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VMworld 2011 Watchlist: Tweets, Videos, Feeds, and News

August 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm PST

Today VMware kicks off VMworld in Las Vegas and we’re already seeing interesting news announcements, cool innovations, and informative technical sessions.

If you’re not there in person to be close to the conference action, we’ve gathered together a list of important conference info. Thanks to live feeds, Twitter, and video, you can participate in much of the event from the comfort of your home or office.

Let’s start with some of the fun activities we’re seeing at VMWorld.

Check mate! Just another day at the giant chess board as conference attendees play a rousing game. Check the VMworld You Tube channel to see what else is happening.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI5a_uo_gpI

Make yourself at home…attendees sit in what looks like a video game set, complete with grass cubes for seating.

Keep reading for links to conference materials, live streams, notable tweets, and social media happenings. Read More »

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Please Let Us Know: How Do YOU Use Google+ and Facebook?

August 25, 2011 at 10:01 am PST

There are many blogs and opinions floating around regarding the Google+ versus Facebook debate and by no means do I want to offer my own analysis here. Other people – much smarter than me – said it all. I’m sure you’ve also seen the infographics showing the explosion in Google+ account registrations. But, are people really using this site or did they just open an account?  

For this post, I want to do something different. I would love to hear from you…ABOUT YOU. A few days ago, I tweeted a question and asked some of my fellow practitioners about  Read More »

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We Know What Cisco Partners Have Been Doing this Summer

Guess what, partners: We’ve been reading your blogs, perusing your Facebook pages, and scanning your Twitter feeds to find out what you’ve been up to this summer. (Everything we saw was rated G, don’t worry!)

So what have we found? We’ve discovered that many of you are doing some really cool things. For instance, some of you have scored really interesting customer wins, while others have snagged celebrities to star in your ads, or you’re working on raising money for charity. We unearthed so many diverse and interesting tidbits that we’ve decided that periodically here on the blog we’ll showcase the cool stuff that our partners are up to. Here’s a roundup of what just some of you are doing.

Nexus IS posted a video on their Facebook page about their customer win with Global Cash Access (GCA). (We wrote about their win here on the blog, too.) The video features interviews with GCA’s CEO and VP of IT discussing how Nexus impacted and improved their business.

Meanwhile, Force 3 posted a news roundup video on their Facebook page called Great News, which highlights recent goings-on at the company. Great work, guys!

Read More »

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3 Easy Social Media Conversation Starters

How connected are you with your social networks? Are you finding that at times, your social channels become stale or a one-way dialog? If you’re experiencing the “silent treatment”, here are some easy ways to generate two-way conversations.

Tweet or post questions and polls: Events, activities, and launches have a unique opportunity to educate as well as create excitement and energy. Develop creative ways to poll audiences about related topics. And don’t be afraid to mix in a few casual types of questions that pertain to the event, but might be lighter in nature.

Interactions: Social media has a lot to offer to marketers. One special feature of social media is the ability to crowdsource and strengthen loyalty. Monitor social media channel feeds closely, respond quickly, and keep feeding the streams. Simple questions such as “What did you think of the keynote?” or “What interests you the most about this program?” will help start conversations. You’ll be amazed at how much audiences want to share their opinions and information.

Contests: While audiences are primarily interested in the straight forward information and updates, they often like to get involved in other types of activities. Using social channels, offer different types of contests and incentive-based opportunities. These activities do not have to have monetary values, but do need to have perceived importance. For example, preferred seating at a keynote or a meet-and-greet opportunity.

These are just some quick examples of ways to start social interactions. The key to making these ideas work is to integrate social channels together and with the rest of the marketing communications plan. Having a central “hub” like an online community or a website, will help audience members navigate all of the information and discussions more easily.

What are some creative ways you are starting conversations using social media? Share your experiences and let’s keep the social media information sharing going. And follow  my Twitter handle (@elhoust) for more social media for events best practices.

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Cisco Live! Brings Virtual Communities Together

Today we have a special guest post by Andrew vonNagy, CCIE #28298 (Wireless), author of the blog Revolution Wi-Fi, Twitter @revolutionwifi and a Cisco customer. Huge thanks to Andrew for taking the time to share his Cisco Live experience!

Last week Cisco Live! 2011 took place in Las Vegas, NV. This year was my first time attending the conference, and I am a bit amazed at my experiences looking back on the event now that it is over. In addition to the deep technical content the conference is best known for, I found more valuable benefits are afforded to attendees willing to take a more active role in the technical community.

Arguably, the most valuable aspect of the conference is the opportunity for professional development through interaction with influential members of the industry, both internal and external to Cisco. Professional networking provides a foundation for growth and success by drawing on the energy of a collective group of friends and associates who share similar ambitions and have a drive to be successful, enabling the group to move forward as a whole. Building communities within the industry is when the magic starts to happen. Joining these communities can provide access to shared knowledge, creation of new and exciting opportunities, leveraging of broader connections throughout the community, and promotion of valuable content, products, or services created by trusted members within the community.

Many of these communities begin as virtual communities, built on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the rapidly growing Google+. These platforms enable greater access to members within the community, but must be used appropriately to be effective. Individuals trying to join the community must provide value to the larger collective and interaction must be genuine. A quote from a widely successful writer and blogger comes to mind…

Networking is always important when it’s real, and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake.Seth Godin

Industry events, such as the Cisco Live! conference, bring the virtual community together allowing attendees to build on existing relations formed online and expand on them by providing more personal interaction, helping to form more meaningful relationships.

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