Jul 282010
 

ADMSP Magazine Cover

Reflecting Back and Looking Forward…I find that I am standing right in the middle. It
makes me be in this moment, a moment that will become the past so quickly.
So now I come to the reflection of time. Almost one year ago ADMSP started on a
road to work
with volunteers. Almost all charities do and why not? The task is easier said
than done but more rewarding than said when done.

Since ADMSP is about an aesthetic experience beyond the traditional museum
audience, it was
thought why not work with volunteers who are students and see if they are able
to make out of the experience a platform they can cross over into a full time
paid position? The pilot program “ADMSP College to Work” was born and
started last year in September. It has been a real learning experience in that
the question became how to learn best using Web 2.0 technologies.

I really did not know how it would go and when you don’t know how it goes, what
do you do? You make a plan. So it began with a plan. The plan was to work with
mass communications students since ADMSP really needed to begin creating
awareness about its project beyond the small group of people who knew about it
in Miami Beach, Florida. Seamlessly, several of these students appeared and we were
off. It was really the time when Facebook overtook My Space and Twitter became
the talk and everyone said: don’t you have a Twitter account? No, we did not.
So the ideas started to drop out of the sky into the plan as small rain
droplets fall on a growing meadow and today we have more than the garden
variety Twitter account.

Since my husband and I wanted to go to Berlin, Germany to raise the funds for this
project, after my volunteer team was assembled, we decided that we would
communicate via e-mail. The volunteers would do their work from their homes and
their own computers 2-6 hours per week.

I wrote up the first public relations campaign for us and we were doing social media.
It’s pretty cute now that I look back on it.

http://www.slideshare.net/admsp/admsp-social-media-public-relations

The campaign went great as it was basically a trial run to learn the insides
and out of Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Stumbleupon and others.

But how do you teach inexperienced students the ins and outs of the social
media of Twitter. The myth that generation Y grew up with the internet and that
they automatically know how to work a Twitter account is just that, a myth.
There is so much more to Twitter than meets the birds-eye,
specially when you are using a Twitter account to create awareness for a community
project that no one knows about.

So it became clear that we are not doing social media, we are practicing social
media! How does it work? In order to know how it works, you just have to do it!
Since we have time until our opening, why not practice? We need to learn, so
why not learning by doing? By the time we open, our volunteers who have made it
to the finish line (that’s another story) will definitely know social media
inside out.

We started learning our 1st campaign with presentations. Some very general ones
like:

http://www.slideshare.net/admsp/admsp-intro-socialmedia

We also got into the details:

http://www.slideshare.net/admsp/admsp-social-mediacreationsiteflickr

We have come a long way. Presentations are great but they are also limited. I
had to email them
and it was hard to figure out who got what when and where but more importantly,
who read what and did they implement the instructions?

We moved onto mind-maps and google docs and still the limitations where
evident: who got what when and where but more importantly, who read what and
did they implement the instructions?

So after more reflecting the answer was so evident. We have been working with
web 2.0 all along. We needed our own working website and I made one. Today as I
stand and reflect back, I look forward. I am happy to see that we found an
answer. Our own working website is a secret of
course because it is our workplace but I can definitely tell you that it works
great.

As I stand here in the middle today, I look forward to seeing how this website
will evolve and make our practical learning at the “ADMSP College to Work
Program” very easy to manage so that the program becomes very successful.

Beyond a traditional museum audience!

Marlene Saile, Esq.
President/CEO ADMSP

May 102010
 

ADMSP- Magazine Cover

Dear Friends,

If one aspect of my entire job at ADMSP is the most challenging, it would be understanding site analytics and how to improve it.

Overall, Google Analytics and all the other site tracking tools that tell a site owner all the stats he or she needs to know in order to make their site traffic increase has always been what has caused me the most struggle.

Additionally the concepts associated with Feed, RSS and all the other methods of sharing are hard for me to grasp. This week I’ve had to face Feedburner head on and I am burned out! Feedburner (like the rest of the world) has been recently purchased by Google. For all sites owned by Google, implementing Feedburner is actually rather easy, it’s the ones not owned by Google that can cause the delays!

But to tell that story I have to start at the beginning. The purpose of Feedburner is to allow your readers to subscribe to your blog through RSS. RSS is Real Simple Syndication and it allows readers to subscribe to your blog and/or site as well as allow other sites to use your content on theirs while generating traffic back to yours. Where Feedburner and RSS differ is exactly what makes Feedburner so useful and necessary to learn. Feedburner allows the blog/site owner to track who is reading/visiting your site, what exactly they are using, amount of clicks and what feeds are most popular. Having this information allows you to post more of the popular feeds and eliminate the posts that get little or no feeds at all.

The easy part was one that was already done. Our Social Media Analytics guru, Yari Velez and her talented successor, Rinita Sen, have already included my blogs on feedburner.com. Through Feedburner’s actual site, you can see all the stats, subscribers and stats. The part where the Feedburner widgets and and chicklets are discussed is a whole other story.  

Feedburner has tabs along the top of its home page. Clicking on each tab takes you to those specific Feedburner features that you can implement on each one of your sites. This can be a bit daunting, as some sites are harder to maneuver than others. Many times, HTML codes are provided in order to embed them on your individual sites for the tracking of Feedburner subscriptions. One particular site not cooperating at the moment is ADMSP’s Posterous.

The Feedburner “chicklet” just fails to appear….so far!

Learning any new application requires time and patience. At certain points, I grunted my way through tech articles that were written over my head. Others, I laughed at how overwhelmed I felt with an area that is so manageable. Nothing is more gratifying than reaching your very own “Eureka!” moment and seeing it come together. Learning a new trade you have to be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time to understand the topic, step away from the challenge to refresh yourself when your feeling too stressed, and come back when you’re more at ease.

