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  • 6 Simple Life Lessons from the Internet

    • By dj miller
    • |
    • Monday, April 14, 2014

    The Internet is a wide, wonderful, and sometimes very weird world. It's an infinite source of information, a steady stream of entertainment, and an incredible communication tool, among many other things. Taken philosophically, the Internet can teach us a lot about ourselves, the people around us, and the spinning globe we call home.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind as you click around one of the greatest inventions in human history.
     

    http
    Image via Wikimedia.org

    Collaboration is Everything

    No one person invented the Internet. In fact, it's hard to pin down exactly when the first shred of this stunning technology even began. Was it in the 1960s when various government and scientific computer networks began communicating over vast distances? Was it in the decades prior when the likes of Allen Turing and other mathematical geniuses laid down the very foundations of computer theory?

    Maybe it was before that when ancient Greek thinkers wrote down some of the earliest math texts, or even the prehistoric humans who had the first ever mathematical thoughts. The point is, we have this technology because of a lot of intelligence and creativity across many cultures. When we work together, we do great things.

    You're Not as Alone as You Think You Are

    Before the Internet, it was easy to assume that you were alone in your hobbies and interests, especially if they were strange or obscure. Today, it's only a small matter to find an entire web forum dedicated to the exact thing you love and thought nobody else understood. For instance, do you spend your leisure time creating fine art with a classic, spring-based toy? Yeah, that's been a community since 2005.

    It's Never Too Late to Reconnect

    It may make 10-year high school reunions less relevant, but social media has made it all too easy to find people you knew way back when. All you have to do is ask to be "friends" and you'll have as many updates, conversations, and reminiscing chats as you want. The Internet makes this reconnection easier, but it was always possible. The people we once knew are still kicking around, living their lives, and changing the world.

    Never Underestimate the Young

    Speaking of social media, let's remember that a lot of the most widely used platforms today were invented by people when they were in their 20s and early 30s. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a billionaire roughly around the same time he became eligible to rent a car in many states, while the founders of YouTube and Twitter were newly minted professionals when their companies hit it big. Given a technology of infinite possibilities and an attitude of persistence, young folks in the age of the Internet are doing some amazing things.

    It's Good to Accept Change

    One of the most complex, involved battles in the post-Internet world is the debate over digital entertainment content. Though TV networks, movie studios, and record companies spent the first decade of widespread Internet availability resisting the digital distribution model, today it's easy to get your favorite movies, TV shows, and music legitimately online with download and streaming services. This has also changed the way we use the Internet. Where once a fast connection was a luxury, today high-speed service is essential for all of that digital content.

    Think Before You Speak

    Rushed emails and other online messages sent in a moment of passion, be it positive or negative, have become such a common issue that there are applications designed just to ask, "Are you sure you want to send that?" People have had to be careful about how they express themselves ever since the invention of language, but today it's all too easy to say (or type) something you'll regret and transmit it to the world. More than ever, it's a good idea to use your best judgment before hitting the "send" button.

    The Internet is a great teacher, not just of hard facts but of philosophy and social interactions as well. It encourages us to explore, self-examine, and keep others in mind, not to mention adopt more sympathetic understandings of those around us.

    DJ Miller is a gadget geek, writer, infographic-maker and lover of Mystery Science Theater. He is also a novice comedic who spins humor into advice columns on his personal site.

  • Top PR pro shares her insider “Social PR Secrets”

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    To win at the social game, you’ve got to know someone. And we do. Lisa Buyer, longtime PR pro, industry speaker, journalist and friend, recently published her tell-all book, “Social PR Secrets,” which is chock-full of insider tips and actionable advice. Where social media and public relations {Social PR}  meet, Lisa details how to best share our stories and listen to our customers in the social, mobile, visual and search optimized world we live in today. This advice isn’t just for PR professionals, either. Almost anyone whose job involves social outreach, customer support, web development, writing and management should get familiar with the new rules of public relations engagement.

    Lisa is very generous with sharing her knowledge and experience, so I interviewed her to pick her bright mind about a few hot topics in search, social and PR.

    Social PR Secrets book

    Search and social are BFFs and content is still king

    Q: In your book, you shared the story of your first Search Engine Strategies conference in 2006 where you heard Matt Cutts (head of Webspam at Google) speak and you realized that as a PR professional, you couldn’t ignore search’s impact on visibility. In the search world, it used to be said that “content is king” and considering how important content marketing is now, is content still king? If so, what does that really mean?

    content king A: Content is king but that phrase can be a little misleading. It’s such a general term that has been overused and misunderstood. In the past, web developers would build a company’s site and then leave content and search engine optimization (SEO) to the marketing and PR folks. But if those people didn’t have enough knowledge on SEO tactics, like keyword optimization and how to craft the content so that its search-friendly, their content wouldn’t easily get found. 

