I'm B.L. Ochman, digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, president of whatsnextonline.com and publisher of What's Next Blog. I've been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996.

I'm CEO of Maximum-Plus.com Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies.

I contribute to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others. On Twitter, I'm @whatsnext. Find me on Google+

I'm co-founder of the pet lovers' site and blog, Pawfun.com - where you can use favorite photos of your pets to create and send free Pawfun photo e-cards.

Friday, October 31, 2014

VIDEO- How NASA & NY Times Use Google+ Hangouts in Digital Strategy




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NASA & NY Times offer advice to brands considering Hangouts


Short-NASA & NYTimes-Hangout Advice
(Watch the full one-hour broadcast here)

I produced this Hangout with John Yembrick, Social Media Manager of NASA, Sona Patel, Social Media Editor of The NY Times and guests Ronnie Bincer and Natan Edelsburg. It was sponsored by PRSA NY as part of Communications Week.

NASA – the first government agency to use Hangouts – has done nearly 50 HOAs and The NY Times has done more than a dozen as part of their digital communications strategy. Here is some of their advice to organizations about the most important things they’ve learned about Hangouts.

Chief takeaway: Hangouts are not television. They should not be produced to look like TV or to be a one-way broadcast. Hangouts do need good production values, especially good lighting and sound, but they should be interactive and and allow for spontaneity. There is a learning curve, and the platform keeps being updated and improved, so having an experienced Google+ coach is the fastest way to gain maximum impact with Hangouts.

The ability for Hangout viewers to interact by asking questions in real time during the event is what distinguishes Hangouts from all other video conferencing platforms. As Ronnie Bincer said “Hangouts are the truly interactive TV you can yell at and get an answer.”

Watch the video for more takeaways. It is time-stamped so you can jump directly to any segment.

John Yembrick’s Hangouts advice:
1- Don’t let production values overwhelm you
2- You need good connectivity, ideally hard-wired & good mikes
3- Make sure you have engaging content. “A lot of HOAs are an hour long & they put me to sleep.” Try to engage with visuals.
4- Don’t be intimidated by technology. People watching will be OK with mistakes you make
5- Keep Hangouts short. (Yembrick predicts that HOAs will keep getting shorter.)

Sona Patel’s Hangouts advice:
1- Set goals for your Hangouts. Be sure you know what you’d like to accomplish.
2- Think of Hangouts as “appointment viewing.” Many people watch the recording of the Hangout rather than the live broadcast. Be sure your Hangout will have good shelf life
3- Figure out logistics of producing the Hangout in advance and be sure all members of the team know their roles
4- Don’t forget promotion! You need to promote your event before, during and after in a variety of platforms.

Episode66 BSMediaB.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.


BL Ochman | October 28, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NASA’s Brilliant Social Media Strategy




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NASA’s social media strategy, policy (“There is NO social media policy”) and open, experimental, interactive approach to digital communications is as clear, concise and comprehensive as any you are ever likely to see.

I interviewed NASA social media manager John Yembrick in a Hangout on Air I produced for PRSA NY as part of Communications Week. He noted that their strategy is public and I’d suggest that every organization doing digital communications make it required reading.

NASA, by the way, was the first government agency on Google+, where it’s fast approaching 2 million followers. NASA’s social media team clearly is not afraid to to boldly go where no man has gone before. In addition to Hangouts from space, NASA did the first Foursquare Check-in from space and from Mars, the first Tweet and a mobile app.

Social Media at NASA, 2012 Edition from NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Episode66 BSMediaB.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.


BL Ochman | October 23, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

How to see today’s G+ Hangout with NASA & The NY Times




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Today, Wed Oct 22, 2014 3-4 p.m. EDT
Tips for audience members of today’s PRSA/Communications Week Hangout

Revise3 Trailer-PRSA

1- Watch the Hangout
On the Google+ event page
On YouTube from any connected device
On Twitter (search Hashtag #HangoutStrategy)

2- If you’d like to ask questions in real-time – which you can do on Google+ event page or on YouTube video watch page, you will need to have a Google+ profile. Get it here or sign up here for a Google account that will give you access to every Google platform

3- The Hangout will be recorded and available on the event page and on YouTube.

