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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fallon Brainfood: Communicators Forum @ University of Minnesota Q2

I presented a keynote at last week's Communicators Forum at University of Minnesota and I ran over time before I could answer many of the Question Cards from the audience. Let's keep the dialogue going. Here are more answers to one of the cards (expect a few more posts in coming days):


Q: Many of the examples refer to "selling products" - can you talk about how we might translate this to "selling research"?
Great question. Ironic, too. Because I am, right now, "selling research". Or strategy. Or an odd hybrid, but I digress. My point is, thru all my social media tools, I am working to get insights out of the file cabinet, out of my notepad, out of the presentations for 6 people and never seen again, and into the hands and minds of my living clients/associates/collaborators/students, etc. In this day and age, there is so much data and research that the role of interpreter and guide is more vital than ever. Research matters not if the people who matter don't "get it". Your mission, as researcher, should be to demystify and help them "get it". So be the Virgil of your research. Social media can help you get your research "slippy" and out there and exposed and in the conversations.

How to get your research social? Dramatize your research's effects on people, show us on YouTube what the data means in an engaging way, blog about how it impacts us in ways we never expected, podcast the interviews of those at the frontlines of your research, Delicious your article links to parallel paths of other thinkers in your field. Slideshare your latest thinking, and Flicker the latest charts and graphs. Get it out of the research journals and into the spheres of influence, your peers, your bosses, your financiers, the press, whoevs and wherevs, get the research socialized, man!

The old school approach to research? A mysterious cabal sequesters themselves away and test and think, then come down off the mountain with tablets of new gospel. Well, the new way is

-Open share - you don't own an idea if you insist on hiding it, you own an idea by sharing it. Throughout the research process, tease us with drafts and sketches and updates.
-Open source - in college, collaboration on a test or paper is called "cheating"...but collaboration is the only way to solve problems faster and smarter in this age. Start cheating, and letting others cheat off you which requires
-Open code, make your info stealable, thus it is desirable, thus it is shareable, thus it gets spreadable. Give up a few secrets (charts, graphs, insights, interviews) and let others work on the equation with you and pay you back. Oh, and steal from others, too (just give credit so that person may own their contribution).

Some quickie sites that come to mind for me (while not knowing what form of research you specialize in) of making research engaging and slippy:
http://blog.compete.com/
http://www.wefeelfine.org/index.html
http://twistori.com/
http://www.heynielsen.com/
http://www.trendrr.com/home

2 comments:

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daniel said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points

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