    The place to “be seen” is in search and in social. Your customers are there, of course. Ad most brands hope to solicit unpaid media mentions, so it makes sense to be visible where journalists begin their research: Google and social network search engines. And, social is the best place to forge authentic relationships with journalists well ahead of a breaking story that you seek coverage for. But getting found isn’t going to happen overnight. You have to know a little about how search engines work and strategize what keywords, tags and links you use in your news stories, social posts and online content.

    Content creation is more relevant than ever, but there is always a lot to learn. These days, SEO pros that have the tactical knowledge should hire copywriters to build the brand’s voice and story – not just fill the pages with keywords. Thus, writers should know the best practices fundamentals of SEO, such as how to write optimized titles, descriptions and metadata. Those little snippets can be very important still. And finally, most PR and marketing pros should also educate themselves on how to write those snippets.

    Takeaway: Content is still the king of search and social. Basic SEO tactics should be learned by writers, marketing and PR professionals in order to optimize content for search visibility.

    socialQ: Do social PR strategies differ for big brands vs. small businesses?

    A: Big brands have a lot of red tape to get through to mimic the quick-moving entrepreneurial style of smaller companies and to build authentic communities. Small brands can execute more quickly. There is a lot of room for big brands to become thought leaders more than they are now. For small businesses, there is plenty of opportunity to beat out big brands, depending on the industry, because they can be flexible.

    Takeaway: Social levels the playing field for brands. Big brands need to be more agile and transparent like startups. Small businesses should be courageous and creative – you just might out-communicate your larger counterparts.

    Ignore mobile at your peril

    Q: Mobile is one of the most important trends of our time.  What trends are you seeing for social and mobile?

    A: Since social levels the playing field, you can lose your foothold if you’re not careful. Two to three years ago, brands could wait and see what happened with Twitter or Facebook. That window of opportunity is coming to mobile designan end soon with social. With mobile, brands won’t have three years to embrace it. For example, I started writing my book almost a year ago. Mobile was huge then, but recently at PubCon, Matt Cutts reported on how mobile is growing much faster than anticipated. In PR, start with the basics, like ensuring that your website is responsive design is a good place to start. Otherwise, you’ll lose business. Period.

    Takeaway: Mobile-friendly design and content should be priority #1 for brands.

    Should all brands be building audiences on image-based networks? 

    Q: Visual content is a major trend and brands are trying to figure out Instagram and Pinterest, but not every brand has highly visual products to share. Should every brand jump into new networks, especially visual ones?

    A: Strong visuals are important for every brand now. Images and text work together to tell your story.  Even press releases should include images and you should optimize them for search, along with the text. Visuals can significantly impact engagement. In fact, in a press release, embedded images and links to videos will increase engagement by about 18% for photos and 55% for videos.

    If you have resources, visual networks like Pinterest and Instagram can be great outlets to connect with your audience. Before you begin, look for brands with similar audiences to gage whether they’re getting measurable engagement. Start with some test content using researched hashtags and content. if you don’t have enough internal resources (designers, photographers, copywriters), then focus on ensuring that your blog’s sharing elements allow your audience to easily share to those networks.

    How to be 33% more successful in content planning & optimizing

    optimize contentQ: Creating great content takes time. How can brands optimize the content they produce?

    To leverage your content, you should compile the larger story first, along with a set of images. Then, slice the story into summaries for different social channels along with a specific image for that network. 150 characters is optimal for Facebook and 90 characters for Twitter. If possible, include an image that matches the content on each network.

    Make sure that each summary is optimized – use relevant hashtags and keywords for that network and your audience.

    Takeaway: Don’t leave content on the table. Find engaging snippets in your bigger stories and share those to social networks, along with a relevant image.

    Q:  Let’s discuss editorial calendars. How much research do you recommend for planning content?

    A: Editorial calendars are great guides but shouldn’t be set in stone. Develop your content calendar with a blend of topics guided by historical data (analytics), keyword and trend research and then leaving room for breaking news. Also, listen to your community.  Do surveys and ask questions. Analyze your most popular content (Was it the voice? Topic? Style? Visuals?) and try to duplicate that for future success. Your social and site analytics should tell you what people responded to.

    collaborate on editorial calendarsQ: Thank you for the Tracky shout-out with regard to collaboration! As you mentioned, sharing your goals with others increase your chances of success by 33%, so collaborating with your team and contributors is a very important step.

