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Weekend Favs for July Five

rainbowI’ve added a weekend post routine that I hope you enjoy. Each weekend I write a post that features 3-4 things I read during the week that I found interesting. Generally speaking it won’t involve much analysis and may range widely in topic. (Flickr image included here is from a shot on recent vacation in the Sangre de Cristo Range in the Rockies)

Enjoy!

Good stuff I ran across this week

  • Monitoring Social Media Metrics – Nice “how to” article that uses Google Docs to create SM spreadsheet. I know I’ve run across more than one frustrated marketer that was charged by the boss with showing some metric on the effectiveness of Social Media.
  • Keyword CSV file on Yahoo Pipes Demo – this video shows you how to take a series of keywords from a CSV file and uses Yahoo Pipes to run each keyword through various searches.
  • GraphJam – Graphs are often used to illustrate business information, both good and bad – this very funny site uses the graph to illustrate some very interesting statistics like “the amount of ink in my printer” – laughing is good medicine!
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Bringing the Power of Google to Microsoft Office

No, this headline is not some takeover or merger announcement, it’s the promise of a fairly new offering called Offisync.

offisynclogoThe basic idea is to allow users to create files in familiar and already installed desktop apps from Microsoft Office and then share and collaborate more easily using the online version of Google Docs and Apps. Much of what Offisync does can be done without this integration as both systems do seem to play well together, but Offisync pretty fully integrates the two and makes using them together on a regular basis a snap.

For instance you can:

  • Manage, create and delete Google docs folders right from within Office applications.
  • Make changes through Office that apply instantly to your Google Docs version of each file.
  • Find any document based on its content using the integrated Google search feature
  • Communicate with your collaborators via emailright from within your shared document

The Offisync too, currently in beta, is PC only plugin download that installs a new menu bar into your Office 2003 or 2007 applications. (And of course the .NET 3.5 framework is required or will be installed if it doesn’t exist on your PC already)

To be fair, Microsoft has already created a great software and a service model for it’s desktop software found at Office Live Workspace that gives you tons of free file storage and document sharing. You can even sync contact, task, and event lists with Outlook, something that Offisync does not address..

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Taking an Expanded View of Collaboration

symphony collaborationWhen most small business owners think collaboration, they generally limit this thinking to the kind of collaboration you might naturally do with a supplier charged with completing some aspect of a larger project or perhaps a strategic partner required to mesh together a complex solution.

I would like to suggest that in today’s social media world the concept of collaboration is expanded to encompass a much more strategic role.

In fact, collaboration might just be the ultimate social play. Collaboration in this expanded view can and should include collaboration with prospects, customers, partners, providers and staff. Technology now enables any business, regardless of size, to orchestrate the marketing and management effectiveness and efficiency that a great collaborative effort can bring.

I believe that this expanded view of collaboration is more than an efficient way to get work done, it’s an entirely new way to think about engaging your markets, building connection and community, and empowering your staff to more effectively deliver your marketing promise.

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