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GETTING SMARTER FASTER 

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant information and know-ledge with lightning speed. Because of this, markets are getting smarter – and getting smarter faster than what you’d like to believe. 

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in a language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether ex-plaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked. 

Through the Internet, people in your markets are discovering and inventing new ways to converse. They’re talking about your business, your organisation, your reputation. They’re telling one another the truth, in very human voices. 

Reputation management these days is not about what you have to say about yourself but more on what others have to say about you. Your reputation is at stake, so manage it. 

THE FUTURE IS NOW 

By now everybody knows that if you aren’t utilizing social media, you simply aren’t communicating. Your messages simply aren’t getting through. 

It is the 21st century. If you don’t realize what this means in the world of communications, chances are you belong to a remote tribe that’s just been discovered in the deep rain forests of the Amazon. 

The meaning of this global trend is clear and the future is set. Social media is the landscape over which success is gained or lost. The only challenge with this is that social media is always changing. You’ve got to stay on top of it, and you’ve got to stay involved. 

THE CORNERSTONE STRATEGY 

The key that unlocks the door into this new world of communications involves maintaining a social website with a healthy dose of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Lnkedin all thrown in. They’re called ‘touchpoints’. 

A social website is the cornerstone of this strategy. It is the hub for everything else you will be doing to engage your audiences. Social websites are blog-type publishing engine platforms expertly customised in creative ways to do your bidding. It is the space where you put everything in and where everything goes out. Think of it as your Grand Central Station. 

Why employ a social website? It’s because loyalty is not a commodity you own. Where it exists, loyalty is based on respect. That respect is based on how well you are able to engage and conduct yourself in conversations with the market. Social websites allow visitors and followers to write in their comments and views too. And guess what? You can talk back! 

THE KILLER APPS 

Facebook has become that ubiquitous place where over half a billion people around the world simply “hang-out” or access it carrying their mobile phones throughout their day. Some people check it as much as they check their email or the hour of day. It keeps them on top of their customised personal world. 

Therefore, meet them there and entice them over to your touchpoints on the Web where they can learn more information about you. It’s not enough to just have a profile or personal page. Now, a “fan” or “community” site is crucial to spreading your messages easily and widely. 

Twitter is another behemoth in social networking circles. It is a space where you can broadcast real time updates and conduct personal interaction with your constituents and followers. Any message you want, any time of day, can be sent out to all of them. But, you won’t build a healthy following unless you engage and treat your followers with respect so avoid annoying them with senseless ‘tweets’ as most everyone else does. 

THE INTERNET IS STRANGE 

The Internet has strange and unexpected characteristics. We sometimes forget just how much the Internet has changed our lives, our communities, and our cultures. But for all its strangeness, the Internet actually reflects who we are as human beings better than the media it’s replacing or more precisely, the media it’s engulfing. 

The Internet is not simply a medium to move a message quickly from your end to others. Unlike a telephone call, what we do on the Net acquires a quality of persistence. It sticks and it stays. It can be searched for years later. It is also linked. It constantly gets richer with content through layer upon layer of connections within that content. 

Together, these characteristics make it something like a public square, yet it is much bigger than that. For unlike a public square, the Web is enriched every time someone posts a new page or idea, and every time someone links to that new page or idea. 

The Web is about abundance. It produces an abundance of new ideas and even new ways of using the Internet. That abundance eventually compels you to think in new ways. 

CHANNELS YOU CONTROL 

The keyword in social media circles is authenticity. This means steady and consistent updates direct from the source, as well as interaction that is mean-ingful and not simply glorified gobbledygook.

So start conversing. How? Relax, have a sense of humour, find your voice and use it, tell the truth, don’t panic, be curious, be brave, play more, enjoy yourself, dream always, listen more and then engage.

People these days know the difference. They have instant access to information at their fingertips. What they want is information they can understand and relate to without the filter of traditional media trying to advertise or push you into buying something. 

One reason traditional media has been fading is because people are reading news stories which they may already have read days or weeks ago on some-one’s blogsite, Facebook or Twitter – it makes traditional media forms redun-dant and stale. 

What you want then is that when people Google your name their top results find you on all the social media channels that you control and have filled with fresh content. 

You want to make sure that your message isn’t subverted by others who may be writing something about you and that you remain in control and take owner-ship of your communications strategy, core messages, and reputation. 