    A: Yes, and by sharing your editorial calendar somewhere, on your blog, or to your community, you give your audience a heads up on what to expect. You can then more easily source information from your audience.

    Takeaway: Creating and collaborating on an editorial calendar can increase the likelihood that you’ll follow through by at least 33%. To plan content, look to your community, your site and social analytics, trending topics and leave room to comment on breaking news.

    Why it’s a great time to be in social and PR

    Q: A lot has changed since 2000 when your coworker asked: “Have you tried Google?” What’s your favorite aspect of being a social PR pro today?

    build relationshipsA: From the journalistic side, the immediacy is exciting. We all have more of an opportunity to create, be part of and watch stories compared to the sluggish way that communication used to take place. It’s so much easier to find sources and generate ideas in real-time with social media. From a PR standpoint, you get immediate feedback when a story publishes. Plus, you can communicate in real-time with reporters, like giving a journalist a quick shout-out on Twitter when you appreciate their story. That kind of open environment makes for better relationship-building opportunities both personally and professionally.

    Takeaway: Social media’s open environment makes it so much easier to build relationships personally and professionally with your customers, journalists and brands.

    Advice for socially challenged brands – just show up

    Q: You talk about how today’s version of the press release isn’t always published by the brand, but rather the audience – whether it’s a new product line or Instagram photos from an invite-only event. What are some encouraging words of wisdom to brands that need to initiate conversations and join their audience on platforms that they’re not familiar with? Where should they start?

    show up on social mediaA:  Showing up is important! Brands need to understand that if your marketing team is being led by someone whose experience is mostly pre-digital, you’ll need to hire talent that lives and breathes social. Find experienced community-oriented digital marketers to lead the way – the right combination of youth and experience. The right candidates will makes themselves and the brand accountable for social ROI.

    I’m an advocate of how social and PR work together so that Senior Marketers can understand the symbiotic relationship, SEOs can understand how valuable public relations can be and how it affects the bottom line. In my view, we can work together and collaborate into making something (that is, your brand) AWESOME, rather than everyone doing their own thing.

    Takeaway: Social PR can have a significant impact on the bottom line and social is where the consumers are. Hire youthful yet experienced community managers that thrive on interactions and analytics. Show up!

    Above all, be authentic and personable

    Q: I love the social PR tips in chapter 8 – the art and science of social publishing. There is a lot to think about when posting a simple 100 character tweet. What’s the most important thing to remember when communicating to your audience?

    be authenticA: When it comes down to it, the simplest way to connect is to provide authentic, meaningful content.  How to do this depends on your brand and culture personality. Give your brand some leeway. Then, think about where your community will be most often. Adapt your brand’s personality into authentic genuine communication on each network. Everything else will fall into place.

    Takeaway: Be authentic first, give your brand leeway on social media and be adaptable. Then, learn more about the technical aspects of social measurement once you’ve connected with your audience.

    Q: The 18-minute social PR day is an absolute gem. When we’re digitally connected to everyone at all times, its easy to let “all the things” engulf us. Do you find that data overwhelm is a problem for PR, marketing and community pros? 

    A: Focus on measuring just what matters. Quantity is going away. It’s the quality of your connections and what’s happening on your site/blog/networks that is important.

    Don’t worry yourself with too many analytics platforms, just delve into Google Analytics first. That will give you great objective overview. Gather your benchmark data, then build from there. If you’re a newb, there are plenty of videos on YouTube from Google and others on how to use the tool.

    Gauge whether you are getting more conversions, more conversations, higher quality traffic (longer site visits, deeper engagement), etc. Then build upon that.

    quality of connectionsTakeaway: it’s the quality of your connections that’s important. Focus on what matters and measure whether your social PR strategy is improving the quality of interactions at your website and social networks.

    Q: Your PR wisdom chapter is gold. You and I share an admiration for Tony Hsieh’s book “Delivering Happiness” and many of his philosophies. What viewpoint from your book do you want to leave us with?

