Se former en médias sociaux à Lausanne (SAWI) [fr]

[en] Info-session next Thursday for the course I co-direct in Lausanne on social media and online communities. Tell people around you!

Le 4 juillet (jeudi prochain) aura lieu la prochaine séance d’info pour la formation que je co-dirige avec Yan Luong au SAWI: Spécialiste en médias sociaux et communautés en ligne. C’est à 18h30 à la Maison de la communication.

C’est la quatrième année qu’aura lieu cette formation. Le temps file! Chaque été, on reprend le programme et on met à jour — parce que dans notre business, ça évolue tout le temps. Je peux déjà vous dire que je suis extrêmement contente de la mouture 2013-2014, et qu’on a une jolie brochette d’intervenants (venant parfois de loin) au programme.

Si vous avez dans votre entourage des personnes qui s’intéressent aux médias sociaux, ou qui devraient se spécialiser dans ce domaine, invitez-les à participer à la séance d’info du 4 juillet. La formation commence en septembre, finit en mai, comporte 5 modules-blocs de 4 jours (à la suite), et un projet d’étude à mener en parallèle.

Yan et moi présenterons à la séance d’info la formation, sa structure, comment ça fonctionne, on parlera du contenu, et on répondra à toutes vos questions. (Et je peux déjà vous répondre ici, si jamais!)

Lors de l’ouverture de la formation j’avais écrit un argumentaire qui est toujours d’actualité. Lisez-le si vous avez besoin de convaincre quelqu’un que cette formation est pour vous.

3e #back2blog challenge (4/10), avec: Brigitte Djajasasmita (@bibiweb), Baudouin Van Humbeeck (@somebaudy), Mlle Cassis (@mlle_cassis), Luca Palli (@lpalli), Yann Kerveno (@justaboutvelo), Annemarie Fuschetto (@libellula_free), Ewan Spence (@ewan), Kantu (@kantutita), Jean-François Genoud (@jfgpro), Michelle Carrupt (@cmic), Sally O’Brien (@swissingaround), Adam Tinworth (@adders), Mathieu Laferrière (@mlaferriere), Graham Holliday (@noodlepie), Denis Dogvopoliy (@dennydov), Christine Cavalier (@purplecar), Emmanuel Clément (@emmanuelc), Xavier Bertschy (@xavier83). Follow #back2blog.

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My Interest in Organisations and how Social Media Fits in [en]

[fr] Ce qui m'intéresse dans ces histoires d'organisations, et le lien avec les médias sociaux (du coup, aussi des infos sur mon intérêt pour ceux-ci).

I found these thoughts about organisations at the beginning of Here Comes Everybody fascinating: organisations and how they disfunction are a long-standing interest of mine, dating back to when I was a student with a part-time job at Orange. My initial interest was of course function rather than dysfunction. How does one make things happen in an organisation? What are the processes? Who knows what? It was the organisation as system that I found interesting.

Quickly, though, I bumped my head against things like processes that nobody knew of and nobody was following. Or processes that were so cumbersome that people took shortcuts. Already at the time, it seems I displayed a “user-oriented” streak, because my first impulse was to try to figure out what was so broken about those processes that people found it more costly to follow them than come up with workarounds. Or try to understand how we could tweak the processes so that they were usable. In reaction to which one manager answered “no, people must follow the processes”. I didn’t know it then, but I guess that was when I took my first step towards the door that would lead me out of the corporate world.

More recently, and I think I haven’t yet got around to blogging this, I have remembered that my initial very “cluetrainy” interest for the internet and blogging and social media really has to do with improving how people can relate to each other, access information, and communicate. The revelation I had at Lift’06 (yes, the very first Lift conference!) while listening to Robert Scoble and Hugh McLeod about how this blogging thing I loved so much was relevant to business was that it pushed business to change and humanised it. Blogging and corpepeak don’t mix well, blogging is about putting people in contact, and about listening to what is being said to you. As the Cluetrain Manifesto can be summarised: it’s about how the internet changes the way organisations interact with people, both outside and inside the organisation.

That is what rocks my boat. Not marketing on Facebook or earning revenue from your blog.