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TORMENTED STATES OF MIND 

Music is medicine for mind, body and soul. It is sanity; it contains a potent po-wer to change. It restores our faith in humanity.

Music allows us to manage our thoughts (and delusions) and shape them using some imagination and creativity – into reality. And the reality of that expression reaches all; it moves us, inspires, unites and helps us escape from our often tor-mented states of mind. 

I have a rather short list of favourite songs I play in the background when busy doing creative work, perhaps two dozen in all, inside a wider collection of others I keep in store. Here are four of them. 

Wind Beneath My Wings  Windmills of Your Mind 
Don’t Walk Away Renee  You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling 

HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME

When creating content running the gamut of sorts – from writing stories, con-juring images, scripting code and developing tools and solutions for a wide va-riety of web-based touchpoints, I collaborate and work with an independent group of talented people who happen to reside all over the world. You might say it is a global enterprise through the lens of a magnifying glass. We like keeping it that way. But regardless of that aspect, we also all share a passion for music and a commitment to stand by each other when and as needed.

Now you might think this sounds all lofty and such. But then again, hold that thought in your mind for just a bit longer and watch the next video below to find out why.

It’s all I have to say about that for now.

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The Christchurch Quakes

A Public Service Announcement
Brought To You By:
Karl Quirino’s Blog

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake near Christchurch has caused significant damage.

Watch The Video

For the latest information and advice visit the following links:

www.civildefence.govt.nz
and
http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz

People concerned about the well-being of friends and relatives in Christ-church should use text messaging to check if they are safe to minimise over-loading the phone network.

If you are unable to contact a friend or relative in the Christchurch area, call the Red Cross Person Enquiry Line 0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276). Red Cross will be able to tell you if they have registered with Civil Defence. Please do this before reporting friends and relatives missing.

People enquiring from outside of New Zealand should call +64 7 850 2199

A special phone help-line has been set up for people seeking information about Govern-ment services and support. It is 0800 77 9997

For those with limited English skills you can phone the interpreting service Language Line. They can provide you with assistance and information you may need.

The following agencies offer assistance in your language. Other agencies which use Lang-uage Line can be found at: www.languageline.govt.nz

  • ACC Claims……………………………………….    0800 101 996
  • Christchurch City Council………………….   03 941 8999
  • Work and Income……………………………..   0800 559 009
  • Child, Youth & Family……………………….    0508 326 459
  • Housing New Zealand Corporation….. 0800 801 601
  • Earthquake Commission……………………  0800 326 243
  • Inland Revenue…………………………………   0800 227 774
  • Heathline…………………………………………..   0800 611 116

It is also advisable that foreigners who are in New Zealand for a holiday, on business or to live, register their contact details with their Embassy or High Commission. The information helps foreign governments to contact you and your family in the event of an emergency. You can find details on the Diplomatic and Consular Repre-sentatives from your country by visiting this link:

http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Embassies/2-Foreign-representatives-to-NZ/Diplomatic-and-Consular-List.php

Disasters happen quickly and without compassion. We cannot prevent disasters but we can all take simple steps to reduce the impact, and be better prepared to recover quickly.

Find out what you and your family can do at home, at schools and at work by visiting the following links:

Get Ready and Get Thru (www.getthru.govt.nz)
and
www.whatstheplanstan.govt.nz for kids and schools

Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families in Christchurch in Canterbury.

Thank you.

Laura Cendak
Settlement Coordinator
Settlement Support New Zealand
Wellington City Council | 101 Wakefield Street
PO Box 2199 | Wellington | New Zealand
Phone: (64) 4 803 8706 | Mobile: (64) 021 227 8706
Email: Laura.Cendak@wcc.govt.nz
Website: www.wellington.govt.nz/move

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Silent Gestures

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple, awesomely simple;
that’s creativity.”

Charles Mingus

UNLOCKING OUR POTENTIAL 

There is a paradox that exists in the education of our children today. 

The present system of education, one designed for 19th century industrialism, continues to promote a catastrophically narrow idea of intelligence and ability. It is an antiquated system that manages to morph us into automatons – robots designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions. 

So why don’t we get the best out of people? This is largely because the current systems of education were never designed to develop everyone’s talents. They were intended to promote certain types of ability in the interests of the in-dustrial economies we serve. We’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies – far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity, are ignored or even stig-matised – with terrible consequences. 