    A: “Be passionate, tell personal stories and be real.” If you’re not real, and instead are deceitful, the simplest things – e.g. emails that could be revealed that show different motivations than what you’re promoting – will get out eventually and show your true colors. You’ll lose credibility and it takes a lot to earn that trust back. So make it easier for yourself and your brand - always be authentic!

    be passionate, tell personal stories, be real

    (Illustration above and in the book by Lauren Litwinka of Deep Cereal)

    About Lisa Buyer

    Lisa BuyerLisa Buyer is a speaker, journalist, and educator on the trending topic of public relations and how it is influenced by social media and search engine optimization. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism with more than 20 years experience as a public relations agency owner. Lisa's experience blends the traditional fundamentals of public relations, corporate communications and branding with today's influence of digital media.

    Lisa is also an editor for Social #PR Chat covering trends in Social PR, Mobile PR, Brand PR and SEO PR, a columnist with Search Engine Watch and a regular speaker at PubCon, SES, and part of the @ClickZ faculty, most recently becoming an instructor of the University of San Francisco’s online Advanced Social Media certificate program.

  • The 4 C's of Community and how you can use them to leverage your crowd

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, November 22, 2013

    We last discussed how three important trends are changing the face of digital marketing: the visual web, socially curated discovery and superfan communities. The great news is that consumers are more willing to share your brand’s story than ever before, but only if its authentic, useful and ideally, allows for open dialogue.

    Communities are the next-generation to Facebook pages and microsites, so building community right can yield you some major loyalty points with your customers, search engines (yeah, SEO boosts, baby), and grow a level of trust and authority that no other marketing strategy can.

    4 cs of communityIn our research, we’ve discovered four elements to community-building and they all happily begin with C:

    • Content
    • Curation
    • Cultivation
    • Collaboration

    So, are these community elements just phonetic fun or very vital to building a loyal tribe? Let's dig deeper.

    Content

    You want people to come, right? For communities, content really is king. Meaningful content lays the foundation and will engage your audience, communicate your story, convey your customer's needs and fuel an effective SEO strategy.

    But you don’t have to go it alone. That’s where curation tools and your superfan curators come in…

    Curation

    Curation is two-fold: curating content and curating the community.

    Content curation: So much of what’s in our news streams isn’t original journalism, but rather curated, shared or distributed to us via aggregator apps or our niche community. To offer up a great experience to your community, you don’t necessarily have to create reams of fresh, original content. In fact, 95% of people are looking for aggregated news that is multi-sourced, fresh and free. Most of us seek trusted curators to filter out the overload of data and categorize it into topics that matter to us.  Plus, we want the option to add our commentary to the mix, while connecting with others of like-mind.

    This isn't a free ticket to forsake unique content. Of course you'll need some original content based on your expertise in order to be authoritative, but many companies can’t dedicate to a full-time editorial team. But content curators are your key to winning the content game and building an army of trusted contributors. Which leads us to the next point in curation.

    Community curation: The right community platform will provide deep analytics into how your audience is interacting with your content, each other and your brand. Once you know who the superfans are, you can tap into their passion and give them some leeway to curate and create content for you. Yep, I do mean that you'll have to give up some control. Understandably, that terrifies the goodwill out of some companies but with the right guidelines and platform in place, you'll still guide what's published on your behalf with little overwight.

    create content that lives onPlus, why not follow the lead of some of the most community-driven brands? Community curation is already being done by companies like Sony, Sephora, LEGO and Harley Davidson.

    Identifying and leveraging your superfans can mean finding your best advocates. And they’ll "work" for you because they’re passionate, not because they’re pulling down a paycheck. Since paying them would turn them into employees, you'll want to reward them in non-monetary ways like community notoriety - which will further fuel the flame of curation prowess.

    Cultivation

    Cultivation is the process of refinement. In this stage, you’ll figure out what matters most to your community members, who’s most involved, how to optimize your content, what rewards are working and  how to better leverage your superfan curators - the 1% of your community - for the good of the many.

    This step in the process is remarkably fun because it means that you’ve got an active audience. Your analytics will reveal the opoprtuntiies and wins, but what the stats can’t tell you is whether you really “get” your community and whether they sincerely <3 you. Sure, social shares, likes, vote ups, interactions and inbound numbesr will give you an idea, but you’ll need to dig a little deeper. You’ll need to ask for input (polls can help), conduct A/B tests, develop one-to-one relationships with active voices and open the door to actually working with vetted customers.

    Collaboration

    This is where you ask. You listen. You implement and evolve based on your community’s feedback.

    Consumers are more educated and discerning than ever. To win their attention, offering free shipping isn’t going to be enough, nor writing a few informative blog posts, nor making your product new-and-improved.

