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Contents tagged with social collaboration

  • 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.


    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 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 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 or to get started.

  • 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 or to get started today.

  • 4 ways we think the new Hangover III (@TheHangover) will be like open social collaboration

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    On May 24, the trilogy becomes complete. Hangover III, the finale, launches in a movie theater near you.

    The Hangover

    You might be wondering, how is a slapstick comedy, like The Hangover, even remotely similar to open social collaboration? But, you’re wrong. You don’t know this, but Tracky and The Hangover could be cousins, identical cousins, they’re so closely related.

    1. Tracky users are a wolf pack (#wolfpack). Don’t we all have a little bit of Phil, Alan, Doug and Stew in us? The need to be accepted, to be part of a group and, of course, go on wild adventures to save our friends from imminent danger--all in a day’s work. Tracky users aren’t phased by a little danger and excel under pressure. They’re strategic, tactical and fun--important qualities of any wolf pack. You’re most likely to find a Tracky superuser singing songs about tigers or planning a VIP trip to places like Las Vegas or Bangkok.
    2. Open social collaboration might have the perception of a suit and tie, but it’s really like a funny man with a beard (and a baby). Our developers are pretty cool. They like social networks, so they designed Tracky to feel like you’re using Twitter or Facebook. People think they know project management, but are probably using outdated or cumbersome systems that don’t focus on the “workflow of today.” If it feels fun, you’re probably more likely to use it. If Alan were here right now, he would endorse Tracky. You can ask him yourself, just page him on his beeper.
    3. You gotta find Doug (or Chow). Picture Doug as the never ending task list you need to get done. It’s scary and overwhelming. Sometimes you want to sit in a tiger-less bathroom and cry. But, when you work together and focus on the most important things, you can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Tracky allows people to work as individuals and bring in others to work together, as needed. Why does Doug always get rescued? Because it’s not an option to fail.
    4. The Tracky team is based in Vegas. Yep, this one is a gimme. Not only are we based in Vegas, but our launch party was at Mike Tyson’s mansion.

    Are you going to see Hangover III when it comes out in theaters? What about dressed up as one of the characters? If you do, send us a photo of you and we’ll feature it on the Tracky blog and across the interwebz.

  • Instagram + Social Collaboration + Dot Complicated = Photo GIVEAWAY

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Instagram giveaway

    I had the opportunity to share “10 of the most popular photos on Instgram,” for Dot Complicated, a subscribe-only community led by marketing maven Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg).

    If you’re a fan of the filter-loving, photo friendly network Instagram, then many of these photos probably won’t come as a surprise to you. In fact, we’d wager a bet you’ve shared one or more of them. So, tell us!

    Tell us what types of photos you share on Instagram in the comments of the Dot Complicated post and you could win a $50 credit to Instacanvas or a digital copy of Sarah’s new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose -- courtesy of Tracky.

    Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget here.  The giveaway runs now through Monday, April 15, at 12 a.m. EST.

  • Recap: How to produce and share your blog's content more efficiently

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

    When you're in the trenches and heads down working all the time, it can be tough to disrupt your scrappy-but-still-running workflow to migrate to something more effective. But if you blog regularly or if you're a professional writer, you know that you can easily waste time by letting inefficient processes stick around.

    Liz StraussThat's why the subject of creating and sharing content is a great topic for prolific blogger Liz Strauss' "Successful Blog" and something that we are passionate about as well.  A big THANKS to Liz for inviting Sarah Evans to guest post about the process of writing content. In this post, Sarah divulges her best tips for replacing older, less effective blogging habits with new ones. And don't worry: it's really not painful. It just requires a little bit of process change, but the results will more than speak for themselves. Plus, you'll gain some free time to do other things. Who couldn't use a little more of that?

    Speaking of process change, people like Liz don't get to where they are without some serious workflow hacks that keep them at the top. Liz Strauss is one of the most influential business strategists and keynote speakers and is the founder of SOBCon, the high-touch business summit. Liz understands how people perceive a blog, product or experience and how brands can help create loyal customers. Her advice is heeded around the world. She's one of the best strategists and is an #unstoppabledoer for sure!

    Here are a few quick tip excerpts from the post for your tweeting pleasure:

    • #Blogging tip: create and group edit content real-time via Google Docs via @lizstrauss @prsarahevans (click to tweet)
    • #Blogging tip: create a shared editorial calendar in a shared platform - via @lizstrauss @prsarahevans (click to tweet)
    • #Blogging tip: be collaborative - research, ideas, writing & social sharing: via @lizstrauss @prsarahevans (click to tweet)

    Cheers to more productive and effective blogging!

    If you'd like to see how Tracky can help you collaboratively produce content, just let us know! We're happy to help.

  • 9 tips to market your content marketing from @NeilPatel (using open social collaboration)

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Friday, December 14, 2012

    Ready for some tips and a workflow that will blow your mind? As we gear up for 2013, the Tracky team is full on evangelizing a better way for social marketers to work.

