In early September 2010, we added a new feature to the SMinOrgs Community: S.M.A.R.T. News Digests, which are posted regularly to the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog. To learn more about this feature and how you can leverage it to meet your goals and objectives, scroll down and check out the following sections:
- Why we created it
- How it works
- How to maximize the value of news and other posts to the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog
- Other ways to access S.M.A.R.T. News
- How you can enhance the feature for yourself and others
WHY WE CREATED THE NEWS DIGEST FEATURE
One of the goals for the SMinOrgs Community has been to create a central repository where folks can access relevant resources. During the first 15 months of SMinOrgs’ existence, we screened thousands of items (e.g., news articles, blog posts, and white papers) and found hundreds of items worth sharing.
Those items are still out there in cyberspace, but they were effectively lost to the Community because we had no library in which to store them. For different reasons, Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook all have significant limitations that prevent them from serving as useful repositories (e.g., lack of permanence, inability to tag and search), and our early experiments with Ning indicated no decent way to create a library feature. Social bookmarking sites like DIGG, Delicious, and StumbleUpon are options, but using them would add yet another platform to our "social media system," which seems especially burdensome since most members of the SMinOrgs Community are social media novices.
Ideally, the SMinOrgs virtual library should provide a means by which relevant items can be
- Accessed without logging into a specific platform
- Saved permanently
- Tagged with keywords and organized by topic
- Brought to members' attention through a subscription feature
After considering which platforms contain these features, we realized we already had the perfect platform: the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog! Not only does it meet all five criteria, it also enables us to combine news from outside the Community with original content created inside it (e.g., through the SMinOrgs Social Media Primer), which further enhances its value as a resource to Community members.
HOW THE NEWS DIGEST FEATURE WORKS
Each day we review news articles, blogs, white papers, videos and other resources brought to our attention through sources such as LinkedIn (LI) groups, websites (e.g., Social Media Today), Google alerts, Twitter, and SMinOrgs Community members. We screen these items and identify those that reflect the focus and mission of the SMinOrgs Community.
In addition to sharing these items through the platforms on which SMinOrgs has a presence (specifically, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), we also share them via the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog through periodic News Digests. The digests typically contain six items (sometimes more) that cover a variety of topics; however, News Digests can also be built around single topics (e.g., legal/policy issues, social media activities in the public sector, social media initiatives by a single organization like the Mayo Clinic). For each item, we provide a hyperlinked Title, along with the Source, Author, and a Lead Paragraph, followed by Brief Commentary from SMinOrgs Founder Courtney Hunt. Each item also includes a link to the corresponding discussion on LinkedIn, and beginning in late October 2010 we also identify the blog categories for each item.
We began creating these posts as of August 31, 2010. Click on the links below for some of the early posts to get sense of how the News Digest feature works, as well as the variety of items shared (note sample categories).
- September 1, 2010 (healthcare, human resources, leadership)
- September 3, 2010 (talent acquisition, enterprise 2.0, microblogging)
- September 4, 2010 (government 2.0, knowledge management)
- September 5, 2010 (email, collaboration, video, policy)
Here are links to sample digests focused on specific topics:
HOW TO MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF
S.M.A.R.T. BLOG AND NEWS POSTS
There are three key ways to derive value from the SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog and News posts:
Subscribe. You can receive a notification each time the SMinOrgs Blog is updated by following the "Subscribe to SMinOrgs S.M.A.R.T. Blog" link in the right-hand column. Clicking on this link will take you to a FeedBurner page where you can elect to receive notifications regarding new posts through a variety of readers or email.
Search the SMinOrgs "Tag Cloud." You can look for posts that directly relate to a topic of interest by perusing our "tag cloud." In the left-hand column of our website is a section labeled "Categories," which contains all the keywords used in our posts. The keywords are different sizes depending on how often they're used (with larger key words being used more frequently), and each is hyperlinked. Clicking on a keyword will take you to a page that contains all blog posts in which that keyword was tagged. To get an idea how this works, either click on "enterprise 2.0" in our tag cloud or click here to access the "enterprise 2.0" page directly.
Search using a Search Engine. You can also search for posts that directly relate to a topic of interest through general internet searching. If you add "SMinOrgs" to your search, the results should include a link to the page on our website that contains relevant blog posts. To get an idea how this works, either search on "sminorgs best practices" through Google or click here to access the "best practices" page directly.
OTHER WAYS TO ACCESS S.M.A.R.T. NEWS
People engage with digital communities on different platforms, depending on their goals and personal preferences. In the SMinOrgs Community, for example, many folks only follow us on Twitter or are only members of the LinkedIn group. To reach everyone, we share all news items through multiple channels: the SMinOrgs LinkedIn group, the S.M.A.R.T. News Digest posts, Twitter and Facebook. We use different schedules for the platforms to minimize the feeling of repetition and increase the chances folks will find items of interest in one of the flows. For example, someone may miss an item in Twitter but notice it in their Facebook news feed.
Engaging with the SMinOrgs Community on multiple platforms not only helps ensure you don't miss relevant news, it can also enrich your understanding of specific issues. Each platform has its own dialogue, with comments shared by other members that are often as informative as the news item itself.
HOW YOU CAN ENHANCE THE NEWS DIGEST FEATURE
There are two main ways in which you can contribute to and enhance this feature:
Share your thoughts on any item in a given News Digest post in the comments section, or start or join a dialogue by following the link to the corresponding discussion item on LinkedIn. You can also look for the item on our Facebook page and comment there.
Share a News digest (or other blog) post using the "share this" links in the right-hand column of any page on the SMinOrgs website. You can, for example:
- LinkedIn: Share a link to the post as a status update and/or to a group, as well as send it to individuals in your network
- Twitter: Tweet a link to the post via your Twitter account
- Facebook: Share a link on your profile
- Email: Email a link to individuals
Bring fresh items to our attention via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or email by:
- LinkedIn: Using the share feature on the webpage where you found the item, if it allows sharing to LinkedIn groups
- Twitter: Adding @SMinOrgs or #SMinOrgs to a tweet with a link to the item
- Facebook: Posting a link to the wall of our page
- Email: Sending a link to email@example.com