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Write A Great Online Bio – The Wiki Course

February 7, 2012

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Wiki’s allow for asynchronous collaboration and communication between groups of people. The excerpt below was adapted from various open content sources for YMCA staff and volunteers participating in the Wiki Course.  Participants are required to write an online bio before completing their wiki learning journey. John Zeus is the author of the Wiki Course for YMCA’s Enterprise Wikis.  

Focus

A bio is a story version of the information you would  include in a résumé. The format is less formal, and it gives you an opportunity to highlight some interesting facts about yourself while injecting a little of your personality.

The main goals of a bio are to give the reader an accurate sense of who you are and what you do in your organization and role, to establish expertise and to qualify your experience and background. All of these elements combine to develop trust in you and your offerings.

Even if your current résumé is in the wiki, there are many other situations when you will need a bio, including:

  • Posted on your personal or department website and blog
  • Included in your marketing materials
  • Provided with proposals to colleagues and clients
  • Submitted for speaking, presenting or coaching applications
  • Included in any books, e-books, reports or professional documents you develop

What to Include

One of the great things about a bio is the flexibility.

You can include as much or as little information as you want. Typically, most online bios include:

  • Current job, department or professional experience
  • Publications or presentations you have completed
  • Professional memberships you currently hold
  • Awards, honors and certifications you have received
  • You can personalize your bio even more by including elements such as a photo of yourself, your educational background, quotes or testimonials from colleagues and links to examples of your work.

Bio Checklist

What to include in your Bio

  • Your main role
  • Your present position and time working on the program
  • The number of years you have been working with youth populations
  • The diversified background and initiatives you have worked with prior to FPSYIP, SAM 2.0, Alternative Suspension, DYIP
  • Your contact information
  • Points of interest (optional)

Tips

There are many formats you can use to write a great bio, but there are some universal elements you can use to make it more effective. Typically, your bio should be written in the third person, using “he/she” instead of “I.” Presenting your bio as if someone else wrote it for you provides a distinction from you and the writer (even if it is understood that it is the same person). The third person also enhances the professionalism and makes people more willing to trust what is being said.

Make your opening attention-grabbing to draw the reader in and make them want to learn more about you. And using a conversational voice will make it easier for your readers to follow along.

Don’t be afraid to include some personal or unique information about yourself at the end of your bio, and use a tone that reflects you and who you are throughout.

You’ll want to keep your bio short, only including the information that needs to be included. Split it into short paragraphs to make it easier to digest and include supporting information in the form of links, whenever possible.

Once you have a bio you’re comfortable with you’ll want to modify and update it periodically to reflect changes and to keep it current.

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Shift Happens

February 6, 2012

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Shift Happens

Tweeting on Twitter or updating Facebook while watching TV has become a major trend. Sports fans sent about 11.5 million comments during last night’s game over social media networks. That’s about six times as many messages as “social TV” analysis firms found last year during the Super Bowl, indicating that more people are using social networks as a second screen during live TV events.

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A Collaborations Platform for Non-Profits – Notes

January 28, 2012

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Piloting Our Collaborations Platform. John Zeus demonstrates the integration of Smartboard, Enterprise Wiki, Distance Learning Strategy via Webinar at a local YMCA.

Notes

Our Collaboration Platform provides an easy and secure, web-based, content creation and management platform designed to be used anywhere, any time. The system empowers contributors to create attractive documents with rich content including images, links, media and more. With Instant publishing out goes the single gatekeeper and in grows a thriving collaborative community. Each workspace has its own designated editor(s) and its own security settings. Fine-grained, flexible permission schemes guarantee that only the right people can view, contribute or publish content. Our Platform allows stakeholders to manage day-to-day operations by enabling users to track, organize and manage their activities, while providing one central location to manage intellectual assets. The solution includes social collaboration tools with wiki’s, blogs and an informational dashboard that displays what team members are working on and contributing to. As a result, team members can easily find relevant content, communicate with experts, look at past or similar projects, and keep on top of any relevant content changes.

The idea is that there can exist a simple, easy-to-navigate and easy-to-participate in, on-line portal that gives a wide variety of audiences (Youth, Administrators, Funders, Partners, Facilitators, etc.) the opportunity to view, share, create or find information related to their particular “level” of interest.

Our platform organizes these disparate groups into logical communities of interest, and provides “snapshot” views of happenings across a host of activities; including Internships, Essential Skills Development, news, events and much more. Users will have the ability to create new content, establish a simple profile, and engage in collaborative discussions or “sharing.”

  • For the busy CEO or manager? Our ‘community of practice’ serves as a “collaborative news portal”—giving thumbnails and snapshots of activity across the the organizations spectrum. (a single website to use…to know “what’s going on” without having to become mired in the details)
  • For the Administrator or Facilitator? Our ‘network of networks’ is a way to connect and collaborate with other department  locations and personnel—and to share success stories and deeper program information by utilizing links to deeper information housed on the wiki and other sources.
  • For Youth and program participants?  With ‘shared leadership’ ‘knowledge production and transfer’  we serve as a sort of social network revolving specifically around the organizations programs, activities and success stories nationwide.  As members we definitely see that we are not alone in our endeavours!
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