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Common Craft's latest move helps point the way for content creators

Lee and Sachi

Sachi and Lee LeFever's company Common Craft has reinvented itself a few times... and each time, they just get more and more useful. From an online community consulting firm, Common Craft turned into a creator and provider of simple, charming and monstrously popular explanatory videos - starting with the now-famous RSS in Plain English.

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Google Circles is great. But I'm waiting for Google Venn Diagrams.

If you’ve managed to sprint inside of Google+ during one of those brief periods when the front door has been left ajar, then the first thing you’ve seen has been Google Circles. It allows you to organize your contacts into lists, based on how you know them, how much you trust them, whether you consider them cool, how you want to communicate with them… whatever criteria you want.

It’s a great feature, done in an appealing way. But it only goes so far.

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Facebook Group or Facebook Page? Time to decide... now.

Facebook Decision

There's an issue people raise constantly in my seminars and workshops, in a conversation that usually goes something like this:

Them: "Should we have a Facebook Group or a Facebook Page?"

Me: "Well, Facebook wants you to use Pages for organizational profiles, and Groups for small group collaboration..."

Them: "You see, we've had a Facebook Group for a few years now, and it does really well. Will Facebook convert it to a Page for us?"

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Where credit's due

Why attribution is important - even (especially) on Tumblr and Posterous

Nobody made this

Not long ago, I saw a reference on Twitter to a clever illustration of either Wolverine or two Batmans looking at each other. I clicked through to a Tumblr page, where someone had reblogged it from someone else on Tumblr, who had reblogged it from someone else, and so on.

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Everything I needed to know about social networking, I learned from my mom

When my mother died in early 2004, Friendster was the domain of the young'uns, MySpace was barely out the door and Facebook was still a month from launching.

But for someone who never saw used the word "friend" as a verb in her life, JoAnne Cottingham taught me an awful lot about social networking.

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Elections Canada, you're going about this all wrong

Want to stop election-night tweeting? Appeal to online culture

Hi, Elections Canada. We go back a long way, you and me. I'm the kid who had your colour-coded riding map masking-taped to my bedroom wall.

So let me offer some friendly advice. You want to stop people from tweeting election results from Eastern Canada before folks in Western Canada have had a chance to cast their ballots?

Then don't use section 329 of the Canada Elections Act. The full weight of the law is way too blunt an instrument.

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A tale of two pachyderms

How a big push and a little help can convince people to change

Switch elephant

This is the story of how one elephant drove us to make a change... and another elephant, courtesy of Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath, showed us the way.

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Good evening, my fellow tweeps

Five ways to use Twitter to make the most of an election debate

Twitter election debate

Let's be honest: election debates are usually pretty awful for voters.

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How to write a blog post in 10 minutes


Part of a series. Original version at

In my recent blog post about how to sustain your social media presence in just 3 hours a week, I advise drafting 3 blog posts in under one hour. That may sound unimaginable if (like me) you've fallen into the habit of turning each blog post you write into a mini-manual or philosophical essay.

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How to sustain a social media presence in three hours a week

Part of a series. Original version at

When it rains on a weekend, I don't bemoan my decision to live in the Pacific Northwest: I just know it's time to queue up my blog posts and tweets for the week. That's what I try to do in about two hours every weekend, and since folks often ask me how they can keep their social media presence alive in an efficient and sustainable way, I figure I'm long overdue to blog my system.

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