Monthly Archives: June 2011

It’s About…Summer!

Outdoor sports, natural suntans, warm rain, sandals, sailboats and convertibles are rare in South Dakota.  The longest day of the year in South Dakota brings the rare warmth and reprieve from winter (which is really the other nine months for me!).   We make the most of our long nights, fire pits, and gardens.  It is a celebration worthy of legal fireworks and family reunions.  On this day of summer solstice, I was caught in a dilemma of “should I be working or playing?”.  The rain gauge points to working so I’m again searching for an inside activity.  Today’s social media topics seem to mainly be pleas for more sun!

Nature and social media seem to make strange companions.  Mobile technology goes everywhere to create both annoyance and acceptance.  Here are my latest examples: I was angry to see a girl texting DURING a tennis match yet just helped my daughter download the weather app to get weather warnings that might protect her and other kids at the courts.  I have to admit to a few games of Angry Birds as a distraction yet my iBird app identifies real birds that appear in my trees.  I haven’t found the need to text while I mow yet I saw that happen the other day!

Just as nature balances the seasons, we need to keep social media in balance with our lives.  We can be aware of our natural surrounding while exploring those new trails where social media leads us.  Leaving the office and computer behind from time to time is critical to enjoying our short, spectacular summers but don’t forget to share the season with your friends whenever and wherever you can!

What adventures can you share this summer?

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It’s About…Partnerships

This week I met with the Rural Learning Center in Howard, SD.  They have spent years developing a community revitalization program whose success is contagious to other small towns looking to increase their population and economy.  “Reimagine Rural” is the blog theme they use to promote the ideals of their organization.  To re-imagine rural, they have created plans and partnerships that help organizations and businesses modernize and evolve.

Strategic planning and partnerships are key to successful change in any organization!  Social media is playing a new role in the way we “Re-imagine Rural” and re-imagine any business.    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, Manta, Foursquare, Blogs, photo/file sharing, etc… are new vocabulary words that businesses have heard of yet have not begun to re-imagine as the useful “partnerships” these can have in their business.  In our conversation we really discussed the difference between attending a workshop/seminar and truly doing the hard work necessary to strategically plan for change and continuing the movement successfully.

Social media is not free, fast or easy.  It requires deliberate, dedicated, and diligent work in order to revitalize your business community.  While that may sound daunting, the key to making it manageable to find partnerships.  Partners who do business with you, partners who succeed when you succeed and partners who promote you in a reciprocal manner.

KnowTECH Training provides practical and profitable strategies and training for social media.  Our partnerships take on a very personalized program for supporting and continuing the success in social media.  Organizations need continued support and conversations not just a one-time workshop/seminar.    Lindsey Karlson, Community Outreach Coordinator at the Rural Learning Center , provided a great analogy of people gathering in a small town on a Saturday night to celebrate and support one another and that can now be re-imagined through online gatherings that keep partners celebrating and supporting each other no matter when or where they live.

Who are your partners in this new social movement?  How do you re-imagine your business as a Saturday night social gathering?

It's About…Reconnecting

What do you remember about life before wireless connections?  I love new technology and getting devices to do all the tricks of a James Bond movie.  Apps, widgets, RSS feeds, photo/file sharing, uploading/downloading are awesome when they just work.  However, computer repair and troubleshooting test my patience.  Last week, my Internet provider suggested that my wireless router was not functioning properly.  A social media business can't live too long without a connection so we selected a new router and went about reconnecting every device in the house.  My daughter's Nook, a Wii that gets Netflix movies, and 3 laptops (2 PC and a Mac) were lined up for their new set of instructions.  Miraculously, we eventually got them all to connect and realized how long we'd lived without them working flawlessly.  

While waiting for the "testing connection" to finish, Mike and I started questioning how someone started making all of these sets of numbers and mechanics function.  We didn't imagine that the first router would be cranking out Facebook and Twitter feeds, connecting to a library of books (Nook), streaming movies through a videogame device, and serving as a phone when we Skype relatives.  We also took a moment to laugh about how little the Palm Pilot really did (calendars and note-taking), how our first cell phone only stored three numbers, and how our daughter never seems to get involved in the drama of making this stuff work.  It was a time to reconnect our past with our future and leave us wondering what our next router will be doing.  

If you had to reconnect your house or business, what would you laugh about to break the tension of getting it all to work?

It's About…Guests

A few Tour De Kota riders were guests in our home last night.  Even after a long ride they added laughter, friendship, and great music discussions to our lives.  They remind me how easy it is to find things in common when you open your doors to an old friend.  As the night went along, Patrick and I laughed about people we knew in our youth, Mark and I discuss our Richman-Gordman days, and everyone added stories as the lyrics of our favorite music reminded us we all had something to add to the conversation.  They arrived as guests and left as friends. 

Although our hometowns, professions, and hobbies all differ, social media finds a way to tie us together as new friends.  I tagged their team photo on Facebook, Patrick made a blog post with video and photos, and Mark is starting to Twitter.   Social media can find ways to keep us together yet it is extremely important  to keep you door open to socialize in person.  This is true in business as well, clients will start to like your business Facebook or Twitter yet you will need to invite them to come through your door and treat them as guests when they arrive.Tour De Kota Take-off

It’s About…Rummage

After watching the footage of Joplin tornado devastation, I wondered what our family would really need to save in an emergency. Mike and I once moved to Racine, Wi in a small U-haul trailer, moved back to SD in a U-haul truck, and since then can’t think of how we’d move all of our stuff ever again!   So, we’ve had a rummage sale almost ever year since becoming homeowners and parents yet perpetually more things I once thought I needed I’ve come to realize I don’t.

Simplify was the theme of this year’s clean out!  Would I really need this or go looking for this after a tornado?  Oddly enough, Monday night the weather radio went off and in the middle of this huge mess my family gathered in the newfound space created by the impending rummage sale.  It became even more apparent that we were blessed with abundance and very few “things” really mattered, especially those relegated to the basement.  However, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure-most of our first items in that first u-haul trailer were once “rummage”!

What does this have to do with social media?  Two important points-Simplify and be social!  First, Decide what is really important to simply share with others.  Second, don’t worry about what leaves your door, just what you allow to come back in to your life!