• Curating an Experience: New Media, Community Engagement and the Practice of Good

    Curating an Experience: New Media, Community Engagement and the Practice of Good

    I’m thrilled to share that I’ve been asked to teach a class for St. Mary’s Jan Term. The class I pitched is titled New Media, Community Engagement and the Practice of Good‘. Of course it is! As the course unfolds, I’ll be sharing findings via this blog. If you know of folks I should invite as guest speakers, send me a note via the contact form


     Here’s the course description: 

     New Media, Community Engagement and the Practice of Good

    We live in a time infused with information sharing, social technology and user-generated content. Also blossoming is a cultural wave to be better, do good and let this change emerge from ordinary individuals, our neighbors and ourselves. The belief that one person can make a different is vibrant and being cultivated through social share technologies and practices. We will root ourselves in the role of curator to dismantle how social share tools shape community engagement, and explore how storytelling and the emphasis on experience transforms passive consumers into active participants, and advances positive social change, global interconnectedness and the celebration of the creative spirit. By the end of this course you will be able to distinguish between various new media tools, identify how they work and analyze how storytelling is being used in online social share technology spaces to promote a culture of service.

    Our approach of study will be multi-fold: research based analysis of new media tools (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube), case studies of movements that use these tools and approach community engagement in trailblazing ways (Kickstarter/Indie Go-Go, Ted Talks, It Get’s Better, Kiva), critical writing applied to the blogosphere and hands-on experience as multi-media curators in the social share space. We will draw from primary texts as well as articles online. To put our critical examinations into practice, we will take 3 class field trips and use these shared experiences as the basis for creative analysis and multimedia projects. 

  • Instagram Part 3: Tips and Tricks

    Instagram Part 3: Tips and Tricks

    Yes, this has been my post about Instagram week. Stories and Examples are great…but in the spirit of going back to basics here’s a friendly inforgraphic that lays out Tips and Tricks. Yeah for How to Guides! Special thanks to FatMumSlim for putting this together! 


    Instagram How to CheatSheet by http://fatmumslim.com.au Instagram How to CheatSheet by http://fatmumslim.com.au



  • Instagram Part 2: Creative Community Engagement Campaigns: Visual Scavenger Hunts

    Instagram Part 2: Creative Community Engagement Campaigns: Visual Scavenger Hunts

    Today I stumbled across a recent Nature Conservatory community engagement campaign: an Instagram photo scavenger hunt! This is certainly a brilliant campaign, and there is more than meets the eye. 

    Why this community engagement campaign rocks:   

    * Encourages people to connect with the nature around them

    * Share these ‘moments of being’ via beautiful images

    * If you go down the rabbit hole of ‘inspire me with gorgeous images please’, you can connect with other people via visually infused inspiration — evocative!

    Instagram Scavenger Hunt - screenshot of webstagram page August 28, 2012


    Ok, I’m not changing my business model to blog about Instagram all the time (just this week), but I think it’s worth pausing, to pay attention and learn from the creative and bold experiments put on by organizations like the Nature Conservatory. What they are doing is two-fold, integrating visually rich multi-media into their content creation strategy and leveraging social to spark participatory community engagement. Take note, when you integrate visuals (photos and video) into your content creation strategy, you have control over your brand look and message…and when you invite others to participate, you may offer some guidelines, but really, you let go and gives space for your audience to create and add their own flare. Advantages, you learn more about your audience, and if you listen, this is a powerful market research tool.  Translation, knowing your audiences tells you how to talk to them, and also how to tinker your services and products so they work for them (which is the point, right?!).  Bonus: you’re adding meaning and value to someone’s life by encouraging them to tap into their creativity and connect to the world and people around them. Cons…when you co-create with someone, you are not in full control of how things go. So, if giving up control makes you feel uncomfortable, well, welcome to the club.

    Community engagement is a spectrum. It’s important to have clarity about your goals. For example, Video still stands out as a powerful and profound way to tell your story, and if it’s short, sweet and spectacular enough, your audience will become your ambassadors and share it with their networks. Videos let you add dimension to your message, illuminate perspectives about a cause and reveal how your company changes lives and adds meaning to our world.  People love stories and when you have a video on your website or facebook page, people will stay longer, soak up your content and discover more about your work.  But, if you’re looking to fuel a highly participatory (vs. interactive) community engagement campaign, then a photo-centric contest via an already existing platform may be your golden ticket. Social Media Guru Beth Kanter gets up close and personal with the possibilities in her recent blog about instagram.

    Heads Up: the Nature Conservatory Scavenger Hunt Contest runs through August 31. If you “win”, your image will be featured on the Nature Conservatory’s Facebook and Tumbler Pages. Find out more + have fun!


  • Instagram Part 1: Designing Your Visual Content Strategy

    Instagram Part 1: Designing Your Visual Content Strategy

    In color studded technicolor — an  infographic that spells out WHY  Instagram should be part of your visual content marketing strategy and HOW it can lend your company an edge in generating leads and promoting your brand. Enjoy! 

    P.S. Thank you to Marketo for sharing and spelling it out!  

    How to use Instagram in your visual content marketing strategy by Marketo


  • Video Duration: Attention or Imagination?

    Video Duration: Attention or Imagination?

    Why is it important to keep your web videos short these days? Sure, we have lots to share, we’re doing great things, but video is a two way street and we need to consider our audience and our cultural ecology of attention.

    A recent behavioral study put out by Lloyds TSB reports that the average attention span is now just five minutes and seven seconds, compared to more than 12 minutes a decade ago. How does this translate to online video? Shorter is better. In fact, folks say, get your most important info out within 30 seconds because you don’t know if your viewer will be there until the end.  From a filmmaker standpoint, this has always been a rule, capture your audience’s attention in the first 30 sec. I’d like to iterate upon this adage to ‘capture your viewer’s imagination’…much more interesting possibilities happen from here. 

    #co-creative #active viewing #videos that spark transformation rooted in authentic offerings #let’s dance.