    In the near future, the brands-winning-hearts-and-wallets will be going to companies who will literally give up a little control to their crowd, engage their customers and respond with authentic, positive good-for-all evolutions. Companies that do will be rewarded because a lot of times, people just want to share positive feedback (Global Trust in Advertising Survey, Nielsen).  LEGO uses their online communities to produce new ideas for LEGO sets. Now, not only developing loyal customers – a notion that is increasingly hard to come by - but it will make more money (crowd-sourced improved product = more sales).

    Its not an easy migration from push marketing to collaborative customer conversations, but it will not only make your brand stronger, more authentic and help you remain competitive for the long-term.

    its your community

    Have questions about community building? Contact us to start a dialogue about how we might be able to assist with your community strategy. 

  • EpicTimes officially launches its solution-based news community, powered by Tracky

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, September 13, 2013

    You know Tracky as a social collaboration platform - a place where you can connect, collaborate and share: to-do lists, live chat, calendars, task management, social sharing, people and project discovery, cloud-based storage and more. Now, we introduce to you deeper functionality for social sharing. It’s the next evolution in Tracky as a social collaboration and publishing platform.

    We thought working with a team on content you want to push to the web should not require a separate CMS to log into and edit a new post with. Tracky users work together in groups to create content, why not allow them to publish direct from within Tracky too? We also hate bottlenecks and thought it was silly to funnel all posts through the gate keeper who controls your blog or site. So we created social publishing directly within Tracky.

    With social publishing, our purpose is to help brands build interest-based visual websites that engage and leverage their communities. We refer it to as C4, and wow is it ever explosive!

    • Content
    • Community
    • Curation
    • Collaboration

    These four C’s are the foundations of true community-building. And we have a great case study to illustrate how this holistic community strategy is revolutionizing an industry. Meet: EpicTimes, a solution-based news community founded by Jerry Doyle.

    Jerry Doyle is the host of the nation’s fourth largest talk radio show. After eight years of talking with and listening to over 7.25 million people a week with his radio show, Jerry realized that millions of people are sick of media “spin” and instead, crave real solutions. Jerry wanted to offer an online home that was politically non-partisan, yet would appeal to those who tend to be Independent, fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

    Jerry envisioned an online solution-based news community focused on putting cutting-edge news, resources, and answers in the hands of the public. While his terrestrial listening audience is quite loyal, their needs are changing to become more mobile and wanting instant-access to information that will help improve their lives.

    To satisfy his audience's hunger for holistic solutions, Jerry would need to assemble a diverse group of contributors with expertise ranging a wide array of issues. He didn't want to hire an internal editorial staff right away, so curating and publishing content had to be simple. Not everyone is familiar with content management systems and there couldn't be any barriers to creating content and engaging with visitors.

    As a busy radio host, Jerry knew he couldn’t build EpicTimes alone. Jerry approached David and myself, fellow Las Vegans and previous startup guests on his radio show, to explore whether his big dream could be a reality.

    Our team was already building more robust publishing features into the Tracky platform and shared Jerry’s vision for more intuitive and authentic community management software. Starting from an idea, Tracky collaborated closely with Jerry to build what you now see at www.epictimes.com.

    EpicTimes news community

    audience commentsThe entire site is powered by Tracky: curated articles, original stories, contributor pages, comments, community collaboration (more on this later), social leaderboard, and more. There are a couple of non-Tracky pieces, like the daily poll powered by Wedgies and product catalog company, Spreadshirt.

    Migrating a terrestrial radio audience to the web and mobile is a bold move but its already paying off. Community engagement is growing and some contributors are gaining loyal readers that are regularly engaging with their articles. The daily email serves up the latest articles and images and sees open rates of 2.5 times the industry average and clickthrough rates of 5X the average.

    We're impressed by Jerry's chutzpah to bridge the gap between terrestial radio and an online community and we're honored to work with him. He's a visionary and a "doer" that pushes aside tradition and executes on big dreams.

    In the next post, I’ll dive deeper into the features and benefits of Tracky’s social publishing tool for brands.

  • 6 things in your home you wont believe are connected to the internet

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    First, our Internet Public Service Announcement (IPSA):

    Tracky takes privacy seriously. It’s why we created a platform with three tiers of visibility: secret, private and public. While we focus on the concept of open social collaboration, inherent in this is the ability to collaborate in the way that works best for you.

    If privacy is important to you, and you do a lot of work online, then protection of your data is vitally important. You may not realize it, but anything in your home or office that is connected to the internet has an IP address and therefore, may provide  information about you. An Internet Protocol or IP address is like a phone number or address specific to your device. It contains information about location in order to identify that particular device.

