined to help create the always-with-us, always-on, always-connected campus. Not just student-to-student but, importantly, institution/faculty/staff-to-student as well as staff-to-staff. We need to look beyond the silo-ed, one-way web sites of the past towards more personal, two-way applications that take advantage of this sea change on campus.”
Continue reading: An .eduGuru Summit session report: The Future Friendly Campus

A #SXSW Interactive report: I may “like” you, but I’m not in like with you.

The last morning of SXSWi 2012 Chloe Gottlieb (@chloalo), VP of Interaction Design at R/GA, presented the cleverly-named session: I may “like” you, but I’m not in like with you. Though the session was ostensibly about Facebook, it was really about the different types of customers & personalities, the relationships between brands and customers online, and how to engage and deepen those relationships with all types of customers whether they “lean forward” or “lean back.”

Key points

There’s a whole spectrum of different types of people (customers) who will engage with your brand. Some people want to engage and interact a lot, and others not so much, and that’s okay. People care more about each other than they care about your brand.The people who want to engage a lot tend to be influencers and can help spread your message. When building campaigns, try to build something in for each type of customer/each level of engagement.

Presentation slides via SlideShare

My full notes

Please note: These are simply my written notes of the presentation. Sorry if they are a little rough, if you want the exact word-for-word I encourage you to listen to the recorded audio (mp3). I’ve bolded what I thought were key takeaways.
Continue reading: A #SXSW Interactive report: I may “like” you, but I’m not in like with you.