More often than not, our systems of education confuse standards with stan-dardising. They continue to work under an assumption that education can be improved without the professional creativity and personal passion of teachers. The result is that too many good teachers are streaming out of the very schools that urgently need them to stay. Our schools are becoming dreary and homo-genised. 

All of this is holding us back in a world that’s moving faster than ever. The result is a terrible waste of talent and motivation in countless students. 

Throughout the world today, companies and organisations are trying to com-pete in a world of economic and technological change that is moving faster than ever. They urgently need people who are creative, innovative and flexible. Too often they can’t find them. 

What should be done about it? 

NURTURING CREATIVITY 

We are educating people out of their creativity. Reforming education isn’t enough. That’s simply improving a broken model. The real task ahead lies in transformation. 

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creat-ing an education system that nurtures rather than undermines creativity. He submits some well-founded arguments for changes in how we should think about our own intelligence and creativity and how we should educate our children and each other to meet the extraordinary challenges of living and working in the 21st century. 

Watch The Video: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

To face the future, a country like New Zealand needs to celebrate and develop the diverse talents of all of its people – young and old alike. It needs to culti-vate creativity and innovation, systematically and with confidence, in business, in culture and in rebuilding its post industrial society. It needs to provide leadership at home in promoting deeper forms of cultural understanding and cooperation. 

These are the real basics. Basic to all of them is a different view of human talent and ability, and of the real conditions in which people flourish. 

Watch The Video: Bring On The Learning Revolution

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He speaks to audiences throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the new global economies and has worked with governments in Europe, Asia and the USA, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the world’s leading cultural organisations.

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POTENT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

How do you transform a small collection of in-dividuals into a successful local, national, regional or international service as a potent destination for thought leadership? Answer: Build good relation-ships online using Social Media. 

The video below is just one good example of how one start up called Idea Paint began fully integ-rating Social Media in its marketing communica-tions strategy to rapidly expand its reach.

While social media is an important part of a communications strategy, one doesn’t need to aspire to create a huge Coca-Cola-like presence on the social web. Instead, the goal is simply to influence the right people. If you connect with the right few people, you can really get in there and connect with thou-sands of other people. 

Start with a blog website where you can publish videos, images and stories. It becomes a comunications hub for of all your social media activity. Next, use Facebook and Twitter to share any creative content published on the blog. Then, listen to, respond to, and interact with the community that your content engages.

As social media continues to evolve, defining the “rules of engagement” will encourage thoughtful interaction that benefits your organisation or group at every touchpoint. In the end, you will earn the attention, relationships and support you get. 

THE TRIBES WE LEAD

Well-known blogger and author Seth Godin argues that the Internet has altogether ended mass marketing. The Web is today increasingly social. It is now a two-way street where interaction, listening, sharing, reciprocating, and recognising notable contributions from participants in your communities are what’s important.

The new Web has revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people like you and I the power to lead and make big changes. Godin urges us to do so.

In the video above, Godin points out, however, that some communities are so extremely niche that they could only properly flourish on the Internet. Even so, our revolutionary new connectedness has brought human culture back to its roots – tribes or groups of people mobilised around a shared interest.

This is the present and future of all web content. Get ready to seize it! 

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Learn more about what the author of this blog does in the field of social media, information, communications and technology through Digital Summit.  

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WORDS TO LIVE BY 

The law of action and reaction is not exclus-ively a law of physics. It is also applies to human relations. Life is the echo of our actions and thoughts. 

You will always have what you desire for others. If you act with kindness, you will re-ceive kindness. If you act with evil, you will get evil. 

Therefore, being happy is not a matter of destiny. It is a matter of options and here are some wise words to live by: 

Take care of your Thoughts because they become Words.

Take care of your Words because they will become Actions.

Take care of your Actions because they will become Habits.

Take care of your Habits because they will form your Character.

Take care of your Character because it will form your Destiny,

and your Destiny will be your Life. 

WHAT IS IMPORTANT 

In the final analysis, what is important is your behaviour in front of your peers, family, work, community, and in front of the world.

Live long and prosper and above all, seek happiness.

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Learn more about what the author of this blog does in the field of social media, information, communications and technology through Digital Summit

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