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Social Media

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CRM made cool with Rapportive

I have recently been searching for applications that could improve my productivity within Gmail. Whilst searching through the Google Chrome store, I came across an extension called  “Rapportive”.

The extension to my Gmail immediately created a new look to my email, and caused me to think “cool”. What was so cool about it for me?

  • On the right side of the email window appears the profile of your contacts. A bird’s eye view of their online portfolio. How cool is that?
  • The best part  was when I received an email from someone for the very first time. I was dealing with a company, but more then one contact person from that company emailed me with updates related to my query. Immediately, the profile pictures of the new contacts popped up on the right side, and it provides me with details of their roles, and all the social media sites they subscribe to.
  • By having instant access to your contacts’ details, make communicating for the first time so much more easier and personal. Even though you have never talked over a phone, you know exactly what the other person looks like. Isn’t that cool?
  • And then I realised that rapportive allows me to make notes within my email regarding the correspondence I had with my new contact. And what note did I make? I identified the new contact as a new lead for future business and partnership. So, I typed a note to remind me that the new contact is a possible lead.
  • Another important aspect is that I was able to connect with my contacts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever other accounts they have on the Internet. Once I have done that with selected contacts, I could immediately view their activity (posts, tweets, updates) within my Gmail account.

The Gmail extension presents a great opportunity for clients to connect and  expand their  marketing communications and customer relationship commitments. I have yet to explore every possible opportunity rapportive presents.

So have you already tried any Gmail extension with CRM features?

Enter that space where students engage.

After a busy day at work, I am reflecting on what I did and many conversations with colleagues and students. Some words that strongly come to mind is engage, influence and learn. Working as an educator in the college sector is an awesome privilege. In itself, every teacher or lecturer is presented with an opportunity or space to positively influence and shape the lives of others. This space has however become a lot more interesting due to the many tools students use to engage with peers. Smartphones and the use of Instant messaging and social media platforms have shaped the way this engagement space appear to educators. For some it is a whole new world with a completely different set of rules and a new kind of “language”. Learning to learn how to enter that “unknown” space seem to be the biggest challenge for some. It is however inevitable that the only way to effectively engage and influence learners, is by entering that space where they engage, and shape from the inside. Become a part of that space, speak their language, make it yours and positively influence.

Gone are the days of “Textbook Style” education

Students on OpendayThe 30th and 31st of July 2010 marked a critical step taken by the College of Cape Town in relation to Social Media for Vocational Training. The realisation that Management/Marketing Courses can no longer be relevant if new media like Social Media Tools and Internet Marketing is not incorporated into the curriculum. This has lead to the Business Department’s proactive response to involve the first ever Innovation Living Lab in the Western Cape, called RLabs. RLabs agreed to do a Social Media Surgery for the Marketing/Management department. The SM Surgery included a drive to add current and prospective students to the College’s Facebook Page and Twitter Account. It also involved the teaching of valuable SM skills to current and prospective students. A twitter fountain were visible at the main entrance with tweets and retweets going out all around the world. Their was an almost tangible feelling of excitement around the OPENDAY with students enjoying the ability to send and view their FB status updates and tweets around the event in real-time. This day I truly saw education at its best. Gone are the days of reading out of  a textbook and hope that students will learn just enough to get a decent job. Innovations and new tools like Facebook, twitter and many other Social Networking tools have to become part of the set of educational instruments used.

Innovations

For the past month I have been working on ways  to utilise existing innovations in new situations. It has been very exciting as I discover the endless possibilities on offer. This experience has taught me the following lessons:

  • Innovations should be used for the improvement of people’s quality of life. For example, Social Media Tools have drasticly altered the way people relate to others, businesses and visa versa.  
  • I have also realised that you do not neccesarily have to re-invent the wheel.
  • That the uses of the tools available will expand and that many oportunities are yet to be discovered.

Recently, I registered with JamiiX, a tool used for social exchange and look forward to using it in education.

Very exciting stuff……………..

Keep on trying

The Social Media space is one which cannot be ignored by any person living today. And that includes myself. Over 12 months ago I created my own blog with Blogspot, but never really got the blog off the ground. And here I am, once again trying to do blogging. The difference between now and then, is that I know so much more about Social Media then before. I am confident that this time I can create a great blog that will add value to this creative space of blogging.

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