Knowledge + Software + Right actions = Success

Shovel Testing
Image by Army Environmental Command

I hate when things are attached from their original context. This sometimes confuses people and prevents learning and seeing the big picture.

Lately I’ve been working as a guest speaker and coach in the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, giving presentations & group workshops for using social media in success, personal development and marketing – well, basically in every aspect of life.

I believe that what we should be doing better with education in this era of Knowledge Age, is to attach the use of services and applications more clearly with the use of different skills and actions.

If you are teaching about time management and don’t tell about the possible services or software which could support it, you are missing one area of the topic. I’m not saying everyone should be using them, but the skill of ICT capabilities is nowadays vital if you are planning to enter the work life anytime soon.

But, we shouldn’t give too clear instructions to people on the usage like “this is a shovel, you can dig a hole with it”. Instead we should be creating deeper understanding of which certain things you can use the technology and let people experiment by themselves and in groups to invent more ways – in other words, innovate and use their creativity. This can be achieved through coaching – something the too eager to manage managers should also notice.

I’ve gathered here a small list of skills, activities and some books of which you could be thinking of reading in unison to understand these things better. I’ve also included some web services which support the actions. These are just examples, don’t stare too much of them, but invent your own ones.

21st Century Skills, Knowledge  & Basics of Social Media

This is where it all begins. These are the cornerstones everyone should understand about our current era.

Trilling, B. & Fadel, C.: 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times

Peter F. Drucker: Management Challenges for the 21st Century

Erik Qualman: Socialnomics
Clay Shirky: Here Comes Everybody

Time & Task Management

Use the techniques [the ones that’ll suit you best] described in the books, support them with ubiquitous software.

David Allen: Getting Things Done
Timothy Ferris: The 4-hour workweek

Google Calendar & Tasks
Remember the Milk

Personal Branding

Chris Brogan, Julien Smith: Trust Agents
Chris Brogan: Social Media 101
Gary Vaynerchuk: Crush It!

Blog (for example WordPress)

Contact Management System

Readings & Network:
The Social Customer site



Of course I haven’t listed everything here, just some examples to get the idea. Also with the software, I tried to keep it more in the free ones so that one can easily jump to try them. Most likely different persons and businesses use different ones, for example check my older post about free and chargeable social media monitoring tools.

If you have something to contribute on this, books, software or whatever, please do so. I’d be glad to hear about them.


Book: Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Just finished this book today in a train and have to say that it was worth reading.

“Imagine that your web presence is a store and that those pageviews are potential customers. Does it matter how many people are walking around your store if they are not buying anything?”

“Create five times as much free value as you do for the parts where you charge.”

“Comment: This isn’t very measurable.
Back to you: Neither is networking.”

–Trust Agents

This is a book where Chris and Julien describe the things that get you forward with the whole social media or the [oh so forgotten term] Web 2.0.

I like how they do it by introducing the thoughts behind the whole thing, but in the same time give hands-on advices how to behave and act in the digital world without getting beaten by the natives, or the potential customers.

There are good tips and pointers which vary from networking to how to communicate in the Web, but there’s also information that can feel a bit basic to those already embracing the social Web as their own. This sometimes made me wonder who’s the target group of the book?

Well, overall a very nice read, though. Would recommend it to people who want to know more about the whole social media scene and get better understanding of it.

Not so heavy as Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody or Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics. A bit lighter and more hands-on approach to the issue, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Read it yourself and see what you get from it.

Question About Trust

This post is written because of two things made me think about trust:

  1. I’m currently reading a book called Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith,
  2. And I’m also going to join a community of entrepreneurs in The Hub concept, which is based on an idea of trust and open working environment. In every meeting we’ve had someone in the audience questioning the aspect called trust.

I tend to trust people, maybe even a bit more than average, and it makes me feel a bit sad when people who are thinking of joining this kind of community start questioning trust and how it is even possible to achieve in places like The Hub.

In a way I believe this is the same thing that you have with faith: Tell me there’s God and I have faith. The idea behind the so called blind faith is that it’s blind faith.

I consider the same thing with trust. After all it’s even simpler than faith: Just start trusting. It derives from you, not from what others may or may not do.

There are still people who seem to question trust and take it lightly or as something Utopian. To those, I have to throw an idea or a question: how do you believe it affects trust if you know someone and have the power to tell everyone about him and that this information could remain visible forever?

If I scam you, you have dozens of ways of spreading the message that this guy isn’t right – this channel is called the Web, if you didn’t guess already.

So, what do you think about trust now?