Again and again, when I talk to clients who are trying to understand what social media does and how to introduce it in their organisation, we realise that social media is the little piece of string you start pulling which unravels everything, from corporate culture to sometimes even the business model of the organisation. You cannot show the human faces of a company that treats its employees like robots. You cannot be “authentic” if you’re out there to screw people. You cannot say you’re listening if you’re not willing to actually listen.

Of course, there is the question of scale. I’ll get back to that. Personal doesn’t scale. Radical transparency or authenticity doesn’t scale. But your average organisation is so far off in the other direction…

I’ve realised that my interest lies more with organisations and forms of collaboration and group effort than with social media per se, which I see first and foremost as a tool, a means to an end, something which has changed our culture and society. I find ROWE and Agile super interesting and want to learn more about them. I have a long-standing interest in freelancing and people who “do things differently”. I’m interested in understanding how we can work and be happy, both. I’m also realising that I have more community management skills than I take credit for.

In the pile of books I brought up with me to the chalet, next to “Organisations Don’t Tweet, People Do” by my friend Euan Semple and books around freelancing there is “Delivering Happiness“, the story of Zappos, and “One From Many“, the story of VISA, the “chaordic organisation” — and “Rework” (37signals) has now joined the ranks of the “have read” books in my bookshelves.

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Working With Bloggers: The Tip of the Iceberg [en]

[fr] La gestion de crise, c'est la partie immergée de l'iceberg -- la véritable raison pour laquelle les médias sociaux (et les relations blogueurs en particulier) ont leur place dans les activités de l'entreprise.

Over the last year, amongst the various things I do, blogger relations have represented a significant part of my paid work. Again and again comes the question of justifying what we do: is the effort invested worth the results?

What we see of our results is the tip of the iceberg: the tweets, the facebook updates, the blogposts. The fact that bloggers who have been given a VIP ticket to an event open only to a select few end up having a more positive image of the brand. The fact that we’re communicating on this or that topic.

I understood really clearly what the rest of the iceberg is thanks to Yan Luong, who was lecturing on Saturday for the SAWI course I co-direct. Amongst many other interesting things, he told us that crisis management was the killer argument to get top management to buy in to social media.

In 2013, a crisis will not just take place offline. People will use social media. You will also have to manage your crisis online. The best way to prepare for this is to be listening, so you can detect signs of an impending crisis online (if that’s where it first manifests), to know your online communities and audience, and have established relationships with key people and ambassadors. The online field will be known to you. It will be easier to navigate. You might even find you already have allies there.

When we work with bloggers and other key online people to establish positive, respectful, and long-lasting relationships, we are in fact doing very proactive crisis management.

That is the immersed part of the iceberg. Of course, people focus on the tip, and say “hey, only 5 bloggers came to your event” or “why are there only 8 blog posts about this?”

But when that crisis ship sails by, you’ll be glad your iceberg also reaches underwater.

2nd Back to Blogging Challenge, day 9. On the team: Nathalie Hamidi (@nathaliehamidi), Evren Kiefer (@evrenk), Claude Vedovini (@cvedovini), Luca Palli (@lpalli), Fleur Marty (@flaoua), Xavier Borderie (@xibe), Rémy Bigot (@remybigot), Jean-François Genoud (@jfgpro), Sally O’Brien (@swissingaround), Marie-Aude Koiransky (@mezgarne), Anne Pastori Zumbach (@anna_zap), Martin Röll (@martinroell), Gabriela Avram (@gabig58), Manuel Schmalstieg (@16kbit), Jan Van Mol (@janvanmol), Gaëtan Fragnière (@gaetanfragniere), Jean-François Jobin (@gieff), Yann Graf (@yanngraf). Hashtag:#back2blog.

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Some Thoughts on Blogging: Original Content, Linking, Engaging [en]

[fr] Quelques réflexions sur l'enseignement de l'art du blog.

