- Eric Lanke gets real: you are not innovative.
- Want a good answer? Ask a good question (now with proof).
- Want to knock your gala out of the park? It requires leadership, clear goals, and a strong sense of mission.
- They’ve started! Top 10 Tech predictions for 2014.
- Reasons why innovation programs fail? Lack of exec support, bad culture, bad process, “we have always done it that way.” (Sound familiar, association peeps?)
- Trying to go visual with your content? Make sure you’re doing it effectively.
- Social media: are you speaking Spanish in Iceland?
- Thousands of outdated pages on your website? (‘fess up!) #Tech13 speaker Karen McGrane has some advice for fixing it.
Hubspot knows why:
Of particular importance for associations, I think, are:
- Death by 1000 clicks. Association websites tend to be deep, and that’s great, but we still require our audiences to know too much about our internal workings to find stuff. And we’re still not helping them out with adequate search appliances.
- Ignoring responsive design. I judged ASAE’s Gold Circle awards last year in the web category. All entries had to have been redone within the past 12 months. Out of 21 entries, only six in any way acknowledged the existence of mobile devices. Not acceptable.
- Clutter. Not every single program of the association can be in the top spot of the site. That doesn’t mean your program isn’t important. But if everything it top priority, you have no priorities – also, your site is a mess.
In case you missed the Twitter explosion, this week was ASAE’s annual Technology Conference. My Top 5 takeaways include:
- “Your data tells a story, and once you know what that story is, you can change the ending.” (Debbie King)
- “IT has to stop being Dr. No.” (Dion Hinchcliffe)
- ”People don’t care about your [online] community – they care what’s happening in your [online] community.” (Ben Martin)
- “Your membership data is a treasure-trove of information.” (Miriam Miller Wolk)
- And a great resource – Gartner magic quadrant on business intelligence tools.
Also, it seems like associations are finally catching up to – or realizing that we need to catch up to – business in moving IT out of the server room and onto the executive team, as a strategic partner focused on achieving business goals.
What did you learn this year?
One of the major problems survivors of natural disasters encounter is the inability to communicate when infrastructure like cell towers, routers, and switches have been damaged or destroyed.
One solution to this is mesh networks, that is, allowing cell phones to link directly to each other through their still-operational WiFi capability. People can use their phones to call each other, send texts, and transfer files even without functioning cell towers.
Does this strike you as a good idea? Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, and the Serval Project would be a great charity to support. They are in the process of trying to develop a variety of technologies that support mesh networks in the developing world, remote areas, and areas that are recovering from natural disasters, and have a freely available app for Android.
This Friday Top5 is all about giving thanks for the many good things that have happened in the past year. I am thankful for…
- My outstanding clients, who’ve made this such a challenging, interesting, fun, exciting year: the American Ambulance Association, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Chemical Society, the American Medical Student Association, ASHA, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the Consortium for School Networking, fusionSPAN, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, NICSA, ORCID, and SocialFish.
- The many people who’ve provided advice and assistance along the way. Particular shout outs to Shira Harrington, Peggy Hoffman, KiKi L’Italien, and Leslie White.
- The coauthors and collaborators who’ve worked on various projects, whitepapers, articles, training courses, and presentations with me. Particular shout-outs to Gregg Balko, Ed Barks, Pat Blake, George Breeden, Jeff De Cagna, Sylvia Dresser, Peggy Hoffman, Eric Lanke, Tom Lehman, Robert Nelson, Jamie Notter, and Leslie White.
- The many organizations who’ve engaged me to write and speak in the past year. They’ve provided me a forum to share my ideas and get the Spark name out there, while at the same time hopefully meeting their attendees’, members’, readers’, and stakeholders’ needs. Particular shout-outs to Shelly Alcorn, Bryan Kelly, the team at Naylor, Mtokufa Ngwenya from Personify, the Alexandria Brown Bag crew (particularly Talisa Thomas-Hall), ASAE, CESSE (particularly Lowell Aplebaum and Mary Carravallah), the Bridge Conference team, Don Dea and the digitalNOW advisory group, Association TRENDS, the Midwest Society of Association Executives, Wild Apricot, EventGarde, SocialFish, Delcor, and Higher Logic.
- My spouse, without whose emotional and financial support none of this would be possible.
I’ll be taking next week off blogging for the holiday. Catch you all again in December!
Image credit: SheKnows
Seems like this is the season of calls for presentations, which puts me in mind of a Jeff Hurt presentation on conference trends:
(He explains the slides in more detail at the Midcourse Corrections blog.)
The changes he’s predicting I’d most like to see relate to changing the way the presentations are presented: participatory culture, facilitator rather than speaker, subject matter networks, new presentation models, content curation, etc.
I was just chatting about this very topic with Peter Houstle of Mariner Management yesterday afternoon. I give enormous credit to ASAE for trying new models (Pecha Kucha, IGNITE, etc.) and strongly encouraging presenters to be more interactive and to provide more opportunities for participation and engagement. Invariably, though, when you do that, there’s a segment of the participants that complain – loudly – about the session *not* being the traditional 60-to-75 minute lecture, even when they’re told up front that the session will have a non-traditional structure, that you know not everyone likes that, and that it’s OK if people want to leave as a result.
In order for us to get there – “there” being this more flipped learning type environment – organizations have to promote it, speakers/presenters have to learn how to do it, and attendees/participants need to embrace it.
So how do we cross that divide?