Welcome to my new location and look. If you’ve visited my old blog, nice to see you here. If you’re new to School Communications 2.0, nice to meet you. I’ll be posting here soon.
Advice About Social Media for School and PR Professionals
It’s such an honor when you’re recognized for your work, and the National School Public Relations Association made my day recently, naming me one of four Frontrunners representing their organization. Their national newsletter was just published with that news, so I thought why not share it with my blog readers? (And on Facebook and Twitter, to boot!) NSPRA profiles its Frontrunners with a fun Q and A, which is what I have included here.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday New York Times lyrics
Thank you so much for coming
I wish I saw you more
Sorry I can't offer lunch
I've got to shove you out the door
I'm afraid I'm just too busy
I have fallen way behind
My garage is full of ten years
Of the Sunday New York Times
Some get their news from the radio
Some people read headlines
I read every single word
In the Sunday New York Times
Each week it comes, about 10 pounds
Of newsprint that combines
News and style and reviews
And the Op Ed page opines
Ten pounds of small grey print
Stories of all kinds
I do the best I can but I'm
Up to May 1999.
I feel an obligation
To my teacher Mr. Heinz
To keep up with current events
So I read it, line by line
Bill Clinton still is president
And the Dow Jones Index climbs
‘Cause I read every single word
In the Sunday New York Times.
The garage is full of paper
Each month tied up with twine
Stacks of paper ten feet high
Made of pulp from spruce and pine
Trees died to make this
Men toiled to design
This journalistic moment
For the inquiring mind.
I quit my job at P & G
I gave up beer and wine
Don't go out to dinner
Invitations I decline
I sit and read the paper
Hard copy, not online
And now my ophthalmologist
Tells me I'm going blind.
The columnists: Frank. Maureen. Paul.
Are like old friends of mine
Kakutani, Friedman, Herbert
I'm pretty good at language
I'm not a Philistine
But to do the crossword puzzle
Is a seven hour grind
They say its days are numbered
As readership declines
I can't imagine living
Without the New York Times
When it's gone then I'll be lost
The sun no longer shines
Thank goodness I have a backlog
So I'll just take my time.
Should newspapers fade away
In Auld Lang Syne
We'll drink a cup of kindness to
The Sunday New York Times.
During a recent presentation I delivered to school public relations professionals about Web 2.0 and social media, a murmur went up in the audience when I got to a slide that read:
The next time your IT Department says no, show them this:
This is the sidebar on the White House’s blog, pointing readers and followers to a number of the social media tools this new White House uses to get out its message and the news. Now, in addition to its Facebook page, its Twitter account and its YouTube channel, the White House has a Slideshare page. Slideshare, in case you don’t know, is a free Web 2.0 site where presentations of all shapes and sizes — on every topic imaginable — are shared by people (including me) from all walks of life. By doing this, the Oval Office is inviting us in to judge for ourselves and broaden our knowledge base about our government. No excuses, guys.
Here’s just a sample slideshow from the White House page:
It’s an impressive example of how social media can be used. And again I ask: If the White House can do this, shouldn’t you be thinking about it?
Sit or Squat is a relatively new Web 2.0 site that seriously lives up to its name. When you sign up, the site provides you with a map of all the rest rooms nearby where you can relieve yourself. The Sit or Squat reference? That’s meant for anyone who wants to know whether you’d be safer to sit or squat once there.
On a recent visit to Sit or Squat, I was furnished with an interactive map of White Plains, NY, where I live. I was able to quickly determine that all the major department stores near me — Target, Walmart, Fortunoff, Bloomingdales and more — had rest rooms. Nothing new there. But users also tell you what the conditions are like in those rest rooms.
When I clicked on WalMart, here’s what one reader warned: “YUCK! DISGUSTING! GO ACROSS THE STREET TO TARGET.”
Another reader, who has obviously used the facilities at the nearby Fortunoff department store, made my search easier by noting: “On 3rd floor, near ATM and water fountain.”
I was also able to view the photo taken by the user of a lonely portajohn located somewhere on South Lexington Avenue in downtown White Plains. (See photo at the top of this post.) That contributor also called it the “Blue Box o’ Mercy.” As would be expected, that particular spot was stamped with a big “Squat.”
You can also download Sit or Squat to your iPhone or Blackberry, so you can use it when you are traveling and really have to go. It functions worldwide and is based on Google Maps, and anyone can submit their favorite, or least favorite, “throne” to the site.
