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Read this post in Russian, translated by Google. Читать этот пост на русском языке, перевод Google.

Twitter is an excellent crowdsourcing tool.

An email from Jim Cremer, who’s team-teaching a class with me at the University of Iowa next semester, asked if I could geotag my tweets. Our course will teach students how to develop iPhone applications and Jim wanted to show a current course something about geotagging. He thought some geotagged tweets from Siberia would be fun to show students.

I had seen that Twitter was going to be adding geotagging soon, but didn’t know whether it was available yet. I had already left Siberia and was in St. Petersburg. I would be leaving shortly for a walking tour of the city. To tweet without outrageous international data roaming rates, I would need to use the hotel’s free wifi. (more…)

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Some people who don’t use social media see it aPatrick Devlins self-indulgent and trivial.

They haven’t experienced the way that people have reached out through Twitter, Facebook and blogs to comfort my family after the death Wednesday of my nephew Patrick. They haven’t experienced how his father, John, shared the story of Patrick’s final months on CaringBridge with hundreds of friends, family and caring people he’d never met.

Social media are just communication tools. They aren’t inherently good or bad, frivolous or serious. When my father, Patrick’s grandfather, battled prostate cancer 31 years ago, people used the communication tools of the day – telephones, greeting cards and stationery – to express their support and encouragement during the fight and their sympathy after it ended. Generations before that used telegraph, quill pens and other tools. (more…)

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I woke up in the middle of the night and was having trouble getting back to sleep, so I checked Twitter. “Earthquake” was a trending topic, so I clicked.

Hundreds of tweets reported an earthquake in Indonesia, causing buildings to sway in Jakarta. Twitter was reporting location, near Java, and magnitude, 7.3, and reporting on a tsunami warning. Not a peep from Google News or AP. When I searched “earthquake” in Google News, I got older quakes. (more…)

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Whatever your business or profession and whatever social tools you are using, these tips apply in most social media situations:

  1. Decide what your goal is in using each social media tool and reassess from time to time how well the tool is serving that goal. (more…)

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If you still think Twitter’s all about what-I’m-having-for-breakfast, you probably weren’t following the @StLukesCR Twitter feed this morning and early afternoon:

Surgery tweet

That was the fourth 0f 126 tweets in a live twittercast of a robotic surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids Monday by Sarah Corizzo, media relations specialist/writer for St. Luke’s, author of the @StLukesCR Twitter feed. (more…)

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