NFL season structure – infographic

Following the infographic I did two weeks ago about Folders vs Tags I decided to do another one on a more light hearted topic this time.

A few years back I got introduced to the NFL. As a non-American this sport had always been completely alien to me with rules that were utterly unintelligible. Thanks to tireless explanations and instructions by some friends however I started to understand and – most importantly – enjoy it and even ended up attended my first ever (virtual) super bowl party.

postit with NFL Season structure explained

One of the important lessons I was given in the run up to that was by my good friend Mitch who explained to me how the NFL was organized and how each season was structured. I still cherish the note I took on a post-it during that conversation and it formed the basis of this infographic. Just a fun experiment and who knows, it might help someone else get a better understanding and love for the game too.

This infographic is also posted to visual.ly and can be viewed or embedded from here

NFL Season structure

Yellowverse world wide social challenge yourself challenge!

I LOVE running… when I do it. The problem is: I don’t do it enough. There simply doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do so and well… I’m way to attached to my laptop / ipad / MacBook / smartphone screen. I know I’m not alone in that and I need some motivation to get going again. So when I was talking to Garett Wolthuis (@GarrettWolthuis) last Wednesday night at BLUG and discovered he was the guy who wrote an amazing blog of his personal achievement of running a 5k last November a plan grew.
We challenged each other. Literally! We set a date: The weekend of May 19th and made the agreement to each run a 5k in that weekend and to motivate each other to train for that.
It is not about the time, it is not about the distance, it is not about the place it is about setting ourselves a challenge, motivating each other and sticking to it. And as we got talking we got some others involved too who are either going to be running or doing a hike. So yes Garrett, Paul, Kathy, Eileen and Steve and anybody else who wants to join; you don’t know it yet but I am going to keep you to that pledge as I need that stick behind the door to do this 🙂

Great idea? Well lets see, I need some serious training to get back in shape and I know that I will need you guys to help me do this. A social experiment? You bet! What better way to test the strength of the social idea in our community then to use it to motivate each other through Social Media to do a physical challenge.

So this is day 1. And I am heading for my first #YellowverseRun training run. It is going to be a challenge I’m sure but I’m up for it knowing I’ll have some supporters who will kick my butt if I don’t and give me an encouraging (virtual) arm around my shoulder when needed.

It’s time to man up and start doing, social running here we go!

Who is using Google+ ….. infographic

Interesting infographic by www.flowtown.com on the usage of Google+. There have been a lot of jokes around the internet on whether or not Google+ is really being used or if, after the initial hype most users returned to their old and familiar platforms. This seems confirmed by this infographic that shows only 17% of registered Google+ users is considered ‘Active’ and a ‘Frequent Google+ user’.

So did they loose the battle? No, I don’t think so. If you manage to pull in over 40 million users within a couple of months you must be doing something right. They just have to find their edge and unique selling point and that 83% that is currently inactive will be flocking back. The problem seems to be though that they don’t really know yet what that unique selling point is….

Who’s Using Google +?
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

Google+ Ripples

So Google+ is still there. Yes, I know lots of people really like it but I’m still not there. The main reason? I STILL can’t update from any of my social apps like Yoono and Hootsuite (Google+ API not released yet) and it STILL looks like crap on my iPad (iPhone app makes it a bit better but not much).
If they think I’m going to drop all my other networks and switch over just like that they are dreaming.

But in the mean time they are clearly working on it and this week an interesting new development was the release of Ripples. An option that shows you how your public posts are being shared accross yours as well as others networks. Yes, have to admit. I’m impressed. Will this win me over?? Not yet (see above) but it does make me wish Twitter will copy this one really quick because I’d love to see this kind of detail on my Tweets!

User training…..

I spent most of last week getting user requirements for a project I’m doing for an international firm. This firm has excellent video conferencing facilities and as they have offices around the world I spend a lot of time using those facilities to get input from people around the globe. Although I used video conference tools before and in general prefer the face to face situation, I must say I was impressed with the facilities they had and the possibilities it offered.

This made me think of a very bizarre user training I once gave over ten years ago…..

