Monthly Archives: June 2016

Don’t Email Talk

Voice Social Media App Sound Branch

Voice Social Media App Sound Branch

Dreaming of zero inbox? Do you find yourself fighting a daily battle flicking through your emails? Trying to prioritise? Trying to understand the emotion and the tone of an email?

In the good old days people use to phone each other. Admittedly they would finger dial in circles and use a fixed line. The people of old most certainly weren’t glued to mobile phones!

Perhaps a new approach is required? After all, it’s much quicker to speak than to prod your thumb on a touchscreen. The beauty of talking is you don’t have to worry about spelling and the inevitable typos go away.

Some people like to read a newspaper, others like to watch TV, and yet others prefer to listen to the radio. So for those of you that do like listening to radio would you not like to listen to your emails rather than read them?

Of course it’s not reading out emails that is the answer – it’s much simpler than that. It’s about changing our digital habit and encouraging a richer communication experience. We need to record and listen to our voices and do away with the relentless barrage of emails which are clogging up our inboxes and frying our brains!

We know the sounds of the voices closest to us. By just listening to the people we know, their voice and their tone we’re able to prioritise what’s important and what is not. Now isn’t that a much smarter way to use a smartphone? I don’t know about you but I personally find listening to the radio and the sound of a person’s voice one of the most powerful things in the world. The speeches of Sir Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King still resonate today!

If you’re interested in learning more about massive open conversations online and a new way to communicate visit the Sound Branch website below:

http://www.soundbranch.com

You can download the Sound Branch Voice Social Media App at the Apple App Store.

Brexit – A different way of polling the public

A different way of polling the public

A different way of polling the public

 

In electioneering, Ipsos MORI and other polling companies survey the general public in order to predict results. With the Brexit poll due 23rd June the old techniques are still at play where people are stopped on the street by someone, clipboard in hand and 5 minutes of questions ensue. Of course, with Social Media polling companies now using modern technology they are gaining feedback digitally at lightening speed. But are they capturing the emotion and the sentiment?

So how can you get the feedback conversationally from the masses? Well, you could try phoning up the the electorate to see which way they will vote of the EU referendum and famously both David Cameron, Paddy Ashdown and Neil Kinnock were captured doing this. This is OK but it is rather time consuming. Door to door works as well but again there are not enough hours in the day.

What about something like a wave or a chain? Instead of 10 people polled, what about 100 people giving their opinion in just 7 seconds? You could listen to the opinions of 100 people in 12 minutes. Would this help make election predictions easier?

Sound Branch is a new audio social network allowing people to communicate in many directions. Its 7 second rule makes people slow down, think and distill the main points in less words. The 7 seconds means there is more branching than a natural conversation. At best you get fresh perspectives and angles you would not have otherwise reached.

The best football teams play one touch or two touch football. Just as in the beautiful game if people had to pass the conversation onto the next person maybe conversations would become more beautiful. You watch the beautiful game and you can listen to the beautiful conversations on Sound Branch. Variety is the spice of life and as opera singers can hit depth of notes Sound Branch gives you real breadth of notes from many people, in many continents and from many backgrounds. Information that may prove to be useful in a whole host of situations including electioneering.

The End of the Chinese Whisper!

Sound Branch - Voice Social Media App

Sound Branch – Voice Social Media App

Ever been in a situation where it’s he said, she said, they said? I think we all have been. In the end you don’t know who to believe and getting to the truth of a news story is what all investigative journalists dream of. How many times have you listened to a radio programme only for the line to drop and the presenter apologies to listeners.

Sound Branch - Say it in 7 Seconds

Sound Branch – Say it in 7 Seconds

Sound Branch launched today is opening up conversations to the internet. Some will call it the end of the Chinese whisper. Others will praise the app for allowing everyone to experience public speaking. When people public speak they speak to an audience of several hundred. Sound Branch let’s people speak to the world!

The app allows people to record 7 second audio bites and publish this to the internet. Users start with a seed for a new topic and as people reply with their own recordings a ‘Sound Branch’ is formed. The app is the first to market for nano-podcasting.

Whether it’s the up and coming Brexit debate or the US election ‘Sound Branch’ brings the debate to life on a scale we have not seen before.

Sound Branch Voice Social Media App

Sound Branch Voice Social Media App allows users to have massive conversation. All users are give 7 seconds to speak their mind.

Think Question Time on steroids. Boris will be able to give his opinion on Europe and this can be branched by the opinions from Corbyn, Cameron and Osborne. Members of the public can then like these sound snippets or indeed broadcast their own opinion and thoughts all on the same ‘Sound Branch’. For those that don’t want to record their voice you can just listen to the full audio clip listening to hundreds of people’s opinions on the news of the day and current affairs.

I wonder what Football’s 606 will be like on Sound Branch? Perhaps the 606 could happen before, during and after the game.

You can download the Sound Branch App at the Apple App Store and the app is free to use.

