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Contents tagged with communication

  • Recap: Team Collaboration Using Tracky

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Without properly communicated objectives and tasks, the best projects and teams won't live up to their potential. That's why we're inspired by the UNLV Desert Sol Team, who takes communication and collaboration seriously. Atter all, these UNLV students are competing in an international competition initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy to build the best all-around energy-saving home. This is a really ambitious project with dozens of decathletes, faculty and advisors. It's a truly collaborative plan with far-reaching, positive implications. So how do they organize the hundreds of tasks and a team of over 75 people? Tracky.

    Jinger Zeng, Project Engineer, wrote about their project management journey on their blog citing appreciation for Tracky's drag and drop interface. The ease-of-use combined with a familiar social interface leverages the young team's strengths to tackle this intensive project.

    Desert Sol house
    Desert Sol solar home concept rendering

    Besides project management, the Desert Sol team also uses Tracky instead of paper for RFIs (Request for Information), saving loads of time (and trees) by involving appropriate team members for specific needs on an as-needed basis.

    Desert Sol team collaboration
    Screenshot of a Desert Sol project track from their blog

    Cheers to the Desert Sol team! We're rooting for you to win but regardless, you are definitely part of the 1% of doers and an inspiration to collaborative teams and projects of any type!

    Head on over to the Desert Sol blog to learn more about the competition and their team collaboration strategies.

  • HOW TO: Share industry news and information with your CEO

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Monday, April 29, 2013

    Someone once told me that a great communicator will always be able to find a job. Why? Because good communicators make organizations, and, by default, their organizations’ leadership look good.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: Marketing Charts]

    A recent survey from CEO.com examined the ways in which 358 business leaders stay informed. The results? A heavy consumption of digital content. In fact, “3 in 4 CEOs aged under 50 say they ‘mostly consume information online." If you look at a breakdown of the content they’re reading online, it’s a combination of:

    • Business news
    • Industry news
    • Social networks, like Google+ and Facebook
    • Content creation on social networks and/or blogs

    The survey results show that almost 60% of all CEOs prefer text-based content versus visual, video and audio. And, they’re not only consuming information, they’re creating, curating or aggregating on social networks, too. This is a great starting point for thinking about how you communicate with your CEO (and, if applicable, the entire leadership team).

    While visual components in an email, newsletter or press release are great to enhance a story or as a supplement for visual learners, there’s still credibility and reliability in digital text. There is a time and a place for visuals and images, but when communicating with a CEO, it’s likely they’ll prefer text over anything else.

    And, the way that text is presented matters.

    If you know that your CEO dedicates a significant amount of time to researching business and industry news, then help him or her develop a more efficient process. For example:

    • Utilize IFTTT (if this then that) to set up RSS alerts for their favorite news outlets;
    • Download a news consumption app like Flipboard or Feedly for their smartphone or tablet; and
    • Set up Twitter lists so they can easily monitor their favorite feeds.


    Put in the man hours so they don’t have to!
    Create a “News You Can Use” daily overview of the four to six stories you think your CEO may be most interested in. Have it in his or her inbox before 8:30 a.m. and you’ll provide amazing value, plus be in-the-know on industry news and trends.

    Are you a Tracky client?
    There’s an easy way to share this information with your CEO. Create a “News You Can Use” group, then, add you, your CEO and anyone else from the leadership team who wants daily news and information. Create a track for each week, or, each day and share your articles in the discussion. They’ll have a running archive of everything they need to know in one place. (TIP: You can also make tracks public if you want to share your great research. And, your CEO can tweet them when they’re done reading.)


    Sharing information with your CEO isn’t about inundating them with everything, but about being the best curator possible. Think of yourself as an information filter and gatekeeper. You separate the wheat from the chaff -- only the best, most important and most urgent makes it through. And, when something urgent and important or breaking hits the news cycle, be the first to get it to your CEO.

    This survey is a great reminder to think about how you communicate with your CEO. Do you know your CEO’s communication preferences? If you’ve never asked, use this as an opportunity to find out.

    Want to set up a “News You Can Use” process for your CEO? Email jennifer@tracky.com or sarah@tracky.com to get started.

  • 11 startups #Shakespeare would probably have invested in

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Monday, April 22, 2013

    [PHOTO CREDIT: Lord Chamberlain’s Memes]

    Did you know that William Shakespeare was also a savvy businessman and “ruthless investor and profiteer?” It’s an often overlooked skillset of the beloved playwright.

    If Shakespeare were alive today, chances are he would be interested in innovations being made in technology and communications, especially as they relate to the arts. And, being the savvy investor he was, he’d want to get involved in the best.

