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Social media, virtual town halls and the top tech of 2009

How to win over social media holdouts
Source: Bnet

Are reluctant co-workers stifling every attempt to bring social media into your workplace? Bnet Blogger Jessica Stillman suggests seven ways to win them over.

One idea: Don’t sell them on the concept, sell them on a solution. Find a specific need that social media might fill, such as employee training, and explain how the technology could help. Also, point out how other organizations have put the technology to work. That might help your co-workers grasp the concept better -- and it might shame them into giving it a try.

But don’t fight this battle by yourself. Find others in the organization who have embraced social media and get their help in educating your reluctant co-workers.

Finally, if all else fails, “give the gift of social media,” Stillman wrote. “With the holidays at hand, this is a perfect time to get in the giving mood (even if it does have a bit of a hidden agenda). There are many resources available on the evolution of social media. Present your boss, co-workers or employees with a copy of the latest book to get their wheels turning.”

Virtues of virtual town hall meetings
Source: “Complexity and Social Networks” blog

Online “town hall” meetings are proving to be a big hit with members of Congress and their constituents, according to a new report highlighted by Harvard University’s David Lazer.

Online meetings increased the likelihood that participants would vote and try to persuade other people to vote, the report states. It was produced by the Congressional Management Foundation.

The meetings also drew individuals who might not otherwise get involved. “These sessions were more likely than traditional venues to attract people from demographics not traditionally engaged in politics and people frustrated with the political system,” the study concluded.

Meanwhile, the elected officials come away looking like winners. According to the study, which evaluated a series of online town hall meetings held by 13 members of Congress, approval ratings jumped by an average of 18 points after a session.

The best tech of 2009
Source: PC World

Ease of use, rather than novelty, was the deciding factor in PC World’s choice of Apple’s App Store as the best technology of 2009. Other smart phone manufacturers support third-party software, but no one has made it so easy to download so many inexpensive, useful programs, the editors wrote.

On the other hand, Google Voice made the list for a combination of innovation (a single number for all a user’s phones, e-mailed transcripts of voice messages) and attractive pricing (free). “Set up conference calls for free, record calls, even switch phones in the middle of a call,” they wrote. “And it's all free. Ma Bell, eat your heart out.”

The top hardware products are the 160G Intel X25-M solid-state drive, an internal storage device priced at $500, and the Nikon D300s digital camera, priced at $1,770. According to the PC World editors, the camera excels at both photos and videos and offers a built-in microphone.

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