Category: social media


  • Preparing to Tweet a Conference as an Attendee

    Speed is What We Need


    Getting the most out of any conference or event is hard work.  Spending time before you get to a conference will pay big dividends during and after the conference.  This advice is beneficial regardless of whether you’re Tweeting the event or not.  If you are Tweeting it becomes even more important.  Preparation will allow you to take great notes which are shared in real or near real time, make connections, gather links to great resources and find people who are incredibly knowledgeable about topics which interest you.  Twitter has gone way beyond a tool which lets you tell people what you’re eating at dinner.  So how do you prepare?
    Preparation Fundamentals
    Charge your Batteries.  Nothing is more frustrating than nearing the end of a session and seeing your device screen asking you to take the following step:
    Power Off
     
    If your using your laptop it is still likely that you will have to plug in at some point in the day while IPad and phones will likely hold up during an average conference day if they are fully charged.   A long day will likely require either recharging or carrying supplemental battery power.
    Build a Tweeting toolkit. This collection of tools will be different for each person. Most people will just use their phone, but to tweet fast and accurately you will likely need multiple tools for multiple reasons.I will provide a detailed listing of what I use and why. My Tweeting Toolkit consists of hardware, software and apps.   I usually have my laptop, my iPad with Data Plan (See BYOW below) and my phone.  The laptop is still my key device.  Remember my primary goal in all of this is to archive and share conference notes. I type faster than I write and I still type faster at a keyboard than with just my phone. My iPad is used primarily as a monitoring device. For monitoring a Twitter feed I have used several tools, but I seem to always come back to Hootsuite. Hootsuite is sometimes referred to as a Twitter Client. I will describe these in more detail later in this post.
    Software I started tweeting at conferences as a way to archive and share my notes. I am one of those people who try to sit in the front row and take vigorous notes. I pay no attention to those speakers who say, “My slides will be available after the conference” or “Give me a business card and I’ll shoot you my slides later” If they are a half way decent present there is plenty of content discussed which isn’t in the slide deck. Those are the nuggets I am trying to capture. My notes for years were taken in Microsoft Word, however in recent years I have switched to Google Docs. The addition of Twitter to this note taking frenzy was simply a way to share and archive those notes.   If you’re going to share those notes quickly or in near real time the software in conjunction with a process is very important.   I have experimented with Evernote but still feel that Google Docs is the best tool for me at this point.
    BYOW.  Bring Your Own Wireless.  Granted this is better than in the past, but I have NEVER been to a conference where wireless coverage is 100%. There is always one tiny obscure conference room in the corner of a facility that has no wireless, even at the best tech conferences.  Finally, don’t get frustrated.  Even if bring your own wireless there is likely going to be some locations in a conference facility where you can’t get the conference wireless signal and your BYOW doesn’t have sufficient signal either. This may be a time where you kick back and focus on the speaker.
    A Twitter Client is a service or application which is designed to display Twitter feeds as well as other tools to enhance your usage of Twitter.   The most common and important feature with this genre of tools is feature that displays multiple columns side by side. If there are multiple hashtags you wish to follow you can assign each column a hashtag and watch more than one at the same time. Some of these tools/ applications allow users to send messages (called tweets) directly while others give users the ability to create more complex tweets which they then have to manually post through Twitter itself.
    Hootsuite my current favorite has both free and paid versions. The free version allows you to manage up to five social profiles. Not only can you post to Linked or Facebook, but in case you’re Tweeting from multiple accounts you can manage those from a single location.   Hootsuite does include reporting and a tool for internal conversations between colleagues or friends.   In my view it provides the greatest number of twitter threads and capability to monitor those threads.
    I have also used TweetDeck, but Twitter purchased it and made it a web only tool. TweetCaster is free with iOS, Android Windows Phone and Blackberry editions. You can also post to Twitter and Facebook. It’s most interesting capability is the “Zip It” function which gives you the capability hide difficult followers tweets without unfollowing them.
    The final item in my toolkit is my cell phone. My phone is used almost exclusively for pictures which I use when I want to tweet that great picture or slide and want to provide more meaning than any 140 characters I could type.  Be ready when you pull out the camera phone to share that really great slide as someone nearby will tell you the slides will be available on the conference site.  Just smile and go on.
    Other things to Think about
    Give credit when credit is due. If you are Tweeting someone’s work, be sure to give them credit. You should do this by making it clear who is speaking by including their Twitter handle. If the speaker doesn’t provide a twitter handle, you might be able to find it with a quick Google search for their name, their institution, and the word “Twitter.” This should be done in advance so you can focus on the speaker and their comments.
    Start tweets correctly. Don’t start the tweet with “@.” The @ symbol in Twitter is always the first character in someone’s Twitter handle. If it is appropriate to start with “@” insert a period and then the username (e.g., “.@kentbrook”). One of the characteristics of Twitter is that if you start a tweet someone’s username, only the people who follow you and that person will see the tweet. Inserting a period allows everyone who follows me to see that tweet. Of course, if you’ve used hashtags properly, everyone following that hashtag will see your tweet whether you use the period or not.
    Text Expansion. Text Expansion is not something I use regularly but I know some people I have spoken with really like it as a way to speed up their tweeting. At this point you should be seeing the types of things that should be included in a conference tweet:

    • A Conference Hashtag
    • A Session Hashtag
    • A Username for the person speaking.

