Tag Archives: new year

The Year in Social Media Strategery

As 2011 comes to a close, it's only natural (and for a blog, virtually mandatory) to reflect on the year that's passed. Since that first post more than three years ago until now, this blog has served as the foundation for everything I've done in creating and building the social media practice at Booz Allen. During the first year, it was the pioneer, carving the way for others throughout the firm to feel empowered to create their own blogs as well. The second year was probably my most enjoyable year authoring this blog because I had moved beyond the "justifying my existence" stage, the Gov 2.0 community was active and engaged, and I found myself really in the trenches with a lot of my clients helping them work through many of the issues that I got to write about. This third year though, was a little different. As my firm's social media capabilities matured beyond the start-up phase and expanded to other areas of the firm, I found myself struggling with how to scale and sustain these efforts and this was reflected in my writing too. 

I wrote about a lot of different topics this year – from community management to higher education to public relations, and even personal introspection – reflecting the many different focus areas I had in my own career over the last year. Was I going to focus on Enterprise 2.0? Or Public Relations? Social Media? Social Media and Higher Education? Sports? Change Management? Management? While I remain interested in all of these topics (and many more), I've realized that I have do a better job of focusing, both professionally and personally. As I look forward to 2012 and my fourth year of blogging here, I'm going to do a better job of focusing my energy on a few areas instead of trying to get involved with every opportunity I'm interested in. Now, I just need to identify what those focus areas are….

While I think through that, here are my top five posts of 2011, as determined by how much you liked them, the reaction they generated, and how much I enjoyed writing them:

  1. Rest in Peace, Social Media Ninjas – Probably my most controversial post of the year as some applauded it and others (predictably, some social media ninjas) heartily disagreed. While I used stronger language than I usually do, that's because I really do think social is better when integrated into other functions rather than operating in a vacuum.
  2. Seven Things About Social Media You're Not Going to Learn in College – This post actually received a lot more interest over on the PRSA blog, comPRhension than it did here, but I was still very proud of this post as I heard time and time again from students and professors alike who referenced it in their classes.
  3. The Many Roles of an Internal Community Manager – One of my favorite posts I've ever written because I lived it and because this was one of the best ways I found to really show other people what it is a community manager actually does and why the role can't be filled by just anybody.
  4. More Than Words: How to Really Redefine the Term, "Public Relations" – This one hasn't gotten as much traffic as I would have hoped, but I'm including it here because I'm tired of the bum rap us PR practitioners get and because we've got an opportunity now, as an industry, to change this perception. We have the tools to put the relationships back into public relations.
  5. Insulate Open Government Efforts from Budget Cuts – This post became one a frequent soapbox of mine over the course of the year, as I frequently found myself asking both my team and my clients, "what's the business objective you're trying to achieve? Your goal isn't to get more Facebook fans – what's your real goal? How does this effort tie back to your mission?" 

This blog, much like myself, was a little all over the place this year. I'm looking forward to this next year, to meeting more of you who read and share my thoughts, to working on projects that really make a difference, and to sharing my thoughts and experiences with all of you. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and finishes out 2011 having a great time with great friends. See you all in 2012!!

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Reviewing the Year in Social Media Strategery

Social Media Strategery has been around for more than two years now – much much longer than I ever thought I would be able to keep this blogging thing up. As one of my colleagues mentioned to me the other day, two years is an eternity in Internet time, and I’m grateful that I’m still somehow able to come up with posts that people enjoy and/or find useful in their everyday lives.  I’m even more grateful for all of you out there.  This year, you’ve continued to support me in my writing – subscribing, commenting, and sharing my experiences and thoughts with your communities and for that, I can’t thank you enough.

So for everyone who reads this blog regularly – whether you’re a subscriber, reader, commenter, critic, colleague, or friend – thank you, thank you, thank you.  Here are your top five most popular posts on Social Media Strategery from the past year:

