Entries in professional development (5)


Becoming a PLPeep as social media strategist for Powerful Learning Practice

I've been working in social media for more than six years now, but I'm getting to take my skills to a whole new level with Powerful Learning Practice (PLP). PLP offers professional development to help educators incorporate social media and new technology in their classrooms. Since October, I've been serving as PLP's social networking strategist, managing Facebook, Twitter and the PLP Network Blog. I also get the opportunity to connect with PLP's learning communities online.

PLP offers a long-term, job-embedded professional development program to help educators better understand 21st Century learning environments. PLP's model enables thousands of educators around the country to experience the transformative power of the social Web: Face-to-face in their own schools, exchanging ideas through a community of inquiry and in re-envisioning their own personal learning practice.

So with PLP, I'm not just marketing with social media, I'm participating with social media. I'm directly connecting with educators who are learning to develop their own Personal Learning Networks through social media. I'm very excited to approach social media from this new perspective, and it's opened my eyes even more to the power of social media. I've used social media for learning and connecting with others for many years, and it's truly been priceless for my own personal learning and professional development. It's very rewarding to help educators do the same.

Two of my colleagues at PLP, co-founder Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall, recently published The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, a book to help educators create a learning community through social media and take advantage of technology to improve their own learning and ultimately the learning of their students. This would be an excellent gift to share with any teachers in your life.

PLP also offers e-learning courses. There's a free Web 2.0 Tools eCourse that anyone (not just educators) can check out. Sign up and you’ll receive an email every day for two weeks with a Web 2.0 tool activity. At the end of the eCourse, you’ll be well on your way to being a Web 2.0 tools master and developing your personal learning network.

To learn more about Reina Communications' role at Powerful Learning Practice, check out my interview on the PLP blog.


How to keep technology from complicating our lives

The pressure was on for me last week. As Google+ entered the social media sphere, I jumped on Twitter, Facebook and technology blogs to find an invite so I could check it out. As a social media consultant, it's my job to stay on top of the latest and greatest in social media, explore what's out there and get learning. Now, I'm faced with the dilemma of splitting my time with an additional social medium. Considering I'm checking at least 8 social networks daily and regularly reading countless RSS feeds and blogging, I started questioning how I was going make time for Google+ in my already technology-time-warped life of e-mails, text messages and all things Apple.

Technology is supposed to make everything easier, yet it often just complicates our lives. I realize this when I find myself interrupting a nice meal at a restaurant or a relaxing day at the beach by checking my iPhone incessantly.

Thankfully, I found an article about 10 Karmic Laws for technology, and it inspired me to get a grip on what's important and to keep it simple so that technology actually works for me (not the other way around!). Here are some highlights from the article:

Not all tweets are created equal

Tweeting or updating your Facebook status is pretty much like getting up on a stage in front of 100+ of your friends and acquaintances and saying something into a sure to think twice about your intention and be respectful of your audience. A simple tip: don't over post -- not every thought that comes into your head needs to be shared.

Post in the past tense

Live your life, then share it. Here is an example: "I'm talking to the most amazing person in the elevator." Really? How can you be doing that when you're preoccupied tweeting about it? Instead, just enjoy the conversation. Forget there is a phone in your pocket or purse. Give yourself to that conversation. Then 10 minutes later, share the past tense variation "I just had the most amazing conversation with a women in the elevator!"

Give it a rest

Create a technology Sabbath! Choose a day of the week where you will not allow any electronic devices or media into your daily routine (outside of mandatory situations, like work).

When it comes down to it, much of the networking we're doing online is just taking time out of our lives to clutter the lives of our friends. Just because we have the ability to share every mundane thought of the moment doesn't mean there is a reason to. By limiting our time with and access to technology, we're forcing ourselves to value its use more and make better use of our limited time spent using it. So the answer is not in finding more time for technology, but in making sure each text, e-mail and post we create enhances our own lives or the lives of those we're connecting with.

If I live by these Karmic Laws, I'm pretty sure I'll reduce about half of the clutter I consume and produce using technology. And that makes time for me to take advantage of Google+ and anything else new that comes my way.