Back then I worked for another major international company where I helped develop an online CRM package for a business unit within the company. Part of the implementation was to deliver a user training. Now this business unit had lot’s of small branches around the globe with only a few users at each of the locations so flying around the globe to give the training wasn’t an option. Flying the users out to the Netherlands wasn’t an option either so the choice was made to do a training by phone conference….

This was the time when internet was far from what it is today and things like a multi-channel video conference or even screen sharing just wasn’t an option yet. In fact at that time I had only just gotten rid of my 56kb phone modem.
So a phone conference it was. I had sent out the link with the application URL and login details earlier and had asked each of the users to log in ahead and report any login problems so that we wouldn’t have to spend time during the meeting to solve login errors.

At 16:00 CET we started:

<BEEP><BEEP>……<BEEP> ….. Hello?…Hello?… somebody there? This is Hong Kong…<squeek>…..
Me: Hello Hong Kong this is Femke, can you hear me?
Hong Kong: ……………. Hello?… Hello?…. Mmm, I think we’re first. No one there yet I guess, did we get the time right? (shortly followed by a whole discussion in Chinese)…….
Me: Hong Kong, we’re here, can you hear me???
Hong Kong:……….<squeek>……..(more Chinese)……
London: Mmm, I think they don’t have their speakers set up correctly, wouldn’t be the first time either. This is John from London by the way, hello Femke!
Me: Hello John, welcome and good of you to join!
….<BEEP> …..
Hello it’s Tim and Brian joining from New York here!

Me: Hello Tim and Brian, welcome! we’re still awaiting South Africa and Sao Paulo and then we’ll start the lesson.
…..(more undefinable squeeking and Chinese. Somewhat agitated now)…..
…<CLICK>….
London: I think we just lost Hong Kong there……
Me: Probably, let’s hope they call back
….<BEEP> <BEEP>….. (Sao Paulo & Cape Town join the phone conference)
Me: Ok, we’re still missing Hong Kong but I’ll start anyway.
So welcome all, I hope you all have your pc/laptop in front of you and have logged into the application as requested.
New York (Tim): Ehhh… was that required, ok hold on and let me get my laptop!
Me: Well yes, didn’t you see my earlier message on this? Please hurry!
….(lots of scuffle in the background while Tim gets his laptop)….
Me: Ok, now I’ll start with a short introduction, can you all open the home page and click the “Contacts” link in the top?
…(sound of clicks in the background while each of the participants opens the requested page)…
London: Mmm… I’m getting an error here, is that normal?
Me: No, in general not. What error do you get?
London: Ehhh… sorry clicked it away, and now my browser hangs. Hang on, let me restart Windows….
Me: No! That would take too long, simply close the browser and reopen it.
London: Ehhh… sorry, too late, I’d already pressed the reset button on the pc. But don’t worry, it normally doesn’t take long to start…..
Me: Ok, well then start it up asap please while I continue.
…<BEEP>…… Hello?,….. Hello?!? (Chinese swearing)….
….. <CLICK>…….

London: That was Hong Kong again I guess……
Me: Yes, I think so… Ok, let’s go on with the session
So, you should all see the ‘Contacts’ overview now listing all the contacts that are in the……(Windows Startup song blasts through the speaker while John’s pc starts up in London)……..
London: Sorry! I’ll mute my mic!
Me: Ok, please do while I continue
…..(chuckling on the line)…….
New York: Tim here! I’m ready and I’ve got my laptop, where did I need to go?
Me: Ok Tim good. Please open the Contacts overview by clicking the Contacts link in the top
So……where was I…. Ok, the Contacts overview. Now this overview lists all of the contacts in the application you can… <BEEP>……
….. Hello? This is Hong Kong, can you hear me??……
Me: Hello Hong Kong, yes we can, can you hear us?
Hong Kong: Yes, I can! We couldn’t reach you guys but it all seems to work now!
Me: Good, we already started. Could you please open the Contacts overview by clicking the button in the top?
Hong Kong: Ehhh….Which button?
Me: You should see a link in the top of the application page linking to the Contacts overview
Hong Kong: How do I open the application??
Me: Didn’t you get my email? I send the link before?
Hong Kong: Sorry, never saw an email. Let me check…
Me: I can’t wait for that, I’ll sent it to you again, please try to login asap while I continue
….
By this time I’m asking myself how we’re ever going to get thro
ugh this