    Inspired by Neil Patel’s (@NeilPatel) recent "Don't Forget The 'Marketing' in Content Marketing" post, we took the best of his content and created an actionable (and reproducible) list. Neil outlines how to execute each of the following:

    1. Create a list of bloggers to pitch
    2. Reach out to be a guest author or contributor
    3. Link to other blogs and bloggers
    4. Request social shares
    5. Email website owners
    6. Write a top 100 industry list
    7. Create a blogroll
    8. Leave comments
    9. If all else fails, buy readers

    Click here to view all 9 tips from Neil in a Tracky Premium Module. Plus, we threw in an additional 19 blog marketing tips that I've identified.

    You’re about to kick your content marketing up a notch.

    We guarantee it!

  • Why your business needs social social collaboration

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Let's start with the positive: it's time to celebrate the doers!

    And now the negative: most business processes are broken. There's more to do than ever. Workflow isn't discussed much. Accountability is lacking.

    But as Sarah Evans shared with the PubCon crowd last month in her presentation, "Why Companies Need Social Collaboration and What to Do About it," the goals of social collaboration include: improving upon what you're already doing, planning for the future and (this is a good one) working better, not more. That's a welcome invitation considering that every two days, humankind creates more data than we did from the dawn of history until 2003. We're swimming in data and connections. And our personal lives are suffering for it.

    Sarah encourages us to change our workflow so that we can stop the glorification of busy, improve our business' value, feel better about what we're getting done and ultimately, spend more time with the people that matter most.

