Upcoming: Defining and Measuring Social Success (06/12)

In a couple of weeks I’ll be facilitating a session in conjunction with the folks organizing Net Change Week at MaRS – Net Change is a week-long event designed to explore how social technology can bolster social change.I’ll be there on Friday afternoon facilitating a component of “Defining and Measuring Social Success” alongside Chris Berry of Critical Mass.

It should be an interesting session, we’re inviting representatives from non-profit/charitable organizations & grouping them with some leading social media, community, design & marketing experts from the area and doing a session on defining and measuring metrics when it comes to social media tactics and strategies – it should be really interesting to see what comes out of it.

The details are at the bottom of this post – the session is invite only but if you think you’d add value and want to participate drop me an email (Ryan@ this domain) and I’ll see what I can do!

Come on Out For Net Change Week!
Be sure to check out the Net Change site – in addition to my workshop there are a ton of other events, many of them free, happening throughout the week on a variety of topics.

This video sums up the goal of Net Change week quite nicely:

NetChange from SiG @ MaRS on Vimeo.

Session Details:

Defining and Measuring Social Success

This combination lecture and workshop will focus on social media strategies and effective ways to monitor their success for you non-profit or change-focused organization. Christopher Berry, Group Director of Marketing Science at Critical Mass will speak on practical social analytics. Following Chris’ talk the participants will be split into small workgroups where they will have the opportunity to work through example scenarios where they’ll be able to apply and explore what they’ve just learned. Each of these scenarios will give each group to work through identifying measurements and targets for three types of goals: Fundraising, Awareness and Engagement.

This three hour session will bring together a variety of participants, from key representatives of non-profits and charitable organizations to social media, community, design & marketing experts from the Toronto community. Participants will leave with a new toolset that they can take from this session and apply to their own organizations when measuring the impact of their social media strategies and tactics going forward.

See all Details

Upcoming: Next VizThinkU Workshop on June 16th!

Late last week we announced our next VizThinkU workshop – details posted below:

A couple of weeks ago we had our inaugural VizThinkU course, Visual Note-taking 101, which from all accounts was a rousing success – so today I’m very pleased to announce the next VizThinkU course “Drawing out your ideas: Techniques for visual thinking, note-taking and presentations with Nancy Margulies, a master visual facilitator.

The workshop will take place online on June 16th, 2009 at 2pm EST (GMT 18:00) and will last approximately 3 hours. Additional details about this session are below.

Drawing out your ideas: Techniques for visual thinking, note-taking and presentations
With Nancy Margulies

June 16th, 2009 | 2pm EST (GMT 18:00) | 3 Hours | Online | $195/person


Watch as Nancy Margulies, a master visual facilitator, demonstrates the process of using words and images to convey ideas during this three hour online workshop. Using example projects from participants, Nancy will create visual images that conveys all the ideas and relationships among them while teaching you tools and techniques that can be taken back to apply to your own work.

Nancy has taught thousands of people to develop skills that enable them to record their ideas using images as well as short phrases. This skill will enable you to “think on paper” to gain a deeper understanding of complex systems.

With the skills Nancy will teach, you can map a given activity and then look at the consequences, unintended consequences, resources needed, and other factors so that you have the “big picture” and a truly systemic view. Or you can use visual recording to convey an idea you want to present to others, with images that make your presentation more engaging.

Nancy is the author of several books on drawing and visual recording. She can teach you to draw with greater skill and will give you a set of symbols you can use for everyday visual mapping. If you believe you can’t draw, prepare to be delightfully surprised.

Planning is another process that is greatly enhanced by visual recording. As a student of Nancy’s you will have access to templates that you can use as the basis of “planning maps” – planning for everything from a meeting, to a large scale event or even planning your future.

Sign up early and submit the ideas you would like to see visually mapped by Nancy. First come, first served!

Register now!

BONUS: Get the most out of this session by starting with visual Note-taking 101
This workshop is a logical continuation of the Visual Note-taking 101 session from last week – while it’s not a prerequisite, it will certainly help you maximize your experience with Nancy.