    Text expansion allows you to create a piece of text with the three items listed above and then assign a keyword to that piece of text.   For example, if someone were to do this while I was speaking at the 2014 Educause Conference in a session with a session hashtag as follows #s101 would look like this:
    @kentbrooks #edu14 #s101
    If I assign the above text the keyword “ttr” I can simply type “ttr” in my Twitter client and the speaker and hashtags are automatically created.   The software will even put your cursor in the right place so that you can start typing immediately.   When you go to your next session you simply change your text. The key is preparing before the event.
    Decide who to follow.  A great way to do this is by following the conference hashtag prior to the event.  There are always a few people tweeting in anticipation of an event. If they are tweeting before an event they likely will be tweeting.  Build a who to follow list prior to the event.  For example prior to the 2014 American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference I made and shared a list of the 12 Must Follow Community College CEOS.  That list was tweeted and retweeted over and over through the course of the conference.  I also received several recommendations on who to add to the list.  Very good input and I now follow many more of the exceptional leaders in the community college world, some of them now follow me…and guess what some more of them may even get added to my list next year.
    Know all the Conference Hashtags. In a previous post we learned about hashtags.  Learn, share and use the conference hashtag. The most important thing to do for conference tweeting is to use the hashtag associated with the conference. By using the conference hashtag, others who don’t follow you will still be able to find your tweets using Twitter search. Most conference organizers these days specify the hashtag: for the Ellucian Live 2017 conference it is #elive17  for the 2014 Mountain Moodle Moot it is #mtmoot.   If you find yourself at a smaller conference and there is not a hashtag, you might have to create one.  Search.Twitter.com will lead you to a list of hashtags that have already been used in the past or are currently active. If you find an existing conversation on the hashtag you’re thinking about using, you might want to go with something else which is not as frequently used.
    Prepare to take some breaks. This is a mindset mostly, but it’s important to consider that you might need a break from tweeting or reading the stream(s). So take a break every couple of sessions and practice the art of undivided attention. Again, this will help you avoid being sent to Twitter jail


  • 10 Reasons to Tweet a Conference?

    Here is the latest version of my “10 Reasons to Tweet a Conference?” post.  It has changed slightly over the years but is still very relevant.  Hope it is helpful…

    Share, Share, Share

    Tweeting at conferences has allowed me and others to share info from sessions we may not have been able to attend.  Once I committed to live-tweeting conferences, I got a lot of great, positive feedback about it from other attendees. I have had many people come up to me and say “Hello @kentbrooks”.  It has been a great way to meet other conference attendees.
    Since it turned out to be a great way to meet other conference attendees I kept on tweeting. I’ve gotten the bulk of my Twitter connections through live-tweeting conferences. Live tweeting doesn’t just build recognition among attendees of the conference, either.  Live Tweeting is essentially engaging on Twitter for a continuous period with a series of focused Tweets.   These tweets are also generally aggregated with a hashtag.
    Following a conference attendee on Twitter may well be the new currency for exchanging contact information. My experience sharing contact information via Twitter is better than the brief come and go business card exchange which I often refer to as the  “business card trading ritual”.  It provides an immediate benefit for you as you to follow them on Twitter, and then often on other social media. I find this more valuable than the 60 minutes of a conference session + the 5 minute rush to talk to that presenter immediately following the session.
    Those following a conference Twitter feed along at home are participating in what is often referred to as the “backchannel”. The term “backchannel” generally refers to online conversation about the conference, a topic or a speaker. The backchannel conversation is a real-time conversation alongside the primary event activity or live spoken remarks.
    At the Ellucian Live Conference April of 2013, I specifically had a request from one of the Wyoming CIO’s to live tweet the conference since he was not going to be able to make it.   I was actually paid one time to live tweet a conference.  Pretty cool eh?   I have found it is easier to meet more people at conferences through live tweeting.  Ironic, isn’t it? …technology humanizing the experience of a gathering of people.   Here is a summary of my top reasons to Tweet at a conference
    10 Reasons to Tweet at a Conference

    1. Take Conference Notes … I type faster than I write
    2. Archive Conference Notes… Archive is immediate and public
    3. Share Conference Notes… Just point people to your Twitter Feed
    4.  Build a Personal Learning Network PLN… This goes beyond people you meet at the conference
    5.  Meet Fellow Attendees… Whether the conference is small or large, finding a way to connect is the most valuable part of any conference.
    6.  Gain Insight to Some of Your Own Thoughts... after the conference, I can go back through thread to review important items
    7.  Share Resources… links, images and people to follow all become part of your social conference experience
    8.  Allows you to Summarize Important Points…140 characters at a time forces you to be concise. This summarization also helps me evaluate my understanding (or lack thereof) of a conference session
    9.  Gain from Sessions held Simultaneously…I can partially remove my frustration at not being able to attend 3 or 4 conference tracks at a time since I can glean ideas, links and comments from different sessions.
    10.  It helps me Confirm I am in the Right Session…Keeping an eye on the twitter stream allows me to head to a different simultaneous session if the topic in another sessions turns out to be more directly related to my work, if I am unsure of a certain content or if the session just stinks. (This may be rude, but with limited travel $$$ we have to make the most of any conference and glean the very best ideas from sessions we attend).

