Monday, January 21, 2008

My Second Report Card for Learning New Technologies

This time last year I set some goals for 2007 for learning technologies. Here’s how I did and what’s in store for 2008.

New web site
The site is still up and running. But I can’t say much more than that. My goal for 2007 to train employees to use the CMS so they can create content was way too small. So, I attended a Ragan conference on web site management in December and have come up with a whole new strategy for using and growing our site strategically.

Lesson so far: If you want a different result, do something differently or even revolutionary.

Goal for 2008: Completely restructure how our organization maintains and uses our web site.

Social Networking
This year, I spent more time in Facebook and MyRagan. I also discovered that I’d set up a LinkedIn account a few years ago. As a result, I’ve reconnected with my best friend from high school. But I haven’t found an application for my work yet, mainly because I can’t find our target audiences online. The tools I’m using most regularly are podcasting, Jott and Delicious. And I’ve just joined Twitter about two months ago.

Lessons so far: Less is more. I do not have time or inkling to try them all.

Goals for 2008: Introduce employees to social media tools and applications for work.

Blog monitoring has only been slightly beneficial to my work. But I’ll keep it up. One of my goals for 2007 was to leave more comments on others’ blogs. That has gone out the door. I haven’t found very many bloggers who are dealing with my industry yet. And the other blogs I like, focusing on PR and communications, are interesting and insightful. But I found that if I’m reading them at work, I’m not getting my work done. And if I’m reading them at home, I’m not spending time with my family.

Goals for 2008: Keep looking for bloggers who reach my target audience.

Media Relations via Social Media
This year, I made more improvements to the press room section of our web site. But we’ve had very little news for media. Next year will be different, so I’ll have more chances to improve my use of the social media release and other Web 2.0 tools.

Goals for 2008: Improve my use of the social media release. Use other social media to be a better resource to reporters.

From a work perspective, our podcast has grown dramatically even though I slacked a bit on promoting it. And we have even bigger goals for next year. From a personal perspective, I discovered some mommy-podcasts. Instead of reading blogs, I am listening to podcasts whenever I am in the car, on an airplane or waiting while my kids are in gymnastics. I still listen to the great communications-related podcasts, but the ones by moms and by parents, are the ones that really speak to me and make me laugh out loud at inappropriate places.

Lessons so far: Podcasts are easy to integrate into the daily life of a working mom.

Goal for 2008: Continue to improve and promote our podcast series.

For me, social media is not the new thing anymore. It’s a part of my life, but not as much as it is for other people. I’m not an expert, but I know enough now to say yes to some elements and no to others. The truth remains, we learn best by doing.

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