    The easiest way to protect your information? Make sure you have a secure, encrypted wireless connection. Since these devices are in your home, work with your internet service provider to ensure this is setup correctly. If you want to completely hide your IP address from potentially prying eyes, look into using a proxy server. You can also install a firewall  that alerts you if there is ever any suspicious activity. (And, don’t forget to use a VPN service if you’re surfing the web via public Wi-Fi.)

    Now, onto the fun stuff, we present you, the The Internet of Home Things:


    [PHOTO CREDIT: HapiLabs]

    Your fork
    The HapiFork, launched during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), claims to help you eat at a slower pace. The company says health benefits to eating slower include decreasing acid reflux, obesity and diabetes.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: LG]

    Your refrigerator
    Well, only if you have something like the LG Smart ThinQ™ refrigerator. The device’s LCD screen tells you what’s inside, food that’s about to expire and ingredients you have to make specific meals. All of the information can be accessed on your smartphone, too.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: Beam]

    Your toothbrush
    Win prizes for brushing your teeth and get your oral health updates to sync with your smartphone. No more worries about mom and dad quizzing you to see if you brushed. Your phone can prove it.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: Lixil]

    Your toilet
    It plays music, monitors water usage and a major power drive cleaner--the ultimate smart toilet. Plus, if you don’t like using your hand to flush the toilet, then you’re in luck. This toilet and app from Japanese firm Lixil, can be flushed from pushing a button on the app. Just make sure to wash your hands and your phone when you’re done.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: NY Daily News]

    Your shoe
    “Don't be surprised when Google's new high-tech Adidas start talking. The 'smart shoes' know up to 250 phrases, can track physical activity and communicate with the wearer's cell phone contacts.”


    [PHOTO CREDIT: SmartWallit]

    Your wallet, backpack, dog and more
    Although the product isn’t a reality yet, it’s only days away from its Kickstarter deadline and already surpassed its goal.  The attachment hooks to whatever you want to keep track of and, when you get more than a few feet away, an alert is sent to your smartphone to avoid you leaving it behind (or someone taking it from you).

  • How open social collaboration helps avoid virtual miscommunication

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Friday, April 19, 2013

    Virtual communication frees us from the confines of a traditional office setting and allows us to stay connected as often as we’d like. Virtual communication comes in the forms of written, audio and visual interactions without physically being in the same place. That means we must interpret, speculate and make assumptions about what we read, see and hear.

    For example, if you were to receive this message in all caps, you might think someone is yelling at you.


    But, what if they were just really excited to get ahold of you because they had important news to share. And, what if the second message didn’t come in for three, five or 10 minutes after the first one?



    Perhaps you spent those moments panicking, thinking about every reason why the sender could be angry with you. And, let’s say those racing thoughts pulled you away from an important task with a tight deadline. That is a waste of time, energy and resources.

    Virtual communication comes in to us from a variety places, across multiple devices and from all facets of our lives (e.g. friends, family, co-workers). That’s why it’s essential for businesses, large and small, to focus on communication styles and processes that employees can get behind.

    What’s at the heart of open social collaboration and project management platform Tracky, is the ability to solve three key communication issues:

    • Lost messages, files or long email trails
    • Organized tasks for individuals, teams and/or customers and vendors
    • Incoming messages from too many places

    The answer to solving these three common issues: Streamlined tracks, discussion threads and instant messaging.

    When employees can see, at a glance, everything needed for a single project, it reduces the likelihood that people don’t understand the scope of work or are confused about their role. Open social collaboration allows you to keep files, discussions and tasks in the same place, along with who is responsible for what. If you ever need to onboard someone in the middle of a project, simply add them in and they can research all of the prior discussion. That way the project leader doesn’t have to find and forward old emails and recap prior communication.


    Discussion threads are a game changer. If you’re active on social networks, then you’re familiar with the concept. Much like leaving a comment on Facebook or replying to someone on Twitter, you create an ongoing conversation that is archived together.

    Discussion threads eliminate back and forth emails and keep important conversations together in the same place you’re working on tasks. These threads are also searchable, so if you need to find something quickly, you can look for keywords or hashtags.



    In-platform instant messaging via social collaboration keeps quick, one-off remarks in the same browser window from which you’re working. This means less time switching between windows or even devices and more time getting stuff done.

    Ready to eliminate virtual miscommunication in your workplace? Email jennifer@tracky.com or sarah@tracky.com to get started today.