  1. Identify the Right People to Manage Your Social Media Initiatives – this has been one of my most popular posts ever, receiving more than 3,500 page views, 26 comments, 400 retweets, and 71 Facebook shares, but more than that, it became a rallying cry for those of us who have grown tired of seeing the wrong people in our organizations get tasked with social media initiatives because of their position, regardless of their skills, experience, or personality.  Hopefully, this post also resulted in at least one or two leaders rethinking their staffing decisions.
  2. Six Villains of Gov 2.0 – One of the most light-hearted posts that I’ve done – this one generated a lot of interest not just because it was fun, but because I think many of us recognized and dealt with these villains before.
  3. I Started a Blog But No One Cared – A post from the very beginning of the year that has remained fairly popular throughout 2010. This post represented another example of people applying old rules to new media. Just because you’ve got a fancy title doesn’t mean anyone cares about what you have to say. Before, we just deleted your emails and you were none the wiser. In the world of social media though, content beats titles any day of the week.
  4. The “Getting Started with Gov 2.0” Guide – this post was borne entirely out of frustration. I grew tired of sending the same email out over and over again, so I created this post to serve as a resource to direct people to for the fundamentals on Gov 2.0. I can’t tell you how much time this post has saved me (and hopefully some of you) over the last year. Unfortunately, it’s now horribly out of date – looks like I need to create a “Getting Started with Gov 2.0” Guide – Redux post soon!
  5. Twenty Theses for Gov 2.0, Cluetrain Style – Amazingly, this post is now almost two years old (originally published in February 2009), yet it still gets fairly regular traffic. Enough traffic that it comes in as the fifth most popular post of 2010.  My favorite part of this post is that it yielded many of the key messages that guide my team’s work to this day – from “Social media is not about the technology but what the technology enables” to “Social media is not driven by the position, the title, or the department, it’s driven by the person.”

This blog was a lot of fun for me this year – I was able to write about some pretty important stuff, meet a lot of new people, and most importantly, help make some positive change in the world of social media and our government.  I’m looking forward to writing more, commenting more, and connecting more in 2011 – I hope you’ll all continue to be a part of that for at least 365 more days :).

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My Social Media Resolutions for 2009

The Internet is filled with end of year reviews, highlight articles, and wrap-ups. Predictions for what will and won’t happen in 2009 are also a popular topic for bloggers this time of year. There’s plenty of nostalgia and speculation out there already – I don’t know how much I would add that hasn’t already been said. Instead, I’ll focus this post on something that I can control – my social media resolutions for 2009.

The parameters of these resolutions are simple – I have to be in total control of whether they happen or do not happen, they are realistic, and they’re somehow related to the work I do with social media.

  1. Blog more often – I know, I know, this is always on everyone’s social media “to-do” list. However, I actually mean it (and yes, I know everyone says that too).  When I started this blog back in October, I had one goal – to give me an external “home base” from which I could become a part of the social media and government conversation.  My goal for 2009 is to build on this humble base and collaborate with all of you in bringing social media to our government.
  2. Focus attention on things other than social media – As Andrea Baker and I have discussed before, I suffer from the fear of missing out.  There are SO many things I want to read, so many blogs I want to comment on, so many initiatives that I want to take on – I have to realize that I can’t (and shouldn’t) try to do it all.  I need to do a better job at doing what I can when I can, while still taking some time to go spend time with my family, go to the gym, and do things outside of work.
  3. Re-read the ClueTrain Manifesto – Whenever I feel overwhelmed or discouraged, I find myself going back to the 95 theses at the start of this book to get new inspiration for what it is that we do.  Business and government are changing before our very eyes – despite the social media world that I find myself caught up in, I realize that I’m still an early adopter.  I’m riding the wave of something entirely new that is fundamentally changing the way our government operates.
  4. Spend at least one hour each day reading about social media – I’m not sure when it happened, but reading, whether it’s blogs, books, newspapers, etc., became the first thing that got dropped when we all got too busy.  In 2009, I’m going to move reading back up my priority list and start dedicating time each day to my Google Reader, my stack of unread books, magazines, and Twitter stream.
  5. Turn more of my virtual connections into real-life ones – Om Malik had it right – Twitter followers aren’t really friends.  Following someone on Twitter or commenting on their blog doesn’t make you friends with someone.  I think we lose sight of that sometimes and forget that actually meeting people in person really helps develop and maintain that relationship.  In 2008, I’ve worked to develop “virtual” relationships with plenty of people from both the social media and government worlds, but in 2009, I hope to turn these connections from simple @’s, retweets, and comments to lunches, meetings, and phone calls.
  6. Use email less (internally) – One thing I’ve realized is that if I keep answering people’s emails, people will continue to send them to me, even if I explicitly tell them that they’re more likely to get a hold of me by posting their question/comment to my internal blog, contact me on Yammer, use my internal wiki page, etc.  I want to be the leader within my organization in getting folks to use email less and our internal collaboration platforms more.
  7. Proactively reach out to more senior leaders in my organization to teach them about social media – One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had in gaining buy-in for our internal social media efforts is that senior leaders often don’t understand how a blog will help them in their day to day life.  In 2009, I want to do more to illustrate the “What’s in it for me” to our everyone at my company, especially our managers.

I’m curious to hear what your social media resolutions are. Remember that you have to be in control of making them happen, they’re realistic, and that they’re related to the work you do with social media. Good luck!

*Image courtesy of Flickr user xmascarol

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