#DigiBlogChat Questions September 7, 2021

The topic for #DigiBlogChat on Tuesday, September 7th is eLearning and Teaching with questions by @Warren Laine-Naida

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions:

  1. What do we mean by eLearning? What has your experience been?
  2. What has changed in learning via the internet during the past 5-6 years?
  3. For better or for worse, we’re all learning online. How much of eLearning has been a result of innovation? How much has been a result of necessity?
  4. For those of you who’ve been students, which classes have you taken? For instance, have you used Udemy? Coursera? EdEx? Harvard? Google?
  5. Which technology have you really enjoyed? For instance… Zoom? What could be improved?
  6. There are thousands of free courses offered online. Which have you taken advantage of and why? How did you decide to take those courses?
  7. For those of you teaching online, what has been your experience in creating online courses?
  8. How does online learning become an equalizer—helping us to improve or close the gap between different groups of people? (For example seniors, differently abled, or people without access to traditional resources.)
  9. How might eLearning actually reinforce existing divides?
  10. In an ideal world, where could eLearning take us in the future? Where would we like it to take us?

See What Happens When You Turn Your Best Blog Posts into a Book

It’s possible that you’ve been blogging and blogging, without knowing why. Maybe writing is fun for you. Maybe you’re pouring your heart out and treat your blog like a journal. Or perhaps you enjoy the silence. In any case, you could decide to have a bigger purpose for your blogging and turn your best blog posts into a book.

That’s right–a book!

In case you didn’t know, writing and publishing a book is now easier than ever. You can turn to YouTube University (I made that up, so don’t go looking for it, literal friends) and find out a lot about how easy it is. But I’ll give you an outline you can use right here, to give you a headstart. If you’d like to read a good book about blogging, might I suggest friend Randy Clark’s book How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever?

Here’s an example

Before I was a social media marketer, I helped people organize their lives and their spaces. This was before Marie Kondo came along, by the way. Anyway, let’s use organizing as an example. Could you write ten blog posts about organizing? Of course you could! I mean, if I could, then you could, too! And people love to hear about how to organize their lives.

Ten blog posts = ten chapters

Here are ten possible chapters for our imaginary organizing book:

  1. Entryway
  2. Bathroom
  3. Bedroom
  4. Kitchen
  5. Garage
  6. Living room
  7. Deck/patio
  8. Paperwork
  9. Photos
  10. Digital organizing.

You could add an intro and a follow-up chapter, too. And maybe talk about psychological barriers to organizing, or whatever your heart desires.

Beef up the titles

Now, go back and tweak the titles, making them juicier and more specific. For instance, kitchen could become Finding Space for All Your Cooking Supplies in Your Kitchen. Use your imagination. Also, what would you like to read about? What would you like to write about? Realize that you’ll also learn some things while writing this or any book. So if you decide what you want to learn about, you could write about that.

Look for inspiration

There’s inspiration everywhere. For instance, I just found a fun video about organizing that talked about unpopular organizing ideas. The woman was funny and talked about popular organizing ideas that she hated. Could you do that? Sure you could! Those hangers that give you more space, for instance. She talked about how inefficient those are. And how cheap the Dollar Tree organizing products are, and how they create food deserts. Here are some ideas for finding content ideas for your social media.

Write two sentences about each title

Stay with me here. Start with a general idea and then get more specific. For instance, for the kitchen, you could say Your first step will be to remove everything from your cabinets. And Don’t be afraid. After all, everything will return to those cabinets (except for the things you don’t want to keep, that is). Now go onto each of the other nine chapters, and write two sentences for each of them. Then write two more, and so on.

Make a bigger plan

The idea is to get going, have a bigger plan, and to use your writing in more than one place. As you know, repurposing your social media posts is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, here’s a link to Repurposing Your Social Media Content is the Ultimate Time Saver. More on writing a book next week!

 

 

#DigiBlogChat Questions August 31, 2021

The topic for #DigiBlogChat on Tuesday, August 31st is Working in the Eco-Friendly Home Office, with questions by @JKatzaman!

Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions:

Q1. Which appliances do you tend to turn off when you leave the office? Or do you?

Q2. How often do you digitize rather than print documents?

Q3. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), only 18% of e-waste is recycled. How have you been able to recycle your e-waste (old laptops and smart phones, etc.)?

Q4. Do you ever get reminders from your utility company about energy use and have you ever followed their suggestions? Which ones?

Q5. Where do you draw the line on setting your thermostat?

