Week 8 – Post-LEGO thoughts

I have really enjoyed the SMDL course and the gusto with which the I&LS team have delivered it.  I’ve learnt loads and still have a long way to go.  I’m by no means a resident yet but am much less of a visitor.   My lego models from our last playful session have an optimistic flavour I think, for example this one regarding my path ahead in social media terms:


“Let it grow”

One thing I’m very clear about is that I’m never going to be someone that lives in the parallel universe of my online life.  I heard an interview  with the author Nikesh Shukla, whose book Meatspace opens with what I would regard as a horror scenario:

The first and last thing I do everyday is see what strangers are saying about me. I pull the laptop closer from the other side of the bed and press refresh on my inboxes. I have a Google calendar alert that tells me I have no events scheduled today, an assortment of Twitter and Facebook notifications, alerting me to 7 new followers, a favourite of a tweet thanking someone for liking my book, an invite to an event I’ll never go to, spam from Play and Guardian Jobs. Hayley Bankcroft has sent me a direct message about an event we’re both doing next week. Amazon recommends I buy the book I wrote……

I don’t have enough time and energy for REAL LIFE inputs (eg those things called books, my beautiful grand piano), so I’m going to engage with social media in a very strategic, focused way. To do that, my 3 point plan is

1.  to keep practising to achieve fluency – especially to use Hootsuite to organise my various channels, get mores skilled with image handling tools, enjoy a daily ration of Feedly;IMG_07042.  to discuss with my EMBA colleagues the scope to increase our use of social media to good effect for the programme and our participants;

3.  to keep inspired and up to date by listening to the BBC World Service Programme Click which describes itself as providing “the best debate about world technology, social media and the internet” – it’s great!


Week 7 – Lots to think about….

Week 7 of our SMDL, as usual, introduced us to a wide array of new resources, offering new scope and new dimensions of social media.  Here are my 3 top takes:

1.  I realise that I  am currently a sloppy web citizen and now that I’m aware of Creative Commons conventions, I intend to get my act together henceforth (including here!!)  eg taking more time and care over attributing images, getting more fluent with tools like Photopin and developing respectful online habits (I liked Georgina’s point, in her podcast with Andy, about actively sharing links and resources as part of her blogging and tweets.)

Here’s one for a bit of practice, reflecting where I’d like to be on this lovely sunny afternoon


2.  Reverse picture searches with TinEye or Google Images are great fun – incredibly powerful and fast.  However,  Google Images’ idea of matching a photo of my son and his friend standing in front of their surf boards was pretty random without additional descriptive text, so maybe there are limits to this wondrous tool.

3.  By serendipity, and linking to last weeks exploration of You Tube, I came across a far more serious example of online Caring and Sharing in a game-changing application and extension of reverse picture searching, called Citizen Evidence Lab.  This website, developed by Amnesty International, is for advocates, researchers and journalists to validate video and photo evidence of human rights abuses or to track events in war zones or areas of popular unrest.  The site provides tools for example to compare photos & videso of urban conflicts to identify who is committing what atrocity or to access satellite information to locate exactly when and where buildings have been blown up….  These suggestions from their reading list give you a flavour of their direction of travel..

Bair, Madeleine: Is it Authentic? When Citizens and Soldiers Document War.  November 20, 2012.

Cole, Alison: Pictures of Atrocity: Turning Video Footage into Evidence of War Crimes.  March 7, 2013

Hodson, Hal: Multi-shot video can identify civil rights abusers. New Scientist, June 28, 2013.

Hudson, John: New York Times Issues Correction on Syrian Rebel Story. Foreign Policy, September 6, 2013.

Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkely: Digital fingerprints: Using electronic evidence to advance prosecutions at the International Criminal Court. February 2014.

 https://flic.kr/p/9twHgk Creative Commons - http://bit.ly/WJiAz6

Week 6 – Google Non-plussed?

Pink Panther

It’s probably just me, but I’m not quite getting the hang of the Google suite.  What’s on offer doesn’t seem to do anything distinctive or new enough for me to get really enthused.

Perhaps because I’ve been a long-term user of (non-Google Drive) cloud computing and as an IPhone person, I don’t see what Google Player gives me over and above ITunes.  I don’t want Google+ as well as Twitter but Google Docs, yes, will be helpful for example to jointly prepare a document to a tight deadline for our VLE.