I like teaching people about blogging. Right now I have nearly 100 students who are learning to blog, with varying enthusiasm and success. Teaching blogging makes me realize that this mode of expression which comes naturally to me is not that easy to master. Here are a couple of the main hurdles I’ve noticed for the student-blogger:

  • Original content. It seems obvious that a blog will contain original content, but in the age of Tumblr (I love Tumblr) and Facebook (I love Facebook) and Twitter (I love Twitter) it seems there is a bias towards republishing rather than creating. One of the things that make a blog a blog is the fact that the blogger has taken the trouble to think and try and communicate ideas or experiences or emotions to their reader, in the written form. Some early attempts at blogging resemble Facebook walls.
  • Links. Writing in hypertext is not easy. A blog is not an island. A blog is connected to many other pages on the web, be they blog articles or not. It’s caught in the web. It’s part of the web. A blog which never links elsewhere? Might be a journal or a memoir, but it’s missing out on something. What do I link to? When? Which words do I place my links on? The art of linking is full of subtleties.
  • Engaging. Blogging is about writing, but also about reading and responding. Links ensure that a blog doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The parallel human activity is responding to comments, reading other bloggers, linking to them socially, and actually engaging with content found elsewhere. Some will say “comment on other people’s articles”, but that is not the whole story. Leaving a superficial comment is not it. Trying to understand the other, daring to challenge and disagree (respectfully), push thoughts further and drag others out of their comfort zone: there is something philosophical about the practice of blogging.

Some things are relatively easily taught: how to hit publish; how to write in an informal voice; how to dare being subjective. But how do you teach engagement? How do you teach debate? I know the Anglo-Saxon (at least American) school curriculum includes debating. Switzerland, sadly, doesn’t — and we tend to shy away from it, or end up in “dialogues de sourds” with two polarised camps each trying to convert the other.

2nd Back to Blogging Challenge, day 7. On the team: Nathalie Hamidi(@nathaliehamidi), Evren Kiefer (@evrenk), Claude Vedovini (@cvedovini), Luca Palli (@lpalli), Fleur Marty (@flaoua), Xavier Borderie (@xibe), Rémy Bigot (@remybigot),Jean-François Genoud (@jfgpro), Sally O’Brien (@swissingaround), Marie-Aude Koiransky (@mezgarne), Anne Pastori Zumbach (@anna_zap), Martin Röll (@martinroell), Gabriela Avram (@gabig58), Manuel Schmalstieg (@16kbit), Jan Van Mol (@janvanmol), Gaëtan Fragnière (@gaetanfragniere), Jean-François Jobin (@gieff). Hashtag:#back2blog.

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LeWeb'12 Paris Official Bloggers: Selection Underway [en]

[fr] C'est le moment de vous porter candidat pour être blogueur officiel à la conférence LeWeb à Paris. Lisez l'annonce sur le blog de Frédéric.

LeWeb - Register Now!Here we go! Selection for official bloggerdom at LeWeb’12 in Paris (4-6 December 2012) is underway. Time to apply if you haven’t heard from us and think you would make a good addition to the team. Time, also, to pass this around to all the various international and “rising star” bloggers and podcasters around you!

Read the announcement on Arne’s blog.

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Here’s a link to the form if you can’t see it above. Please tweet/facebook it.

Here are some banners and badges for your blog.

See you in Paris in December!

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Life and Trials of a Social Media Consultant [en]

[fr] Le marché et l'industrie des médias sociaux a beaucoup changé depuis que j'en ai fait ma profession (c'était en 2006, pardi!). Petit regard en arrière sur le chemin parcouru et où je me situe par rapport à la pléthore actuelle de services tournant autour des médias sociaux. Un profil de généraliste avec deux domaines de prédilection, les blogs et les indépendants.

Since I went freelance over six years ago, a lot has changed. We weren’t talking of social media back then. I was a “blogging consultant” and what I told people about was “the living web”. At some point what we did was “social software”. Somewhere along the line “social media” showed up (who still speaks of “web 2.0” nowadays?), and it’s become a pretty well-accepted umbrella term for all sorts of stuff from “viral videos” to “facebook marketing” to blogging to digital strategy to online communities… And all the rest.

At some point here in Switzerland, the social media industry matured. I went from being one of the very few people in the French-speaking part of Switzerland who could come and give a talk on “blogs and the living web” (when I started out) to one of the many fish in a larger and larger pond (including, sadly, some sharks). In other words, there are now people who specialize in creating marketing campaigns for facebook pages, others who are experts at Twitter, yet others who are full-time community managers.

