Thursday, January 31, 2008

What the Flock?

A few days ago I Twittered about a tool I was testing out called Flock.

Flock is a web browser that is dedicated to helping you keep up with all of the social media tools you are using, in one place.
I am sure I have not discovered all of it is secrets yet, but for someone like me it is pretty helpful.

All day I get questions and comments and links posted to twitter and facebook that I need to watch. I also need to keep an eye on the bloggers and blogs for mentions of the institution. It is nice to have one place where I can go to see all of that content that I am interested in.

I have found a few things about it that I don't love. It takes some time to configure your settings. It took me at least 2 days to customize it for my needs. It does not seem as fast with my twitter updates as other tools. I would also like it more if it kept me logged into everything, instead of having to log back into everything every time I close the browser.

If you have always dreamed of having just one place where you can manage and monitor all of your social media communications, then I would recommend that you give it a try. If you spend less than 20% of your day in social media spaces, I wouldn't bother.

If you use firefox, you can keep up with twitter and facebook just as easily by installing twitter fox, and the facebook browser app.

I know that a few of my twitter followers did download Flock, What do you think? Please share your experience.

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Promoting Video Content Outside of the Main Site

I have been asked a number of times about the "point" of posting our videos on YouTube. Yesterday I got another question about this. New concerns were expressed over the perception that our content is not as viral as other content on Youtube. Is it worth the effort?

Here are the highlights of my response, with some additions for context ...

Yes, it is true that people may not be specifically looking for videos on health care, as much as they may search for other things. But what they are searching for is content on their condition. As we know many of those searches start in Google. Now that Google has started offering blended search results (meaning photos, video, blogs all come up as search results), we would be missing a real opportunity to promote our content to a broader audience, beyond subscribed readers of the on-line publication.

We have only had 7,600 video views on youtube since we launched in July of 2007. True 7,600 video views may seem like a small number, but hopefully that equals 7,600 people who found the information on their condition that they we looking for, or who saw the human side of treatment here.

This is free promotion of the content that you are already creating for the main site. Despite the low numbers I encourage you to continue to create video content, and continue promote it outside of website.

Also keep in mind that Youtube is not the only place where that video content can live. Each video that is posted on Youtube should also be posted on Google video, Yahoo video, and Scivee for research and scientific based content.

Hope this helps to clear things up.

What am I doing with this Blog?

I have been sitting on this blog for a few weeks not sure what how I would continue to populate it. Luckily, in response to an e-mail I called Darcy De leon, editor of Cancerwise and pal.

We got into a discussion about the learning curve for this stuff that I work on. I mentioned that spend quite a bit of my day answering lots of questions about social media, video, audio, SEO and general web best practice stuff, sometimes the same questions over and over and over again. I don't mind, that is part of what I am paid to do. But Darcy mentioned that, even as web savy as she is, she often has to ask some things once or twice because it does not really sink in, or the context is not clear at the time I first answer it. She mentioned that she might like to have some place to go look up the answer. That is when the the light bulb finally went on!

So now I know what I need to do with this blog! I will post:
  • The questions I get and answers I give
  • The new stuff I learn and how we might use it
  • Updates to the questions, stuff I learn
  • High level project updates & announcements
I would love to hear what you think about this plan? Is there anything else you would like me to keep you up to date on?