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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

#Fridea: If I worked for Google

In Fri-deas on July 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

“Frideas” is a new category at Social Composition. Every Friday, I will publish an idea in the digital, marketing/PR, or communications field. Here is the first post:

If I worked for Google … I would create Google Note. This service, also called G-note, utilizes the “stylus” technology to create files that don’t have to necessarily be ‘inside the lines’. (You can stay in the lines if you would like.) The purpose of Google Note is to support your needs in writing and note-taking. To facilitate your creativity and left-brain structural needs. If you are like me, both are equally paramount. I envision a mixture of text fields and handwriting–that supports doodling as well.

I cannot speak for everyone but, for myself, the key to quality note-taking is: understanding what benefits your form most and ability to connect ideas in the best ways possible. I enjoy the speed of writing notes on a computer, but the free form that handwriting offers–to create implicit meaning and value–is unparalleled. With Google Note you can draw lines to indicate relationships, images to support data, etc. which is difficult to incorporate into your notes with a standard computer.

What happens usually is: you fall behind. You lose your rhythm and the fluidity of the notes goes bye-bye!

But why Google? The stylus platform is already supported in other programs.

Yes, it is–but not to the full extent of my needs. Many of the programs are oriented to suit the arts. Like Wacom Bamboo Tabletsbringing you exciting new ways to get creative.

I seek utility, here, to develop creative strategies and insight later. I can’t help but think the college crowd would eat this up. Google doesn’t have to stop there either.

They can incorporate Google Note into a cloud platform like Google Docs–for easy sharing and accessibility. Google Note is my idea for the day. I have some questions for you:

  1. Would you use Google Note?
  2. How would you use Google Note?
  3. Do you think Google Note would increase your productivity?
  4. What features or benefits would you add to this service, hypothetically?

Inside the Mind of TopherJRyan:
This idea spawned from a Google+ interaction with Gini Dietrich, CEO at Arment Dietrich. My guest post, How Instagram Makes Communities Better, hit the airwaves on July 3rd (2012) and I shared this on Google+. I called her comment a “G-note”. The rest is history.


Rejected Content: My First Submission to Digital Pivot

In Criticism & Review on June 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Here is a letter that I wrote, as a first post for Digital Pivot. The top dogs said it did not fit with the content and style at Digital Pivot. It’s cool. I get it. This isn’t the first time my writing has been rejected. I thought this was a great way to connect with the reader, to capture more than the 25 word text box can offer.

Here is my first un-official post, to begin my writing at Digital Pivot. My Digital Pivot portfolio will be here. Thanks y’all!

Greetings Digital Pivot!

This is my first post here, and I have great aspirations for this opportunity. (Big ups to Talent Zoo!) Before I begin, I would like to share with you my story … And for you to share your story in the comments, below.

S'mores with Homemade Graham Crackers and Dandies Wherever I write, I consider the space to be a digital campfire to huddle around and swap tales. So, let’s get cozy and chat—I’ll bring the S’mores. But please bring your own shtick! I need you, and your passions and ideas more than anything because, “I’m a social dude.” (See: Baratunde at SXSW.) Everyone knows that writers need an audience, but for me it’s about something more:

We are creating culture. That’s exciting! Have you ever thought about that? Our culture blossoms in idea sharing and collaboration, to move forward. Let’s move forward together.

Who is Christopher Ryan?
First, you can call me by my full name, but I also have two nicknames: Chris and Topher. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Upstate New York is beautiful, especially during the warmer seasons. In my travels, I fell in love with the Internet, business and marketing, and digital lifestyle design. For me, these three niches are especially attractive because they always involve people. Collaboration is inherent to the work culture and what’s more: I liaise with others to achieve their goals and dreams.

What’s more rewarding than this?

I welcome you to my digital home, which I hope you will find wonderfully designed and easy to navigate. If you can’t find the bathroom, don’t be afraid to ask. Click the Connect with Christopher button in my portfolio to see where I am on the web. Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to name a few.