    change your workflow

  • 34 social collaboration tips to help you get ahead in business

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    By: The Tracky Team

    1. Use an open, social collaboration platform. Platforms, like Tracky, allow people to work together, better and develop a more efficient workflow.
    2. Give your existing content life through scheduled posts. Work with your team to schedule older, evergreen blog posts to be posted via social networks at ongoing intervals (e.g. once every three months). Use a tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule.
    3. Plan a weekly social editorial calendar. Editorial calendars are an essential part of your content marketing and engagement strategy. Don’t forget to plan earned and paid social tactics to promote it once live. (Here’s a resource to help you get started.)
    4. Keep remote workers connected. Don’t only rely on email for staying in touch with remote workers. Integrate video meetings, phone calls and instant messaging into the mix. Another great exercise? Collaborate on something real-time using Google Docs.
    5. Funnel social media response opportunities to the most appropriate person. No one is an expert in all areas of business, so why would you pretend? Set up a group track where your community manager or social media editor can funnel response opportunities from other key players on the team. If someone tweets you about a technical question, have your lead developer respond.
    6. Change your email work flow. Experiment with only using email for: launching a project, urgent requests and important, but not task-oriented communication (e.g. company memo). If you have a quick question, pick up the phone or use instant messaging. Try this for one week. Everything else? Route it through your social collaboration platform.
    7. Define your quadrants. Work better, not more. Read up on Covey’s four quadrants and make sure you live in quadrants one and two.
    8. Break down social sharing into bite sized tasks and delegate appropriately. For example, remind team members to always tag (e.g. @)
    9. Make collaborating and work more fun, in general, by integrating tools that are fun. Fun = productivity, too.
    10. Set up your social PR tactics under these umbrellas: Content marketing and inbound marketing (producing content, lead generation/acquisition, establish authority, SEO, etc…); Engagement (making connections you might not have otherwise made); Collaboration and productivity; Proactive and reactive media opportunities and Monitoring (self, clients, partners and competition).
    11. Schedule your social posts. Why waste all your good information at once? Spreading out your social shares means more opportunities for online interaction. Create a shared place where you and your team submit ideas, links, etc... Then use Buffer (it’s already integrated with Tracky) to schedule and share.
    12. Check out IFTTT to see if integrates with stuff you already use. Automate certain tasks that should be automated and make your life easier. Get out of the minutia and concentrate on the really important things, like collaborating with other doers.
    13. Use Statigram to manage your Instagram accounts. Include links (and archive them) to photos team members should share on social accounts. Create a track where you can easily delegate.
    14. Know your social sharing strategy and house it where team members have easy access (ahem, like in a track).  Here goes: 1) mention (@) company name, co-founders, co-workers, investors and/or advisers (depending on the post); 2) include essential hashtags (if there are a lot of associated hashtags focus on most important first, then include others in future posts); 3) DM people who might like to share, with a request to RT; 4) Share post two to three times over 2 weeks, then once a month for 3 months, then once every other month (from company account and work-affiliated accounts).
    15. Track your progress with milestones. Spreadsheets can be too heavy and aren’t “living” documents. How about using a milestone marker to alert team member of progress?
    16. Take collaborative notes. Use Google Docs to keep a live note-sharing activity going during meetings. When the meeting is done assign one person to extract follow up tasks and archive the document. (We use Tracky to do this. Duh!)
    17. Think community! People don’t like to be preached to. Rather, they like to be engaged with things that interest them. Whether using collaboration for marketing, development, planning or other - make the tasks, ideas, events etc. fun and engaging. Think: unicorns and rainbows for all.
    18. Create tasks that are rewarding, fun and easy to check off. Teams scan through their tasks and look for the ones that will be fun, quick and rewarding. Keep that in mind when creating them. Break them down into bite-size morsels - yum! Your army will get tricked into doing more and love it!
    19. Get the whole team involved with your collaboration. Don’t just create tasks and leave them unassigned, break them down and assign a group to the effort. Better results will be achieved together.
    20. Set mini-goals and then reward the participants - often. As often as possible, create rewards for the doers. A Starbucks gift card, a lunch, a thank you comment on their Twitter stream. It makes a difference and stimulates participation.
    21. Practice real-time collaboration. Set a goal to complete a collaborative process such as writing a blog post using Google Docs. Define brequirements for collaborators and complete as quickly as possible without distractions. Everyone will be amazed at the work completed in short order. That’s how we created this list.
    22. Think long-term. For true, successful collaboration you need buy-in from the participants. There are so many productivity apps today; it makes it tough for users to commit. Find one that is person-centric, not company-centric. It needs to be your account for life and include discovery elements (e.g. other events, projects, people to connect with). It should be flexible enough to grow with you over time.
    23. First, define your objectives! Since collaboration = working together to achieve a goal, define your goals from the outset. This begins with at the top (the “WHY”) and trickles down to the daily, repetitive tasks that you and your team do but still matter in the context of the big picture. Plus, when you have attainable daily, weekly and monthly goals, you get that precious feeling of accomplishment
    24. Then, define your workflows. Since workflows are simply repetitive processes, you should be able to template a lot of what you’re working on. The key here is template within the collaboration platform that you’ve chosen (hint: make sure that easy templating of projects is available before you dive in).
    25. Use email as a facilitator, not as your collaboration team’s home base. Email is still critical for enterprise collaboration (146 billion corporate emails are sent per day, vs. 2.5 billion Facebook posts and 400 million tweets). BUT, it shouldn’t be the gathering place or the time-suck trap where productivity goes to die. Email should be used mainly for notification alerts of activity in your collaboration system to re-engage people.
    26. The social business is mobile. Don’t alienate collaborators with an either/or proposition of a great mobile app or a robust desktop platform. Go with a platform and workflow that allows flexibility. Mobile + web collaboration FTW.
    27. Be authentic. What’s the point of social collaboration after all, if you’re hiding behind corporate walls? You represent your own brand and your company’s objectives. Strive for authenticity, transparency (appropriate for your enterprise) and a certain level of judiciousness (meaning, don’t share TMI, but be real when you do share).
    28. Find your evangelists and let them ideate for you. Social collaboration is about connecting, working, sharing, learning and discovery. The right tools will help you identify the “doers” and the “sharers” inside and outside of your organization. When you find them, herd them like rare alpacas into groups all their own. And give them wings. Use the platform to provide objectives and direction but let your rock stars start a passion party of ideas and strategies all their own.
    29. Be a troll - to learn, not to pry. A great thing about collaborating is that the cream of the crowd to rise to the top and it can provide inspiration in ways you never imagined. Join as many groups/projects as you reasonably can, if nothing more than to listen to the conversations and gain insights into people, workflows, customer sentiment, etc.. Trolling isn’t creepy when it’s for your social business’ greater good.
    30. Be secret, private and public. An oxymoron? Nope. Tracky, for instance, has uber-flexible privacy controls so that undersharing and oversharing are left to kindergarten recess and Facebook, where they belong.
    31. Don’t be a file hog. (File) sharing is de rigueur in the social business. Email was meant for communication, not for file sharing. Your computer is a great place for you to find things, but doesn’t facilitate quick research for your team. And why would you use a separate file sharing system than the productivity platform that makes you the get-it-done rock star that you are? Securely store your files in the cloud (within the right collaboration platform, of course).
    32. Include your customers. You should be able to set up inclusive-yet-selective groups that give the crowd the ability to chime in. Set specific objectives and moderate these groups but you can make major inroads into better customer relationships by including the few in a transparent conversation.
    33. Find the others. Technology allows us to find and connect with other like-minded people and businesses. Find these “others” and collaborate with them. Even if it’s not direct bottom-line work, you might find that your greatest ideas stem from the candid exchanges that are philosophical, commiserate, disclosing in nature.
    34. Share what you’re getting done! Hoarding your progress is so web 1.0. It’s OK if you’re not done yet: just share what you’re working on, why and ask for input if needed. Again, transparency, inclusiveness and openness are keys to the social business. Make sure that you choose a collaboration platform that allows you to toot your own horn when you’re ready to share your next-big-accomplishment with your team and the world.
  • HOW TO integrate social collaboration in your PR 2.0 strategies

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Post by Sarah Evans, Tracky's Chief Evangelist

    For the past year, I’ve been on a quest to spread the word about open social collaboration and productivity and why it is the key to social media success and essential to every public relations professional. According to analysts at Altimeter Group, enterprise collaboration drives business value in four ways:

    1. Encourages sharing;
    2. Captures knowledge;
    3. Enables action; and
    4. Empowers people

    Funny – these business values directly relate to what we, as PR professionals, strive to do everyday. So, how does open social collaboration fit in?

    Get the answer and the full post here!


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