  • Top 15 Community College CEO’s on Twitter 2016

    As we approach the 2016 American Association of Community College Conference in Chicago I thought I would push out my 2016 list of Social Community College CEOs on Twitter.  I am not going to make to Chicago this year but I am confident this very social group will keep me informed on the happenings at the meeting.    To kick off this barrage of social info I am going to give a shout out to my president Darren Divine who is now on Twitter and who is doing a great job of sharing campus events. The image below is from our Ag Department’s recent Mule Pack Races.   A fun event and a great example of a community college president using this tool to promote their institution by sharing campus events.
    Dr Divine tweet about the casper college mule pack races
    Here is my 2016 list of the top 15 most social Community College CEO’s  on Twitter.  A  more comprehensive list of community college CEO’s who are using twitter to communicate is also provided below.  This would be a great list to watch during the 2016 conference.  This year watch for the hashtags:  
    #AACC2016
    #aaccannual  
    The Community College CEOs on this list push out quite a number of Tweets, but more importantly they are using Twitter to network professionally, share information and keep their campus community up to date.    The top 15 have an average of  6114 Tweets and 705 followers.  The top 15 truly understand the benefits and power of social collaboration and how it enables institutions to better serve and collaborate with campus constituents.   Well done.  

    The list below includes the top 15 and more of the most social CEO’s in the community college world.   There are many new names on this list.  If you want to know what is going on at these community colleges. I recommend you follow the people below:

    First Name Last Name Twitter Handle Institution
    Joanna Anderson @SFCCpredient State Fair Community College
    David Armstrong @BrowardCPrez Broward College
    Thomas Isekenegbe @president_BCC Bronx Community College
    Edna Baehre @EdnaKolov Tidewater Community College
    Anthony Beebe @DrAnthonyBeebe San Diego CC District
    Cynthia Bioteau @PresBioteau Florida State College at Jacksonville
    Jo Alice Blondin @clarkstatepres Clark State Community College
    Kevin Boys @ssccpresident Southern State Community College
    Constance Carroll @carollscddc San Diego Community College District
    Thomas Chesney @ThomChesney Brookhaven College
    Jean Conway @jeanlconway Eastfield Colleg
    John Cox @CapeCodCCPrez Cape Cod Community College
    Cliff Davis @CliffDavisMO Ozarks Technical Community College Table Rock Campus
    Darren Divine @CC_PrezOffic Casper College
    Charlene Dukes @pgccpres Prince George’s Community College
    Pam Eddinger @PamEddinger Bunker Hill Community College
    Joyce Ester @DrJoyceEster Normandale Community College
    Glen Fenter @presifent Mid South Community College
    Steven Gonzales @gwccprez GateWay Community College
    Mary Graham @mgrahamMGCCC MS Gulf Coast Community College
    David Harrison @DHarrisonCSCC Columbus State Community College
    Jim Jacobs @DrJimJacobs Macomb Community College
    Jeff Jochems @JeffJochems1 Richwood Valley Campus, Ozarks Technical Community College
    Brad Johnson @johnsfam Northeast Texas Community College
    Michelle Johnson @RioPresident Rio Grande Community College
    Anne Kress @MCCPresident Monroe CC
    Ron Langrell @JRonLIII Bates Technical College
    Dawn Lindsay @AACC_DrLindsay Anne Arundel CC
    Pamela Luster @sdmesaprez San Diego Mesa College
    Jeremy McMillen @GC_President Grayson College
    Joe May @ChancellorMay Dallas County CC
    Margaret McMenamin @drmcm Union County Community College
    Gail Mellow @GailOMellow LaGuardiaCC
    Kindred Murillo @kindredmurillo Lake Tahoe Community College
    Ronnie Nettles @CLCCPresident Copiah-Lincoln Community College
    Charlene Newkirk @CCACSouthPres CCAC
    Thomas Newsom @MesalandsPres Mesalands Community College
    Eloy Oakley @EloyOakley Long Beach Community College District
    Kimberly Perry @ButtePresident Butte-Glenn CC District
    DeRionne Pollard @DrPollard_MC Montgomery College
    John Rainone @dslccprez Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
    Barbara Risser @barbrisser Finger Lakes Community College
    Luke Robins @PC_Prez Peninsula College
    Rachel Rosenthal @FLCPres Folsom Lake College, Los Rios Community College District
    Yves Salomon-Fernandez @prezyves Cumberland County College (Incoming)
    David Sam @dasam Germanna Community College
    Stephen Scott @DrStephenCScott Wake Tech Community College
    William Serrata @WSerrata El Paso Community College
    John Sygielski @HACCSki HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
    Christa Slejko @prezSlejko North Lake College
    Joe Sopcich @JCCCprez Johnson County Community College
    Mick Starcevich @KirkwoodPrez Kirkwood
    Devin Stephenson @DevinStephenson Three Rivers College
    Billy Stewart @ECCCPresident East Central Community College
    Karen Stout @drkastout Montgomery County Community College
    Terri Winfree @PSCpresident Prairie State College

  • The Magic of the Conference Hashtag: An AACC 2015 Primer #Nextbigthings

    For me Twitter is another way for this “wee acorn” to mingle with the “giant oaks” of my profession.

