eventsSparking change in an organization — classroom, school, school district, state or nation — sometimes can feel like a Sisyphean task, rolling a heavy stone up a hill only for it to roll down before reaching the summit.

Best-selling author Daniel Pink offered educators — gathered for ASCD’s first general session at the 2014 annual conference in Los Angeles — a different lens to view their work as leaders and change makers.

“A big part of what we do as leaders, as teachers, is move people. At some level you’re actually selling things. You’re selling ideas. You’re selling content,” Pink said. “In order for you to be effective, your effectiveness is built on your ability to move people from point A to point B.”

Pink shared with conference attendees six research-based strategies to help lead change.

1. Reduce feelings of power to better understand others’ perspectives. Take time to recalibrate your feelings of power before asking someone to do something. (read more…)

The South by Southwest Interactive Festival drew people from a variety of perspectives together to listen to Founder and CEO Dalton Caldwell discuss an alternative to ad-supported social networking. As a heavy Facebook and Twitter user, ad-supported social networking is the only model I know, but by the end of the session, I was able to see a feemium model as a real possibility.

Caldwell’s previous company was imeem, built with $70 million in venture capital. It was a music-sharing site supported principally by advertising. Imeem had more than 20 ad salesmen trying to monetize its 26 million users, but in a good month they were selling only $2 million in ads and eventually the company had to be sold at a fire-sale price. Similar services, such as YouTube, survived only by being purchased by more deep-pocketed Web companies. Although conventional wisdom had held that all you had to do was build a large user base and a business model would present itself, imeem and others proved that wrong. (read more…)

It was clear that it was going to be a different sort of panel when lawyers from Foursquare, Meetup and Etsy admitted their somewhat-derogatory in-house nicknames during the “Lawyered” panel at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival: Foursquare General Counsel Brian Chase, or “Dreamsmasher”; Meetup General Counsel Daniel Pashman, or “Lawzilla”; and Etsy Counsel Sarah Feingold, or “Dreamcrusher.” This lively panel was attended not only by interactive and social media lawyers but also by social media and interactive mavens looking for advice on how to cope with their own dream crushers, while staying on the leading edge of electronic and Web commerce. The panel offered five lessons.

  1. What should every lawyer know before leaving a cushy law firm for a startup?. Pashman says moving from a law firm to a startup was a terrific culture shock. Law firms are populated by driven, focused and analytical lawyers who often work alone, while startups often have no other lawyers but lots of creative-, technical- and business-focused individuals who work in teams and seldom focus on issues that drive lawyers crazy.
  2. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week, we asked: Have you ever produced event coverage as part of your social media presence?

  • Yes: 65.15%
  • No: 34.85%

Almost 2 in 3 SmartBrief on Social Media readers say they’re producing original event coverage as part of their social media presence. That’s great news, because event coverage is one of the easiest and most useful ways brands can engage with fans. Feeding the content beast is one of the trickiest problems facing most corporate social media managers. Conferences, seminars, trade shows, parties and all manner of other events are easy ways to produce content not only for that day but also for days and weeks to come.

Event coverage offers several distinct advantages.

  • Events offer plenty of topics to discuss. You can report on panel discussions or keynote speeches, analyze trend, review vendors or interview other attendees.
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A challenge for social media marketers and communications professionals is coming to an agreement on transparent ways of measuring social media’s effects. That’s what led Kate Niederhoffer, founder of Knowable Research, to set up the panel “Measuring Social: The Inchworm & the Nightingale” at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival.

Inspired by a plot twist in a children’s story from the 1970s (where an inchworm escapes from a nightingale by offering to measure the bird’s song — from a distance), Niederhoffer brought together two knowledgeable figures from the worlds of social psychology and social media. The panel featured Dr. Sam Gosling, a social scientist and professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and Ken Cho, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Spredfast. Through a conversational approach touching on each person’s area of expertise, the three panelists explored ways in which social media efforts can be measured, including whether utilizing the same approach used by social scientists can be beneficial and if introducing some sort of standardization might be a much needed next step for the industry. (read more…)