As I have pivoted (in Silicon Valley lingo) my blog from its social media focus and taken a new role as Chancellor Emeritus, I’ve been ruminating on a blog name that would capture the essence of what I will be writing here.
I had considered Interesting Stuff I’m Studying, but the acronym for that title would have been…unfortunate.
I thought Stuff You Might Find Interesting (SYMFI) would be a good one. It’s reader-focused…it’s about things I think you might like. Unfortunately, there’s a drug called Symfi, and the last thing I want is to get cease-and-desist nastygrams from pharma company attorneys with trademark objections.
I finally settled on a new name that I plan to implement soon: Stuff I Find Interesting (SIFI). A couple of advantages in this one:
Truth in Advertising. The name describes exactly what I will be writing here.
It’s time now (or rather past time) to reorient it based on the fact that my career has evolved far beyond anything I could have dreamed when I gave myself the title of Chancellor.
My idea was that through SMUG I would learn in public and invite others to come along for the ride. I would develop some curriculum categories, and other communications professionals who wanted to learn to use social media could use my example as a resource.
I had a lot of fun with it, and one of the best points was when people would greet me with my self-appointed title.
But then in 2010 my employer, in response to a proposal I helped to develop, created the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, which in 2015 became the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN). It was gratifying that this teaching role I had created for myself on my personal blog became part of my day job.
We provide learning resources for our Mayo Clinic staff to help them apply social media in their work, and also open membership – Basic (free), Premium and Corporate – to provide access to these resources to colleagues globally. Oe of the best parts is that we also learn from them!
So while Social Media University, Global was a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek phrasing, MCSMN made that global vision a reality.
As a result, when I have written online about social media, I have been much more likely to do it on the MCSMN site instead of here. So after averaging 160 posts a year in 2009-10, since 2016 my SMUG post average has been… 3.
As of today I’m recognizing that reality, and will be coming up with a new name for this blog. I’ll probably keep the same domain name for a while at least: no one types URLs anyway, and it’s kind of a pain to switch. All of my previous posts from the SMUG era will remain available.
I don’t expect that my post volume will approach 2009 levels, but I will be a lot more regular in my blogging. Over the last three years I’ve been reading and learning a lot about health, diet and fitness that’s pretty radically different from what I had previously heard and believed.
It’s made a huge difference for me.
I’ll start telling that story tomorrow.
I’ll also use this space to write about other things I find interesting. That will be the common thread.
I’m excited to begin a new adventure today as I make my first trip to China.
I’m accompanying Kent Seltman, co-author of Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic. Kent was formerly the Marketing Division Chair at Mayo Clinic, and he wrote his book with Len Berry as his swan song as he approached retirement. It has been translated into Mandarin and has sold 350,000 copies in China.
Kent has previously visited China 13 times, always taking a current Mayo Clinic employee with him. I’m delighted to accompany him on his 14th trip. We’ll be there from now until June 27 and will speak at 9 hospitals in China (click the map to enlarge).
According to the Chinese Firewall Test, I probably won’t be able to access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn for the next couple of weeks.
On the bright side, SMUG does appear to be available from mainland China.
I’ll hope to post updates here relatively frequently. Since my posts are tweeted automatically, SMUG will be my way of at least sending messages via Twitter.
Today I am starting a monthly series of two-hour sessions on social media organized through Rochester Community and Technical College. I hope the participants will find the series encouraging and empowering as they explore ways they can use social media tools personally and professionally.
Below are the slides from my first presentation, which will introduce many of the important social platforms and also sets the stage for sessions to be held over the next three months. Because I move quickly through the slides, I want to have them available for review here. Many of the slides include links to relevant sites or examples.
Chancellor’s Note: This is a reposting of the first WordPress Page I created, which was originally published on October 19, 2006. The original title was “It’s All Free (And Mostly Easy)” and it was my first attempt to keep some basic themes foremost on my blog, which was at that time called “Lines from Lee.” As you’ll see below, I had resolved that I wasn’t going to do anything on my blog that required me to spend any money. This page (now demoted to a post) highlights all the things you can do in social media for free.
Over time, that “It’s all free and mostly easy” theme morphed into the school motto for SMUG: Suus Non Ut Difficile, or “It’s Not That Hard.”
I’m going to be cleaning up some of the navigation on SMUG, and demoting some of the other Pages to “Post” status as well. This also will give me a chance to reflect upon things I wrote three to four years ago, and see how my thinking has evolved since then.
And how many things I saw in social media then really haven’t changed. It’s still mainly free. And it’s not that hard.
So…here’s a blast from October 2009:
With 100 million blogs listed in Technorati, obviously there isn’t too much inertia preventing people from starting blogs, but among public relations professionals I have seen less familiarity with blogs, podcasts, and social media.
This ought not to be.
One reason for the reticence to jump in might be a lack of understanding and a misperception that it’s expensive, difficult or requires extensive IT support. That’s why I’ve decided that on this blog I will only use services that are FREE, such as:
For social networking, I use Facebook (and you can friend me here.) MySpace is also free.
Many of these services offer paid upgrade packages that let you do more, and maybe you (and I) will want to do that in the future (e.g. to be able to upload more than 20 megs of photos per month). But the point is, you can start right now with a blog and have it up and running in about 90 seconds (and that’s if you take a minute or so to decide what you want for your username or domain name.)
So, I may blog about some services that have a cost, but what I incorporate in my site will all be free.
This is my first time creating a standalone page (outside of the reverse chronology of the blog.) I hope to add some related pages that would highlight other free stuff, and maybe a step-by-step tutorial on how to get started.
If you want to use another free hosting service other than WordPress, that’s fine. Blogger and others probably have some features that differ slightly. But for whatever tutorial I develop, it will be in WordPress, so my examples will be easiest for you to use on that platform. Besides, how much better can you get than free? And if you decide to wait and research which is the best free hosting service, that’s a recipe for procrastination. Just do it.
Also, to prevent inappropriate mixing of business and personal worlds from an email perspective, go get a free email account from Google or Yahoo!
Here’s another post where I have boiled this all down into a 12-step social media program for PR professionals. Follow this plan and you’ll be conversant with key social media tools and trends within a couple of weeks. Not expert, but at least conversant.
By the way, I’m now up to spending about $80 a year for blog hosting. And the above post was published just six months after Twitter was created, well before it had gotten any kind of critical mass. Just another free (and easy) service that has become much more prominent in the last four years.