    1. MySpace (new) - Shakespeare would treat the new MySpace as this century’s Globe Theater. His support would fuel the rise of up and coming performers with a passion for creating works of musical art. He might even feature a great indy band in his next rom-com. And, who knows, a JT and Shakespeare partnership?
    2. GetGlue - Imagine finding out who is reading your books or watching your written-for-the-big-screen movies. Shakespeare would have been glued to Glue, along with finding ways to engage with and reward his most loyal fans.
    3. Medium - Like modern day quarto editions of his best works. Shakespeare would find innovative ways to connect his art with a greater community. I wonder if he’d invite anyone to contribute?
    4. Twitter - To be or not to be, that is the question. The 140-character format would be an ideal platform for Shakespeare to share his daily musings, tease his next project and correct misinformation about which Anne Hathaway he married. 
    5. Kayak - A travel app? Yes. Shakespeare was known to spend his time between London and Stratford, England. That’s two hours by car and would have been about three days by horse and cart. Once he discovered innovations like planes, trains and automobiles, I bet Shakespeare would become a world-traveling jetsetter.
    6. BuzzFeed - What if the combination of memes, pop culture and original news content was right up Shakespeare’s ally? Known for his precise comic sequences, maybe he would have become both an investor and contributor. Can anyone say king of memes?
    7. Foursquare - As a “ruthless investor” Shakespeare would be all about making a profit. He’d urge Foursquare execs to sell check-in data for ad targeting. There would most likely be a King’s Men badge for those who check in to more than three live performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
    8. Netflix - If only to expose more people to Mel Gibson as Hamlet, Shakespeare would have wanted in on the Netflix early days. With more than 20 movies based on his written works already available, who knows what else he would be able to make happen.
    9. Tracky - Playwrights in Shakespeare’s time often collaborated on projects. Well, there’s no better collaboration platform than Tracky, so we’re inclined to think he’d be all up in our business.
    10. Dollar Shave Club - Impeccable grooming is a top priority when you have well-known facial hair. Plus, who doesn’t love a great deal? Shakespeare would most likely be both investor and spokesperson for the men’s razor deal site.
    11. SnapChat - Shakespeare would love real-time picture chatting and would have found a way to socialize shortburst soliloquies.

    And suggestions from a few from our friends:

    “Kickstarter!” -Brady Akers
    “Rap genius.” -Michael Gruen

    What startups do you think Shakespeare would invest in if he were alive today? Share your responses here or on Twitter and tag @Tracky.

  • 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.

  • For businesses to thrive now and into the future, you'll need to collaborate - #SocBizChat Recap

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Last week, Sarah Evans and I participated in a lively Twitter chat hosted by CMSWire, a web magazine focused on social business, customer experience and document management.

    The topic was: Social Business - Evolution of Collaboration in the Enterprise (#SocBizChat) - the current state of enterprise collaboration and what it spells for the future. A notable list of panelists drove the chat with a ton of combined experience and insights.

    This is a topic near and dear to our hearts here at Tracky. Socially focused businesses know that their future success hinges on the adoption of collaborative cultures. Yet sadly, most businesses still favor email for community and file sharing, bogging workers down in information pollution and hating life due to disconnected workflows and the negative emotions that are a natural result.

    For those of us who are proponents of social collaboration and its myriad benefits, we can get a little off in the weeds, buried under the remarkable amount of data and trends in the space. This chat was very productive because it distilled some salient points into 140 characters or less, helping us all to learn from each other and drive collaboration forward in our circles.

    CMSWire’s questions for the participants were:

    1. Define collaboration. 
    2. We've come along way since Intranet 1.0. What are the most important elements of today's collaboration and communication tools? 
    3. How has the adoption of social in the enterprise changed the concept of collaboration? 
    4. Name three primary challenges for collaborative organizations & how they can be overcome. 
    5. How will collaboration strategies and supporting tools evolve in the next two years?
    6. Bonus: Will it be possible to survive as a non-collaborative company in the future?

    I’ve curated some of my favorite tweets, and some of the top tweets from the chat. View the story "Evolution of Collaboration in the Enterprise - @CMSWire #SocBizChat Recap" on Storify

    And, here is a list of the #SocBizChat Panelists:

    •  Billy Cripe, Principal and Founder at BloomThink — @billycripe
    •  David Coleman, Managing Director of Collaborative Strategies, Consultant and Writer for GigaOM PRO — @dcoleman100
    •  David Lavenda, Vice-President of Marketing at Harmon.ie — @dlavenda
    •  Deb Lavoy, Director of Product Marketing for Social Media at Opentext — @deb_lavoy
    •  Hyoun Park, Principal Analyst at Nucleus Research — @hyounpark
    •  Kevin Conroy, President and Founder of Blue Rooster — @seattlerooster
    •  Colin Perez, Marketing Manager for Blue Rooster — @bluexperience
    •  Oscar Berg, Digital Strategist, Business Analyst and Senior Consultant, Enterprise Collaboration at Avega Group AB — @oscarberg
    •  Tom Petrocelli, Social Enterprise Senior Analyst for ESG — @tompetrocelli
    •  Kimberly Samuelson, Director of Goverment Marketing/Analyst Relations at Laserfiche — @ECMchick
    •  Dan Keldsen, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Information Architected — @dankeldsen
    •  Maria Ogneva, Head of Community at Yammer — @themaria
    •  Jacques Pavlenyi, Market Segmenet Manager for Messaging and Collaboration at IBM — @mediamutt
    •  Zena Weist, Vice President of Strategy at Expion — @zenaweist
    •  Jeff Seacrist, Vice President of Product Marketing, Partner Solutions at Webtrends — @jeffseacrist
    •  Mark Klinchin, CTO at MetaVis Technologies — @mklinchin
    •  Rich Blank, Solutions Engineer at NewsGator, Blogger — @pmpinsights
    •  Christian Buckley, Director of Product Evangelism at Axceler, Microsoft MVP — @buckleyplanet
    •  Jennifer Mason, Senior SharePoint Consultant at Rackspace Hosting, Microsoft MVP — @jennifermason
    •  Mike Ferrara, Director SharePoint Platform Services, Hyperion Global Partners — @mikecferrara
    •  Tony White, Founder and CEO of Ars Logicia — @arslogica
    •  Alex Manchester, Senior Consultant at Step Two Designs — @Alex_Manchester
    •  Dustin Collis, Technology Partner at Navigation Arts — @collisindc

    You can see the entire #SocBizChat thread here if you’re interested.

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