The latest tweets from the Write Technology Twitter Feed:

  • 22:34 Am heading to Fairmont lobby for a drink. Hope to meet other #Devlearn08 folks. #
  • 11:29 #devlearn08 Wondering if it will be rude for me to twitter the keynote and take notes on my laptop … #
  • 11:30 Hiding out behind my glasses today, making some sort of an attempt to look professional #
  • 11:56 Having a minor fangirl moment during Tim O’Reilly’s keynote at #devlearn08 #dl08 #
  • 12:10 #devlearn08 #dl08 Taking notes in Evernote. Love that it will sync to my Mac back home and online. And my phone. #
  • 12:11 Wondering if I can turn my notes from #devlearn08 into a blog post for #
  • 12:22 Just found out that CoveritLive now integrates Twitter Feed. That’s awesome! Wish they’d had that option during the Wine Bloggers Confer … #
  • 12:34 97% of Flickr users change their default avatar – perhaps because it’s not smiling. Interesting. #devlearn08 #
  • 12:36 Design architecture guides people, almost emotionally, to interact with the site. Obvious, yet I hadn’t thought about it.#devlearn08 #
  • 12:50 – Tim O’Reilly @ Devlearn08 #
  • 13:38 Going to try session 108, ID for the Semantic Web #devlearn08 #dl08 #
  • 13:47 Father Guido Sarducci’s The 5 Minute University. Great way to start a session! #devlearn08 #
  • 14:11 Twitter seems to be havng issues with "in reply to" links. FAIL #
  • 14:49 Oh! just had my 1001st tweet on this account. I missed 1000! #
  • 16:23 Hmmm … listening to anti-technology chitchat and seriously reconsidering attending session 201. Wow. Double wow. #
  • 16:28 Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Folks in this room think I’m a 20-something because I have a laptop out and can multi-task. 20-something!  #devlearn08 #
  • 16:47 Am cutting out of 201. It’s more about what tech writers do. I am one, so new session for me. #devlearn08 #


Find Michelle Lentz here on Write Technology, on Twitter, or on Pownce.

 | Posted by | Categories: Twitter |

I’m reposting a post from May 31 of this year. I repost this from time to time, but there’s a reason. I don’t know if it’s because of my
increased visibility from, from public speaking, or from
GCASTD, but recently I’ve been slammed by LinkedIn
invites. I don’t know all the people who invited me but most of them
just used the default invite. This tells me nothing about them – no
contact information, no reference to where we met, nothing. So I
thought it might be time to re-post this. I figure I’ll post it every
two months if I have to.

Because I have started doing a lot more speaking and more public blogging, I get a lot more LinkedIn
invites.In many cases, these folks feel they have a personal connection
and don’t realize that I have a heck of a time remembering names
without a memory jog.

Would you send out an invitation to a party without thinking
through the invitation and considering the wording? Probably not. I
wish more people applied that same logic to LinkedIn invites.


I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

– John Doe

I probably do want to connect with John Doe. He’s probably a great guy
and might even have some great contacts. But because I need a memory
jog sometimes, I’m not sure who he is. I also question how seriously he
takes connecting because he didn’t bother to personalize his LinkedIn
invite and just sent the default.

Now, I admit to having done this myself once or twice. I get lazy
and send the default invite, especially when I’m connecting with good
friends. But if you’re reaching out to someone you met via Twitter,
briefly at a conference, or someone who you know because of their blog,
go ahead and personalize your invite. Not only
will it jog your connection’s memory, it will make you stand out a
little more as well.

Find Michelle Lentz here at Write Technology, on, on Twitter, or Pownce.

 | Posted by | Categories: Web 2.0 |

The Schools We Need

9 November 2008

I was watching a silly video on Viddler that was mildly related to learning and I stumbled upon The Schools We Need – a presentation Chris Lehmann from the Science Leadership Academy gave at Ignite Philly 2 in September. Ignite Philly gives you 20 slides and 5 minutes to talk about something. Chris chose to talk about our responsibility to technology in our school systems. It’s a great 5 minutes and notable for the content as well as the format.

 | Posted by | Categories: Instructional Design |

The Twitter presentation I’m giving at DevLearn evolved from a rather free-form presentation I gave at Podcamp Ohio back in June. In the way of technology, a lot of what I said then has changed (Summize is now, Jott is no longer free, and so on …).