I realized a couple of years ago that there was no point in me trying to compete with marketing/advertising agencies. Or community managers. I’m not a marketing expert. Or a community manager. Or many of the specialized roles that have appeared over the last couple of years. Today there are people who have full-time corporate jobs with “social media” in their job title — good luck finding any of those in 2004-2006.

You might remember my specialist/generalist series of articles. In today’s industry, I have a generalist profile (it’s a question of point of view of course, I’ll always be a “social media specialist” to the outside world). That makes me a great person to bring in during early stages of social media adoption/development (one reason I work with lots of freelancers and small organisations) and in situations where a wider view of the field is necessary to break through what are becoming the social media silos. It also makes me a good social media course director, because I have this global overview 🙂

There are, however, areas that I am specialized in — or have specialized in, over the years. I started out being a web standards advocate (Pompage.net and the associated mailing-list live on). I gave a whole bunch talks (and wrote some code) around the question of languages and multilingualism online. Until recently (and still sometimes, actually!) another area of expertise of mine was teenagers and the internet (I’ve lost track of the number of talks I’ve given in schools, but it’s probably somewhere around 50).

Today, the two areas I “expertise” in are blogging and freelancers/freelancing. I’ve been doing quite a bit of soul-searching as I prepare the much-needed revamped version of my professional website, which I won’t even link to here, it’s so horribly painfully out of date. Maybe once the new version is up I’ll come back here and add all the relevant links 😉

Blogging: I’ve been blogging since July 2000. Blogging is my thing. It’s in my DNA. I’ll probably never stop, even though I am blogging less than I used to, because there are now other channels of communication and self-expression that were not there in the early days of blogging. I’m a blogger. Professionally, that means it’s a tool I love, and that if you need somebody to get you started in the world of blogging, or help you progress along the way, I’m your person.

I’ve been playing around with WordPress since forever (even written a bunch of plugins). I’ve been the editor of the French-language ebookers travel blog for three and a half years. Last year I helped get the Paper.li community blog off the ground (not even mentioning the countless others amongst my more “modest” clients). I’ve advised and coached companies as varied as Intel (2007), Fleur de Pains (2008) or Solar Impulse (2010) on their blogging, and developed services in blogger relations for Web 2.0 Expo Europe, LeWeb, Solar Impulse, and now Orange. And how could I forget Bloggy Friday Lausanne!

Enough with the list. I’ve been doing this blogging stuff for a long time, and doing quite a lot of it.

Freelancers/freelancing: the freelance ride has not been smooth for me, though I’ve made it. I’m somebody who self-analyzes a lot, and so I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how to manage one’s life and job when one freelances. The first outcome of this trend was the Going Solo conference (now a group on facebook), and then the eclau coworking space in Lausanne. For many years I have also had lots of freelancers amongst my clients: people who have little or no web presence and want to get started, or learn how to blog, or use social media to make themselves more visible. All this ties together nicely, and I appreciate it goes beyond social media: business strategy, productivity, negotiating and dealing with relationships, work-life balance…

So, there we go. I initially wanted to speak about the wisdom (or not) of specializing in “blogging” nowadays, but the introduction of this post took on a life of its own, so there you are! I’ll keep that question for another post.

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Pêle-mêle de début juillet [fr]

[en] A bunch of random stuff.

Je n’arrive pour le moment pas à m’organiser pour prendre le temps de bloquer “correctement”. Je vous fais du coup le coup (!) de l’article “nouvelles en vrac”. Old-style.

Quintus au balcon sur fond de tomates

C’est le moment d’acheter votre billet pour la conférence Lift à Genève les 6-7-8 février 2013, avant que le prix ne prenne l’ascenseur. Lift, c’est à ne pas manquer. (Si vous avez participé à une édition précédente de Lift, vous avez reçu un code pour le prix “super early bird” de 625 CHF, valable encore un jour ou deux! Ne laissez pas passer le délai!)

