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the link: getting you connected

Archive for March 2010

stay connected

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last night’s “exposure” event at world overcomers christian church was enlightening. Set up like at speed-dating event, business owners speed-networked and in 30 seconds explained their businesses.

i met a host of entrepreneurs, professionals, artists and a blogger!

the experience confirmed the importance of not only interpersonal, but online networking! after delivering my consultancy description in six words, about 95% of people I talked to said “wow, i need that.”

let’s not underestimate the power of google, my friends. people from the event will at some point use the almighty search engine to find me and others they met. do a quick search of your business. do you come up in the search results?

consulting business owners on how to use and network online is a passion of mine, and i make a point to make sure people you have connected with find you.

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Written by Leah Denise Wyatt

March 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

the six word challenge

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i will be attending “exposure,” a speed-networking event at world overcomers christian church tonight at 6:30pm to meet local business owners and professionals!

i’m not too sure what to expect since this is my first “speed-networking” event, so i tried to prepare as much as possible. i have a ton of business cards ready and i nailed down a description of my consultancy down to six words: “i create PR and communication strategies.”

i may just borrow #3 from a list of responses to a recent challenge to describe advertising agencies in six words.

in the spirit of being concise and to the point, i challenge you to describe your blog, company, consultancy or whatever you are/do in six words!

Written by Leah Denise Wyatt

March 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm

real-time communications for an international audience

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i recently returned from an international workshop held in beautiful guanajuato, mexico. my role was to advise the the international non-governmental organization (ngo) hosting the workshop on their knowledge management and communications strategy.

this ngo has a network that reaches 920+. only 100 people were able to attend the workshop due to space limitations. the network is particularly global, reaching health information specialists on every continent working to improve health systems for their local populations.

prior to submitting my strategy, i was aware the ngo was planning to give its website a facelift, provide more up-to-date information and incorporate a blog. their primary means for keeping in touch with their network is via a listserv that hosts very lively discussion and debate on health information system related topics almost quarterly.

the strategy

for this workshop in particular, the ngo wanted to keep everyone in the network abreast of each day’s events and discussions. in the knowledge management proposal i wanted to ensure information reached the network in a timely, readable, non-hassle manner for those in remote and low-bandwidth locations.

the strategy focused on knowledge distribution, knowledge preservation, and knowledge delivery. here’s an excerpt from the knowledge management strategy proposed:

knowledge distribution

usaid’s k4health 2009 health information needs assessment (pdf, 1.15mb) surveyed health professionals whose job functions include program manager, service provider, technical advisor, teacher/trainer, researcher/evaluator. Of the 90% percent of respondents which work in low and middle income countries, over 50% never use video conferencing software. email is the most commonly used technology used to communicate with other professionals in different locations.

knowledge preservation

tacit knowledge will be shared and captured through the use of powerpoints and documents (tacit made explicit). preserving the knowledge shared at the 2010 workshop will provide historical reference for HIS experts and practitioners. use of appropriate communication technologies will promote knowledge sharing and preservation from the 2010 workshop.

knowledge delivery

communication technology must be used to share knowledge and connect non-attendees to the workshop as it is happening. employing appropriate communication technology will achieve [the ngo’s] desire to engage its audience virtually.

everything i proposed was agreed upon, and off i went to guanajuato, mexico with less than two weeks for planning!

information communication technologies used.

listserv

i used the listserv the ngo already had in place. it is the most expected form of communication the recipients rely upon.

website

the daily reports sent to the listserv where mirrored on the ngo’s website to start moving towards their goal of keeping up-to-date, blog style information on the homepage of their site.

slideshare.net

slideshare was instrumental in making presentations available in an accessible format for people across the world. the “youtube” for powerpoints standardized the files and compressed them for easy viewing. uploading was a bit of a hassle though, it took hours to upload some of the larger files, just to find out there was an error in uploading. after converting the larger files to .pdf, the uploading was almost a breeze.  if i was in another country with not-so-mature connectivity, uploading to slideshare would have been almost impossible. further planning ahead would be necessary to have presentations uploaded state-side.

http://www.slideshare.net/

photobucket

along with many others, i used simple point-and-shoot digital cameras throughout the meeting. photos were taken, uploaded to my laptop and posted to photobucket.  after correcting lighting and red-eye issues in picassa, the upload process was seamless. the bulk uploader function in picassa really helped get photos posted quickly and efficiently. they were easily viewable by professionals off-site and in other countries and gave them the ability to see the participants engagement and activities daily.

http://photobucket.com

youtube

i interviewed about three people everyday, asking them what messages they took away from speeches, activities, and what they felt about the workshop as a whole. i used my snazy little flip video cam. i attempted to upload to photobucket using the video upload feature, then youtube but experiences were a huge pain. once i got stateside, i uploaded to youtube and of course, it was a breeze.

youtube.com

people

i know people are not technically a technology, but they are integral in the communication process (of course). i organized rapporteurs to report daily on events and discussions since i could not be in every place at one time. the notes from rapporteurs will also be incorporated into the final workshop report to preserve knowledge from the 2010 workshop.

a joint press release was written with the co-hosting organization’s communications person to and submitted to local and national press.

wrap-up

this entire process was not quite the live conference blogging that is becoming more and more popular in the developed world, but confirms the desire by people around the world to have up-to-date almost real-time information to stay engaged and involved, although they are not present at the event. the organizing team received high praises from around the world and many thanks for keeping them up to date although they were unable to attend. they got to follow developments in the health information system world, cutting edge discussions and tools to improve their own health systems locally.