Are you vlogging?

Image by otir_im via Flickr

I used to vlog and when 12seconds! shut down their service on October 22, I was left alone with regrets that I hadn’t done it more and my readers and followers regretted my short vignettes even more.

I was using those, often unedited, snippets to give my friends and family a glimpse of my life far away from them, and I am sure they were enjoying those regular updates tremendously.

For me it had another great advantage. I love when I commit myself to some kind of discipline, and this one was perfect: I was posting regularly, and I didn’t really have to spend too much time doing it, because 12seconds! was formatting for me, and I was simply using a flip video camcorder that needs not technical skills to operate, edit movies and post to the web.

It was also a way to explore new media for storytelling, and I really enjoyed the challenge.

Since I am launching a new business, I am not really up to adding an extra challenge to my already packed schedule, but I am thinking of going back to this daily vlogging. I have been looking on a quick and easy way to post videos without having to spend frustrating minutes to check that everything uploads properly, and I am trying to use my and YouTube. I can always post new videos directly from my Flipshare into my Facebook account too.

So what do you think of this idea? Do you like vlogs? Or would you rather never see those crappy videos again?



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Tools for Finding Great Content Online !

quoted from Tools for Finding Great Content Online !

Do you sometimes struggle to find good relevant content online?

Are you always on the lookout for great articles to share with your friends, followers and your fans?

In this blog post I will show some of the best content curation tools that I use every day which allow me to manage and aggregate various forms of social media from all over the web.

Google Reader:

Perhaps my favourite tool, this is the first thing that I open along with my email every morning when I come in to the office. Many people think that RSS is dead but I still think there is life in the old dog yet. Google reader allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds from all over the web and aggregate them all in to the one place. You have the ability to share on various social platforms and create folders which allows you to manage all the sites you have subscribed to by category.

Google Alerts:

This is another great tool from Google that not too many people know about. Google Alerts provides email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, social media, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic which you have set up. Below is just some of the ways that you can use Google Alerts.

·         Monitoring a developing news story

·         Keeping tabs on who is talking about you online

·         Keeping current on a competitor or industry related news

·         Get the latest news and updates on a brand, product or service

·        Online Marketing, Reputation Managment

Twitter Lists:

Twitter rolled out this feature back in 2009, like Google Reader the lists feature allows users to create, organize and curate others into groups, or “lists”. When you click to view a list, you’ll see a stream of Tweets from all the users included in that group.  Once you have created a list other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists. This means lists have the potential to be an important tool for discovery of news and relevant tweets.

Twitter lists are best taken advantage of when using applications such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Seesmic as all these platforms allow you to create columns, which will make managing your lists much easier.

These are just some of the lists that I follow using Tweetdeck.

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How to build your reputation online

I have been blogging for nearly five years now, which in this day and age is like a generation. When I started blogging, early adopters (those who had started using blog platforms as soon as they became available) where already two, three or four years old, and you were looking at them with respect and awe. And I am mentioning these numbers because at the time I was blogging only in French, and the French blogosphere started much later than in the anglophone world.

Bloggers build their reputation around their online presence: they start with a personal style and this will attract or deter their readers, but this personality is their major asset. Those who chose to copy/paste or follow guidelines from how to’s without adding any spice of their own are doomed to fade in the ocean of the copycats all over the place.

You need to tell your own story, not the story of someone else who you have seen succeed and you want to copy because you believe it has a magic touch!

Your reputation will build if you are actively engaged with the others. You may be a silent reader of other blogs for instance, it will in the end feel like you are in a ballroom sitting on the side sofa and watching the others dance, and wondering why noone ever talks to you. Well, at a certain point, you have to dance too.

It is very easy to forget that online everything is not allowed. You can’t scream or be obnoxious, unless people actually know that you are playing a role when you scream and are obnoxious – some very successful bloggers have built their reputation on that quirk, but they have shown their true colors somewhere in their actions.

And remember, your online life is not very far from your carbon life: think about how you would build your reputation in your own community, in your town, in your congregation. Well, online, it is exactly the same: be engaged, be a good citizen, abiding by the law and taxpayer, give back and pay forward, that’s how you will build your good name.

What is web tutoring?

In a nutshell: I sit with you at your computer and show you what you would like to be more easily doing on the web.

Some of you, mostly if you are reading this blog, are already conversant with anything that is happening online, so you might not see the benefit of this activity. Well, you are the cream of the cream, but it is important for me to think about those who would not have such ease with everything on the web.

And you’d probably be surprised to know how many are struggling with what would appear to be basic to most of the geekiest of my readers.

I offer to sit with anyone and listen to what their concern may be. You may have a website but don’t know how to enhance it with pictures or video or music. You may want to add a storefront to your webpage or you may have seen that your neighbors have set up a donate button and you would like to do the same.

Or you have no idea how to get more customers to sign on for your new offer, or you want people to find you more easily and you are an individual who would never hire a marketing firm to start a campaign for you simply because you don’t have that kind of budget.

I am here to guide you through what is actually available online for you to use with no more cost than the effort to learn, the time to find out and understand and put to the test.

This is what web tutoring is.

So what do you think of that?

Web Tutoring

I don’t have the time

Isn’t it one of the most common occurence we can hear when we evangelize about social media?

It’s true that it is also one of the most common complaint we all have once in a while: I don’t have the time. Or, it could be, I wish days were not limited to 24 hours.

I doubt it’s true that we don’t have the time. I certainly don’t want days to be longer either: I know for a fact that if they were, we would find the way to fill them up to the brim even more. And I am tired enough with twenty-four hours filled or not to the brim! Enough already!

I truly believe that we do have the time: just take it! If you really want to do something, make it a priority, not an excuse not to do it and hurt your inner inclination.

Maybe if we don’t find the time to do something, it is because we don’t really want to.

What are the things you make excuse of the lack of time for not doing them? Why are they not on your priority list?

Is social media a new bubble ready to burst?

Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon of social media with enthusiasm. Or at least, if not everyone, those who do are often believing that this is going to be the magic wand that will save the world and eventually bring big bucks too.

Well, I am not so sure, given a lot of the things that I am hearing and seeing.

First of all, it takes time and patience to build a network. It takes time and effort to build a relationship. It takes time and energy to build trust and response.

Showing enthusiasm is a good thing but it is not enough: we need to still have plans and implement them. And to remember that social media is just another media, with the same rules as any other strategic means: it will need dedication, organization, time management and understanding social psychology and behaviors.

And a lot of work.