Last week, March 21-22, 2013, I attended the #smTulsa, or Social Media Conference in Tulsa. This was their third go-round and my first time to attend. It was very well run by a crew of volunteers from the Social Media Tulsa group and headed by the effervescent and socially-connected Cheryl Lawson, otherwise known as @PartyAficionado. It was great to be around people from Oklahoma and get to know people and their many tech talents from our state.
Both days had pertinent keynote speeches as well as breakout/workshop sessions to attend. There was a pretty big focus on social media tools for non-profits, however, the tips and tools they spoke about work just as well for any of us, so I took advantage of some of those sessions.
A big focus and concern for everyone with a small business is email, collaboration, storage and sharing of documents. The speaker for this session mentioned Google for these services, but most of us know they discontinued their free Google apps for individuals, small business, etc. I was watching for him to talk about Microsoft SkyDrive (yes, I’m a Microsoft SkyDrive Insider!), but it wasn’t on his list of tools. I was happy to let him know about Microsoft SkyDrive, where you get 7GB of free storage, apps that can be downloaded for PC, Mac, and just about any phone or tablet. When you have SkyDrive, you can collaborate (your other collaborators do not have to sign in to an account), share and upload documents up to 2GB to your SkyDrive space. As long as you’re using SkyDrive, why not set up an Outlook.com email address for your business. Right now, I think Microsoft is the only source for free email (see my article a couple weeks ago on this). So attach your custom domain and set up as many as 500 email addresses for your company, all free. You can easily import your Outlook.com email into your desktop Outlook application. Many people aren’t aware that when they have their SkyDrive/Microsoft account they get to use the quite powerful Microsoft Web Apps. This is Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote in the cloud. It’s not a skimpy offering either. The features are rich and allow creation and editing of these types of documents. So then a business would have many startup headaches out of the way by using Microsoft SkyDrive and the many included features.
While at #smTulsa, I took some photos. Yes, I have a Windows Phone 8 and love it because any time I take a picture, I have it set so that my photo goes automatically to my camera roll folder in my SkyDrive. That gives me an automatic backup and an easy way to share at the same time. Because it’s in my SkyDrive, I can easily select pictures from an event and send them or just get a link and post it to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Here’s how:
- Navigate to the folder in your SkyDrive that contains the photos you want to share
- Click on the ‘Share’ button near the top of your screen
- You’ll see the below screen where you choose to get a link and an email right from this pop-up, use your own email service, or post to a social media account and you’re done!
If you choose to send a group of photos from your Outlook.com email, you’ll have the opportunity to send a really cool-looking preview grouping of your photos like I have below. You’re not actually sending the photos themselves and loading up someone’s inbox, you are sending a link where they can choose to either download or view them. Either way, when they click, they’ll be taken to SkyDrive to either view or download – the graphic preview makes the recipient want to click!
Take a look at my photo album from the Social Media Conference. If you have some great business collaboration tools to share, please leave a comment.