  • What motivates you? #doinspire - a visual inspiration for new and recent communication grads from some of the top industry doers

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Friday, April 5, 2013

    doers who inspireCalling all communications students and new grads. If the thought of the professional workforce is overwhelming, intimidating and downright frightening, then take a moment to reflect. Think about why. And, if you’re feeling the opposite, I encourage you, too, to think about why. When I approached my college graduation I was apprehensive. For me it was the feat of the unknown. What would I do? Who would I become? Would I be successful? (The good news is that fear motivated me to excel, work hard and never stop learning.)

    Today, the communications industry is so broad, encompassing everything from correspondent to digital content producer to public relations manager. As you, the future of the industry, set out to change the world or just dip your toes in, here’s some inspiration.

    I asked 24 of my favorite communicators one, simple question, “What motivates you to do the work you do?” And, I only let them have 140 characters to answer.

    Recognizing the top #doers who #doinspire

    A special thank you to the #doinspire participants:


    As you read each response, you may notice a trend in the usage of words, like:

    • Team
    • Helping
    • Community
    • Learning
    • Stories
    • Connecting
    • People

    It’s no coincidence that people who work in communications, no matter their role, share a common love of sharing information, connecting others and generally trying to make a difference in the world. If you can relate to any or all of these themes, then it’s pretty clear you’ve made the right career choice.

    What motivates you to do the work
    A slideshow of 24 #doinspire posters

    Now, I present to you 24 bits of motivational wisdom from people who #doinspire:

    Here are 24 tweetable #doinspire moments

    • We only have a limited number of days on the planet and I want to make each one count. - @cc_chapman #doinspire (tweet this)
    • When I was younger, I wanted to be a politician and help people’s voices were heard. Now I give people a voice on TV. - @webanna  #doinspire (tweet this)
    • It’s knowing that I'm improving how 1 billion people get informed about the world around them through Facebook. - @lavrusik  #doinspire (tweet this)
    • The people I meet every day. - @tamcdonald  #doerswhoinspire (tweet this)
    • I absolutely love my job, co-workers and the mission of PayPal. - @davepeck  #doinspire (tweet this)
    • The fantastic feeling I get when the team has created something awesome and our audience loves it. -  @LanceUlanoff  #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Making a difference, calling out unfairness, engage with a super-smart community, build something that matters. - @rachelsklar  #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Constant new challenges and an insatiable appetite for getting questions answered. - @antderosa #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Helping find meaning in the noise, telling the untold stories. - @burtherman #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Helping others to tell their story and find a voice that resonates with their community. - @hksully #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Every day starts with a blank page and long to-do list. Balancing the two is the tricky part. - @CMPLYtom #doinspire (tweet this)
    • 40 years ago cable expanded my portal to the world. I get to help others connect to what they care about most. - @coxcomm #doinspire (tweet this)
    • The thrill in knowing I have the potential to excite generations to want to learn and share more seach day. - @jenleereeves #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Surge of energy I get from doing what I’m passionate about, helping others and communicating what people need to know - @ckanal #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Sharing things people didn’t know or making them laugh when they stop to find out what’s going on in the world. - @etanowitz #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Connecting people who immediately click, even though they never would have thought there was a reason to chat. - @leanstarter #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Making a career out of writing isn’t for everyone, but if you can, it feels good to do something most can’t. - @adampopescu #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Spending time playing in other people’s sandboxes is a chance to learn something new, be inspired & share stories - @kschaeferlv #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Learning. - @bfeld #doinspire (tweet this)
    • Scouring the Big Blue Marble, finding solution-based content relevant to our community. - @jerrydoyle #doinspire (tweet this)
    • I’m helping build a futuristic technology with a talented team that is equal parts kind, goofy and seasoned. - @lesliebradshaw #doinspire (tweet this)


    #doinspireA copy of individual #doinspire quotes can be found, here.

    So, what motivates YOU to do the work you do? Share your thoughts with hashtag #doinspire.

  • Stormtroopers endorse the Force of the Doer Economy...do you? (Share your favorite Stormtrooper photo)

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Since launching  our “Doer Badge,” a visual way to show commitment to getting things done (#gtd), there are now hundreds of people part of Tracky’s “Doer Economy.” Through our research we learned that many people aren’t rewarded for being consistent doers. In fact, it becomes quite the opposite. Co-workers become so used to the doers doing that it is commonplace and expected. Sad panda.