Visit the website
www.soundbranch.com

You can download the App on the Apple App Store for iOS here:
Download Sound Branch for iOS

Download Sound Brand on the Apple App Store

Download Sound Brand on the Apple App Store

The Associate for Talent Development (ATD) Conference 2016, Denver, Colorado

ATD 2016 Denver Colorado

ATD 2016, Denver, Colorado

Whilst I once attended a regional ATD chapter event in Chicago at McDonald’s Hamburger University, I hadn’t been to the annual event. The Association of Talent and Development conference this year was held in Denver, Colorado.

The convention centre in Denver hosted the ATD 2016 event and lectures were held downstairs whilst the main trade expo was upstairs. Walking round the event on Sunday as the stands were being set up we bumped into Elliott Massie the world renowned thought leader in learning and development. Elliott was easy to spot wearing his trademark red jacket. Talking to Elliott as he sipped on his ice tea he explained how he had been to the ATD annual event for the last 23 years. Elliott went on to state there is always an annual buzzword. Last years buzzword was “gamification” whilst this years would be “virtual reality”. Not bad from the chap who coined the word “e-learning”.

The conference has enlarged and contracted over it’s 23 years but today it was as strong as ever. This year 15,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors made up the conference. From the traditional leadership and management chalk and talk instructor led companies to hi-tech companies from Silicon Valley there was a lot of variety for the learning and development professional attending.

Sean and Brandon at ATD 2016 Denver

Sean and Brandon at ATD 2016 Denver

Attending one lecture from the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) an organisation based in Greensboro, North Carolina we learnt how Pitney Bowes a shipping company has delivered an online only learning experience for their managers globally. WebX was the platform of choice for the online facilitation.

The co-presenters of the CCL presentation had not actually met each other before the conference. They explained the importance to prepare, engage and assess. Before each WebX dry run practice sessions were conducted by CCL. Virtual tea breaks were introduced for participants to either have a drink or just stretch their legs to ensure engagement levels were maintained.

Online chats were encouraged to get group sessions running and a problem oriented approach was adopted. Managers were encouraged to bring a critical business problem to the course which they would try and solve. Some managers missed the odd session but sessions were recorded so they could be revisited, one of the major benefits in using e-learning.

The Centre for Creative Leadership was set up by the successful businessman H. Smith Richardson Sr who was behind the Vicks brand. After building the successful Vick Chemical Co. his attention turned to the question of leadership. CCL is a not for profit      with     the sole purpose to further the advancement of leadership and management. CCL counts the UN and Red Cross as organisations which they have helped over the years. CCL is not just in North America they have staff based in Belgium, Ethiopia, Russia, Singapore, India, China and in South Africa.

Ursula and Brandon ATD 2016

Ursula and Brandon ATD 2016

In terms of products which I found interesting was a web conference and virtual training tool called JigSaw. JigSaw based in Atlanta have created an interesting software which allows for online facilitation via four split screens. For the last 2 years JigSaw have won CIO awards so their small team of 9 must be doing something right.

Other ideas which I discovered at the conference included new content authoring tools for write once and deliver on many devices. GoMo Learning a content authoring tool and challenger to the likes of Articulate Storyline not only allows for mobile responsive HTML5 friendly output but they also offer a hosted option for content which can simply be embedded in platforms. This means when branding changes are made to content you don’t have to download and upload the content packages to your learning platform. You simply update once and your content updates on all your platforms via embedded codes. Better deployment and write once for many devices is said to half the time taken to produce content by instructional designers.

Finally, I was curious to see how Degreed was developing its platform. Points can be earned on Degreed based on learning hours and these can then be converted to cash as rewards for staff. The platform is the glue that links the likes of Lynda.com, Udemy, Google Books, Udacity and Coursera under one single sign on model. Other popular repositories such as Box, DropBox, Office 365 and Google Drive are also connected to Degreed. A plugin to web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox means Degreed can track all the learning a user conducts both inside and outside of the platform. The learner and their managers can see what learning has happened and their current skills can be linked to skill gaps needed for the future. Degreed can also be linked to popular Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Moodle to deliver both formal and informal learning.

Another interesting exhibitor was Apollo Education Group’s Innovators Accelerator. Not only was the learning experience of this platform innovative, the subject matter experts housed on the platform included big names such as Professor Clayton Christensen from Harvard University. The accelerator allows middle managers and leaders the ability to attend an innovation program online. Josh Painter VP of Product and Partnerships at Apollo stated “Most online learning is not engaging and so Innovators Accelerator was designed from the bottom up to ensure the learning experience was best in class.”

Overall ATD was showing the shift from traditional instructor led learning to the digital world. Whilst there were still plenty of training companies in attendance more and more companies demonstrated blended learning solutions combining both the online and offline approaches. Next year ATD 2017 will be Atlanta Georgia and it will be well worth a visit!