Posts tagged ‘Information Mapping’

LinkedIn Gems

I’m on LinkedIn, complete with profile, recommendation, picture and memberships in various LinkedIn groups, neatly selected to feed my different areas of interests. Needless to say, the latter keep my mailbox busy. With daily or weekly digests, there are always some discussions, comments, news and links that need to be shared. While this may be clogging up my mailbox from time to time (I heartily admit that I spent at least an hour each day going through these emails), I have found the odd information gems in the forms of interesting people to connect with, blogs and websites to check out, and new knowledge to keep my brain cells alive.

These gems aren’t always just of value to myself but also and often more so for my wider network of family, friends and colleagues. There may be someone looking for a service or product, and you may just happen to have the right contact for them, or someone shares where to publish your first e-book and you know that one of your closest friends had been considering this for the past months. Sometimes, of course, I do also stumble across a contribution that should have better been left un-posted, or a discussion that turned rather heated. So the selection below constitutes an eclectic array of all of the above – enjoy the sparkle!

Socially responsible sparkle: Give Family a Break

Go on a break and support a good cause – if that doesn’t make you feel good, I don’t know what will! From 1 to 30 August, you can bid for $1 reserve accommodation and dining options throughout New Zealand’s InterContinental  Hotels Group (IHG) to raise money for the Salvation Army on www.sella.co.nz/ihgsalvationarmy. The money raised will help up to 40 disadvantaged New Zealand families have a one-week holiday this coming summer.

Request sparkle

As stated in the introduction above, many LinkedIn users are looking for information or resources. Rosemarie Begbie, owner at Enterprising Women, a networking group for women that are running their own businesses in New Zealand, is looking for inspiring women speakers. This has sparked a long list of valuable responses for Rosemarie, and an invitation to come along to a Zonta group meeting. It looks like Wellington women in business can look forward to a number of interesting networking events!

Twitter sparkle: Oldest Twitter user passed away

Ivy Bean, an English lady who was widely considered to be the oldest Twitter user, died at the age of 104. She had over 56,000 followers on Twitter, and she was also an avid user of Facebook.

Regional sparkle: New Courses at the Business Centre, Wellington

Gabby Simpson, Operations Manager at the Business Centre in Wellington, announces the centre’s upcoming courses and events for August (what’s left of it) and September. TACTICS has been partnering with the Business Centre and we just offered a couple of free one-hour workshops in Wellington. If you missed out this time, sign up for our newsletter on our website and we’ll keep you posted.

Now it’s your time to shine – send me a comment to share your LinkedIn gems (or grime) with me.
Dorit

August 20, 2010 at 12:18 am 1 comment

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is defined as the structures and behaviours by which a company is directed and managed. It influences all company decisions, and guides how directors and managers meet expectations, ensuring they are responsible and accountable in their respective roles.

The companies that maintain good corporate governance are the ones that are transparent, and nowadays transparent means having a user-friendly intranet system. The ideal is that any employee can look up your company’s structures, processes, procedures, systems etc. and readily describe how the organisation works. Oh, and perform their jobs productively.

Companies looking to assess their corporate governance generally need to start by looking at how well defined their processes are. When high level processes are in order, and are visible to employees (transparent), everything else starts to fit into place. Divisions know who they work with and if/when they deal with other divisions, and instructions for individual procedures (such as loading an item into a computer) are accessed through the main process diagram.

Once transparency is obtained, the key is maintaining, reviewing and improving the content.

A comparison I like is one to the rules for a professional sport. Whatever sport it is it will be at its best when everyone knows how to play and there are no contentious issues. When a referee blows the whistle, it must be clear cut why, and spelt out in the rules in a manner that avoids all confusion. Then when something starts to become an issue, the rules are reviewed and adjusted as appropriate.

Technically professional sport is a business though, so that may be why it is governed in much the same way.

June 17, 2010 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

Content Strategists

Why does business writing have such a bad reputation? Not just the policy or procedural stuff either, even the new-age marketing blurbs are stale. The words you see on every second business website like “cost-effective end-to-end solutions” or “value-added services” tell you next to nothing, and what businesses need to remember is that for the trigger-happy internet consumer, the click of a mouse button is all it takes to leave.

To stand out as a business nowadays, especially on the internet, you must be different. And the best way to do that is to be yourself, or at least be as human as possible. Social networking has changed the way people “take in” what they read on the internet by almost allowing them to picture the people entering the content. Websites that are impersonal no longer engage the audience.

This is part of the reason we have seen the emergence of the “Content Strategist”. It’s not the easiest job role to define, but to put it simply it is the planning of content creation, delivery and its governance, which is no longer part of a web-designers role (if it ever was). The notion of content management has been around for a long time; creating, editing, approving, publishing and removing content. Content strategy however, as the name implies, takes a strategic view of this content and examines how the goals of the organisation are served by the content it produces.

The knowledge of how to manipulate search engines is crucial for a content strategist. On the very surface it’s as simple as knowing the words a potential customer would type into a search engine, and placing them on your website (or in a tagline), but it goes much further than that. You can make the most of Google advertisements on these searches, or have your website improve its search “rank” just by having links in the right places.

My initial reaction to finding out about Content Strategists was of relief. Someone had finally blended the technical writers with the marketing team, divisions that never seemed to previously coordinate with each other. Nowadays businesses are challenged to serve up content in increasingly innovative ways, and it is those whose focus has shifted from visually appealing graphics and words to how the content is actually delivered who are really prospering.

Part of the content delivery solution is the way that content is structured. For more information on this see the following links:

Information Mapping

–      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_mapping

–      http://www.infomap.com/

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

–      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Information_Typing_Architecture

–      http://dita.xml.org/

May 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm 3 comments


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