C’est aussi le moment, si le coworking est quelque chose qui vous parle, de prendre votre billet pour Coworking Europe, qui aura lieu cette année à Paris les 8-9-10 novembre. Je suis à l’affiche d’un des panels du premier jour.

La Muse ouvre les portes de son espace lausannois, avec pique-nique tous les mardis.

Toujours au chapitre coworking, il y a de la place à l’eclau, tant pour des indépendants/freelance que des startups. Venez visiter!

J’ai pris part pour la première fois à En ligne directe, émission de la RTS qui démarre la veille au soir par un débat sur Twitter (hashtag #EnLD), repris dans le direct du matin avec des invités. Je trouve le concept génial. Le sujet du soir où je suis restée pendue à Twitter (plus que d’habitude) était “faut-il interdire/punir le téléchargement illégal“. Vous imaginez la suite. Pirater n’est pas voler, c’est toujours valable en 2012. Je suis effarée par la mauvaise foi et/ou le lavage de cerveau dont font preuve les “opposants”. Croire que le monde dans lequel on évolue (physique, numérique) et ses caractéristiques ontologiques n’est qu’un point de détail pour débattre d’éthique ou d’économie, qu’économie de rareté vs. économie d’abondance ne change rien à la morale, c’est faire preuve d’une naïveté et d’une simplicité de réflexion affligeante. Le tout repris par Magali Philip dans un Storify magistral.

Le Port de Vidy fait très fort avec ses nouvelles portes high-tech sécurisées.

Un chouette Bloggy Friday a eu lieu en juillet, après celui de juin. Les gens d’internet qui se rencontrent offline, il paraît que c’est le truc nouveau super-tendance de l’été. (Les rencontres IRC d’il y a 15 ans ça compte pas, hein. Ni les rencontres blogueurs, pendant qu’on y est. Ni les rencontres Twitter qui existent depuis des années.) Quelqu’un se lance pour faire l’hôte ou l’hôtesse pour le mois d’août? Ce sera durant ma semaine de déconnexion.

Hercule Poirot cherche toujours un nouveau foyer en Angleterre. Quintus, lui, s’installe bien en Suisse et explique au jeune Tounsi comment respecter ses aînés avec pedigree.

Les plantes sur mon balcon et dans mon appart poussent bien. J’ai des piles de photos, à mettre en ligne et à commenter ici pour vous. En attendant, il y a un groupe Facebook “Petites plantes de balcon et d’ailleurs“, si c’est votre genre.

Ah oui, c’est aussi le moment de vous inscrire pour la troisième session menant au diplôme SAWI de Spécialiste en médias sociaux et communautés en ligne. Dernière séance d’info le 21 août.

Et aussi le moment de postuler (jusqu’au 16 juillet!) si vous pensez être la personne qu’il faut pour prendre la tête du SAWI en Suisse romande. Et je suis toujours ouverte à des candidatures de blogueurs motivés pour le blog de voyage ebookers.ch.

Côté boulot, je suis pas mal bookée, mais j’ai encore de la place pour un mandat long terme de “blogueuse en chef” (ou “redactrice en chef de blog”, si vous préférez).

Inspiration, sur Kickstarter: Bridegroom et Amanda Palmer.

Google aménage ses cafétérias pour encourager ses employés à manger plus sainement. Fascinant.

La plaie des infographies.

Pourquoi les femmes ne peuvent (toujours pas) tout avoir.

Passer du temps à ne rien faire, pour mieux faire.

Et pour finir: l’été de mon chat. (Non, pas le mien, celui du journaliste du Temps.)

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Cockerel, Anybody? [en]

[fr] Plein de nouvelles!

So, what’s up?

I’m in the UK. I’m helping Aleika find a new home for one of her cockerels, Hercule Poirot. He’s a super-good-looking guy, and he takes his job with the hens very seriously.

Hercule Poirot Head Shots 4

Do you know anybody in the UK who has chickens (hens!) and would like a stunning rooster to look over them? Do let me know.

I have had a week of holiday planned here for months, and in between Safran’s death and Somak’s appointment as Professor of Physics at Presidency University, Kolkata (so… back to India for the three of them!), we decided I would be taking Quintus back with me.