    What is a Hashtag?

    hashtag definition
    In general a hashtag is a word or  phrase used in social media conversations  which begin with a pound (#) sign and which are written without spaces in between. i.e. #kentbrooks.   The main use  of a hashtag is to bring conversations on the same topic into a single thread to make it convenient for interested individuals to view and compare ideas.  Twitter is not the only platform that uses hashtags.  They are also use by Google+,  identi.ca and Instagram. It is likely important to note that LinkedIn is one the major social platforms which does not use hashtags.   Chris Messina is credited with being the first to propose using the hashtag to aggregate topics of interest.    Messina’s 2007 hashtag proposal is shown below:
    chris messina tweet which started the hashtag as an aggregator -2016-04-09-08.50.45

    Conference hashtags which I have seen and tracked include:

    #elive15 Ellucian Live Annual User Conference
    #innama  League for Innovation at the Community College 2015
    #aaccannual  1994 American Association of Community Colleges
    #NACCE2013 National Association of Community College Entrepaneurs 2013
    #edu13 Educause 2013
    #broadbandwyo  Wyoming Broadband Summit
    #mtmoot = Mountain Moodle Moot

    The primary hashtags for the 2015 AACC Annual Conference:

    #NextBigThings
    #aaccc2015

    Other hashtags you may use depending upon the tweet at AACC 2015:

    #highered
    #highereducation
    #commununitycollege

    Examples of how to use

    You would tell people your are looking forward to the AACC conference by tweeting something like this:
    sample use of a conference hashtag-2017-03-19-07.58.18First notice the character count shows I still have 80 of my 140 characters available.  My experience tells me to leave at least a dozen characters unused.  If you use all 140 characters in your tweet, your followers will need to edit your tweets before they can add in their comments and retweet.  I have seen various studies that indicate that you get 15– 20% more engagement with shorter tweets and Twitter indicates that that tweets under 100 characters see a higher engagement rate.
    A conference hashtag  allows conference attendees to interact during the event.  You also commonly see hashtags used during other live events such as sporting events or political events.
    One of my favorite resources for finding out what are the  most popular hashtags at a given time is found  at Hashtags.org. It has both a free and a paid service.  the free service shows  what is trending over the past 24 hours. With the paid service you can also store and monitor hashtags over time.
    Another service which is owned by Hootsuite also provides a great resource for finding hashtag trends is What the Trend.  They not only tell you what is trendng but they also provide a quick explanation of why it’s trending.

    How to find the best Hashtags to use in Twitter


    https://twitter.com/trendinghashtag

    How Hashtags Are Created?

    It doesn’t take fancy tools to apply a hashtag to your messages. All you need to do is type your text and then insert the hashtag at any part of the message and then send. Of course, the hashtag is not just any word. It has to be a carefully thought target keyword that is relatable, so that other Twitter users will be inspired to use it for their own, as well.
    When the hashtag you’ve created has developed a following, clicking on it will lead you to the list of Twitter users who have adopted it in their own conversations. You can also communicate with newfound Twitter friends through here. In a way, an effective hashtag creates a community online. They are also great for monitoring visibility of your message on multiple social media networks.
    There are certain letters and characters that are not allowed for use with hashtags. For example, if all the characters in your hashtag are numbers, as with #1234, it won’t work. You can read more about the don’ts on What Is Not Allowed With Hashtags.

    Tips On Making And Using Hashtags

    Here are some tips to make sure the hashtags you’re using are achieving their objectives.

    1. Is the hashtag new?

    Search.Twitter.com will lead you to a list of hashtags that have already been used in the past or are currently active. If you find an existing conversation on the hashtag you’re eyeing, you might want to go with something that is equally targetted but not as frequently used.

    2. Go easy on the sentiments.

    Some hashtags have failed to fly because they poked too much on the emotion of the public, as with the word ‘love’ or ‘hate’. These two are too strong words to summon so if you’re going to use them to create a following, make sure that there really is a large sense of love or hate for the topic. Politicians have often used ‘love’ to start a Twitter thread on them and found the results ineffective and downright disappointing.

    3. Use industry keywords.

    Brands and popular industry terms are highly relatable and, more likely than not, Twitter users will find use for such hashtags in a particular event. The controversial hashtag #NBCFail for instance may not have been actively searched by Twitter users but the fact that it carried a brand name made it easy to micro-bloggers to jump in and create a massive conversation around it.

    4. Be careful where you use your hashtags.

    Designer Kenneth Cole (@KennethCole) made a huge blunder in 2011 when he inserted the #Cairo hashtag in the same message he was promoting his newest collection.
    The tweet read: “Million are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at httpL//bit.ly/KCairo -KC”.
    After much backlash from the public, Cole has removed the offending tweet and issued an apology on his Facebook Page.
    Hashtag abuse is not uncommon, although with proper etiquette orientation it should be out of conversations entirely.

    Here’s Twitter‘s official statement on hashtag abuse.

    “The following behaviors and others like them could cause your account to be filtered from search, or even suspended:

      • Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.
      • Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.
      • Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.
      • Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.
    • Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.”

    I am looking forward to engaging in Meaningful Social Conversations with you on Twitter while learning about the .  Every time I get to thinking I am way behind with all of this technology stuff I get a question that reminds me that most of us are struggling to adapt to this hyper connected world of ours.  We are just at different levels and ultimately we need each other.  As long as we continue to learn and continue to help each other we will be OK.See you in San Antonio.
    Check out my other AACC 2015 related blog to learn who to follow at the 95th annual conference:

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  • The Top 15 Community College CEOs on Twitter 2015

    As we approach the 2015 American Association of Community College Conference in San Antonio I thought I would push out a few Twitter related posts.    To kick off this barrage of social info, here is my list of the top 15 most social Community College CEOs  on Twitter for 2015 as well as a more comprehensive list of community college CEOs who are using twitter to communicate.  This would be a great list to watch during the 2015 conference.  This year watch for the hashtags:
    #AACC2015
    #nextbigthings
    The Community College CEOs on this list push out quite a number of Tweets, but more importantly they are using Twitter to network professionally, share information and keep their campus community up to date.    On average, the top 15 have an average of  4109 Tweets and 593 followers. Although raw numbers are important, my ranking isn’t totally on numbers.  It is my top secret formula 😉  The top 15 truly understand the benefits and power of social collaboration and how it enables institutions to better serve and collaborate with campus constituents.   Well done.