** I will time stamp the video so you will be able to jump directly to any segment by clicking on the corresponding time.

Looking forward to seeing you all today!

**If you’d like to discuss coaching for adding Hangouts to your organization’s digital strategy, or producing live online events, I can help.

Episode66 BSMediaB.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.


BL Ochman | October 22, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Plusses & Minuses: Tiffany hosts its first Google+ Shoppable Hangout




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Tiffany & Company today became the latest big brand to host a Google+ Hangout on Air, to launch Tiffany Design Director Francesca Amfitheatrof’s first design collection, “The Tiffany T.”

Tiffany joins brands including Cadbury, NASA, Toyota, The NY Times, H&M, and Samsung, many of which have millions of Google+ followers and all of which include Hangouts in their digital strategy.

Hangouts on Air is the free, interactive HD video conferencing platform provided within Google+. It allows real-time interactivity with viewers and it can be automatically recorded to a connected YouTube channel where it can be edited, branded and search optimized.

Tiffany HOA

Nearly 2,000 people attended the live Hangout, which also included model Coco Rocha, Aimee Song of Song and Style and Elle fashion news director Anne Slowey.

The Hangout used the Google+ Showcase app, which makes a Hangout shoppable by displaying clickable images, links, copy and more during the live event and in the recorded video.

Tiffany gets huge props for running an ad in the NY Times to promote the Hangout, featuring it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and their website, and being brave enough to experiment with new technology.

Positives
• The Hangout had excellent lighting and sound.
• Multiple cameras switched between close ups and long shots in the Tiffany studio – mimicking more traditional news interviews.
• Coco Rocha and Aimee Song both had good lighting and clear sound, making it apparent that professional help had been sought for the Hangout setup.
• The jewelry collection is gorgeous!

Negatives
Showcase app: Most unfortunately, using the Showcase app effectively cuts off real-time interaction with guests – the thing that most distinguishes Hangouts from all other video platforms.

Hangouts’ Q&A app and the third party Comment Tracker app both allow viewers to ask questions during the live event. However, neither of those options is possible when Showcase app is employed – effectively defeating the purpose of a live, interactive online event.

There are rather complex workarounds to allow people to simultaneously view and comment on the event page, but those are a lot to ask of casual viewers.

No Lower Thirds: Participants in the Hangout didn’t use Lower Third nametags, which Hangouts provides. Lower Thirds can be created to automatically transpose each participant’s name onto the video screen while he or she is speaking.

All in all, Tiffany’s Hangout today was a giant step forward for the adoption of the Hangout platform by big brands.

As a Google+ coach and Hangout event producer, I congratulate Tiffany and welcome other big brands into the Hangout platform.

On Wednesday, Oct 22, from 3-4 pm EDT, I am producing and hosting a live Hangout on Air with the social media manager of NASA, the social media editor of the NY Times. Guests also include Ronnie Bincer, The Hangout Helper and Natan Edelsburg of Muck Rack. The Hangout is sponsored by PRSA NY as part of Communication Week.

You can watch live on the Google+ event page or on YouTube from any connected device

Questions can be asked on either of those links – as long as you have a Google account and you have signed into it. You can watch without having a Google account, but you can’t ask questions in real-time unless you do. You can sign up to get a Google account here

BS Media #60B.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.


BL Ochman | October 21, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Join a live Google+ Hangout with NASA & The NY Times – Wed, Oct 22, 3-4 p.m. ET




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Revise3 Trailer-PRSA

Watch live & comment in real time on Google+, YouTube or Twitter – Wed. Oct 22, 3-4 PM EDT

I am producing this live event for PRSA NY as part of Communications Week, featuring:

John Yembrick, Social Media Manager, NASA, Sona Patel, Social Media Editor, NY Times, Ronnie Bincer, Natan Edelsburg – free- live Hangout on Air on Wed. Oct 24, 2014 – 3-4 PM ET

Please note – We will be using an app called Comment Tracker in this event to make it truly interactive. You will be able to ask questions during the live event from the Google+ event page or from YouTube – where you can watch from any connected device.