When I present, I love to get the audience involved. I want your questions; I want your input: I want your suggestions. I do not want to just get up there and talk at you. It worked fairly well in this presentation, but I would have loved more additional input.

Of course, being that I was presenting and things always go wrong, we had no Internet access for the first half of the session, and I was soaked in the rain on my way into Podcamp that morning. I don’t recover well from being drenched. But, the session got some pretty good reviews and I look forward to returning to Podcamp Ohio next year.

The Podcamp video is 20 minutes long. This is only the first half of the presentation. You can also view the second half, which is where most of the conversation takes place. I promise, I come off much better live and in person.

 | Posted by | Categories: Events, Twitter, Web 2.0, Web/Tech |

Our Election and the Web

5 November 2008

cross-posted and slightly modifed from

Over at, I’ve written a couple of posts on how you could track and participate in the election on the Internet. Last night, however, was monumental in a number of ways. Not only did we create a potentially new and different America yesterday, we also impacted the way future elections should be run.

The use of the Web by campaigns, news organizations, interest groups, and just interested parties, was a sign of how much the Internet has affected our daily lives. Whether it was interactive electoral maps on or Katie Couric moving from newscast to webcast at 2 am, technology was evident on and off the air.

I was at an election party where we watched Comedy Central and CNN as well as tracked the election via Twitter. Twitter, by the way, was calling states for the respective winner just slightly before the actual news channels it seems. I left a party early and learned of the election being called for Obama by watching my Twitter feed on my phone.

Sarah Perez at Read Write Web has put together a fantastic Flickr slide show on how the Web was used by all of us last evening as we tracked election results.

How did you use the Web throughout the election results last evening?

 | Posted by | Categories: Current Affairs, Web 2.0, Web/Tech |

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this class has been postponed.


Does your business have a blog? Over 50% of US Internet users are
reading more than 133 million blogs, according to Technorati’s 2008
State of the Blogosphere. Most bloggers accept advertising and four out
of five post product reviews.  Bloggers aren’t just techies with an
online journal, they’re the newest breed of product influencer.  To
help you develop your own blog, Write Technology is offering The Art of
Blogging seminar on Nov 18, 8 a.m., at the Hamilton County Business
Center in Norwood.

You can register by calling 859.426.9748 or online at, where you can also download a course
outline. I’ve extended the introductory price of $179. You can also get $20 off the cost by entering code WRITETECH when you register.

Want to know more?
The most successful blogs are the ones with the best content. I believe that too many people focus on the numbers and trendiness of blogging and have forgotten about communicating with their readers.

In order to change this, I’m offering The Art of Blogging. The course concentrates on drawing readers in by providing great content. The four-hour seminar includes defining an audience, understanding your goals, finding your voice, exploring blog etiquette, measuring ROI, and more. Students will receive a participant guide and access to a private wiki, where they can continue to turn for guidance and discussion after the class has ended.

Readers want to know you’re more than a company angling for business. You can still promote your business through your blog, but do it by putting a human face on your content. This class doesn’t focus on the technology, but on the specific communication skills needed to create an engaging blog.

Your instructor has a clue …
A trainer and instructional designer for over a decade,I created Write Technology in 2003. I offer courses in Web 2.0 technologies and runs an award-winning wine blog., I’m also a contributing writer and professional blogger for Brian Solis’s Silicon Valley social economy blog,

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

All this travel is keeping me from a lot of original content. Here is my latest post from, which I think you’ll enjoy.

I follow Laura Fitton on
Twitter and am usually either enlightened or entertained by her tweets.
Her company, Pistachio Consulting, has released a paper and a
comparison matrix on microblogging (or microsharing) tools used in
corporations: Enterprise Microsharing Tools Comparison: Nineteen Applications to Revolutionize Employee Effectiveness.
According the paper, there has been an uptick in this sort of corporate
communication as the economy has a downturn and corporations cut back
on travel costs.

Concurrently, employees see the collaboration,
networking, problem-solving and other productivity benefits of web 2.0
tools and want to apply them at work. These tools directly contribute
to knowledge capture and management as workforces are scaled back and
baby boomers retire, and they boost motivation and retention,
especially among millennial generation employees.

