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Some Nice Improvements to Cisco.com Search

July 18, 2013 at 10:26 am PST

We’ve made some important updates to the search experience on Cisco.com:

  • For some top product searches, we delivering a “product information box” of the most important information in one place.
  • We’ve done some significant redesign of the user front-end to improve the user experience
  • Searches using Product IDs
  • Significant work to greatly reduce the number of zero search instances you might encounter
  • Better search results on country sites, with inclusion of supplemental US results where appropriate
  • Faster: Improved performance

Try these searches to see examples:

ASA5510-K8 or 5510  (for Cisco ASA 5510 Next Generation Firewalls)
TelePresence  (for Cisco TelePresence)

See if you can identify some of the new features.

New version:

After_HW-Model_2911-ISR-cropped

Previous version:

Before_HW-Model_2911-ISR-cropped

Enjoy!

 

 

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Practical Social Media Advice for Newbies

July 15, 2013 at 5:42 am PST

Social Media SharingYou already have subject matter expertise.  It is time to share that knowledge with others through social media.  There are many social networks, many rules, many experts and a lot of information to digest.  Beyond the basics of each platform, here is some practical advice to get started:

Be careful with posts

Take heed to best practices for sharing for the various social platforms.  Whether you’re posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest, make sure to follow the norms for that network.  Some updates may work well for your audience on Twitter, but may fizzle quickly on Facebook.

Try not to cross-post the same update to different social networks.  Do post content in different ways.  For a newly published blog article, post an image with the link on Facebook; pose a question from the article on Twitter; use a different image for sharing on Instagram or Pinterest.  Each post then links back to the original post, but is shared in different ways.

Always schedule

When posting to brand channels, schedule posts for the future—even if the future is only 5 minutes from now.  This will allow you to check the post for grammatical errors and typos, as well as verify that any links work correctly before the update goes live.

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Social Media’s Impact on On- and Offline Events

How do you turn social media on its head and make it unique for your initiatives? I’m always fascinated to see new approaches to using social media and get inspired by different organizations’ creativity. From specific initiatives to drive more traffic and awareness (like American Express’ Passion Project) to getting executives involved (like HubSpot’s CEO Manager Twitter for a Day) to countless other examples in sports, entertainment, B2B, and B2C, creativity is a key factor in the success of our efforts.

Let's Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Social media is especially intriguing when it comes to the way it can be used for on- and offline events. (E.g., webcasts, virtual environments, onsite conferences and meetings, Twitter chats, etc.) Based on the nature of these types of activities, social media is a strong communication channel to pilot new ideas, convert more traditional approaches to 2-way engagements, and create real-time impact.

Specifically social media can be used to:

  • Drive registration traffic
  • Create a much more engaging environment
  • Tie on- and offline participants together
  • Generate more information sharing, innovations, and crowdsourcing
  • Provide more direct access to speakers, executives, peers, and others
  • Offer ongoing engagement opportunities long after an “event” has taken place
  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly

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Be smart about your smartphone during summer travel

Info in the ‘cloud’ can help when stranded …or planning ahead  

Many of us dream about getting away from it all while on vacation. But those days may be long gone as more of us pack our smartphone when we hit the road. Add a tablet or two to your carry on and you’d rather lose your underwear than this bag.

So despite any desire to unplug, stay connected for all the cool travel apps that may make the difference between seeing George Clooney’s villa on Lake Como from a travel brochure or in person by finding it say on Trip Advisor’s mobile app.

george clooney - close
Actor George Clooney’s Villa on Lake Como

Smartphone apps are great for having information (literally) at your fingertips. Apps like Kayak and Hotel Tonight often have hotel rates cheaper than you’d find on web sites – certainly on a hotel’s web site — and this you have to love:  They display the rates for international hotels in U.S dollars.


Best Western Venice
Best Western Venice on KayakBest Western Venice on Kayak

Of course you need to be on the Internet to access many apps, but some like Trip Advisor’s offline city guides you can download while on Wi-Fi and use later when you’re not online.

One of the best things to come along for the international traveler is an app called Viber that uses VoIP technology so you escape high roaming charges. You get FREE text messaging and phone calls …but anyone you communicate with must also have Viber.

When you are connected to the Internet, travel apps work so well because they reside in the cloud where content is updated dynamically in real time, giving you access to the latest information. My Facebook friend and Cisco colleague Guido Jouret used this to his advantage when his long flight to SFO was diverted recently after a European vacation.

Once on the ground, try some of these:

Peek isn’t an app yet but a very new web-based travel guide with great ideas for activities in various cities, and even includes live chat with a travel expert.

AroundMe tells you all the points of interest located near you. It detects your current location, and lets you select from categories like bars, cafés, hospitals, and hotels to find what you like.

Mtrip guide/trip planner generates auto itineraries of places to go according to types of places you enjoy.

Orient gives you a compass view of certain locations nearby. If you’re doing a walking tour of a city, Orient shows you the directions and distance to of your destinations.

World Lens is for both iphones and android phones and lets you point your smartphone’s video camera at a word on a sign and watch as it’s translated from one language to another.

Expensify keeps track of your purchases and transactions by syncing with your credit cards and bank accounts. It also acts as a receipt scanner by using your phone’s camera. After your trip, you’re sent a PDF report of all your spending.

For news on my friend Guido’s trip home from Europe, I turned to my smartphone’s Facebook app …and there he was, almost home.

Please send me your comments and how you use the Internet during your summer travels so I can use them on my next vacation.

Mary

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Cisco Social Media Playbook: Turn Up the Heat And Get S.O.C.I.A.L.

July 8, 2013 at 9:25 am PST

When I’m learning a new subject, amongst many things I often find myself following 5 steps:

  1. Developing familiarity with the topic and its main concepts on a high level
  2. Breaking down the topic into smaller chunks that are easier to understand
  3. Finding supporting points and connections that help bring the whole story together
  4. Creating acronyms, words, sentences and other mnemonics along those lines that make it easy to remember the specifics
  5. Reinforcing my newly acquired knowledge via repetition, visual illustration and/or practical application

This is the same spirit in which we created our new Cisco Social Media Playbook. Our goal was to bring you a collection of easy-to-remember practices, tips and factoids in a lighthearted manner. If you want to learn what it means to be S.O.C.I.A.L., understand the listening ABCs and Read More »

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