You will be able to watch the live YouTube broadcast on Twitter and ask questions from there, in real time, by using the hashtag #HangoutStrategy

HOWEVER If you’d like to ask questions of the panelists and have them answered during the event, you will need to do 2 things in advance:
1- Create a Google+ profile. Here’s a video to help you create a great profile.

2- Be signed in to your Google+ account with the email you used to sign up while watching the Hangout

To ask questions of the panelists, please leave them on the Google+ event page, YouTube or Twitter (use the Hashtag #HangoutStrategy if you want to leave your questions on Twitter)

To recap: ***You will be able to watch the broadcast on YouTube without a Google account, but you will NOT be able to ask questions on Google+ or YouTube unless you have a Google account and are signed in to that account during the show.***

Let me know any questions you have about signing up for a Google account and I’ll do my best to help!

BL-G+WIZ-headshotB.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events and Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.


BL Ochman | October 20, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Microsoft CEO Apologizes Lamely, Copyblogger Quits Facebook




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Beyond Social Media Show, Episode 68

BSMedia 68



BL and David discuss discuss Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s’s apology tour, Fiat’s Viagra ad, how not to suck at presentations, Twitter’s new Audio Cards and much, much more.

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff

Prjoects

The Daily Numbers

BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA HOSTS

David Erickson
Twitter
Twitter
e-Strategy Blog
e-Strategy Trends
YouTube

B.L. Ochman
Google Plus
Maximum-Plus.com – Online Event Production and Coaching for Google+ Success
Twitter
What’s Next Blog
YouTube
Pawfun – for pet lovers


BL Ochman | October 18, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Skype v Google+ Hangouts for Business




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Skype v Hangouts
Still using Skype for video calling? You should take a look at Google+ Hangouts, which are free, and provide arguably the best video conferencing platform ever.

A lot of companies I interviewed recently say they used Skype before Hangouts, but abandoned Skype when making comparisons:
SkypeVHangouts2

In small type, Skype warns: “Group video calling can be between 3 and 10 people, depending on the device. For best quality, we recommend up to 5 people.”

Related:
** Top 10 benefits of Google+
** 10 ways your company can (and should) use Hangouts
** How Lawyers are Using Google+ Hangouts and why you should too

BL-G+WIZ-headshotB.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events and Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.


BL Ochman | October 17, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Not using Google+ Hangouts yet? You don’t want to be old school, Do You?




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Here’s how 26 companies large and small use G+ Hangouts as their Intranet

Examples from startups to multi-national corporations

By

When it comes to Google+, Mark Twain’s 1897 statement to the New Yorker is timely: “‘The report of my death was an exaggeration’.

Hangouts LOGODespite multiple media unsubstantiated proclamations that Google+ is dead, companies ranging from startups to multi-billion dollar multi-nationals have adopted Google+ Hangouts and Communities for a variety of internal communications functions that help them run their businesses.

Organizations large and small – like the 26 I interviewed for this post – have come up with creative ways to use the Hangout platform. For example, global social advertising technology company Unruly, with offices in London and New York, keeps a Hangout open all day so staff in both offices can easily strategize and schmooze as if they were in the same office. Others do onboarding and continuing education via Hangouts, and some create wire frames, flow charts, mind maps and more in Hangouts.

Among the potential applications of Google+ Hangouts for internal communications within organizations:

  • Provide information to staff and stakeholders about product updates
  • Collaboratively edit documents, spread sheets, slides, wire frames and more within Hangouts
  • Maintain contact with work-at-home staff & staff in remote locations
  • Conduct online training program
  • Hold brainstorming sessions
  • Share and evaluate planned marketing activities
  • Easily record meetings to private videos in connected YouTube account
  • Facilitate project team communications and planning
  • Maintain contact with volunteers (public sector or charitable organizations)
  • Share YouTube Videos for training, for fun or creative endeavor – everyone can watch the same video but have different volume controls (including mute) and anyone can change, play or pause a video.
  • Restrict posts and Hangouts to your domain
  • Schedule and join video calls from Calendar or Gmail
  • Set company-wide defaults from the Admin Console
  • Conduct internal focus groups for UI, market research, policies, etc.
  • Create company-wide polls
  • Hangouts are indexed and stored in Gmail accounts for easy access
  • Accessible from all operating systems, on all connected devices Apple, Android
  • Video can be kept private or shared via Google+ or YouTube with your whole team, clients, customers, or anyone else who might be interested.
  • Apps, such as Cacoo, provided within Hangouts make creating diagrams, drawings, wire frames, organizational charts and documents simple and collaborative