MizPee is a simple text service that finds the closest (and supposedly cleanest) toilet near you.Using your cell phone, you simply send a text message of your location (city and state) to the number 415-350-2290. MizPee will send you information about the nearest rest rooms, which includes a rating system for cleanliness and information about whether you need to be a paying customer at the location before using the loo.
I’m happy to present my workshop slides from NSPRA 2009/San Francisco. Great city, funky people. In addition to presenting, I danced with a bunch of crazy people in a former underground speakeasy, witnessed the Gay Pride Parade, had lunch in the real Chinatown, and hung from the edge of a cable car while it headed downhill fast.
I have a few thanks today, TGIF, to all the bloggers out there who have so graciously linked back to School Communications 2.0 in the past month or so. I’m so behind in my thank-yous, which is a serious breach of netiquette. So here goes:
— Thanks to Topics About Los-angeles for mentioning my OneDayU post. I love being mentioned on the West Coast.
— Gracias to Netizen for linking to my Twitter post and lumping me in with such legendary websites as ReadWriteWeb and TechCrunch. Haven’t been in such illustrious company since I slept overnight at actor Cliff Robertson’s Hamptons estate in the 1980s. Seriously true!
— Blogger Mike McCready for linking to my Nings post from his blog on higher education, marketing and the social web. Great post over at McCready’s — check it out.
Thanks again to all my readers. I know I’ve been a bit lax about posting lately, but I’m back on my game!
Not surprisingly, a new survey shows that teachers and students are driving the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in schools, but that human and technological barriers are holding back the use of these technologies as learning tools in many classrooms.
The survey, commissioned by Lightspeed Systems and Thinkronize Inc., creator of the kids’ search engine netTrekker, shows that online communication tools for parents and students have caught on quickly, but online social networking for instruction has a long way to go.
The most frequently identified “human-factor” barriers to the use of Web 2.0 technology were:
— the need to monitor appropriate use of online social networks (55 percent)
— lack of teacher knowledge about how to use the technology effectively (51 percent)
— teacher perceptions about its lack of instructional value or appropriateness (48 percent)
The most frequent technology barriers were:
— concerns about student safety (76 percent)
— concerns about district network or data security (35 percent)
— limited support systems, including technology personnel (27 percent)
You can read more about the survey at eSchoolNews Online.
Monica Hesse has a fun story in today’s Washington Post that examines a trend in cultural disturbia — that of the Blackberry-interrupted conversation. Hasn’t this happened to you too many times to count?
Oh, no! He’s fading fast! Eyes drifting downward. Responses becoming monosyllabic. No! No, buddy! Pay attention! Did you hear the one about the foreclosed psychic? She was re-possessed. Ha, ha! Just stop that incessant thumb-typing, and give this exchange a chance!
Try to have a conversation with someone, an uninterrupted lunch or dinner, a heart-to-heart with your college-age son or daughter, or any kind of in-depth exchange these days, and you’ve inevitably been there. Playing sloppy seconds to a Blackberry, or a PDA of another name.
I love technology as much as anyone else, but come on. What happened to the “off” button? If you can turn it off during a Broadway play, can’t you make the effort when we’re trying to have a simple conversation?
Now all that you, the former half of two communicating people, can do is awkwardly stand there and deal with the fact that you are less engaging than a five-ounce piece of plastic. It’s maddening — or maybe it’s just a simple question of etiquette: What is the appropriate course of action when you have been abandoned for a Personal Digital Assistant?
Read about “the four stages of Blackberry abandonment” in Hesse’s timely piece, Text is Cheap.
Attention teachers, students and parents: One of my favorite websites, BigThink, is launching a new series on Friday called “10 Under 25,” which focuses on the exceptional contributions that young people are making to global society.
BigThink, which features videotaped conversations with some of the world’s best and brightest thinkers — everyone from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to musician Moby– is soliciting nominations for the series.
They’re asking that you create an argument for why your nominee (under the age of 25, of course) should be included in their 10 Under 25 series, and upload a taped presentation to BigThink’s user-generated “expert page.” The most exceptional young people nominated will then be invited to the BigThink studio for interviews during the spring.
The site is encouraging high schools, colleges, and students themselves to submit their nominations for immediate consideration. Include a profile of your young achiever, with a summary of his or her accomplishments and contact information to Big Think senior editor Zachary Shtogren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s an example of a BigThink interview — New Jersey Gov. John Corzine talking about what he learned from his tragic accident: