Florida Hospital Association SMUG Extension Course

I’m delighted to be in Orlando today for a SMUG extension class, presenting a workshop for the Florida Hospital Association’s Florida Society for Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing (FSHPRM) at their Winter professional development workshop. My presentation runs from 12:30-2 EST.

The slides I’m using are embedded below. I’m told there will be wifi in the room, so I’m hoping many of the participants can take the opportunity to add their comments and questions even during the presentation, either in the comment section on this post or by tweeting using the #fhasmug hashtag.

We’ll see if we can address some of the questions and comments at the end of the presentation, but if any SMUGgles are following along remotely and want to chime in with your observations, you’re most welcome to participate.

A Few Resource Links:


Understanding that we likely have a wide range of social media familiarity among the workshop participants, I’ve outlined some options for your concrete action steps to make your the learning practical for you. I’m starting with basics and moving to more complicated or involved steps. Just go down the list and pick at least one thing you haven’t yet tried.

  1. Join Facebook. Facebook 102 would be a great place to start. You can request to join the FSHPRM group so you can all network and learn together. And of course I hope you’ll join the SMUG group, too.
  2. Get a Twitter account. Twitter 102 will take you through the process step-by-step. I have a bunch of courses yet to be added in the Twitter curriculum, but there are a few there to get you started, and you can follow me (@LeeAase) and/or @SMUG_U to keep up to date.
  3. Start a personal blog. Blogging 108 gives you the guidance you need.
  4. Try Yammer. Yammer is like Twitter for the workplace, and is limited to people who share your email domain. The Yammer curriculum has more background, but Yammer 101 gets you started.

If you’re one of those really risk-averse types who needs to completely scope out a situation before joining, you have two additional options:

  1. Begin the Core Courses, which are kind of the SMUG appetizer sampler platter. They’ll give you a hands-on taste of social media. Or, you can…
  2. Start the Podcasting curriculum, which takes you in 10 steps from an introduction to the podcast to having your own personal podcast listed in the iTunes store, all without spending any money. You can complete the first two courses without having to take any concrete action.

Finally, I hope you’ll enroll in SMUG so you can continue your social media exploration as a SMUGgle.

And if you’re on LinkedIn and would like to connect in that way (or perhaps leave a recommendation for me), that would be great, too. Here’s my public profile on LinkedIn.

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:

200 SMUGgles Learning Social Media Together

With the exception of composing my annual Thanksgiving letter/post, I was pretty much unplugged from the Web over this long holiday weekend. It was a great time with family and working on some projects, like hanging our outdoor Christmas lights and insulating the North Annex.

But I did check in briefly Saturday morning and saw that our SMUG student union (a.k.a. Facebook group) had 201 members, which meant that we had 200 SMUGgles besides me. And as I check this morning, we’re up to 204, with members from most U.S. states and every continent except Antarctica.

How cool is that?

Actually, that number probably understates the true number of SMUGgles, because we have well over 200 subscribers to our RSS feed and nearly 400 who are following my Tweets. There may be some overlap among the three groups, but we likely have some unique members in each.

Thanks to everyone who has enrolled in Social Media University, Global to learn about social media together. Unlike traditional models of education, in which a low student/teacher ratio is considered beneficial, with SMUG we all gain by having more people participating. I may be the Chancellor, but in reality we’re all SMUGgles (with apologies to J.K. Rowling): ordinary humans who possess no wizard-like powers, but who want to do magical things using social media tools. More about tools in a future post.

If you’ve found our coursework helpful, I hope you’ll take a moment to share SMUG with your friends, co-workers or members of your non-profit volunteer organizations. You will not only help them by introducing social media tools like blogging, podcasting, Facebook and Twitter that they can use (or you can use together with them on joint projects), but you’ll also make SMUG stronger, as we will have more people sharing and contributing, and we can learn from each other.

For instance, Norway’s Jan Husdal, who became our first SMUG associate professor, taught me how to embed the social sharing toolbar on posts in WordPress.com. Our student body name, the SMUGgles, came from Jim Streed of Green Bay, Wisc. And I think we may be welcoming another associate professor soon.

I hope you’ll use the toolbar below to share this post with your Facebook friends, either by posting it to your profile or singling out some particular friends by sending directly to them as a message. Or feel free to use any of the other sharing buttons (or tweet about it on Twitter) to otherwise spread the word.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

If you’re not yet a SMUGgle, you can enroll in Social Media University, Global through one of the options on this page.

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 Slideshare.net. 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 Amazon.com. 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.

SMUG 100-Level Courses on the Way

While our 100-level curriculum for Podcasting has been completed (and we have a strong start in Yammer, too), I’m feeling the need to finish the entry-level sequence, particularly in Facebook.

So for long-time SMUGgles, you may find some of the upcoming posts a bit elementary, but please bear with us…and take this as an opportunity to “give back” by sharing your experiences in the comments.

I have about 15 courses at the 100 level that I’ve identified by haven’t completed, so I’m going to try to get those finished in the next couple of weeks.

And meanwhile, if anyone wants to develop an official SMUG seal, that would be much appreciated by generations of SMUGgles yet to come.