    The list below includes the top 15 and more of the most social CEOs in the community college world.  I accidently left out  Cliff Davis @CliffDavisMO President of Ozarks Technical Community College Table Rock Campus.  Here is another great user of Twitter to get the word out about the Community College and that institution.

    First Name Last Name Twitter Handle Institution
    Joanna Anderson @SFCCpredient State Fair Community College
    David Armstrong @BrowardCPrez Broward College
    Cynthia Bioteau @PresBioteau Florida State College at Jacksonville
    Jo Alice Blondin @clarkstate Clark State Community College
    Constance Carroll @carollscddc San Diego Community College District
    John Cox @CapeCodCCPrez Cape Cod Community College
    Cliff Davis @CliffDavisMO Ozarks Technical Community College Table Rock Campus
    Duanne Dunn @sewardpres Seward Co CC/ATS
    Pam Eddinger @PamEddinger Bunker Hill Community College
    Glen Fenter @presifent Mid South Community College
    Steven Gonzales @gwccprez GateWay Community College
    David Harrison @DHarrisonCSCC Columbus State Community College
    Jim Henderson @BPCCChancellor Bossier Parish Community College
    Jim Jacobs @DrJimJacobs Macomb Community College
    Jeff Jochems @JeffJochems1 Richwood Valley Campus, Ozarks Technical Community College
    Anne Kress @MCCPresident Monroe CC
    Ron Langrell @JRonLIII Bates Technical College
    Linda Lujan @DrLindaLujan Chandler-Gilbert Community College
    Pamela Luster @sdmesaprez San Diego Mesa College
    Joe May @ChancellorMay Dallas County CC
    Margaret McMenamin @drmcm Union County Community College
    Gail Mellow @GailOMellow LaGuardiaCC
    Ronnie Nettles @CLCCPresident Copiah-Lincoln Community College
    Charlene Newkirk @CCACSouthPres CCAC
    Eloy Oakley @EloyOakley Long Beach Community College District
    Kimberly Perry @ButtePresident Butte-Glenn CC District
    DeRionne Pollard @DrPollard_MC Montgomery College
    John Rainone @dslccprez Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
    Luke Robins @PC_Prez Peninsula College
    Rachel Rosenthal @FLCPres Folsom Lake College, Los Rios Community College District
    David Sam @dasam Germanna Community College
    William Serrata @WSerrata El Paso Community College
    John Sygielski @HACCSki Central Pennsylvania Community College
    Christa Slejko @prezSlejko North Lake College
    Mick Starcevich @KirkwoodPrez Kirkwood
    Devin Stephenson @DevinStephenson Three Rivers College
    Billy Stewart @ECCCPresident East Central Community College
    Karen Stout @drkastout Montgomery County Community College
    Terri Winfree @PSCpresident Prairie State College

     
    Here is last year’s list:   2014 Most Social Community College CEOs
    Other Twitter Blog Posts by Kent Brooks:

    That’s all for now.  See you in San Antonio. (2345)
    This post has already been read 2304 times!


  • The Magic of the Conference Hashtag: an #INNMA Primer

    The Magic of the Conference Hashtag: an #INNMA Primer

    For me Twitter is another way for this “wee acorn” to mingle with the “giant oaks” of my profession.

    What is a Hashtag?

    hashtag definition
    In general a hashtag is a word or  phrase used in social media conversations  which begin with a pound (#) sign and which are written without spaces in between. i.e. #kentbrooks.   The main use  of a hashtag is to bring conversations on the same topic into a single thread to make it convenient for interested individuals to view and compare ideas.  Twitter is not the only platform that uses hashtags.  They are also use by Google+,  identi.ca and Instagram. It is likely important to note that LinkedIn is one the major social platforms which does not use hashtags.   Chris Messina is credited with being the first to propose using the hashtag to aggregate topics of interest.    Messina’s 2007 hashtag proposal is shown below:
    chris messina tweet which started the hashtag as an aggregator -2016-04-09-08.50.45

    Conference hashtags which I have seen and tracked include:

    #innama  League for Innovation at the Community College 2015
    #aaccannual  American Association of Community Colleges
    #NACCE2013 National Association of Community College Entrepaneurs 2013
    #edu13 Educause 2013
    #broadbandwyo  Wyoming Broadband Summit
    #mtmoot = Mountain Moodle Moot

    Examples of how to use

    An tweet telling everyone you are coming to the conference would look like this:
    sample use of a conference hashtag-2017-03-19-07.58.18
    First notice the character count shows I still have 16 of my 140 characters available.  My experience tells me to leave at least a dozen characters unused.  If you use all 140 characters in your tweet, your followers will need to edit your tweets before they can add in their comments and retweet.  I have seen various studies that indicate that you get 15– 20% more engagement with shorter tweets and Twitter indicates that that tweets under 100 characters see a higher engagement rate.
    A conference hashtag  allows conference attendees to interact during the event.  You also commonly see hashtags used during other live events such as sporting events or political events.
    One of my favorite resources for finding out what are the  most popular hashtags at a given time is found  at Hashtags.org. It has both a free and a paid service.  the free service shows  what is trending over the past 24 hours. With the paid service you can also store and monitor hashtags over time.
    Another service which is owned by Hootsuite also provides a great resource for finding hashtag trends is What the Trend.  They not only tell you what is trendng but they also provide a quick explanation of why it’s trending.