I’m sure Google Hangouts would work well once everyone is set up, but it looks like quite a lot of footwork is required first…   the one about to dive bomb off the line here is probably me…

Birds hangin' out

Actually, I’m not such a misery guts:  I’m aiming to set up a cross-CJBS Hangout before the end of the week – perhaps to organise a contribution to the forthcoming SMDL Graduation Celebrations……

Week 5 – CV in 3D

3D images

My conclusion from Karen Siegfried’s podcast for the SMDL where she describes how recruiters use LinkedIn, is that a basic well-honed CV is a thing of the past.  Now, a job-hunter (MBA or otherwise) must have a multi-dimensional social media presence demonstrating their credentials and active commitment to professional interests.  For example through regular blogging, commenting in Interest Groups, appropriate photos and a well-maintained LinkedIn Profile.

We are all work-in-progress, dynamically-evolving heroic candidates:

dynamic acrobats

This could become somewhat strenuous and exhausting – are you only as good as your last blogpost?   And your track record must be immaculate – no embarrassing Facebook episodes that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see.  And all images used should be suitably attributed and approved.

It’s true that social media can help you to project what you offer, demonstrate the depth of your experience and insight, the value-added you would bring to a future role.   Your future employer needs to you to be media-savvy of course, to put out all the right messages to complex, multiple audiences on their behalf.

Social media has added another dimension for us all to operate on, another skillset to acquire.  But it has also created another layer between presentation and reality:  employers must still find ways to assess how prospective employees impress in the flesh and deliver for real.

Week 5 – Greedy for Feedly

It’s possible that I’ve just become a Convert.   If you’ve always had a ridiculously overcrowded favourites bar and random mix of favourites files, the opportunity to set up a neat collection of your favourite online resources, beautifully categorised, available through one tab…. is, quite frankly, IRRESISTABLE.  I keep thinking of new sections, some of which relate to the interests of my family (history, news in French, recipes…) where I can gather up a whole lot of sources.  It’s like designing your own dynamic magazine.  There’s even one on blog skills…   I couldn’t track down anything on beekeeping however, which was probably just as well as, yes I was starting to get carried away – Enough is Enough!  Like any aspect of social media, overwhelm is only a few mouse clicks away…

So I’m aiming to keep my usage of Feedly like this…


….rather than like this:

...rather than this


Click here to listen to Karen’s podcast from Week 5 of the SMDL.



Week 4 – Frazzled on a Friday …..

Our  @NathlieEmma Nathalie-based Tweet-a-thon last Friday left my brain utterly scrambled.

A bit like this…..


…or this

scrambled code

…..actually, more like this…

Scrambled egg

Yes, at the end I felt like a heap of mush.  I can’t remember many of Nathalie’s actual words, just an intense focus, a sense of a race I couldn’t win to grab tweetable sound bites while at the same time whiz-scanning other people’s tweets.

So in fact, it was a unique experience:  I’ve never been in an environment with such an extraordinary exchange from INPUT to OUTPUT or, indeed, where it was hard to tell which of these was more valued.

No sooner was a comment made than you could see how it was landing, being received by varied audience perceptions.  So maybe that’s one of the key contributions of live-Tweeting:  it serves as a barometer of the weather in the audience.  But like measuring anything, the value lies in the frequency of the reading.  Too many temperature readings confuse us:  live-Tweeting more moderately, less frequently may give a more helpful rain-check. barometer18122011756294ee0c20d9f111[1]



Week 3 – My life as a Twit…. …still needing my Twitter L-plates


Well, I’m loving the Social Media Driving Licence experience – but finding actually getting going on Twitter not very comfortable.  My aim is to move from being a social media Visitor to feeling fully at home as a Resident.  But I’m not there yet.  Like any skill, it needs practice.

What’s great is following loads of exciting people in the news and being linked across to all sorts of You Tube clips, articles or comments you’d never see otherwise

eg (to indulgently quote myself)

However, I can’t help feeling a slightly sinister sense of “Big Brother is watching you” as I press enter on a Tweet.  Or that one of my tweets may have an innuendo I didn’t intend with repercussions I’d then need to spend loads of time unravelling.

And while it’s all a bit new, everything takes me longer to work out – like What do I do now to tweet this latest blog entry?!