“Technology makes things possible. People make things happen.”

If you follow the Tweetstream from Jacqueline Fackeldey (@FackeldeyFinds) you may not get a lot from it (unless you’re one of my new friends from the Netherlands) because she mostly tweets in Dutch. But when I attended ReShape09 in Nijmegen, I had a nice opportunity to chat (in English) with this advocate of what she calls “human to human marketing.” When she used the phrase that is the title for this post, I thought it would be great to have her talk about it on camera and share it with the SMUGgles:

Global Conversations

A couple of interviews I’ve done relating to social media (and particularly in health care) have recently been published to the Web. The first was with Ryan Zuk of the Public Relations Society of America, for its PRSA Tactics monthly newspaper. I had seen the print version, but yesterday got a couple of tweets saying it was now on the PRSA Web site.

Here’s one of the questions with my answer…

What advice can you offer PR practitioners for maturing their social media strategies?

A key for social media success is not getting bogged down in analysis. This is an unprecedented time of opportunity. We have the ability to communicate directly with our target communities while balancing our work with mainstream media. So don’t think of social media as another thing to do, but instead as part of your balanced communications diet.

…you can read the rest here. (Studious SMUGgles will note the reference to the SMUG Social Media Pyramid in that last sentence.)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands for a couple of presentations and some workshops, and after I had extricated myself from the doghouse, Lucien Engelen (@Zorg20), who organized the events, interviewed me briefly with his Flip mino HD camera. He recently uploaded the interview to YouTube and embedded it on his blog. I’ve embedded it below:

The video has already led to some interesting commentary on Twitter, including @CiscoGIII saying “I think you look better on camera than in real life.” I guess that’s another reason to love the Flip!

What do you think? (I mean about the content of the interviews; no need to comment on my in-person vs. on-camera appearance.)

Privacy begins at home

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Last week when I was in the Netherlands (See “Putting the ‘Global’ in SMUG”) I had the opportunity on Wednesday to help lead a couple of master classes on Web 2.0 for health care communicators from UMC Radboud, one of six academic medical centers in the Netherlands, in Nijmegen.

I often like to demonstrate Skype and its videoconferencing capabilities (and the fact that it’s FREE) in my presentations. It’s one thing to say, “Skype is like the video phone in The Jetsons.” That gets heads nodding. But it’s entirely different to show just how easy and cool it is. So I have sometimes Skyped with my daughter Rachel and granddaughter Evelyn, and also have done videoconferences with Darrin Nelson (a Mayo patient from Rochester, NY who shared his story about robotic heart surgery here, here, here and here on Sharing Mayo Clinic.) In those cases I had sent messages on Facebook (for Rachel) or Twitter (for Darrin) to arrange the times for our conversations and to ensure that they would be available.

Our Wednesday morning master class in Nijmegen went off flawlessly, as @JohnSharp and @CiscogIII and I tag-teamed as teachers, but in the afternoon they had to head back to Amsterdam, so I was on my own (along with my host, Lucien Engelen.)

I was doing fine until I got to the reference in my slides to Skype, and then I got what I thought was a great idea: I went to Skype and saw that my lovely wife, Lisa, was on-line.

So (on the spur of the moment, not to mention a classic case of y-chromosome poisoning), I decided to just “surprise” Lisa with a Skype call without advance warning. I’ll let the Facebook conversation she started tell the rest (click to enlarge):






Lesson Learned: Privacy isn’t just something to be concerned about from a HIPAA perspective. It begins at home.

And a special note of thanks to Lucien for providing his own peace offering (although he personally had done nothing to offend), in the form of this beautiful bouquet of roses, pictured below next to my now fully showered bride of nearly 25 years.

Picture 11

Putting the “Global” in SMUG

When I first named our august institution of social media higher education, calling it Social Media University, Global was a bit of overstatement. Yes, through the world-wide Web it did have the potential for global reach, and I did already have some visitors from other continents, but clearly our institutional naming (and my self-designation as “Chancellor”) was, as the English say, “cheeky.”

Over the ensuing months the “G” became more deserved, or at least less ridiculous, as we reached the point at which we had SMUGgles from every continent (except Antarctica). We have continued to grow, with now more than 700 people having joined the SMUG group in Facebook.

But it’s one thing to have a global reach via the Web; it’s another to personally visit other parts of the world. Starting tomorrow, SMUG will officially become a little more global in reality, as I am at the airport in Rochester right now traveling to the Netherlands for two presentations. I will be arriving in Amsterdam at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and taking a train to Nijmegen, where I will participate in a series of events led by Lucien Engelen, including Reshape09 and the Health 2.0 Challenge. On Thursday we will go back to Amsterdam, where I will be presenting at the first international E-Mental Health Summit, and then I’m spending the night in London, where I will be visiting British media on Friday morning before returning to Minneapolis.

I look forward to an interesting adventure, and will be regularly reporting on the events here and via Twitter if you follow me.

If any of you have tips for international travel, or about the places I’m visiting, I would appreciate any guidance.