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Month: June 2010

The importance of “context”

It’s official, “context” is my favourite word of the year.

This old classic has had a huge comeback for me. I’ve noticed myself using it more and more in all of my various presentations.

  • Wikipedia defines it as: “the surroundings, circumstances, environment, background, or settings which determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event.”
  • Websters defines it as: “the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning”

It is my strong belief that when context is not set right from the get go, you will not get your message across. Most people don’t realize just how limiting human languages are.

Poorly written “social media” RFP’s

Now that various public sector organizations are slowly starting to realize that social media engagement is not really an option but rather an imminent requirement, numerous “Request for Proposals” (RFP’s) have been coming out of government with “social media” as part of their titles. Unfortunately, in most cases the RFP dictates required elements which are predominantly tactical in nature:

  • We want to build a social network
  • We want to create a blog
  • We want 5000 friends/followers on channel X

I always double check to see if I missed something, something like a page which states “objectives”, or “purpose” or answers the question “why?” Really, any of those will do. To my dismay, no such page is missing, it’s just never thought of.

Government 2.0 Expo Debrief

I started to write this post in a cab as I was heading back from the Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington D.C. last week. I remember my head was engulfed in new insights and ideas. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since but it was well worth the 3-day excursion.

As mentioned in my previous post, my goal for this event was to absorb and connect. This was the first social media/web 2.0 related event I attended in a while where I wasn’t speaking myself. This allowed me to open up some additional data absorption chambers in my head and relax instead of obsessively fine-tuning my own content right up until the last minute as is the usual case.