CIO magazine’s October survey of 243 IT executives found
three-quarters plan to freeze or cut their IT budgets. There is a
critical need for cheaper, more versatile ways for information to flow
within the enterprise. Enterprise-grade versions of Twitter may be the
low-cost solution that fills this need.

By researching 19 microsharing tools and their uses, the team came
up with several key findings, including that your employees are
probably already using some sort of microsharing tool and that these
tools should also communicate with the “gold standard” of Twitter. The
report goes on to define, and classify, these 19 different tools,
listing advantages and disadvantages of each. Finally, they list the
questions they asked users of these tools.

I’ll be referencing this paper in a presentation I’m giving on
microblogging in education. As a big proponent of informal learning, I
think microblogging helps inspire others to share and learn.
“Watercooler learning” is evident in Twitter, and Laura touches,
unintentionally perhaps, on these learning and training concepts.

Microsharing for organizational communication and
collaboration fundamentally changes how employees interact with others
and grow their professional capacity. Microsharing connects people in
ways that promote mutual support, rapid networking, inspiration,
mentoring and idea exchange.

This is incredibly useful for anyone looking to add a Twitter-like
tool to their arsenal of internal corporate communications. As is
pointed out in the paper, there aren’t any case studies yet, as usage
is still too new.

You can download the paper and/or matrix free from Pistachio Consulting.


Enterprise Micro Sharing Tools Comparison 11032008Upload a Document to Scribd
 | Posted by | Categories: Training, Travel, Twitter, Web 2.0 |

LinkedIn Adds Applications

30 October 2008

cross-posted from

It’s amazing how much happens in the tech world when you take a
vacation. The latest news is that LinkedIn is taking the Facebook tact
and adding applications. The difference is that LinkedIn Apps are all productivity focused and, in theory, will help promote your profile even more.

Right now, the following apps are available to spruce up your LinkedIn homepage and/or your LinkedIn profile:

  • Amazon Reading List
  • Slideshare
  • Linking your WordPress or Typepad posts to your profile
  • Huddle Workspaces
  • TripIt
  • Google Presentation
  • Company Buzz

According to Chris Brogan, you should drop everything
and run over to LinkedIn and add Apps to your profile. I took his
advice and added the WordPress and SlideShare apps. I’d love to be able
to add my other blogs, but the BlogLink app seems to be a bit buggy. I
assume that will work itself out.  I think that the blogging apps (when
they work) and the Slideshare apps are just brilliant.

That said, I’m a little worried about this development as well. I love that LinkedIn is actually doing something.
However, you can’t control where the applications appear on your public
profile – at least not that I could find. I’m afraid LinkedIn profiles
might become as messy as the old Facebook profiles or MySpace. I hate

What do you think? Will you add LinkedIn apps to your profile? Do
you think they’ll help promote your talents? Are apps a bad idea,
contributing to the clutter? Let us know in the comments.

 | Posted by | Categories: Web 2.0 |

Blog Humor

16 October 2008

I always try to post when I find some blog-related humor in the comics. I particularly like today’s Doonesbury, by Gary Trudeau. Bloggers are a hundred million strong! It’s great that large companies are starting to take us seriously, but the traditional media is still a little baffled. Not entirely, but a little.


View full-size image

You can view Doonesbury online at

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

originally posted to

Yesterday the LinkedIn blog announced some aesthetic changes for the professional networking site. These are all mostly subtle changes, but they do make a big difference. In particular, these things make a huge difference in the ease-of-use category. It’s now easy to find things we didn’t even know existed before.
First off, they’ve enclosed the important profile information in a blue box on your profile. This calls attention to that information as well as making it easier to find.

Next, they’ve made it easier to take action on other people’s profiles. If someone is not a connection, you’ll see a box like this:

If they are in your network, you’ll see this:

It really does make things easier. My favorite additions are the ability to print to either your printer or PDF, or download the contact information (if in your network). These options were always there, but rather well hidden. When you’re using LinkedIn as an introductory resume, it’s a nice option for your potential employer to be able to print or save your information. I also like the easy to find suggestions/links for sending messages, recommendations, forwarding profiles (I’ve always had trouble finding that one), and getting introduced.

continue reading »

 | Posted by | Categories: Web 2.0 |