Q6. A new law in Maine aims to take the cost burden of recycling away from taxpayers to manufacturers. (NY Times) How would such a law help small businesses?

Q7. If you are printing documents, have you been using recycled paper? Why or why not?

Q8. What do you see as the pros and cons of teleworking as far as savings go?

Q9. How have your overall expenses changed since you’ve been working from home?

Q10. Having a plant or two in the office can help boost creativity. Have you used greenery to change your office’s environment?

In a Hurry? Time Management for the Busy Professional!

Today I feel particularly harried. My to-do list is overflowing, the phone is ringing, and the end of the day is approaching while there are still about a million things left to do. If you’re busy and think you have no time for time management, think again! A few moments spent “sharpening the saw” will yield terrific results! Here are some of my own tips for staying on top of your time.

We only have 24 hours

That might seem like a stupid thing to say, but it’s a good reminder that we’re only human. You can’t clone yourself (yet!), so you’re the one who has to get everything done. You need a few hours for sleep, some for eating, and some relaxation. By the way, you might like: Time Management for the Tired and Frazzled.

Spend 15 minutes

Every evening, I spend up to 15 minutes creating my list for the following day. This is a brain dump so I don’t think of these things as I’m trying to fall asleep. Simply write down everything you can think of that needs to get done. 15 minutes is only 1% of your day.

Prioritize the list

I like to number my list in the order that things need to get done. Here’s an article you might like: How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout. So you have a road map for the following day, and can spend your precious time doing, rather than puzzling over what needs to happen first and last.

Leave space for last-minute items

There will always be last-minute emergencies, phone calls, and meetings that spill over, etc. So leave some time for those. If you don’t get any last-minute chores, take the time for yourself. Sometimes meetings will get canceled, and those are gifts of extra time for you.

Leave space between things

Your health is the most important priority. Without you, nothing is possible. Your business will probably fall off (unless your business can run without you, that is). So leave yourself some time to transition. And just breathe. Or have a snack.

Decide what not to do!

Sometimes procrastinating (on some things) can be very helpful. Someone else may take that chore you didn’t want to do, for instance. Or suddenly, that “emergency” isn’t one any more. That’s often the case!

Figure out how to say no

This is maybe the most important one of all! Think of a few different ways to say no. Here’s a good article from Inc. Magazine on 7 Tips for Saying No Effectively. Who do you need to say no to? Maybe it’s a family member, or a friend who keeps interrupting you?

How do you manage your time?

I really do want to know. Leave a comment. And thank you.

 

#DigiBlogChat Questions August 24, 2021

 

The topic for #DigiBlogChat on Tuesday, August 24th is Introvert or Extrovert and has WFH affected your personality? with @FinolaSloyanPR! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

1. Do you consider yourself an Introvert or an Extrovert and has #WFH affected or altered your personality type?

2. Introversion implies shyness and extroversion, gregariousness. Has WFH suited the former and perhaps allowed the introvert to shine in situations it may not have had the opportunity to, in the past?

3. A natural extrovert mixes well in any social situation, is outgoing and looks for social interaction. Typically, they are the person holding court in a social setting. How has this translated into an online setting on Teams, Zoom or Other?

4. Do you agree with introverts being described as shy? Why or why not?

5. One of the regulars in #DigiBlogChat said, straight up, “I’m an extrovert and WFH is so much better than trying to work in a noisy and disruptive office. And due to being an extrovert, a lot of the noise and disruption was from me!” Do you miss the buzz of the office?

6. Changes have been noticed in the demeanor of the extrovert in the time they have had to WFH. How, in your opinion, has it affected the extrovert’s personality and attitude?

7. Getting time back has been one of the big positives, if not the biggest, of having to WFH. In this time, what have you learned about your personality and have there been any surprises?

8. Can we be both introverted and extroverted? You may feel that you’re mostly introverted in nature because you prefer to be alone or in small groups, however you ‘can’ feel energized when you’re with the right crowd at the right time. Is this you?

9. Introvert or Extrovert, neither is right or wrong. Knowing our tendencies can help us to be more accepting when others don’t have the same responses to our own, do you agree?

10. Finally ….. have the last 18 months made us more self-aware or will we revert to type when we return to the office?

Avoid Social Media Decision Fatigue Three Quick and Easy Ways

You’ve read about all the new social media platforms, ways to connect with audio, and trends from live-streaming on Facebook Live to Instagram stories. And with your FOMO (fear of missing out) radar going crazy, you’re exhausted from social media decision fatigue. What to do? What to do? It’s probably a good idea to do something, but what? Here are some ideas!

