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From the Northern Voice pipeline: suggestions for dealing with negative comments

Well, it's been a week since my first Northern Voice experience. I felt a bit like a new girlfriend attending my partner's family reunion: a little intimidated, but nonetheless welcomed with open arms. The amount of expertise and experience contained under one roof was truly inspiring.

Following with the threads of collaboration and freely sharing knowledge, sentiments Northern Voice embraces wholeheartedly, I'd like to share some of the helpful advice I acquired with regards to dealing with trolls and negative comments.

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10 ways to use numbers in your blog post titles

Check out any social bookmarking site - Delicious, for instance, or Digg - and you'll see that a lot of the most popular pages being bookmarked have something in common: a number in the title.

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How to make friends on social networks

Making friends in the real world can be hard. You need to overcome issues of trust, intimacy, vulnerability and, sometimes, conflicting loyalties. But the payoff matches the effort: a good friend is invaluable.

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Does your organization have a Wikipedia entry? Start monitoring it now.

If your organization is listed in Wikipedia, the community-edited online encyclopedia, congratulations. Quite apart from the virtues of collaborative editing, Wikipedia entries often rank at or near the top of Google search results.

Now break open your RSS aggregator. You're going to want to add a new subscription immediately... because nearly anybody could be editing your entry.

Here's what you do: navigate to your Wikipedia page. (Here's a shot from the entry about Wikipedia itself.)

What's a podcast?

A podcast is a series of downloadable audio files that you can subscribe to on your computer. Your computer regularly checks an online text file – called the podcast's feed – that lists any new episodes along with their download locations. Then the software downloads the new episodes and tees them up for you to listen to... on your computer, on an MP3 player such as an iPod (which is where the word "podcast" comes from), or however you like.

By far the most popular software for subscribing to podcasts is Apple's iTunes, although there are many other choices. (Here are some of them.)

One of the reasons podcasting has gathered so much attention is that it's a lot like radio, ... but unlike radio, it can be produced very cheaply. Nearly anyone with a microphone, a computer and an Internet connection can create a podcast, and there is a wide range of free and low-cost software available for producing them. Free services abound as well for uploading and hosting podcasts.

The same way blogging opened online text publishing to the masses, podcasting has turned audio publishing into a grassroots activity. More recently, podcasting has expanded to include video content as well in what are sometimes called vlogs, video blogs, video podcasts or vidcasts.

You can find out more at the podcasting resource library at Net2Learn. You can also check out the Wikipedia entry or the O'Reilly book Podcasting Hacks (a few years old, but still very good). 

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Matters of taste: When Second Life gets too explicit

A few days ago, we received a terrific question from Jenny Edwards (ED of England's Homeless Link, a national organization of frontline agencies dealing with homelessness). She's intrigued by Second Life's potential, but...

Having joined SL mid December and spending much of the holiday season there I have been thinking about how useful and creative it would be to network those of us round the world who are working to end homelessness and to share ideas and experience. The dilemma for me in thinking of using it for work the amount of adult material and behaviour. It's fine for people privately but inviting others into the world, particularly those from faith based communities, is too problematic for me at the moment. Have you found a way of overcoming this?

It's an issue, all right - and not just for people in faith-based communities. Ask any enthusiast, employee or consultant who finally convinced a friend, parent, boss or client to check out Second Life... only to have them run into X-rated territory.

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10 ways to keep online dialogue on topic

I’ve spent the past two days at a Ohio State for a conference on Building Democracy Through Online Citizen Deliberation, which has been a terrifically productive gathering. One session consisted of an interesting conversation about how to structure online deliberation in a way that promotes civil dialogue. We agreed that one key challenge was simply keeping online conversation on topic, and got most of the way towards a list of 10 ways to keep online dialogue on topic.

Social Signal on...

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.