    How to find the best Hashtags to use in Twitter


    https://twitter.com/trendinghashtag

    How Hashtags Are Created?

    It doesn’t take fancy tools to apply a hashtag to your messages. All you need to do is type your text and then insert the hashtag at any part of the message and then send. Of course, the hashtag is not just any word. It has to be a carefully thought target keyword that is relatable, so that other Twitter users will be inspired to use it for their own, as well.
    When the hashtag you’ve created has developed a following, clicking on it will lead you to the list of Twitter users who have adopted it in their own conversations. You can also communicate with newfound Twitter friends through here. In a way, an effective hashtag creates a community online. They are also great for monitoring visibility of your message on multiple social media networks.
    There are certain letters and characters that are not allowed for use with hashtags. For example, if all the characters in your hashtag are numbers, as with #1234, it won’t work. You can read more about the don’ts on What Is Not Allowed With Hashtags.

    Tips On Making And Using Hashtags

    Here are some tips to make sure the hashtags you’re using are achieving their objectives.

    1. Is the hashtag new?

    Search.Twitter.com will lead you to a list of hashtags that have already been used in the past or are currently active. If you find an existing conversation on the hashtag you’re eyeing, you might want to go with something that is equally targetted but not as frequently used.

    2. Go easy on the sentiments.

    Some hashtags have failed to fly because they poked too much on the emotion of the public, as with the word ‘love’ or ‘hate’. These two are too strong words to summon so if you’re going to use them to create a following, make sure that there really is a large sense of love or hate for the topic. Politicians have often used ‘love’ to start a Twitter thread on them and found the results ineffective and downright disappointing.

    3. Use industry keywords.

    Brands and popular industry terms are highly relatable and, more likely than not, Twitter users will find use for such hashtags in a particular event. The controversial hashtag #NBCFail for instance may not have been actively searched by Twitter users but the fact that it carried a brand name made it easy to micro-bloggers to jump in and create a massive conversation around it.

    4. Be careful where you use your hashtags.

    Designer Kenneth Cole (@KennethCole) made a huge blunder in 2011 when he inserted the #Cairo hashtag in the same message he was promoting his newest collection.
    The tweet read: “Million are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at httpL//bit.ly/KCairo -KC”.
    After much backlash from the public, Cole has removed the offending tweet and issued an apology on his Facebook Page.
    Hashtag abuse is not uncommon, although with proper etiquette orientation it should be out of conversations entirely.

    Here’s Twitter‘s official statement on hashtag abuse.

    “The following behaviors and others like them could cause your account to be filtered from search, or even suspended:

      • Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.
      • Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.
      • Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.
      • Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.
    • Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.”

    I am looking forward to engaging in Meaningful Social Conversations with you on Twitter while at #INNMA 2015.  Everytime I get to thinking I am way behind with all of this technology stuff i get a question that reminds me that most of us are struggling to adapt to this hyper connected world of ours.  We are just at different levels and ulitimately we need each other.  As long as we continue to learn and continue to help each other.  See you in Boston.
    Stats from Old blog:

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  • Ramping up Overall Engagement at Your Conference or Event: My Observation of how Gamification Impact Social Media usage at a Conference.

    Background on Engaging a Conference
    In a previous post I noted that  I have tweeted conferences for the past 2 or 3 years while being inconsistent at other times.  I started live tweeting events  when I realized that I was spending as much time and effort tweeting out the most relevant points of the session I was in as I spent taking notes – plus, the notes I took were less relevant than my tweets, since I was only tweeting out the best parts!  Tweeting has allowed me to share and others to share info from sessions we may not have been able to attend.   Once I committed to live tweeting conferences, I got a lot of great, positive feedback about it from other attendees.   I have had many people come up to me and say “Hello @kentbrooks”.  It has been a great way to meet other conference attendees  so I kept on going. I’ve gotten the bulk of my Twitter connections through live tweeting. Live tweeting doesn’t just build recognition among attendees of the conference, either. People who are trying to follow along at home via the conference hash tag are often even bigger fans of quality live tweets.   At the Ellucian Live Conference April of 2013 I specifically had a request from one of the Wyoming CIO’s to live tweet the conference since he was not going to be able to make it.  I am not sure of the overall impact, but I do know it is easier to meet more people at conferences through live tweeting.  Ironic, isn’t it…technology humanizing the experience of a gathering of people.
    We we attended a Moodle Moot aka Moodle Conference in Helena MT in July 2013 and had amazing participation.  I will add a few details of what we did in various posts in this series, but the bottom line:

    Gamification has enhanced conference conversations at the Helena Montana Mountain Moot

    Since I have a head start on this topic I have easily been the most active tweeter at most of the conferences I have attended in the past few years. However, as I look at the examples below I have wondered if some of this is not a one-way conversation.   So my question became: how do we get more people engaged in these conversations?   

    I haven’t done a great job a measuring  this until the past year, partly because my intent never was to learn more about how this works, but rather I was just trying to find a way to share notes.  As I have tried to sort through all the with all sorts of new technology   looking at how a conference works I thought how can we gauge this?

