Education in the Social Media Age

2010 - July - 27 - NodeXL - Twitter - birthconf

Facebook and Twitter encourage people to speak up.

Why?  Because text conversation is a safer way to get across what most people really think or have questions about.

Some people aren’t great speakers, or at least they think so, and fear vocal criticism.  Other people just don’t care to speak up at all.

Integrating Facebook and Twitter into the classroom  is sure to lead to a more insightful conversation.  No one really likes it when one brainiac or teacher’s pet dominates the conversation anyway.

Social networks, if used properly and teacher-controlled, can give the quieter students a voice, quiet down the voice hogs, and boost overall enthusiasm for participating in classroom discussion.

Photo:  by Mark Smith

Google Music

I’ve been waiting for something like this for years, a simple way for me to upload all my music into the music cloud and access it from anywhere.

No one wants to keep buying external hard drives and external drives to back up other external hard drives.

I want all my future music purchases to go right into my cloud as well.  I don’t want to upload after purchase.  I want the album or track(s) to go straight to my locker.

Cloud music is the future, if not the present.  Thank you Google.

Opting In

What’s great about Twitter is that you can subscribe to someone without having the email bombardment.

For me, Twitter is becoming my new RSS feed.

I just started to follow @SoundcloudLabs on Twitter.  Why?  Because I want to know when the latest and greatest widgets are created so I can test them out.

Is email dead?  Certainly not, it’s still the best way to capture your best fans privately and convert to sales.

But the habits of news publication change with technology, and that’s a good thing.

Why Wait? Get it Out There.

All these musicians and writers wait until the perfect moment to put their stuff out there.

Here’s a word of advice.  Don’t wait.

You don’t need a label and you don’t need a publisher to start building your tribe.

Digital distribution if easy.

If you’re a musician, throw your stuff up online and get some feedback, collect some emails as well.

If you’re an author, distribute your rants in a PDF through Amazon Kindle.  Build up your voice.

Don’t wait.  There’s no guarantee that even if the content is great that people will buy it.

My Marketing 101.

Ship and Then Learn (Lessons From Music 4 Japan)

I’ve learned a few things from shipping my first product, Music 4 Japan.

1.  You have to make people care.  Getting people’s attention is the hardest thing of all.

2.  Adding more content to an existing package does not make it more valuable.  I’m at nearly 60 tracks now and not seeing any increase in sales volume.  Less is more?

3.  No one wants to hang your flyer unless it’s a relevant event.  Even then, there’s no guarantee.

4.  Some people are more generous than others.  Make sure to include donation options higher than the standard price.

5.  Build a scannable, presentable website with a clear buy button.  A solid checkout flow is also key, the less clicks the better.

6.  Use social networks as a way to reach new audience but don’t abuse them.  Over-marketing can get you ignored.

7.  Don’t lose hope, keep pushing.  One day can bring 5 orders, the next day you may see 0.

8.  Gift the product to a friend or key social influencer and hopefully that person buys more or gives you a retweet or shoutout.

9.  If you can’t get your mom to care and spread the word, then you’ve got a major marketing problem.

10. Have a stage 2 marketing plan weeks after the release.  This is where I’m at now.

Which Country Owns Mobile and TV Technology?

I remember travelling to Hong Kong when I was fourteen and being amazed by its technology, malls full of flat screen TVs that the United States hadn’t yet seen.

Same goes for Europe.  I went to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Munich and everyone had a cool looking phone.

My roomate from Turkey sophomore year of college would bring home stylish phones that seemed to be more advanced than a regular cell phone.

And then the technology traversed continents.

Thanks to Apple, the United States now owns mobile technology.  The iPhone sparked a revolution because it was the first true phone to connect people to the Internet without having to log in through a browser.

Meanwhile, no company really owns the television space.  The television is still in development in terms of Internet connectedness.  And Apple is in that game as well.

Now that US firms are competitive in technology Americans get to test the cool gadgets first, instead of the other way around.