Category Archive: News

Feb 15

Going “in house”!

I’m working at Red Hat now, on their internal communications team (intranet collaboration and communication — right up my alley), and love it!  I’d still be glad to give you some advice, but for the moment, I’m focusing my energy here (it is such an exciting company!).

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2013/02/15/going-in-house/

Feb 29

Putting the “social” in Social Media

I’ve been saying for a while now that Social Media is *not* about retweeting your last press release (and, in fact, that using social media for that sort of “push” marketing turns consumers off), but instead about building connections between organizations and audiences and creating networks (of content and connections) that enthrall and enmesh the audience, thereby creating engagement.

I just read an article, Content and the New Marketing Equation, that puts it perfectly: it’s a “move away from promotional content to the delivery of useful, entertaining, or meaningful engagement and experiences through new media.”

Yes.  Why would your audience *want*  to be involved with what you’re sharing?

It all reminds me of a really interesting date I had when I was in college.  There was this guy I liked in one of my classes, so I asked him out (I’ve never been accused of being an introvert!  :-)   He made it clear he wasn’t interested in me as girlfriend material (which I thought was awfully kind of him — I hate being led on) but asked if I wanted to have dinner anyway.   Ermmmm…sure?¹

I approached dinner with some trepidation… I had no simple model for not-date-with-guy-you’ve-just-asked-out, so I was expecting awkwardness and silences aplenty.

There were none, though, as at dinner he pulled out a list of questions — really interesting, intriguing questions².  Things like whether I found infinity or zero a more daunting concept and whether I’d be a tiger or a bluebird if I had to choose one of the two.  Despite the lack of any potential forward momentum, it was a hugely successful date (by my standards), and one that I’d have repeated again (again, even knowing he didn’t like me “that way”).

That’s what good social media is:  it draws you in and engages you even if the provider (for example, a dishwashing liquid or an umbrella) wasn’t “a romantic prospect” (unlike your real life friends who you *want* to be involved with).  Creating that kind of content, though, also requires thought, resources and preparation, as well as a major shift in the way organizations think about their engagement with their audiences.

Or the way I thought a not-date would be.

¹ Of course I paid — I’d asked him out!

² No, I didn’t write down the list — I wish I had  :-)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2012/02/29/putting-the-social-in-social-media/

Feb 07

Riding bikes and other “hardwire” skills

You know how “they” say that riding a bicycle is “hardwired” — that once you learn how to do it, you’ll never forget?

I came across another interesting example of that sort of muscle memory last night.  Adrian had decided that he wanted to make a lanyard, so he did what any self-respecting geek would do:  went to Amazon.com, ordered lanyard cord (aka “tactical cord”), then pulled up a webpage explaining how to make one.

I watched him struggle for 20 minutes or so before I just had to try it myself.  After begging him to just let me show him how (assuming, of course, that I could figure it out again) and being _rejected(!), I was allowed to cut my own lengths of the cord to give it a shot.  Much to my surprise, I really did remember how to do it.  The rhythm of flip over, flip over, flip over, flip over, tuck under was apparently instilled in my hands through many (so many) lanyard-making sessions at camp, and it was now just _there_ for me.

Tomorrow night I’m angling for Ojos de Dios.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2012/02/07/riding-bikes-and-other-hardwire-skills/

Sep 19

On being “liked”…

Social Media changes all the time and in order to keep up, I subscribe to quite a few mailing lists.  Most of the time I read and move on, but every once in a while there’s something that’s so *wrong* (yes, on the internet) that I have to say something.

Today’s gem was:

“What are clicks among friends?
Alot [sic] of folks lately are out liking FB fan pages in exchange for the owner of that page liking theirs as well. Nothing wrong with that, keep in mind that most will not return the favor. I will, guaranteed!” [name deleted to protect the clueless].

My response:

“For what it’s worth, I do think there’s something wrong with that! It’s uselessly attempting to game the system and is no more reflective of a real relationship than the scores of “linkback” schemes that were all the rage in the 90’s (before Google made that a Bad Thing by penalizing the behaviour).

“Like” pages you actually “Like”. “Friend” people you know. Anything else is the digital equivalent of gushing over how much you like something you’ve never even tried at a cocktail party in order to try to win someone’s friendship, and that’s just plain tacky (IMHO, of course). “

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/09/19/on-being-liked/

Sep 12

I’ve seen the future…

…and I’m a little in love with it.

Adrian and I recently set up an account at Coastal Federal Credit Union (their GoGreen checking can pay up to 2% interest — w00t!) and I went there the other day to deposit a check.  Surprises abounded:

First, their teller windows (and lobby) are open until 7pm (and I think from 7am, though, to be honest, I didn’t really read that part, since I am “not a morning person” in an almost cliche way).