    Tags Explorer Visualization  provide a pictorial view of twitter activity based on a given hashtag
    AACC April 2013
    #aaccannual
    Attendees:  1600

    Mountain Moot July 2012
    #mtmoot
    Attendees:  110

     
    TDWI  August 2013
    #tdwi   
    Attendees  500-900

    The answer to the original question.    You have to find a reason for people to be there, meaning Twitter, LinkedIn Etc.  Gamifying the conference event definitely created a buzz about using Twitter.  All conference give aways were tied to the Twitter Game and all the activities in the Twitter Game were designed to  create engagement.   


  • The 12 Must Follow Community College CEO’s on Twitter 2014

    A recent UMass study indicates social media use at colleges and universities is on the rise.   They indicate:

    Over half of college presidents studied are posting on Facebook (58%) and tweeting (55%), while 35% host their own blog.

    Although I am not convinced those numbers are accurate in community college land, there certainly some community college presidents doing some amazing things on social media.

    I first wrote about the “Three Tweeting Community College Presidents” after attending their session at the 93rd American Association of Community Colleges Conference. I am happy to report Dr. Karen Stout @drkastout of Montgomery County Community College  Dr. Anne Kress @MCCPresident  President of Monroe Community College, Dr. Margaret McMenamin @DrMcM President of Union County College (NJ)  are still tweeting.  I still contend every single college and university leader in the country could learn a thing or two about using social media at their institutions by following these three on Twitter.  They Tweet with a purpose.

    With the help of Sarah Lawler, Marketing Manager for AACC (American Association of Community Colleges) I have added to my  list of community college presidents to follow on Twitter.  Here is my list of the top 12 most social Community College CEO’s  on twitter as well as a more comprehensive list of community college CEO’s who are using twitter to communicate.    On average, the top 12 have an average of  2945 Tweets and 749 followers.  They share great content and often interact with students. On the bottom list Luke Robins from Peninsula College gets bonus points for being a Fly Fisherman and Duane Dunn from Seward County County Community College gets points for being in the part of the world where I grew up.  I attended several family reunions in Liberal KS.   No logic for the those points…but hey its my blog.  The top 12 truly understand the benefits and power of social collaboration and how it enables institutions to better serve and collaborate with campus constituents.   Well done.

    The list below includes the 12 above and 20+ more of the most social CEO’s in the community college world as observed by Sarah Lawler.  I added a couple but Sarah did most of the work pulling together this list.  Thanks Sarah.

    Barbara

    Gellman-Danley

    Rio Grande Community College

    @riopresident

    Joanna

    Anderson

    State Fair Community College

    @SFCCpresident

    David

    Armstrong

    Broward College

    @BrowardCPrez

    Carole

    Berotte-Joseph

    Bronx Community College

    @president_BCC

    Cynthia

    Bioteau

    Florida State College at Jacksonville

    @PresBioteau

    Jo Alice

    Blondin

    Clark State Community College

    @clarkstate

    Constance

    Carroll

    San Diego Community College District

    @carollscddc

    John

    Cox

    Cape Cod Community College

    @CapeCodCCPrez

    Duanne

    Dunn

    Seward Co CC/ATS

    @sewardpres

    Pam

    Eddinger

    Bunker Hill Community College

    @PamEddinger

    Steven

    Gonzales

    GateWay Community College

    @gwccprez

    Barbara

    Gellman-Danley

    Rio Grande Community College

    @riopresident

    David

    Harrison

    Columbus State Community College

    @DHarrisonCSCC

    Jim

    Henderson

    Bossier Parish Community College

    @BPCCChancellor

    Jim

    Jacobs

    Macomb Community College

    @DrJimJacobs

    Jeff

    Jochems

    Richwood Valley Campus, Ozarks Technical Community College

    @JeffJochems1

    Anne

    Kress

    Monroe CC

    @MCCPresident

    Ron

    Langrell

    Bates Technical College

    @JRonLIII

    Linda

    Lujan

    Chandler-Gilbert Community College

    @DrLindaLujan

    Pamela

    Luster

    San Diego Mesa College

    @sdmesaprez

    Mararet

    McMenamin

    Union County College

    @DrMcM

    Gail

    Mellow

    LaGuardiaCC

    @GailOMellow

    Ronnie

    Nettles

    Copiah-Lincoln Community College

    @CLCCPresident

    Charlene

    Newkirk

    CCAC

    @CCACSouthPres

    Eloy

    Oakley

    Long Beach Community College District

    @EloyOakley

    DeRionne

    Pollard

    Montgomery College

    @DrPollard_MC

    John

    Rainone

    Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

    @dslccprez

    Luke

    Robins

    Peninsula College

    @PC_Prez

    Mark

    Rocha

    Pasadena City College

    @drmarkrocha

    Rachel

    Rosenthal

    Folsom Lake College, Los Rios Community College District

    @FLCPres

    David

    Sam

    Germanna Community College

    @dasam

    Christa

    Slejko

    North Lake College

    @prezSlejko

    Mick

    Starcevich

    Kirkwood

    @KirkwoodPrez

    Devin

    Stephenson

    Three Rivers College

    @DevinStephenson

    Billy

    Stewart

    East Central Community College

    @ECCCPresident

    Karen

    Stout

    Montgomery County Community College

    @drkastout

    Terri

    Winfree

    Prairie State College

    @PSCpresident

    I hope this list helps inspire other community college executives to embrace social collaboration.
     