Rock'n Blogworld: Day 1

First impressions of Blogworld? Packed. Excitement. Relaxed. Variety. Twittery. Geeky. It was a busy first day, and I've walked away with a notebook full of tips (yes, I'm actually using paper, not sure why). I'm going to be posting the main takeaways from the sessions I attend each day. Not summaries, but just a few quick interesting tidbits. If you are here at Blogworld, please leave a comment with your own highlights.

Morning Keynote: Stand up, stand out, stand together - Scott Stratten

  • Don't depend on RSS for your blog. Not everyone is using a reader.

  • Offer e-mail subscriptions and other ways for people to read your content.

  • "Viral" is not a verb. You can't make something go viral. Social media has to build over time.

  • Build relationships by talking to each other. For example, 75 percent of Scott's tweets are @replies.

The art and science of scaling social media - Maggie Fox

  • Use paid placement on Digg, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Outbrain for "smart scale" niche marketing.

  • The magic formula is organic social media amplified by the paid placement.

  • Share new content and start campaigns on weekends when there's more activity online.

Finding readers for your blog - Darren Rowse

  • Know the readers you want before developing a strategy. Come up with a target reader profile.

  • E-mail readers who leave a comment on your posts to build readership.

  • Do not depend on RSS, drive readership through e-mail newsletters as well.

Like it or spike it: a hard look at social media case studies - Dave Peck, David Griner

Making money from your blog - Chris Garrett, Darren Rowse

  • Build an advertising/media kit page to attract potential sponsors.

  • Start with small advertisers, a few small sponsorships will add up.

  • Know your metrics and your conversion rate to share with advertisers.

  • Create your own products (e.g., e-books, webinars).

Lastly, I want to send some shout outs to the great people I met today:

Farnoosh Brock - A fellow North Carolinian who blogs at Prolific Living, a blog about living your best life. I especially like her yoga posts and book reviews.

Angela Moore - A fellow freelancer, based in L.A. One of her biggest clients is Habitat for Humanity.

Holly Hoffman - Holly runs an agency in Corpus Christi, Neovia Solutions. They provide regional businesses with social media marketing strategies using the POST method featured in the book Groundswell.

Back from my Orange reunion in NYC

Had a great time in New York City meeting with alumni of Syracuse University's Newhouse Executive Master's in Communications Management. I graduated from the program two years ago and hadn't been back to their NYC facility, Lubin House, since. It was great to network and enjoy a fantastic line up of public relations speakers including Richard Edelman and Dierdre Breakenridge.

Deirdre Breakenridge speaking on "Putting the public back in public relations." Deirdre Breakenridge speaking on "Putting the public back in public relations."

When I started the master's program in 2005, I chose my field of research to be Web 2.0 communication (that research spawned this blog). My capstone research focused on best practices in Web 2.0 public relations. Back then, I remember having to convince the professors and academic director that this was a worthy topic of academic research. Thankfully, they were open to the idea (that's the great thing about the program, you can tailor it to your interests). Amazing that two years later, Lubin house is filled with talk of digital media and enthusiastic tweeting. I just love it!

I highly recommend the Syracuse University master's in Communications Management program to anyone looking to take their public relations practice to the next level. You'll meet incredible people and make lifelong friends.

Reunited with Irene Maslowski and Pam Nulman from the '05 class. Reunited with Irene Maslowski and Pam Nulman from the '05 class.

Planning New Media Conventions for April 2010

I'm excited to announce I have joined the New Media Conventions team and plans are in the works for another social media conference in Hampton Roads for April 2010. I was privileged to be a speaker on "The Role of Public Relations in Social Media" and attend their first event in September at the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach. The next New Media Conventions is going to be even bigger, and I'm looking forward to planning the program with many talented, social media savvy professionals from throughout Hampton Roads.  We're going to put Virginia Beach on the social media map!  Be sure to follow @NewMediaConv on Twitter as well as the hashtag for the next event, #NMC10. Also, check out the New Media Conventions blog for more information as plans for the big day are announced.