I have three wishes in mind for this blogging adventure—most of which cannot be granted without you, the genies:

  1. Meet new people, shape warm relationships, and grow together
  2. Offer insight into the world of technology and culture, digital social, and new media
  3. Create a collaborative space to share ideas and perspectives to push culture forward

Stay tuned for my second post that will highlight the WordPress platform. I will showcase WordPress’ greatness by way of exposing their Achilles heel. Think you know what it is? Take a stab at it in the comments. And while you’re there, tell me about yourself. This is an ‘us’ thing. Thanks for reading.

How To: Get More Out of List-Serves In Your Organization

In Digital Communications on June 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hello everyone,

Let’s kick-off June with a nice and neat digital communications post! I came across some old writing of mine and after some tweaking I thought it might be useful to some of you–for business or personal use. Below are a set of problems I ran into with list-serves. There are corresponding solutions in the latter section.

Why list-serves can be problematic:

  • List-serves are free-flowing by nature. We need rules of play to maximize potential and productivity. However, constructing limitations without restricting ideas and progress can be tricky. Exercise caution.
  • Making e-mail informal. If a list-serve has 30 people on it and there is not a formal code to govern its users then the list-serve can easily become a wasteland of ideas.
  • The conversational appeal. People lose sight of topics, go off on tangents, and devalue ideas when there is an ongoing conversation. There needs to be a cap or limit. When you lose form and accept loose forms of communication, productivity and potential decrease.
  • Lower quality of information. Everyone has their two-cents to drop in the bucket. Kindly, ask yourself is this contributing to the discussion? Every message should have a point, an intention—make sure yours is on par with the environment of your list-serve and your audience.
  • Lower levels of information retention. People naturally want and feel the need to be heard. This is gladly accepted in most cases, as long as it is useful. Opinions should benefit the group or discussion. Be mindful of your actions.
  • They promote spam. Everyone on the list-serve may be colleagues or friends, but messaging can also lead to spamming. Unwarranted messaging or inappropriate conversation can be the demise of a list-serve.
  • Loss of information. If the five bullet-points above are not moderated, it will be at the cost of valuable information. When communicating via e-mail on a list-serve be mindful of your key points, your writing (e.g. when a sentence has reached its optimal carrying capacity), and your audience in mind.

How to create a useful list-serve:

  • Create a set of rules and moderate activity. Also, find a way to enforce the rules if necessary. Weigh your options. Consider a formal, more contractual, agreement strategy and a strategy that feels natural to all parties. Each list-serve environment is different and will require a different approach. You don’t want a jungle of untamed messages, nor do you want complete silence.
  • Have a clear purpose when creating a message. In your head, visualize what you will be doing before you begin drafting a message. Thinking it through makes sure you stay on track. Remember, there is a certain level of permanence to writing a message on a list-serve. Everyone will view your post so it is very important that you are formal and accurate with information, data and details.
  • Always focus on your audience. Regardless of what the message is, exchanging information will not transpire if you do not consider the needs, wants, and attitudes of your peers.
  • Be clear. Your writing and topic(s) should be to the point and easy to understand. If you’re unsure, remember this: complexity can only lead to confusion.
  • Format is important. Following the standard format when writing a message ensures its content will be equally objective. Subject headers, language, and structure all have their place. Make this a list-serve policy.
  • Be open. A list-serve is naturally social—you’re exchanging messages with other people. There could be questions and comments that differ from your opinions. Stay professional and don’t be offensive on the list-serve. Remember, your opinion can be one among many.
  • Use power and command effectively. When in a position of power, use your authority properly and timely. Position yourself correctly when you address your audience. You can perfectly capture an audience to make a strong statement (e.g. persuade) or you can negatively impact your audience (e.g. create disharmony). It is your duty to make sure the list-serve runs smoothly and effectively.

Do you use list-serves? What’s your experience with them? Have any tips about creating a constructive list-serve environment? What irks you the most about list-serves? I would love to hear from you. I’m very interested in hearing your email experience–the follies and greatness.