FIR Interview on Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media

I had an opportunity on Wednesday to record a conversation with Shel Holtz, co-host of For Immediate Release, for one of the podcast series he produces with Neville Hobson. This one, Lee Aase on Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media, is part of the FIR Interview series.

I believe I met Shel seven or eight years ago, and in the last four years we’ve gotten to know each other well through social media and in speaking together at conferences. In fact, he’s going to be one of the speakers at our Mayo Clinic/Ragan Communications Social Media Summit in Jacksonville in September.

In our FIR conversation we go into a lot of the detail about our new Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, so for those interested in more background on what we’re envisioning for its role, and how it came to be, I think it will be helpful.

Listen here.

Let me know what you think!

Welcome FIR Listeners!

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to do an interview with Shel Holtz for the For Immediate Release Interviews series.

You can hear the interview here.

I hope you’ll check out the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog, which we discussed in the interview. This earlier SMUG post has more background on all of our Mayo Clinic social media efforts, including Sharing Mayo Clinic.

If you are interested in becoming a SMUGgle, see the Enroll Now page.

SMUGgle Testimonials

It’s immensely satisfying for me when SMUGgles take the plunge and start a blog or a podcast, or launch a Facebook page for their organizations. Makes it all worthwhile.

And when they decide to say nice things about SMUG in one of their first posts, it’s even better!

In My Social Media Communications Compendium, which she started on Saturday, Nancy Pricer says she’s “feeling SMUG,” and here’s an excerpt.

For years I have been an active participant in several listservs relating to my job. Last fall an e-mail sent out by Roger Johnson of Newswise mentioned Lee Aase, the manager for Syndications and Social Media at Mayo Clinic.

In the e-mail, he promoted a place for PR folks to learn the social media landscape. Lee had created his own university, Social Media University, Global (SMUG), and named himself the chancellor. Students are called SMUGgles.

For months I had been trying to get a handle of the social media landscape, but was overwhelmed by various outlets, technologies, my full time job (and commute), two teenagers (they are really very good though), a loving husband, housework–you get the idea. I could not seem to take a chunk of time all at once and break the learning down piece by piece.

When I went to the SMUG Web site, I was impressed with the organization. Lee breaks it down in to categories like, Blogging 101, Blogging 102, Twitter 101, etc.

It was just what I needed to get going.

I’m  not exactly fishing for compliments, but I certainly appreciate them. If you, like Nancy, would like to help spread the word about SMUG, you could:

  1. Write a blog post about your experience (and maybe even start a blog so you have a place to do it!)
  2. Pass along some of your favorite courses to your friends using the ShareThis button at the bottom of each post. You may, for instance, decide to send the SMUG Super Bowl ad to your friends or Tweet about it.
  3. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn.
  4. Tell your SMUG story in the comments on this post.

OK, so maybe I am fishing for compliments.

But I’ll at least rationalize it somewhat by pointing out that Nancy is happily blogging today and has established a Facebook fan page for the university where she works (a real-life one, not a virtual university like SMUG) because Roger Johnson took the time to recommend SMUG to those on his email listserv.

If you know people who might appreciate the opportunity to systematically learn about social media tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, podcasting, YouTube and whatever comes next, I hope you’ll do like Roger (and now Nancy) and turn them on to SMUG.

SMUG Super Bowl Ad and Social Media ROI

Here’s the Super Bowl Ad you didn’t see on NBC:


Among the reasons for this omission:

  • The ad 34 seconds long, instead of the customary 30;
  • I was about $2.6 million short of the cash required to pay for the airtime; and
  • I created it during the Super Bowl today.

One of the ironies of social media is that everyone asks about the ROI, or return on investment. It’s an understandable question, but one of the points I make in presentations is that as I (investment) approaches zero, ROI approaches infinity, because it is calculated as follows:

ROI = benefits/costs

My cost of producing this stellar Super Bowl ad wasn’t exactly zero, but it was zero out-of-pocket. I already had invested $150 in the Flip video camera used to record it, and the production took a bit of my time and attention as I enjoyed the game .

I expect the benefits to be non-monetary as well, measured mainly in the satisfaction of getting more people involved in exploring social media. I hope you will use the ShareThis tool below to pass this post (with its embedded ad) along to your friends and co-workers who might benefit from becoming a SMUGgle, and invite them to enroll. I think it captures the essence of SMUG in a brief video snippet (but how did I manage to leave Blogging out?!)

Then we’ll see what happens to the SMUG enrollment, currently at 261 members of our Facebook group.

Updated: I originally had embedded the ad in the Facebook player, but I’m wondering whether that might be responsible for a SMUG slowdown, so I took that version down, at least for now. But you can see the higher-resolution Facebook version in the SMUG Facebook group.

Updated 2/3/09: Here’s the same video in a Blip.TV player. Another post coming on the topic of video players soon:

Changing RSS Feed Address in iTunes Podcast Directory?

I ordinarily would have just tweeted about this, but it’s a little longer than what I can explain in 140 characters. I hope the SMUG community (and the broader world of what Shel Israel calls Twitterville) can provide the answer.

We have some podcasts listed in iTunes, and would like to be able to change the feed address in the directory. We’ve switched to a better way of publishing the podcasts, and also are using Feedburner to enable us to get better statistics.

So in essence we want to be able to update our iTunes listing for these podcasts to have the new RSS feed addresses instead of the old ones. We would prefer to not have to create duplicate entries for the podcasts in iTunes, and we want to completely switch over to the new RSS feeds without losing our existing base.

We don’t see any way to do this in the iTunes directory. Is it even possible?

I had done a quick Google search with the question and got this result; no answer here, either. So I’m turning it into a SMUG research project.

Here’s my hypothesis: I’m thinking it may not be possible to update the feed in the iTunes directory because when you subscribe to a podcast feed using iTunes, what really happens is your iTunes goes to the podcast directory and grabs the feed URL. Then when you launch iTunes again, it goes directly from your computer to that feed address to look for any new episodes (without checking back to the iTunes store/directory). So even if you could update the feed in the iTunes directory, your subscribers’ desktop clients wouldn’t be notified.

Does that seem like a reasonable explanation? Does anyone really know whether that’s the answer?

Has anyone successfully migrated from an older RSS feed to a new one, in iTunes and in other directories? Do you have recommendations on how to do this?

This is a new kind of Chancellor RAQ: instead of questions for the Chancellor, these are questions from the Chancellor.

I would appreciate any answers the community can provide. And once we get the answer, hopefully we will have definitive guidance that future Googlers will find high in the rankings.