Reduce your choices

Remind yourself that you don’t have to be everywhere all at once. In fact, if you are everywhere, you’ll very likely burn yourself out. So choose one or two platforms to start with. You can always add more later once you get those two balls spinning in the air. Pretend that you’re reducing the choices for a friend, and that friend is you. If you have the funds available, you could also hire someone to run your social media for you, or buy a few hours of time with a social media consultant. Entrepreneur has a good article: 9 Ways to Combat Decision Fatigue. (Did you know that by bedtime, the average person has made 35,000 decisions? Yikes!)

Spend less time online

Seriously. Have a timer and stick to your schedule. When the timer goes off, stop what you’re doing. If you time yourself, you can do almost anything faster. For instance, you can write a blog post in an hour, and here’s how: How to Write a Perfectly Good Blog in an Hour. Personally, I like to chunk things into 15-minute segments because I figure I can do nearly anything for 15 minutes. Well, maybe not pushups, but you get the picture. Besides, going out and enjoying a walk will probably give you more enjoyment and therefore let you come up with more ideas than sitting around brooding.

Go to the platform you enjoy the most

Unless you enjoy a really obscure platform with no traffic whatsoever, why not spend time being where you enjoy yourself? You’ll likely spend more time there and it will be more peaceful. If you don’t know which platforms might interest you, Social Media Today has a list: The 8 Best Social Media to Market Your Business in 2021. Pick one and go there. For me, that’s Twitter. But Instagram is also very popular these days.

Ask a trusted friend

That friend would most likely be someone with a background in social media. Listen carefully and also ask yourself where it makes the most sense for you/your business to be online. You might need to abandon ship on the platform you’ve been following in lieu of some place with more traffic and fun. Sometimes you just need a little distance to be able to make a decision. I know, this is four ways to reduce your social media decision fatigue, but maybe one or two of them will work for you.

 

 

#DigiBlogChat Questions August 17, 2021

The topic for #DigiBlogChat on Tuesday, August 17th is The Innovation Journey. This is a collaboration with JohnWLewis of #Innochat! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Background description

Innovation means different things to different people.

Let’s assume that innovation means improvements that involve step changes, that is: discontinuous improvement. This applies to the ways that we operate and to the products that we use. It involves how we behave in the presence of novel products and processes and how we initiate and contribute to the development and deployment of those novel products and processes.

We all learn and develop our views over time. And we all follow different routes.

This is about the route that you and other people take in the field of innovation: where you are, where you started from, how you got here, where you think you will end up, how you think you will get there, and what is next step.

Innovation is (arguably) the area which is least well managed of all areas of the activities of people and organizations.

These questions are about knowledge, understanding, and practise of innovation. This is about you (and your organization) and is about other people (in absolute terms and relative to you). And it’s about how this changes over time: past, present and future. While the journeys that we and others take follow many routes, they also have many similarities.

Here are the questions:

1. How important do you consider that innovation is to the achievement of your, or your organization’s, purpose … and why?

2. How different was your view of innovation in the past? Has its importance increased/decreased? Has its role changed or not?

3. Is your understanding of innovation still changing? In future, do expect to understand much more, or has your view stabilised?

4. Does the way that innovation is described by other people fit with your understanding (is it more or less important, are they ahead of or behind you on this journey)?

5. Do you think innovation has become more or less important over time (in the past)?

6. Do you think innovation will become more or less important in future?

7. Do you view innovation as something that we can ever manage effectively? Or do you think it will always be random and unpredictable?

8. Are you happy with the way that innovation is understood and managed? Or do you think that developments are needed? If so, what?

9. Do you think that innovation will ever be a routine aspect of how we behave or always be difficult?

10. Do you enjoy innovation? Or do you wish it would stop?!

What Small Businesses Should Not Do on Social Media

Lately, I’ve been writing about what businesses should avoid on social media. Magical thinking is something I come across a lot, and wrote about recently. There are quite a few things to avoid, it turns out! Here are just a few (maybe the tip of the iceberg). And by the way, larger businesses should avoid these things, too. And maybe even some of your friends (ahem!).