…..
Me: John, has your pc restarted yet? Do you get the error again?
London: ……………………………………………………………….
Me: John, if you can hear me then please un-mute your mic, we can’t hear you.
….<squeek>…….
London:  Sorry for that, yes I’m back, no error this time, got the Contacts overview
Me: Good. Ok so the Contacts…… (I continue talking a bit about the Contacts overview)
New York (Brian): ……Damn Tim, stop that!…….
New York (Tim): Shut up, I want to see what’s behind that button!
New York (Brian): She’s still talking about the Contacts, let’s just follow what she says!!
New York (Tim): Get your own pc then!
Me: Ehhh….. sorry, New York is everything ok there?
……(By this point Tim & Brian get into a heated argument followed by a door being slammed)…..
New York (Tim): Sorry for that, Brian just walked out
Me: Ehh…. Is he coming back or should I continue?
New York (Tim): He’s an *&%hole, just continue
Me: Ok, I still feel he should be hearing this but we’ll continue
….<BEEP>….. Hi, this is Brian, I moved next door, sitting behind my own desk here. Sorry for that, Tim just couldn’t wait and listen and was already clicking all kinds of buttons even if you hadn’t told us to do so
New York (Tim): You’re an *&%hole, Brian, you know!
New York (Brian): Likewise!
….(again an  argument between Tim & Brian erupts, this time over the phone conference as they are now sitting in separate offices)……
Hong Kong: (raising his voice to get over the still ongoing argument) : …..Ehh… sorry but I just received your mail, I can’t seem to log in. It says my password is incorrect…..
Me: (while Brian & Tim continue their argument) could it be you have your caps lock on?
Hong Kong: (trying without the caps lock)…… Ah yes, thank you it works
Me: Tim, Brian, please I need to continue, could you please stop this and continue another time?
New York: ………(Still in a bitter fight between each other, don’t even react to my plea)……
At that moment the Business Unit CEO that was sitting next to me finally intervenes and tells Tim & Brian unceremoniously to shut up…..
…….
 …..<SILENCE>…..
…….
Me: Ok, after all that lets continue….. Where was I
Hong Kong: The Contacts overview. Where was the link to that again?!?
Me: In the top, to the left side
Hong Kong: …..Can’t find it…….
…..hold on, the other left side….. ok, got it!
Me: So, again, contacts….

This went on for two hours straight. It was one of the most memorable training sessions I ever gave. I still don’t know how I managed to actually complete that training but I did….. somehow…..

Silly Season – Breaking news

The one thing that Social Media has tought us is that you can never predict what is hot or not. Even the most trivial thing can be made into a straight out hype on the Internet within a day.

Take the infamous “Blumenkübel”. Now you might think ‘What?’ and yes I thought that as well. But still this word made it into the WorldWide Trending list on Twitter, has a Facebook page with thousands of followers and was mentioned on major news sites. It has been one of the topics for the last two days on the internet.

So what is it all about then?
Well simply put Nothing really. It’s a non-story, something to talk about in the absence of serious topics (summer recess). ‘Blumenkübel’ means flowerpot in German and refers to an article in an obscure local German magazine two days ago about a flower pot outside an elderly home that got broken by vandals.

Someone started twittering about it and within hours this story just got totally hyped. Worldwide people were twittering about……. a broken flower pot.
Some of them not even knowing what the word meant at all. Al thanks to social media. Would you have predicted that a broken flower pot would have gotten that much attention??

Funny detail, the author of the article just started and this was one of her first articles. Now that’s a way to make an entrance!

HOLLAND BEAT BRASIL! (and twitter!)

Ok, nobody can have missed it but the Dutch lions have beaten the Brasil canaries in South-Africa’s Worldcup quarter final. 🙂 Something that is cause for a lot of celebrations here in The Netherlands! And the one thing that Dutch like to do when they celebrate is to involve anything and everyone in their party. So what happened when they won? The Dutch started Twittering!

146,933 Tweets per half hour mentioning the #Ned tag alone….. No  wonder Twitters ‘whale’ was up most of the time!

Wonder what will happen if when they win the title!
;-))