Knowledge + Software + Right actions = Success

Shovel Testing
Image by Army Environmental Command

I hate when things are attached from their original context. This sometimes confuses people and prevents learning and seeing the big picture.

Lately I’ve been working as a guest speaker and coach in the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, giving presentations & group workshops for using social media in success, personal development and marketing – well, basically in every aspect of life.

I believe that what we should be doing better with education in this era of Knowledge Age, is to attach the use of services and applications more clearly with the use of different skills and actions.

If you are teaching about time management and don’t tell about the possible services or software which could support it, you are missing one area of the topic. I’m not saying everyone should be using them, but the skill of ICT capabilities is nowadays vital if you are planning to enter the work life anytime soon.

But, we shouldn’t give too clear instructions to people on the usage like “this is a shovel, you can dig a hole with it”. Instead we should be creating deeper understanding of which certain things you can use the technology and let people experiment by themselves and in groups to invent more ways – in other words, innovate and use their creativity. This can be achieved through coaching – something the too eager to manage managers should also notice.

I’ve gathered here a small list of skills, activities and some books of which you could be thinking of reading in unison to understand these things better. I’ve also included some web services which support the actions. These are just examples, don’t stare too much of them, but invent your own ones.

21st Century Skills, Knowledge  & Basics of Social Media

This is where it all begins. These are the cornerstones everyone should understand about our current era.

Trilling, B. & Fadel, C.: 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times

Peter F. Drucker: Management Challenges for the 21st Century

Erik Qualman: Socialnomics
Clay Shirky: Here Comes Everybody

Time & Task Management

Use the techniques [the ones that’ll suit you best] described in the books, support them with ubiquitous software.

David Allen: Getting Things Done
Timothy Ferris: The 4-hour workweek

Google Calendar & Tasks
Remember the Milk

Personal Branding

Chris Brogan, Julien Smith: Trust Agents
Chris Brogan: Social Media 101
Gary Vaynerchuk: Crush It!

Blog (for example WordPress)

Contact Management System

Readings & Network:
The Social Customer site



Of course I haven’t listed everything here, just some examples to get the idea. Also with the software, I tried to keep it more in the free ones so that one can easily jump to try them. Most likely different persons and businesses use different ones, for example check my older post about free and chargeable social media monitoring tools.

If you have something to contribute on this, books, software or whatever, please do so. I’d be glad to hear about them.

Social Media Revolution

I first saw this in Future Social Media group in LinkedIn and in Mashable, and thought it was so good as a wake up call, that I wanted to pass it on here. This great video is by Erik Qualman, here’s his blog

I’m not subscribing to all the figures and facts of this video [see the comments in his blog to learn more], but the video makes you think over things, and I believe that’s the most important thing.

Create value when posting to a group forums, don’t just promote “I”

This is the first post after summer vacation so let’s start it light.

I belong to a couple of marketing and social media groups in LinkedIn and have the groups’ updates come to my email regularly. I’ve noticed that many times people are over promoting their companies and that’s just boring. It is so annoying to see a great heading that seems interesting and finding out just another message without real meaning – at least not to me anyway.

These kinds of groups are made more for people to exchange information between each other than self promoting and talking nonsense. Of course it’s OK to mention your company in your post or link your own company blog post to the group’s wall if it’s relevant, but posts like “How to earn million dollar through affiliate marketing in less than 6 months – <link>See how I did it!</link>” are just boring and make the group drop their credibility. These posts should be deleted for the sake of the mankind!

So please, if you are an active member of these kinds of forums and groups; Oh, behave and create real value through your posts! If not for other people, do it for the reason that it ensures people listening to you also the next time you post.