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  • The New Communication Frontier: Social Media for Engagement and Sharing

    I had an interesting question from Karen-Michelle Mirko  VP, Marketing, Sales & Meaningful Collisions (Cool Title)  for the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship via Twitter a few weeks ago about engaging faculty on Twitter and LinkedIn.  The question is shown below:

    I have this silly day job thing going so I  am just now getting around to jotting down some thoughts on the topic of engaging people with social media.  I hope this is helpful to whoever runs across this post.  As a sporadic tweeter I have tried to determine how and why I would engage social media in the context of my work day and how I should use these tools as conferences and events. I am going to break this down into several parts:
    Part 1:  Technology Adoption:  The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same Part 2: Ramping up Your Personal Engagement at Your Conference or Event 140 characters at a time.
    Part 3: Ramping up Overall Engagement at Your Conference or Event:  My Observation of how Gamification Impact Social Media usage at a Conference.      
    Part 4: Ramping up Overall Engagement at Your Conference or Event:  Drag  Everyone Kicking and Screaming with With You…..with Gamification
    Overall this entire discussion is a collision between my interest in social media, gamification, badges, collaboration and peer conversation.  
    Technology Adoption
    My generic answer any technology push is always to build some sort of structure to guide usage, make the tool available and provide an aggressive professional development program.  Do this and 1/3 will adopt,  1/3 will eventually adopt and 1/3 will waste your time no matter what you do.   This is an oversimplification of the work done by Everett Rogers, a professor of rural sociology.    Rogers popularized his theory in a 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations. He said diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines. Rogers (1962) espoused the theory that there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system.  My 1/3 1/3 and 1/3 answer is oversimplification as his work actually breaks out innovation diffusion as shown below:  

    My experience of deploying technology in higher education over the past 20 years tells me this has been pretty accurate as you roll out technologies on a college campus.  I use the 1/3 1/3 and 1/3 oversimplification as it is much more conversational when trying to explain to someone how a technology deployment is likely to be embraced. As crazy as it seems I still to this day have faculty who do not even use email.  It is still possible to have people in  higher ed environment who can still do their job and ignore all forms of technology, but I would suspect this will get harder moving forward.   However, this is the easy way out of the question.  I think you must have an overall map for social media.  It will be some parts personal, some parts institutional and for many of us it will challenge notions that we hold sacred.  For me one of those is that privacy and anonymity are a luxury that very few get to enjoy.  Below are my thoughts for what an institution must do to engage in a social media centric philosophy for communication.  
    How to Engage for the Long Haul

      1. Build appropriate structures-  policy
      1. Make the tool available — part policy/part awareness
      1. Build a Framework for Efficient Usage of the Tool
      1. Aggressive professional development –higher ed doesn’t do this well across the board
    1. Give people a reason to use the tool  — Gamify an event/Demo usage in teaching

  • Managing My Social Media World and Staying Employed at the Same Time

    The following question came up today,  “How do you tweet and post so much and get your job done?”  Since it came up once I thought it might come up again and it might come to one of you in the form of “How can the idiot IT director do his job when he is spending all his time on social media.”  Here is the answer.

    I do use many aggregation and sharing tools. Most of it is automated with a sprinkling of live tweets.  However, every single tweet is something I have either scanned or read.

    Because there is so much to learn in the IT field every single day I long ago started using tools such as Google Reader to glean and filter topics in areas such as higher ed, community college, finance, the economy and of course IT.  I had started looking at and experimenting with other aggregation tools prior to Google’s announcement that Google Reader was going away.  That announcement just turned into an opportunity for me to refresh some of my thoughts on aggregation and distribution of news via social media.   Here is how I go about it.
    1) I use about a half dozen aggregators that go out to the web and glean articles and papers on topics such as those listed above.  I then use another tool to aggregate my aggregators to a single location.
    2) From that single aggregation point  I usually spend the following time looking for interesting content:
    15 -30 minutes first thing in the morning scanning and marking content.
    15-30 minutes at lunch scanning and marking content
    1 hour at night before going to bed scanning and marking content
    1-3 hours Saturday morning scanning and marking content
    3) When I find a piece of content I believe might be interesting and which is not time dependent I push it to another tool(s) that schedules tweets and Linkedin posts

    Bitly

    Bitly is a free URL shortening service that also offers analytics and sharing tools. If you are unfamiliar with the term URL shortener, it is a service that redirects a user from a
    short url (ex.http://bit.ly/14Bx4kD) to a much longer url
    Buffer is an automated posting tool for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and App.net that allows you to share to multiple accounts, all from one place and at optimal times. I almost feel like I should warn you to not get me started on Buffer, but I won’t because it is currently my favorite, and maybe my all time favorite, social media management tool.
    Why I Love Buffer
    They also offer a free version that allows you to add three accounts. However, for $10/mo. (less than the price of lunch!) you can add up to 12 social accounts, unlimited posts, and access for 2 team members for an entire month. Account options are: Facebook (profiles and pages), Twitter, LinkedIn and even App.net.
    Why you’ll love Buffer

    1. Get Analytics for each social update you share: Clicks, retweets, likes, shares, mentions and more. – See screenshot below.
    2. Get your posts automatically timed and scheduled, so you never have to worry about setting a time and date. Just hit “add to Buffer”.
    3. Add updates to your Buffer from lots of different apps or via email.

    Therefore all day while I am doing something else,  tweets and linkedin posts are being automatically pushed out by me.  Then occasionally if I am looking something up I will push it out, but if I push something out live I sometimes will put it in a que for a retweet at a later time.