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7 Social Media Tips, Tricks and Stories from Silicon Valley Practitioners

June 30, 2011 at 6:00 am PST

According to Mashable, today is Social Media Day. Whether or not you think that social media should have its own day (#smday), a group of us, Silicon Valley practitioners thought we’d have some fun today anyway…social media style. We created 2 videos to celebrate the lessons we have learned over the years and remind ourselves of the effects social media has had on our lives….so far. I say “so far” because there’s more to come. If you’re new to social media, we hope you’ll walk away with some good conversation starters. If you’ve been doing this for a while, we hope to put a smile on your face – maybe because you recognize your own advice or maybe because you have a similar story.

Watch this video for some great social tips from Read More »

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People Power: Sharing Hearts and Minds

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

Three weeks ago I took a taxi from downtown Toronto to Pearson International airport, on my way back to my home in Vermont. My driver, a genial, soft-spoken and well-educated man from Cairo who spoke halting but charming English (far better than my mastery of his language), carried on a lively conversation with me during the 90 minutes it took us to drive through rush hour traffic to the airport.

In fact, because of our conversation, we have been in regular e-mail contact since, carrying on the conversation thread that we started in his taxi.

When I hopped in the car, we chatted for a few minutes before getting to the Highway 401 parking lot (the local name for the 401, which rivals the Los Angeles 405 freeway for its level of automotive paralysis). He sighed, and then he asked me what I was doing in Toronto.

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In a Disaster, The First Responder May Be You

On March 11, when Japan suffered a one-two punch — first from an 9.0 earthquake and then a devastating tsunami — more than 1,200 tweets per minute were sent from Tokyo, according to Mashable.   More recently in May, after a terrible tornado hit Joplin, Missouri with full force, killing 145, several FaceBook pages were rapidly created by citizens and their families and friends to post pictures of the missing, share news of loved ones,  information about conditions on the ground, and messages about supplies, shelter and support.

Social media networks are transforming how people give and receive help and information during disasters.  People aren’t waiting for direction from government and humanitarian agencies; they are turning to each other using mobile devices and social networks. In the dark world of disasters, this emerging trend is challenging old assumptions and can and will, I believe, will help focus, support and strengthen the efforts of trained first responders  (both volunteer and professional)  to get to where they are most needed and put their expertise to maximum use.  Social media and the networks that underpin it simply allow more people to support each other.

Cisco CEO John Chambers discussed the value of secure collaboration in a networked world last week at a National Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and Homeland Security conference in San Francisco. John talked about the role the network will play in being able to securely provide relevant timely information to response agencies. He also conducted a scenario demonstration of what would happen should an emergency arise, using the upcoming America’s Cup Race in San Francisco as an example.

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Connected Kids can be Safe Online

Let’s face it; today’s kids are more connected than ever before.  In fact, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children between the ages of 8-18 spend more than 7 ½ hours a day with those electronic devices, not including the hour and a half they spend texting, or the small amount (30 min) they actually talk on the cell phone.

And these kids are truly digital natives. To them, online access is ubiquitous and expected.  Internet access is everywhere and like oxygen  -- they rely on it, crave it. Whether they tweet, text, update statuses, post pictures, chat and video chat, kids are using their devices to connect, to explore, to share, and yes, to learn.  In fact, a new study has shown that users of social networking sites (SNS) such as Twitter and Facebook, are better off socially, are more trusting of other people and are more civically engaged. Even in classrooms today, teachers have found that using technology has increased their student’s motivation, provided new outlets for student’s creativity, and helped the teachers become better organized. (Read more)

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Adventures as an Intern: The Beginning

Hi! I’m Kati Dahm, and I am interning in with the Social Media Communications Team for the summer. Today marks the end of my first two weeks of working at Cisco, and I can already say that it has been very exciting. I’ve set up my cubicle and my laptop, and met the people in the surrounding workspaces.  I’ve already had many valuable learning experiences, from learning how to dial into a WebEx call to where the café is (important!). As I continue my time at Cisco, I will update my readers on my interning adventures- which may not always turn out to be what you expect. Interns have gone to Vegas, made videos and even rapped. Who knows what they’ll have me do?

Facebook was the humble beginning to my social media obsession. I signed up for an account my freshman year of high school, and I was hooked. Twitter was more of a college thing. It was in to tweet about the cool things you were doing with your other friends that were in touch enough to have their own handles. In April, when I got an exciting offer to be an intern at Cisco, I couldn’t say no. This  brings me to where I am today, blogging about different companies and how they communicate their news through various channels such as social media tools and corporate newsrooms. I will be examining and analyzing these channels and bringing them back here to determine the best forms of communication that businesses can utilize. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things businesses can do so that they stay engaged in what their target audience is reacting and responding to. I look forward  to hearing from you over the duration of my internship, along with any ideas, questions or commentary you may have in regard to my posts.

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