    Doers
    Didn’t get your badge? Email sarah@tracky.com for a copy.

    We want to make sure doers are not only recognized for doing, but can find others who tend to make big things happen. You can do this two ways: 1) Follow people on Tracky (it’s likely you’re a doer if you’re using our platform); or 2) Use hashtag #doer on Twitter, Instagram or Google+.

    It’s important that the doers in your organization are celebrated for the work they’re getting done. No, you don’t have to have a pizza party every time a project ends, but, heck, some bacon might be nice. Seriously though, these are the people you want to keep happy and engaged. They’re your high performers. They are your one percent.

    The Doers are a Force. You are the people who bring ideas to life and make organizations run. Hmmmmm. Sounds kind of like a Stormtrooper (minus the whole foot-soldier, clone thing), but supercharged with a Doer mentality.

    Watch for our Stormtroopers photos over the next few weeks on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll continue to celebrate the Doers and recognize exceptional work. Have a story to tell about you or a co-worker? Email sarah@tracky.com for an opportunity to be celebrated on our blog.

    Want to play?

    Take a picture of your Stormtroopers and share it with us here: https://tracky.com/57126. We’ll caption our favorites and use them as part of our “Stormtroopers endorse the Doer Economy” picture campaign. Of course, you’ll get the credit and recognition on the photo and on social networks.

    What better way to celebrate being a doer than by doing something (especially when it’s fun)?

    PHOTO CREDIT: JD Hancock via photopin - license

  • Celebrating the 1% of people who regularly get stuff done (#getyourbadge)

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Two weeks ago we at Tracky set out to find the “doers” of the world - those people who don’t just talk about getting things done, but actually do them. We’re proud to say that as of today, we’ve awarded our Doers badge to 200 people who care about collaboration and productivity.

    1% of Doers - Tracky

    What does being a doer REALLY mean? Listen to our Chief Evangelist Sarah Evans as she breaks it down on the Las Vegas Downtown Podcast (@downtownpodcast) hosted by the cool kids at Ticket Cake (@ticketcake).

    Let's find out! Take the “Am I a doer?” quiz. If you qualify as part of the “doer economy”, we’ll send you a nifty badge ready for social sharing and a very humble #humblebrag.

    1% of Doers on Downtown Podcast

  • It's 2013! Cheers to You - the League of Unstoppable Doers

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Thursday, January 3, 2013

    For all you who “do,” this post’s for you!

    You, the League of Unstoppable Doers (LOUD). The people who just get stuff done.  The connectors who are driven to amplify the connection between social communication and collaboration. The catalysts who inspire others to reach beyond their comfort zones and just make it happen. The producers who break out your digital pencils, stare down the blinking cursor and scribble brilliance onto previously blank screens.The life hackers who play hard once you’ve worked hard.

    You’re the “brain trust” of collaboration and productivity. The ones that Tracky exists for and that inspire us daily to create the best open social collaboration platform available. It’s YOU that inspires us as the calendar turns from 2012 to 2013. The “doers” and “sharers” who go those few extra steps to turn mediocrity into excellence.

    League of Unstoppable Doers

    Tracky is full of these folks, and we get to collaborate with them - with you - everyday. We love it. That little Feedback tab at the bottom right of your screen when logged in, is your connection (sometimes near-instant) to our team. When you send us feedback, we take it seriously. We listen, learn, fix, assist, collaborate and laugh because it’s YOUR feedback that makes Tracky better.

    People like James Hicks,  Founder and Chief Technologist at Hicks New Media and producer of The TechScoop and INFOtainment. We met James at CES 2012. We were alpha launching Tracky and were thankful to show James around our shiny new platform. His passion for new tech was contagious and his project management background provided us with some great feedback from the get-go.

    And here's Demont Daniel, CEO of Finesse Media, a Las Vegas marketing agency and Business Development Manager of PrideStaff Las Vegas, a top 10 recruiting firm as listed by Forbes. He’s a big-time social media and event trendsetter. His latest side project is Demo Vegas, in collaboration with other #VegasTech passionistas. The volunteer organizers use Tracky to collaborate and plan the event, from top to bottom. They're LOUD. 

    In 2013, we plan to share more user stories and shape Tracky according to your voice. Our recent “V3” update was inspired by you. So, thank you. Keep the feedback coming. Keep “doing” and growing. We’ll be here to support you with the platform, workflows and solutions that will help you connect, collaborate and share more efficiently and enjoyably than ever before.

    Let’s be LOUD in 2013. Are you with us?

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