Quintus in Birmingham 6

Do you know any good people in Calcutta/Kolkata? I’m particularly interested in getting in touch with

  • people who are into organic farming/gardening in the area
  • expats who have done the move from the UK sometime during the last three years or so (moving companies! shipping! organisation!)

For those who may not know, Bagha was also initially Aleika’s cat, and I adopted him when they moved from India to the UK, coming back home from India with him in my luggage. So, a little sense of déjà vu here 😉

On the work front, the OrangeCinema Official Bloggers project is underway. I spent a few days grading final reports for the course on social media and online communities I co-direct in Lausanne (some excellent, I have to say) and we’re preparing to welcome students for the third year of the course in September. I am looking for more writers for the ebookers.ch travel blog, and eclau is looking forward to everyone in Lausanne hearing more about coworking through the opening of a second space there, La Muse (which started out in Geneva). I will by the way be attending the Coworking Europe Conference 2012 in Paris (and probably speaking, will confirm in a couple of weeks). I have rekindled my enthusiasm for organising Bloggy Friday meetups (please do come to the next one, July 6th!) There’s more to say, but this is becoming a long paragraph 😉

What else should I tell you? I’m reading Drive, by Dan Pink, a fascinating book on motivation — and you should too, whether you’re interested in how your own motivation works, or in how to keep other people motivated (I’m thinking of taking a Sagmeister). I’ve started a group on Facebook for people in and around my area (and a bit further out) who like growing stuff on their balcony and elsewhere. I’m in the process of figuring out how to continue juggling judo, sailing, and singing (answer: be super organized). On the way to Birmingham, I stopped by for a day to stay with Steph and meet Emile The Cat.

Emile The Cat 1

I might not have told you, but Steph is my organisation inspiration (amongst many other things, which include being a very good friend!) and so I seized the occasion to face my calendar head-on and get a few holiday/travel dates sorted out. Short version: I don’t have a week-end available until June 2013 (don’t panic for me: it includes week-ends I have blocked out as “must stay at home and relax”).

I’ve also been realizing what a long way I’ve come regarding my organisational and time-management skills. Oh, I still fall in the pit every now and again, but a few discussions lately with people who seem to share the same core issues I have (had?) with time management, procrastination, perfectionism made me realize how far I have traveled.

I’m sure there was other stuff I wanted to say/blog about, but that’s the lovely thing about a blog, right? I can just write about it tomorrow, or the day after, or when I think of it. “Just.”

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Swiss Bloggers: Want To Go To OrangeCinema (ZH, BE, BS)? [en]

[fr] OrangeCinema! C'est dans les villes de Zurich, Berne, et Bâle -- et dans le cadre de mon mandat "blogueurs" avec Orange, on a monté une opération sympa pour blogueurs cinéphiles. Si vous connaissez des blogueurs dans ces villes qui pourraient être tentés par devenir "blogueur officiel" durant OrangeCinema ("all-access pass", billets gratuits, et plein d'autres trucs sympas) faites-leur passer ce billet!

As you may know, I’m currently working with Orange to assist and advise them in the field of blogger relations. This means that we work on cool offers/programmes for bloggers.

Our first pilot was around Caprices Festival — a music festival in Crans: we offered a press pass and other perks to a couple of bloggers so they could attend the whole festival for free. We’re really happy with the way it turned out, and we’re now focusing on OrangeCinema, which takes place over the summer in the Swiss German cities of Zürich, Bern, and Basel.

OrangeCinema

Clearly I should be writing this post in German, as this is an offer mainly for Swiss-German bloggers, but my German sucks terribly and I wouldn’t want to inflict it on my dear readers.

If you’re an established film-loving blogger or podcaster, and you’d jump at the chance to receive an all-access pass to OrangeCinema and blog about it like crazy, check out the form below and apply to be an Official OrangeCinema Blogger.

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Ailleurs [fr]

[en] Some articles I've written elsewhere recently. In French.

Oui, parce qu’il m’arrive de bloguer ailleurs.

J’ai du retard dans la mise en ligne de mes photos de chats (semaine chargée!) mais je vais me rattraper, promis.

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