Chancellor Commendation

I took a half day of vacation yesterday to do a presentation on use of social media tools in election administration for a conference sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Given my early career background in politics and government, it was a fun opportunity to stretch my basic presentation a bit beyond health care and general social media training.

I was really pleased with the response, and the Q&A period was great. I was introduced to one barrier to social media use that was new to me, though, in that some of the city and county officials present are concerned that using Facebook or YouTube in an official capacity will put them in violation of data practices regulations. State laws require government bodies to archive data for potential legal discovery, for example, and the concern is that a local jurisdiction can’t compel Facebook to maintain data practices in keeping with state law. I plan to devote a full post to this later.

But first, I wanted to share a testimonial from Pat, one of the conference participants. She came up to me after the presentation and was particularly enthusiastic about what she had learned. Kind of made me blush. But since I had my Flip along (as Karl Malden used to say about American Express: “Don’t leave home without it”), I asked if she would be willing to share her reactions on video.

I’m experimenting with the Flip HD camera (instead of standard definition) and how to best encode video to display on various platforms, so I’m going to upload this to the SMUG group in Facebook, too. If any other SMUGgles would want to upload a video to that group, or leave a comment here or on the SMUG wall, about your experiences in social media or your reactions to what you’ve learned through our University, it would be mose welcome.

My grandma would have called this fishing for compliments. Andy Sernovitz would call it word-of-mouth marketing.

Announcing Tweetcamp II

Attendance and participation at last week’s Twitter bootcamp — dubbed “Tweetcamp” — was strong, but with less than 20 hours from announcement to course delivery we had lots of people express interest in participating, but inability to join us due to schedule conflicts.

Tweetcamp II will be held Thursday, April 23 at 3 p.m. CDT. It will cover some of the same material as Tweetcamp, but will have expanded examples of practical applications and case studies, particularly related to health care.

The course is primarily for Mayo Clinic employees and will be offered by videoconference from our Rochester, Minn. campus to Mayo sites in Arizona and Florida, but it’s also open on a first-come, first-served basis via the Web to interested individuals outside of Mayo. Your participation will help demonstrate the power of tools like Twitter to bring together a broadly dispersed community with common interests.

If you would like to join us on Thursday, leave a comment below with your name and organizational affiliation. Your email address will not be published, but we will need it to contact you with further details on how to participate.

Update: The hashtag for Tweetcamp II will be #tweetcamp2 (here is the room in TweetChat), and instead of phone conference you will be able to particpate live via Web cast. See this post on the Mayo Clinic News Blog for details.

10 Steps to Your Own FREE Podcast


A podcast is the perfect vehicle for providing in-depth audio and video information to an interested audience. And not just an “audience,” but a community: if you use a blog to distribute your podcast, listeners can provide feedback through their comments. This post is a recap of Social Media University, Global’s 100-level Podcasting courses, and will take you step-by-step through everything you need to create your own podcast

Best of all, the education is completely FREE. SMUG has no tuition, and all of the tools to create and distribute your podcast used and recommended in these courses are free.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Subscribe to podcasts for FREE using iTunes
  • Record your audio files for FREE using Audacity
  • Use as your FREE server for delivering podcasts (a $20 savings over typical costs, exclusively for SMUG students)
  • Enhance your podcast feed through Feedburner so you can get traffic and usage data, and so your users can more easily subscribe, and
  • Get your podcast listed in the major podcast directories like the iTunes Store and Podcast Alley.

You’ll do all of this without spending a penny, but just investing your time, assuming you have access to a computer with a built-in microphone. Then, after you’ve experimented with your own personal podcast, you will have the confidence born of first-hand knowledge and hands-on experience that will enable you to make decisions on how and whether to use podcasting in your work or volunteer organizations. Here are the 10 steps to your free podcast:

  1. Podcasting 101/Social Media 106: Introduction to Podcasting
  2. Podcasting 102: Becoming a Podcaster
  3. Podcasting 103: Creating Audio Files Takes Audacity
  4. Podcasting 104: Adding ID3 Tags to Your Audio Files
  5. Podcasting 105: is My Podcast Server (and Yours)
  6. Podcasting 106: Creating an RSS Podcast Feed
  7. Podcasting 107: Posting a Podcast Episode
  8. Podcasting 108: Subscribing to Your Podcast
  9. Podcasting 109: Hotter Podcast Feeds through Feedburner
  10. Podcasting 110: Listing Your Podcast in iTunes and Other Directories

Upon completion of these 10 steps, you will receive your non-accredited Associate of Arts in Podcastology and will be added to the SMUG Dean’s List. Then you’ll be ready to explore advanced courses at the 200-level and above, learning about production enhancements like better recording devices, adding music to your podcast without going to jail, conducting interviews remotely through Skype, mixing tracks and adjusting recording levels, and otherwise making your podcast more professional.

Please give your feedback on this 10-step free podcast program, either in the comments below or on the individual courses. We’re always open to suggestions on how we can improve the educational experience.

And if you find the program helpful, please use your blog, Twitter, Facebook — or the buttons below — to share it with your friends and colleagues.

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

Upscale Word of Mouth Learning at a Discount

Our friend and WOM guru Andy Sernovitz is hosting a small-group word of mouth marketing seminar in Chicago July 30 and Sept. 4. Usually he only does private training for companies at a very large price, so this is a rare chance for 50 people to get the best introduction to word of mouth that there is.

Use the code “welovemayoclinic” when you register and you’ll get a $250 discount.

This is a very practical, hands-on course. In one intense day, you will:

  • Master the five steps of word of mouth marketing
  • Construct an action plan that your company can start using the very next day
  • Get the same training that big corporations (Microsoft, TiVo, eBay) have received — for a fraction of what they paid
  • Know how to translate word of mouth marketing into real ROI
  • Participate in an active, intense day of practical brainstorming (not boring theory)
  • Learn from Andy Sernovitz, the guy who literally wrote the book on word of mouth marketing

Andy promises you will learn a repeatable, proven marketing framework that is easy to execute, affordable, and provides measurable results within 60 days.

Podcasting 105: is My Podcast Server (and Yours)

Note: This post is part of the Podcasting curriculum for Social Media University, Global (SMUG). SMUG provides free, hands-on training in applied social media, so enroll today.

Once you have recorded your audio files using Audacity, and added ID3 Tags in iTunes, your next steps in becoming a podcaster are to find a server to which you can upload your files, and to create an RSS feed that you can post to the iTunes store and to other podcast directories.

Fortunately, you can do both of these things in for just $20 a year by purchasing the 5GB space upgrade for your blog. But for SMUG students I have developed a way that you can experiment with developing your own podcast, and create your own podcast feed, absolutely FREE.

I have set up a separate blog called the SMUG Podcast Blog and have paid the $20 fee that enables me to upload mp3 files. But I have more space now than I could possibly use, so for anyone who is enrolled as a SMUG student, I will add you as an author for that blog, and will create a category you can use for your podcast posts and to set up your RSS feed. The steps to get started are in your homework assignment for this course.

Homework Assignments:

  1. If you haven’t started your blog yet, do it now. You will need a account to be added as an author for the SMUG Podcasts blog.
  2. When you have your account, send me the e-mail address you used to create the account. I need that to find you on and add you as an author.
  3. Tell me what you would like as a name for your podcast. Mine is Chancellor Conversations. Whatever you decide, we’ll create a category on the SMUG podcast blog.

In Podcasting 106 and 107 I will show you how to set up your podcast feed and create a post.  And if anyone wants to volunteer to be the “guinea pig” for those courses, please send me a message and we can use your podcast for a class demonstration.