Conceptualising ‘digital’ for small business: It’s bigger than ‘should I tweet?’

We meet so many different people in our work – old/young, experienced and not so experienced. We also meet folks who really have a head for digital and many more who do not. It’s really easy when you don’t know about something to have only a surface understanding of it. And with digital, it’s more often than not, much bigger and more complex, sophisticated and nuanced than you might realise.

Hangouts on Air

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 10.36.01 AMEver since Hangouts on Air was born I’ve been planning to create a regular program for The Critical Classroom. Last night we held one for the first time. What is Google Hangouts? If you’re familiar with tools like Skype, Google Hangouts isn’t completely unfamiliar.

Like Skype, Google Hangouts, is a video conferencing services that is owned by Google. Unlike Skype, Google Hangouts has a larger array of tools and potential for more than making video calls between a number of parties.

Currently there are two types of Hangouts,

  1. Video Hangouts (a private “call” between a set number of people), and Hangouts on Air (which is a live-stream, on-air, broadcast).
  2. Hangouts on Air are streamed live via YouTube.

When you host a Hangout on Air you have a number of tools, including setting a Question and Answer function, blocking and ejecting users, screen sharing and linking to Google Drive. A number of professional businesses use Hangouts on Air as a way to market their business.

This is partly how I see the After Dinner with the Critical Classroom. It’s an opportunity for us to reach a broader number of people and increase awareness of the Critical Classroom’s products and ideas.

The Hangout on Air is immediately archived to your YouTube channel, and can later be edited, using the YouTube editing features. I see a lot of potential with Google Hangouts, including delivery of education, health and social services, as well as business and marketing opportunities.

Our first After Dinner session was held last week, and I hope to do more sessions not just for The Critical Classroom, but also for Deadly Bloggers and Iscariot Media generally.

I’ll schedule in an update of this post in six months and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cheers, Leesa


Collaborative working is such a significant component of modern day workplaces. The Iscariot Media team work in different locations, and often asynchronously. Being able to access documents from multiples devices at any time of the day is imperative. The availability of cloud services mean this option is now an option for many small business. Evernote is a collaborative cloud based tool that was primarily designed for what what its name suggestions – Notetaking. I created an Evernote account a few years ago, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun to use it seriously, and now I thoroughly recommend it.

In Evernote, your documents are organised using Notebooks. Within each Notebook, you create Notes. Notebooks and Notes can be shared with your colleagues, as well as made public. Other features of Evernote include adding files (ie. attachments), setting reminders, and Web Clipper. Evernote can be downloaded and synced to multiple devices. I currently have Evernote on my phone, laptop and desktop computer. I can tell you, having files in Evernote and synced across devices, has already saved my skin (ie. saved a Sale) once.

What I’m liking about Evernote, is that the interface is straightforward, clean and uncluttered. As I’m using it more, I’m getting to know different features. As a collaborative tool, we’ve now set up client File Notes, so that multiple team members can access and edit Notes as they complete a task. Each Note, at the end of a job, can be turned into a PDF for archiving.

Like many other services, Evernote has a free subscription option, so it costs nothing to sign up and see if could work for you. Once you’ve decided that Evernote is for you, you can purchase a Premium and/or Business subscription.

I highly recommend Evernote. Are you using Evernote? What’s your favourite feature?

Cheers, Leesa

[Image Credit: “EVERNOTE, the Evernote Elephant logo and REMEMBER EVERYTHING are trademarks of Evernote Corporation and used under a license.” ]