Meet me in Paris?

This would ordinarily be the place where I would insert a punch line like, “Yes, I’m speaking in Paris, Texas” or one of the other 22 cities in the U.S. named “Paris.”

Or maybe I’d be referring to a convention at the casino in Las Vegas with a miniature (though still very large) version of this:

But this time it’s no joke: two weeks from today I will be in the original Paris for a three-day conference called the Health Executive Summit, where I will be on a Thursday panel.

I just found out from the organizers that I can offer guest passes to up to five of my contacts to also attend for free.


If you can get to Paris, FRANCE in a couple of weeks and would like to attend the Health Executive Summit, send me a tweet (@LeeAase) or send me a note via email via my contact form. I will send you the discount code to use in registration.

Given that we have a few SMUGgles on the Continent, maybe we’ll be able to use those passes. If you know someone who might be interested, please send them my way.

The Parable of the Bagel

Once upon a time there was a guy. Let’s call him Lee, because that was his name.

Lee was attending a great conference in San Francisco, where he learned a lot about using Social Media for Internal Communications.

On the third day of the conference, when he arrived for breakfast he found that:

  • The continental breakfast table had bagels.
  • The continential breakfast table had cream cheese.
  • But there were no knives to spread the cream cheese.

Did Lee go hungry? Did he eat a dry bagel?


Lee thought creatively.


He used a spoon — not for its intended purpose, but to meet his need.

(And even better, he got someone else to do the work while he videotaped.)

The Parable of the Bagle has two major applications:

  1. You’re better off if you can pick the right tool for the job. Even though the bagel was pre-sliced, it would have split more nicely with a knife.
  2. Consider the social media tools you have, and how they can be used creatively to meet your needs. The spoon wasn’t intended as a cream-cheese spreading device, but it does a fine job of it. Likewise, Twitter and Facebook and blogs and other social media tools may have had purposes and applications envisioned by their developers, but what you need to do is see what capabilities the tools have, and how they might meet a need for you.

Twitter might just be a way to quickly activate a disaster response-team. A secret Facebook group might enable you to manage collaboration among external vendors without giving them access behind your corporate firewall.

Think creatively.

Digital Signage and Corporate Social Media ROI


Chuck Gose from MediaTile, who formerly worked for Rolls Royce, presented on this topic that goes by many names: video signage, dynamic signage, video bulletin boards, etc. It’s intended particularly for reaching workers who may be on a factory floor and may not be at a computer screen during the day.

Hardware and software required includes LCDs or plasma screens, Integrated PC, set-top box or controller, and a physical or wireless network. The message and strategy should define deployment of this kind of system, not getting the cool technology and then figuring out how you’re going to populate it.

Key advantages include the ability to change the message on the fly, enhance the message with video and/or dynamic Flash, target the message to the right work areas, and grab employees’ attention.

In Indianapolis, Rolls Royce had two manufacturing facilities, a million square feet each. Digital signage was a way to start discussions on the shop floor, or what Chuck calls “social media in the social realm.” It can reach both the connected office workers and others who don’t have computer access.

Digital signage can increase “access” and can tease/drive traffic to your social media efforts. For example, an RSS feed of news stories from a company blog could automatically appear as a ticker on your digital signage. One thing Chuck is experimenting with is using a Twitter feed to populate the ticker. They also subscribe to RSS feeds from press releases and automatically feed it into the signage. That way the employees find out news at the same time as the outside world.

In summary, Chuck says digital signage:

  • Provides greater access to your social media program
  • Increases ROI by increasing visibility and offsetting printing and placement costs
  • Effectively communicates to employees while they are on the run
  • Delivers messages to often “unreachable” employees
  • Provides message flexibility.

I think using RSS feeds to populate content and having a “ticker” is one of the best ideas from Chuck’s presentation. It can keep the presentation  fresh automatically, and those same feeds can keep the intranet presentation timely, too.

Facebook Fan Pages Improvement

I just noticed this improvement to Facebook fan pages, which may make them a lot more popular.

It’s now really easy to share a fan page with your friends. In the upper right navigation of fan pages, you now see the following:

facebook fan pages

When you click Share with Friends you get a standard sharing interface, like this:


I like Jeremiah a lot, but this graphic is for demonstration purposes only. I don’t think my kids are really into Web Strategy. 😉

But on my Facebook profile I have posted a link to a fan page we’re developing related to my work. Previously there wasn’t an easy way to share these pages. Now you can do it passively (by posting to your profile) or actively (by choosing to send a message to particular friends.)

This could make pages much more useful and worthwhile. But for organizations and companies, I agree with Jeremiah that it’s important to have a strategy and plan for how you will engage.

The voluntary sharing feature just makes it more likely those strategies will succeed if you engage meaningfully.