When things go tits-up

It’s a shame when one can’t be as effective as one would like to be.

I was giving a presentation today for one of committees of the American Chambers of Commerce, looking at ustream & using it for business.

Unfortunately my MacBook pro suffered a stroke as I began – no video output to the projector. Whilst I did get it going eventually the lost time cost me dearly – I was far less effective that I’d wanted to be, failing to cover the material that was most relevant for the audience.

Well, hey, these things happen, and I’m sure they’ll be a positive outcome – such as my learning to never be dependent on a single computer.

Speaking alongside social media experts helped bring a little more clarity to who I am/ what my speciality is in this whole social media marketing market.

What I do (and enjoy doing) is getting my hands dirty. I love being a part of a social media event – planning a practical strategy and then carrying it out with my team on the day itself.

Pulling together the people with the necessary skills, gathering the required technology and figuring out how it will all work together.

I’m also good under pressure – when everything falls apart (not exactly uncommon when it comes to live streamed broadcasts!). I must admit I saw today’s event as just one of those situations – we’re live, we’re under pressure – we have to make this work!

What I am *not* is a so-called ‘social media ‘expert’, ready to theorise on the future of the industry.

Happily, following today’s event I secured more work, which now means I have enough for the foreseeable future (although could fit more in should the need arise).

Also, I left the event being happy with who I am and my attitude towards life. There was a time when I would have agonised over today’s events, felt embarrassed etc.

But as it was I just saw it as an experience, and one I’m glad to have gone through.

Anyway, better get on and eat some sushi.

How to Customise your Facebook Fan Page

One of the projects I’m fortunate to be a part of is 21Foundation, an educational organisation established to help bring about widespread adoption of 21st century teaching / learning techniques.

My role there is to help create an presence for the foundation on the social networks, and as a part of this I’ve spent the last couple of days learning more about how you can customise your Facebook fan page. Having a custom landing page really helps you stand out from the crowd, and allows you to get your message across quickly and clearly, rather than having it lost amongst a bunch of wall posts.

Although I’d never touched FBML before (Facebook’s own flavour of HTML), I was surprised by how close to HTML it was (at least at a basic level) – and it didn’t take long to create a new landing page for 21 Foundation.

Having seen me do this, I was asked to create a simple guide that could be shared with others who also wanted to do the same. Much of the information I took from www.hyperarts.com – they have an excellent series of online tutorials.

Ironically, just hours after I finished putting the guide together Facebook changed how fan pages look if you’re logged in and ‘like’ a page – they added the default sidebar and shrunk the main content section by about 25% (down to 520px). (I’ve since updated the guide to reflect those changes).

There’s a lot more to customising your Facebook presence than what’s in this guide – this is just the first steps you can take, and doesn’t cover app creation etc.

Download the PDF guide here.

I’ll be cross-posting this entry at www.21foundation.com.