Here are 26 examples of how companies large and small are using Hangouts as Intranets:

1- Google: Talk about eating your own dog food

Google employees participate in around 20,000 Hangouts a day internally, according to Chee Chew, Google’s vice president of engineering for real time communication in Google+.

2- Howard Brodwin of Get Out Technologies, an outdoor sports startup, says the company uses Google+ circles to organize team members and departments for collaboration and Hangouts are used for the founders to discuss pending deals, partnerships, marketing, PR, and more in real-time; and for face-to-face employee on-boarding with online video tutorials, collaborative docs, Hangouts with training team etc.

“Could we do all this via phone and email? Sure,” Brodwin says. “…there’s really more of a sense of a team when everyone is in the same room, and we all get that vibe on the hangout.”

3- Anna Coats, marketing manager at Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison website, says that, besides meetings, “We have moved to holding all first employment interviews via hangout, and have completed almost 15 last month, with one new hire,” she says. “And, of course, it’s free.”

Seamless integration

4– Edward Hanapole, CIO at educational services company Kaplan, told The Wall St. Journal that Google+ hangouts presented convenience other resources just couldn’t offer. Collaboration in Google Docs and Gmail provide seamless, real-time, much simpler communications than Skype, he says.

Hanapole said over more than 200 employees at the test preparation company use Google+ and Hangouts on a daily basis to connect development teams with product managers, collaborate on product creation, and to conduct both management meetings and ad-hoc meetings for technology updates.

More efficient than email

5- Sealed Air CIO Warren Kudman said his 400 employees are using Google+ Hangouts for both impromptu and scheduled business meetings. “It’s social inside the enterprise but it’s business oriented,” Kudman said. “Everybody loves it.”

He also said he sees the Google+ service, which allows users to send messages and other content, as somewhat of a more efficient replacement for e-mail.

6- Smokeball, a legal technology company that builds software for small law firms, created a private community inside Google+. “The first reason why we gave Google Plus a try: it’s free, easy to get started and most people already have a Google account. Read More…


BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Microsoft CEO’s Outrageous $Karma Raise Advice to Women, DIY Invisibility




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Beyond Social Media Show, Episode 67

Beyond Social Media Show 67


Co-hosts B.L. Ochman & David Erickson discussed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s outrageous suggestion that women rely on karma instead of asking for a raise; the DIY Cloak of invisibility; freelance terrorist hunters; Jewish Star Trek stars & VW; major updates at Google+ & Hangouts and lots more!

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff

The Daily Numbers

Holiday Shopping Season Starts Earlier for Some Shoppers

BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA HOSTS

David Erickson
Twitter
Twitter
e-Strategy Blog
e-Strategy Trends
YouTube

B.L. Ochman
Google Plus
Maximum-Plus Workshops Google+ event production and coaching
Twitter
What’s Next Blog
YouTube


BL Ochman | October 11, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kevin Richardson Plays Football With Lions, Facebook Bans LikeGating




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Beyond Social Media Show, Episode 66

Episode66 BSMedia



BL and David discuss a new bar for pregnant women, LikeGating, Facebook and anonymity, the Hong Kong protesters circumvention of censors, playing football with Lions to sell suits, #FeelingNuts, GoPro goes pro and much, much more.

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff

Prjoects


The Daily Numbers

BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA HOSTS

David Erickson
Twitter
Twitter
e-Strategy Blog
e-Strategy Trends
YouTube

B.L. Ochman
Google Plus
Maximum-Plus.comOnline Event Production & Coaching for Google+ Success
Twitter
What’s Next Blog
YouTube


BL Ochman | October 6, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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