Second, their teller windows are staffed by virtual tellers (looked a lot like the picture to the left)!  There’s a screen and a video picture of your teller (mine was Carol).   I have no idea where she was, but from that moment forward it was rather like a traditional drive-through arrangement, except:

  • I could reach the window
  • I could understand everything she said (no fast-food-style squawky speakers)
  • When I put my check down, it was into a little slot like an ATM (I have to confess I did miss the SWOOOSH of the pneumatic tube)
  • And, of course, she was not 10 feet away (I presume.  That would have been sort of silly)

Wow.  Just plain nifty.  It would’ve been quick too, had I not spent so much time saying:  “This is soooo cool! ”

I will also confess that having watched too much sci-fi — and this week’s Dr. Who — I also had a bit of difficulty remembering that she was a real person and not just “Interface.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/09/12/ive-seen-the-future/

Jun 23

Delightful UI suprise

20 px

Image via Wikipedia

Driving to Raleigh the other day, I noticed the new, easy-to-spot “lane paintings” on I-40. They’re large (4-5 feet across) and look just like the shield that is used to denote interstate highways.

It’s *great*! It makes it SO much easier to tell which lanes stay I-40 and which ones become Wade Ave.! I am all for increasing information density when possible and this was an easy way to do so.  YAH Raleigh!

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/23/delightful-ui-suprise/

Jun 10

Growing pains…

It’s an odd (and somewhat unsettling) thing to realize that my web content is spanning two sites.  I’d like to hurry up and get the migration done, but I also know I need to do the proper housecleaning before porting content — when you’ve been online since 1996, you accumulate a lot of driftwood.

I always tell organizations that I’ve worked with that diluting your message can be nearly as harmful as not having one, so clearing out the clutter (particularly in the main pages of the site) is a must-do.

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/10/growing-pains/

Jun 05

Wonderful Bela Fleck show

The best part was that it was his original lineup, so Future Man, Victor Wooten (both of whom I had seen before) and Howard Levy (who I hadn’t) joined Bela — wow! I have never heard harmonica playing like Howard Levy… there were times he was playing harp and if I closed my eyes I’d have sworn he was playing sax, the notes were so clear and distinct. At one time, he did a little solo bit where he played Ode to Joy… I was about 20 seconds into enjoying it before I realized he was playing all the parts — the slow chord progression that’s normally played by the left hand *and* the more “active” melody played by the right.

I wondered for a moment whether he was somehow looping it (he wasn’t) or using two harps (he wasn’t)… my jaw dropped open and I wished dearly for my Tivo so I could have “mooped” back to the beginning to watch again now that I knew it was *all him*.

And getting to meet ALL OF THEM afterwards…HEAVEN! (I did ask Levy how he did it — he said he uses his tongue to block the center part of the harp then blows the chords out the left while using his lips to control the melody on the right!)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/05/wonderful-bela-fleck-show/

May 30

Fresh Start

It was about time I switched from the advertising-laden Livejournal over to something more flexible and less annoying.  I’m hoping to import some of the content from LJ, but that’ll have to wait until I have at least the basics set up here.  Thankfully, I’ve at least spec’d the configuration of) WordPress sites before (and set up a really basic one), so this is more of a “let’s see what I can do with it” thing.

(Does everyone post an equally boring first entry just to ensure that everything is set up correctly?)

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/05/30/fresh-start/

Jun 09

grouse grouse (good concert, but audience grouse)

So tonight I went to see Steely Dan, a concert to which I’d been greatly looking forward to and for which I’d paid relatively dearly for tickets.

And I was treated to the delightful croonings (crowings? no, more like shoutings) of my seatmate, who seemed to think that he was just as capable of delivering classics such as Peg and Aja as Donald Fagan. Sadly, he neither the vocal sylings, nor, in fact, even the pitch of Mr. Fagan.

FWIW, I *do* sing at concerts but I (a) do it sotto voce unless it’s a a great big whole-audience sing-along (which I love, BTW) and (b) I try to do so on pitch.

Couple this with his space-invading arm flinging and his periodic mid-song howls and air punches of encouragement to the band (who I’m sure would have just stopped without the added cheerleading) and he almost managed to foul up and otherwise pretty great show.

I’m trying to let it go now (I’m being ridiculous, right?).

Sigh.

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Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/06/09/grouse-grouse-good-concert-but-audience-grouse/

Apr 22

Laser cutter luuuuuurve

So, I’m in love with a laser cutter. I suspect it will be a deep and lasting relationship. Here’re the fruits of one of our first rendezvous…

Birdie ring.

Bunny ring.

I <3 the laser cutter.

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/04/22/laser-cutter-luuuuuurve/

Apr 17

I’m teaching a beginner class on sewing dog toys!

toys I’m teaching an introductory sewing class at TechShop: Sew Your Own Dog Toys!

It’s a 1.5 hour long class Tues. the 28th of April at 7pm.

Here’s the class description and sign up info

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/04/17/im-teaching-a-beginner-class-on-sewing-dog-toys/

Mar 23

Ipas > Reproductive health in the news, March 19, 2009

Link

(Just a test, though the news is interesting, as always)

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/03/23/ipas-reproductive-health-in-the-news-march-19-2009/

Mar 10

Not Yet Rain

Ipas has just released the trailer for Not Yet Rain, our new documentary (to be released in April 2009). Visit the site, sign up for email updates and send some love to the video on YouTube ;-)

 

Super thanks to y’all who helped me test the site!

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/03/10/not-yet-rain/

Jan 24

India in the snow

Here’s India in the snow:
More here:  www.flickr.com/photos/lintqueen/sets/72157612898694485/

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/01/24/india-in-the-snow/

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