Five Free Follow-Ups For Before 5 p.m.

I enjoy giving webinar presentations like this one, but I often think of slides I wish I would have added, and examples I would like to share, after I’ve submitted the presentation file to the organizers. And sometimes I forget to mention some points that I had intended.

One of the beauties of blogging is that I can share some additional notes and highlights so that people who participated in the webinar can explore on their own. It lets me make sure I covered the key points before the presentation even starts. Some of this may be review for long-time SMUGgles, but you may find portions helpful as well.

The main point about doing this before 5 p.m. is to not procrastinate. Those in the EST time zone will have a couple of hours after the webinar, while the PST gang has the whole afternoon. But since you’re reading this now, why not get started right away?

  1. Observe some examples. Check out our Mayo Clinic Podcast Blog (and particularly this post on Niemann-Pick Disease Type C), our Mayo Clinic YouTube Channel, our Facebook page and our News Blog. See this story from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that includes a link to a Mayo Clinic Medical Edge video story, and this post from the WSJ’s Health Blog, which included one of our Flip videos from our YouTube channel. Besides providing information directly to consumers and potential patients, “new media” tools like web video and audio can help generate or enhance your traditional news coverage.
  2. Complete Podcasting 101, which is the first course in the Podcasting curriculum at SMUG. In the coming days, as you work through the 100-level courses, you will be able to create your own podcast and have it listed in iTunes for exactly $0.00. It’s all free. Like my podcast, Chancellor Conversations, this won’t have the production quality you would want for your official organization podcasts, but by working through the process step-by-step you will strip away the mystery, and no one will be able to tell you “it’s too complicated.” Then you can spend a few hundred dollars for some better recording equipment, and develop a really solid, low-cost, high-quality communication vehicle.
  3. Enroll in SMUG. The tuition is $37,700 less than Johns Hopkins. If you or your organization spend at least a few hundred dollars on a webinar, or thousands to attend a conference, to learn about social media, wouldn’t it be silly to not take the next step and get some hands-on experience, particularly when it’s free? Besides joining the SMUG Facebook group, you can friend me (be sure to mention the webinar), or follow me on Twitter. SMUG’s mission is reflected in our motto, and our goal is to help you discover what you can do at a ridiculously low cost (or perhaps even for free) and without any support from your IT department. In economic times like this, as Jacopo asked Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Christo, “How is that a bad plan?”
  4. Check out I thought Elizabeth Tracey’s point about connecting audio files with Powerpoint presentations was good, and Slideshare is a way you can do it today, for free. Here’s a link to one of my slidecasts from the Podcasting curriculum to demonstrate. Slideshare is like YouTube for PowerPoints; you can embed it in your own blog or site, and also can make it available in the “marketplace” for others to find and embed, increasing your reach.
  5. Complete Social Media 101, which is part of the Core Courses curriculum at SMUG and originally was my “12-Step Social Media Program for PR Professionals.” As in all similar programs, the first step is to admit that you have a problem. Social Media 101 will give you an introduction to the broad scope of social media tools that may have application in your work.

In addition to the five free things before 5 p.m., here’s a bonus you should do after 6 tonight. It’s not free, but you’ll be glad you did it:

Get a Flip video camera.

You can find them for $150 or so at Wal-Mart or Best Buy. If you’re into the delayed gratification thing and want to work through more of the SMUG curriculum, I hear you can get them even cheaper at Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself. Spend another $15 or so for a tripod. You’ll want to have this for personal use; it’s the video camera you can always have with you, so you never miss those magic moments because you forgot to bring the camera bag. But then take the Flip to work and see how you can use it for business purposes.

I hope you found the presentation (and this post) helpful, and would appreciate any feedback in the comments below.

YouTube Deep-Linking Example

In yesterday’s highlights I called attention to a new feature from YouTube that allows deep-linking to a specific point within a video.

I decided to try it, because I wanted to show some key parts of a couple of videos during a presentation for which I had a limited time. The total time for the two videos is about eight minutes. I encourage you to watch the entire videos, but by deep linking to four separate spots I could show some highlights within the presentation.

This video is from an interview I did with Rhonda King, in which she explains how she used an online support group to gather information about her son Trevor’s condition. She later explained the decision she and her husband made to seek a second opinion for Trevor, and what happened when she sent an email to Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating Long QT syndrome and other heart rhythm abnormalities. She also describes her experience in getting Trevor examined by specialists at Mayo for his other medical conditions.

YouTube Progress

There’s a double meaning with that headline. YouTube is making progress by telling us how our uploads are making progress.