Make spelling errors

If you make spelling mistakes, chances are you’ll turn some people off, and they won’t read what you have to say. There are so many ways to check your spelling these days–why not use them? Not only do spelling errors look unprofessional, they’re distracting. Same with grammatical errors–they’re a distraction and are easily avoided. You can use a program like Grammarly (they have a free spellcheck) or even Google docs. And WordPress itself–which I’m using to write this article–has a spellcheck function. You could even get an editor if you needed one.

Sell, sell, sell!

I’ve probably said this a million times, but selling all the time is boring. Any kind of self-promotion all the time is boring. People would rather hear about themselves than about you, and they’re not going to buy from you unless you quit it. What to do instead? Talk about your audience’s lifestyle or their pain points. Unless what you have to share is going to affect a lot of people who have the same pain points as you, direct selling just doesn’t work well on social media. And if you haven’t already read this, you might like: Social Media Isn’t Actually about Sales.

Talk about yourself incessantly

Nobody likes hearing someone talk about themselves nonstop 24/7. If you have a fascinating life, travel a great deal, and have ideas that nobody else has ever thought of you might be an outlier. But for the most part, we don’t need to hear about your breakfast, especially if you’re posting on behalf of a small business. For your private friends, that’s another story altogether! Voicing insecurities occasionally might be ok on a personal front, but on a business account? No thank you!

Not showing any personality

It’s ok to have a personality. It really is. A few weeks back, I talked about Wendy’s and their fun, upbeat personality. Maybe you don’t have someone like whomever does the social media for Wendy’s, but chances are they still have an interesting personality. How could you and they use that personality on social media? How about trying to include some words and phrases that are casual and fun? If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard about Wendy’s social media, you might like: 32 Hilarious Twitter Roasts by Wendy’s That Will Make You Think Twice Before Posting.

 

#DigiBlogChat Questions August 10, 2021

The topic for #DigiBlogChat on Tuesday, August 10th is What not to do on social media! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions:

Q1. What’s one way to fail with social media passwords? 

Q2. When is a good time to send DMs on Twitter?

Q3. What are some big mistakes you’ve seen others make? 

Q4. Why is social media etiquette important? 

Q5. Why is it a good idea to steal images from others? 

Q6. When is it ok to automate all your posts? 

Q7. What’s a good number of hashtags? 

Q8. What good advice would you give to a rude person? 

Q9. What’s wrong with posting about yourself 24/7?

Q10. When is the absolute worst time to post?

Magical Thinking and Social Media

There has long been magical thinking in all parts of American life, so why not in American social media? If you don’t think there is magical thinking in social media, then perhaps you yourself have some magical thinking going on! No offense, but that thinking permeates everything these days. Here are some ways magical thinking is a part of all we do in social media.

My post will go viral

Chances are pretty good that you’re not going viral. Also, I hate to say it, but you’re probably not going to win the lottery, either. You might get $5 or $8, but the odds are that you’re not going to win. So why do you believe your post will go viral? Do you know anyone else that this has happened to? Or perhaps you’ve read about posts going viral, or seen it happen on a reality show! I wrote this article about posts going viral around a million years ago, but you might still like it!

My sales are going to go through the roof

If you’re using social media and expect sales, then probably not. Social media isn’t sales. You might like this article I wrote recently: Social Media Isn’t Actually about Sales. So no. One person is not going to tell two people who will tell two people until your sales quintuple. But you can expect more people to have heard of your company or brand by using social media. Having realistic expectations helps everyone.

Other people believe the same things you do

Yes, it’s strange to think that people are mind readers. Perhaps it’s the Pandemic. Maybe we’re all spending too much time indoors, without socializing, and we’re having some mental health challenges. Or at least some PTSD. We all believe different things, and it’s important to find out what others believe, or at least what your ideal client believes, before trying to pitch to them. The best thing to do? Ask what thoughts people have before assuming you know them. Sometimes your guess may work, but often it won’t. If you want to conduct a survey, asking your own clients can give you some much-needed answers (or change your assumptions). Here’s a good article: 5 ways to include surveys in your social media strategy.

Everyone will share my post

It’s good to adopt a strategy of generosity on social media. If you start bombarding people with ads, direct or private messages, or tagging them without reason, you’ll probably get banned. Sharing their posts is a good idea, especially if what they do is related to what you do. Once you share or comment on someone else’s post they might share yours, too. But if you don’t do that first? Guess what–you don’t have any social equity in the bank!

Social Media is easy

It’s really not. It requires a lot of thinking, sharing good images, and engagement with others. Please don’t hire your nephew to run your social media (unless he has some experience). Because then you will be sad.

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