Missed it? Not a problem! To help you catch up we’re offering a special discount on Visual Note-taking 101 for the next couple of weeks. Everyone who registers for the workshop before June 9th 2009 will receive a discount code that gives them $50 off the cost of access to the recordings from Visual Note-taking 101. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Take advantage of this time-limited offer:

(Cross-posted form the VizThink.com blog)

Google Integrates Automatic Translation into Gmail

Not exactly a stunning technical development, but still pretty interesting: Google has gotten around to integrating their translation tools right into Gmail through their labs section. Once the “Message Translation” plug-in is activated Gmail will detect if an email is not in your default language and will automatically give you the option to translate it. You can see the “Translate message to:” option in the screen shot below:

Source: Google Gmail Blog

While they readily admit “it’s not quite the universal translators we’re so fond of from science fiction,” they do make a comment that I thought was pretty interesting:

“If all parties are using Gmail, you can have entire conversations in multiple languages with each participant reading the messages in whatever language is most comfortable for them.”

This is an interesting concept, and certainly for any non-mission critical exchanges will be quite handy – although I have to wonder what some of the quoted text further down in the email will look like after multiple runs through the machine translation system. I’ve found in the past even once through the grinder and back can leave the text pretty mangled, who knows what several exchanges back and forth will leave it looking like.

Either way an interesting addition to the Gmail system and another tiny step towards knocking down the language barrier.

Twitter Changed – Everybody Panic!…

Im good. You? (ffg on Flickr)
I'm good. You? (ffg on Flickr)

… or don’t.

Ugh. The sky is not falling people – take a deep breath, stop and actually READ (& think about) what twitter announced yesterday. Based on what I’m seeing online most people haven’t actually stopped and thought about it.

It’s amazing to see people toss around “the death of discovery”, “the end of twitter”, etc. etc. just chill folks. They haven’t changed how your @replies page works as some people (this post for example) have assumed.

What they’ve done is made it so you can’t choose to see every tweet that every one of the people you follow makes. Are some people going to be unhappy, probably, but I’ll go out on a limb and suggest for the majority of twitter users don’t even use this feature. I know I don’t. In fact, if you follow any number of people it was pretty much impossible to use twitter with it on.

Put simply: Going forward you won’t see tweets from people you follow if it STARTS with an @ and you don’t follow the person.

For example, if I tweeted “@panic everybody!”, only my followers who follow @panic would see it.

If I tweeted “Everybody @panic!” then all my followers will see the tweet.

Got it? That’s all, this isn’t the end of the world. What it does is eliminate a whole bunch of noise and will evolve how twitter is used. The reality is, I’ve (and I suspect many others too) written my tweets assuming this was the case for ages now. I’ve deliberately moved @’s into the middle  of the tweet if I know the person I’m @’ing doesn’t have a big following.

When it comes down to it, this change will have no effect on most users (and I suspect most of the people complaining won’t actually notice a difference because they already had that option turned off) – by taking this feature away though it saves twitter an extra step in drawing your twitter stream which hopefully reduces the fail whale sightings…

Chillax folks. It’s all good.

Upcoming: KDMI Visual Thinking Series at UofT

Next Thursday, May 14th, 2009 a new series of lectures on the topic of Visual Thinking will be starting at the University of Toronto. It looks like a great lineup of speakers, bookended by two past VizThink conference facilitators, Neil Cohn & Colin Ware. At this point I’m planning to be at all of the lectures (and will be declaring them unofficial VizThink Toronto meetups at the same time ;) ). It looks like it should be a really interesting format – the talks start at 5:15 and go until 6:45pm but each talk will also be followed by a public “brainstorming session” that runs until 8:00pm – I have no idea what that entails but it sounds like fun.

If you’re planning to attend any of them drop me an email (ryan@ this domain) or ping me on twitter @ryancoleman & we can all plan to go for a drink after to continue the conversation (and see if we can’t convince the speakers I know to join us ;) ). I’ve also created the event at the vizthink site so RSVP if you’re coming.

What: KDMI Visual Thinking Lecture Series

When: Every Thursday from May 14 until June 18th @ 5:15pm


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(Map says Russell St – enter of the entrance at 40 St. George though)