Feedburner and I are far from over! There are many tabs to explore and conquer, many widgets and “chicklets” to embed, and a lot more readers out there to entice. Until then, we learn, we “‘Burn,” and we Google!

Apr 272010
 

ADMSP- Magazine Cover

Dear Friends,

A quick way to know what exactly people are searching for at any given time is to search the list of top searches each search engine displays. Even though all search engines have a list of their own, there is no denying that Google currently dominates the World Wide Web.

For the virtual empire, the list is called Google Hot Trends. The Google Hot Trend List reflects what keywords people are searching for on a daily basis all around the world. Considering how many topics are searched at any given moment throughout the world, it is easy to admire the relevancy all the 20 Hot Trend-ers have achieved. Take Stephen Hawking, for example, his recent news conference in which he stated its best that E.T. stays home has earned him the number 5 spot on the list. His show, “Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking,” placed 14 and Stephen Hawking, the man, is at number 17.

Anyone who is running a site, promoting a project or writing a blog, longs for one of the 20 coveted spots. To track the changes in the Google Hot Trend list is relatively easy, to become a Google Hot Trend, well, that’s a different story…

Sometimes all it takes is a brief mention on the world’s largest platform to get you the “Trends Club.” Last night on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” a millionaire philanthropist donated a staggering $50,000 to a charity aimed at helping families with autistic children spearheaded by the lovely Holly Robinson Peete. Today, that philanthropist by the name of Ron Burkle is Google Hot Trend number 11.

BUT anyone who’s reached the summit of Mt. Everest was once all the way at the bottom and all it takes is to just make the first move.

Since ADMSP has already started their sites to create an online presence, letting others know we exists is the next logical move. Eventually as news spreads of our existence, the quest towards becoming a Google Hot Trend becomes more and more feasible.

What is important to remember is the road to greatness sometimes involves anonymity, and notoriety isn’t always achieved through philanthropy. The goal lies in remaining true to the cause, honest with yourself, sincere to your followers and as Mr. Hawking diligently believes, the universe will take care of the rest!

Apr 192010
 
ADMSP- Magazine Cover

ADMSP- Magazine Cover

Dear Friends,

The Internet is big. Really big. It’s easy to get lost and it’s hard to be found. There are millions of websites to choose from and with thousands of generated hits with every Search, how is a newbie supposed to reach that coveted number 1 spot on a Search Result?

The secret lies in creating a presence. Relevancy is what makes sites successful and mainly all success stories have one thing in common: Great Tags and Keywords. A “tag,” is just that. A label that when typed in any search bar, corresponds to your site. A “keyword” is a word or words related to your topic that will help you find information when conducting a search. Selecting the right Tags and Keywords can be rather daunting as in the case with ADMSP. What are we exactly? With every facet of our efforts we can create hundreds of Tags and Keywords. Take for example our Conservation Initiatives, from our earth friendly materials to our Butterfly Vivarium, the list can be quite lengthy. To learn what words work best and which ones are too vague, we have to decide what we want people to find.

In my case, I want people to find my blogs. At this point, I have already tackled bounce rates, joined blog communities and am in the process of making friends by commenting on many other blogs. Now, I need to reverse the flow of traffic inwards and spark conversations. This is where Google Alerts comes into play. Google Alerts are e mails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms.

After preparing my list of Tags and Keywords relating to my blog topics, I insert them into Google Alerts and wait. Google tracks the Internet for search hits generated off of my Alert List and lets me know. Pretty easy, right? It is a method of determining if my selected Tags/Keywords are being effective.

This tool will be implemented in order to achieve my specific goal of increasing blog viewership. The tools and methods established by Google have made it really easy to get this process started. Google Alerts also works alongside FeedBurner, but more on that later…

Creating, building, expanding, promoting and tracking a blog is more of a marathon than a sprint. You must patiently and diligently work with multiple resources to see your blog prosper. It is rare to find an overnight blog success with so many of them out there at any given time. All of the tools that are available should be implemented wisely in order to achieve maximum results.

Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the Internet to form a blog!

Apr 132010
 

ADMSP- Magazine Cover

Dear Friends,

What do you do when you want to meet someone new?

You’re probably thinking you go a bar, new club, different kind of restaurant, or hit the boardwalk for a couple of hours and see if something pretty or handsome catches your eye.

But what do you do when you want to meet lots of new “someones”? That’s what I need to know, or at least what I needed to learn last week. Only instead of singles, I need bloggers, lots of bloggers who will visit my ADMSP blog.

Through Blog Catalog, I have discovered a series of “blog communities” that when properly exploited, can increase readership and blog participation significantly! At Blog Catalog, I opened an account for ADMSP and gradually started to get to know my way around the site. How do I add Friends? How do I join Groups? How can I successfully encourage others to visit my site?

The answer is as simple as it is complex: Participate. I must chat, comment, read and engage these fellow bloggers and convince them than my blog is pretty cool, and we can learn a lot from each other.

The process was exciting as it was interesting; I joined a group for creative writers, and found tons of new folks who get writer’s block from time to time. Here I thought I was the only one!

All of this leads me to think of:

A web.

A web of many blogs interlinked by a common topic such as art, education, children, blogging, and a plethora of other topics all in one convenient spot, or in this case, Group. Here, there are discussions you can take part in and in return, generate traffic towards your blog. It is so effective because the discussion is not among individuals, but several bloggers who fall under that particular category. Additionally, it expands your searches to many blogs you otherwise wouldn’t find.

So, talking to one means talking too many all at once, now all you got to do is, well, TALK!

TALK TO YOU ALL SOON!