One of my pet peeves with YouTube had been its lack of a progress indicator. When uploading a video, I never knew how long it would take to complete an upload. I just got the spinning circle for a seemingly interminable time.

No more.

As of yesterday, I noticed what you see in the screen shot below:

YouTube Progress Indicator
YouTube Progress Indicator

How cool is that?

YouTube Playlists: Embedding and Promoting

I don’t know whether this works or not, so I’m giving it a try. That’s the great thing about a blog: You can experiment and see what works, and then modify your approach based on what you learn. And so that’s why I’m doing this as a SMUG research project, so that later I can add a fully cleaned-up post to either our Mayo Clinic News Blog or Podcast Blog. And by doing this learning in public, hopefully I’ll get some additional ideas from the SMUGgle community. I hope you’ll share those in the comments.

So here’s the issue: Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center has created a series of three Stop Smoking videos, such as this one I’ve embedded below:


I created a playlist too, which we’re going to feature for a time at least on the front of our Mayo Clinic YouTube channel.

But I also wanted to see whether that playlist could be embedded within blogs. I tried embedding below using the standard “Add Video” button, but at least in the preview it wasn’t visible.


If you still can’t see it in the space immediately above now that I’ve published it, that means it still didn’t work.

YouTube does have embed codes for its playlists that would work on Blogger or Typepad (and I expect for WordPress blogs that aren’t hosted on But for security reasons, doesn’t allow Flash widgets on its blogs, because it doesn’t want someone to upload malicious code that could bring down millions of blogs. So your users can’t view the entire playlist unless you embed each video individually.

So what’s the workaround?

I would suggest that if you’re on and want to highlight a YouTube playlist, you should embed one of the videos (and probably add some annotations) but then just say something like:

“Check out the whole Mayo Clinic Stop Smoking playlist on YouTube” and have it open in a new window.

YouTube playlists also can be shared directly from within YouTube by e-mail, and individual videos also can be shared through Facebook and MySpace. I guess that probably makes the annotations even more important, because they can include links to the playlist, so people who find one of the videos will also have links to the others.

I also have featured this playlist on the wall of Mayo Clinic’s Facebook page, and then I Tweeted it. I also shared on Facebook by posting it to my personal profile. I suppose I could send an update to Mayo Clinic’s fans on Facebook, but I want to be pretty judicious in how many of those I send.

I have, of course, added the Get Social series of buttons at the bottom of this post so it can be shared easily via Facebook, StumbleUpon and other networking sites. I suppose that in the post I do on the News Blog, adding these would be a good way to spread the word.

What do you think? What other methods for promoting a YouTube video playlist would you recommend?

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What My iPhone Has Replaced

I’m coming up on my two-week anniversary of getting my iPhone, and I thought it would be fun to use my iPhone to take a picture of the devices it is replacing in my coat pocket.

On the left is my Blackberry, which had my calendar and email. In the center is my 80 gig iPod, which had the advantage of carrying every bit of my music and spoken word audio. On the right is my personal cell phone.

I didn’t have a digital camera previously; now with the iPhone I have that functionality. The iPhone keyboard is a little touchier than the Blackberry and is more susceptible to typos, but the smart error correction is pretty nifty.

With the Blackberry, Web browsing was possible but intolerably slow for all but emergency situations.

I had an interesting experience this week as I was on a phone call using the ear buds, when I got a text message. I returned the text without having to leave the call. That was pretty nifty too.

Some people wish the iPhone had a video camera. Personally, as regular readers and all SMUGgles know, I prefer the Flip for video. It has a built-in USB connector for uploading video.

So if the iPhone were to add video functionality it would be OK, but it’s not a huge priority. I like the Flip because I can put it on a tripod to get better quality Web video. The iPhone is so thin and sleek that it couldn’t accommodate a tripod adapter, so without that I would just as soon leave out video capability

The really great thing about the iPhone, though, is its application platform, which enables others to add functions, like the WordPress app I’m using to write this post (and incorporating a photo from the iPhone camera).

I couldn’t have gotten the iPhone, though, if it didn’t support Exchange e-mail. This is really well done, and the calendar also synchs automatically.

As I do blog posts using the iPhone, I expect they will mostly be less text-heavy than this one. The WordPress app for iPhone is nice for mobile blogging and incorporating photos, but you can’t insert links. So I guess I would need to edit posts later from my computer to add links.

Anyway, I’m quite satisfied with my experience with iPhone. And it has been nice to lighten and unclutter my sportcoat pockets.

If you have an iPhone, I would love to hear what applications you find most helpful.