The 2018 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List

This year’s annual list of the Top 100 most influential people in the world’s corporate e-learning sector sees women occupying the top spot in each of the List’s four sections: “The Elite”, “Premier Platinum”, “Gold Standard” and “Silver”.

Women Head Each Section Of The Top 100 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List

The Top 100 Movers and Shakers’ List represents the views of a number of key people about the personalities who lead the corporate online learning world.

“This year’s List shows some significant movement in individual placings compared with last year’s List – with 15 ‘New Entries’, the highest of which is at number 60, and only one person, in 66th place, retaining the position they occupied in the 2017 list,” commented the judges’ chairman, Bob Little. “Maybe this illustrates the vibrancy and volatility of this still relatively youthful industry sector.”

He added, “Naturally, I’m deeply grateful to all the judges for generously providing their time and expertise – and to eLearning Industry for its continued encouragement and support in this project which, hopefully, offers some recognition to the industry’s leading exponents, thinkers and promoters.”

The 2018 Movers and Shakers List in Corporate eLearning

N.B: Figures in brackets show last year’s position, if appropriate.



100. Ai Addyson-Zhang

– A Chinese national, currently living in South Korea, who hosts a Facebook live show, Classroom Without Walls: Using Technology to Reimagine Education.



110 Marketers Share Their Top Pieces of Advice for New Content Creators

In the last week of December 2017, I had a Christmas wish.

“Please, Santa, I’d like a LinkedIn post to go viral.”

And, it happened!!

"Know why you’re creating content to give yourself a clear direction and purpose. According to Ai, it will get your everywhere."

Ai Addyson-Zhang


Understand your ‘why.’ When I just started my social media journey, I didn’t have a clear understanding of why I wanted to be on social media other than interacting with my students. I didn’t see a big picture. I was chasing one shiny object after another. My content creation was not consistent and my message was not cohesive. I was all over the place and talking about all sorts of random things, from vegan food, parenting, teaching, traveling, education, to social media. Fast forward to today, I am so thankful that I have finally figured out my ‘why,’ which has substantially helped my content creation. I have become a lot more strategic and purposeful with my social media efforts. Every piece of content I create, I keep my audience in mind and try my best to provide as much value as possible. I see a huge difference in my overall social media results.”

- Professor, Blogger, & Digital Learning Consultant, Stockton University


How Long It Takes To Create Different Types Of Content (With Examples From The Pros)

Classroom Without Walls: Using Technology to Reimagine Education is a weekly Facebook live show that features 30 to 50 minute interviews with educators and communications professionals about using social media and tech as a teaching tool.

Each episode of this Facebook live show takes three hours on average to complete starting with the prep work and ending with the completion of the live interview.

Here are more insights on the approach behind this show with its host Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang, a professor at Stockton University, blogger and consultant.

What’s the process from behind the scenes?

"When going live with a guest or interviewing an expert on a specific topic, it can take hours to prepare, find the guest, prepare interview questions and finally host the interview live. When I did my first Facebook live streaming interview with a professor who was interviewed by NPR, it took me probably a few days to get prepared. I spent lots of time trying to find the best guest for my first episode and also figuring out the technical side. I experimented with going live natively on Facebook first and later started using third-party tools such as Zoom and BeLive. It took me several live streaming sessions to eventually decide on the platform that works best for me. Now, as my show has gained some traction and more engagement, I recently invested in a ring light and microphone to enhance my audio-visual quality. Nowadays, it takes me about three hours to prepare a live streaming interview."

What part of the process is the most time-consuming?

"The technical side and being in front of a camera are no longer challenges for me. The most time-consuming part is content preparation. When I go live solo, I want to make sure that I have good content to share by having an outline to list the main points I want to discuss. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time especially given how much noise is on social media already. When I do a live interview shows on Facebook, I can spend hours consuming a specific guest’s content. However, I am enjoying this process and I love getting to know my guests. That whole process really enhances the value of my show. I try to always keep my community and audience in mind."

Why have you taken this particular approach to content?

"I was on Snapchat on a daily basis and spent hours there connecting with people and telling stories. Snapchat helped me become much more comfortable with being on camera and got me hooked on digital storytelling in a much more interactive and intimate way. After about two years on Snapchat, it is kind of a natural step for me to bring my storytelling to a more public platform. Plus, my audience is on Facebook, which I realized over time. I want to engage with my audience more and serve them better. Hence, I developed the idea of hosting a weekly Facebook live show focusing on my passion and expertise. My show has helped me build a community who openly shares and co-creates content with me. To me, that’s my favorite part of being on social media."

Has the process gotten easier over time or more difficult?

"A hundred percent easier. The first time you do anything it’ll be challenging. As I continue to practice my live streaming craft, I am becoming a lot more efficient and effective at sharing my content with my community and providing value."



Social Media Marketing World is the premier event for all social media marketers. This year it’s taking place in San Diego from Wednesday February 28th to Friday, March 2nd, 2018. It provides a unique opportunity for marketers to learn from leading industry experts and network with thousands of marketing professionals. If you’re keen to keep up to date with the ever-changing nature of social media and discover the latest tactics, this is the place to be.

TopRank Marketing recently published a great blog listing the top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Learn From in 2018, which looked at the speakers for the SMMW18 conference and made some great recommendations on which presentations to see, who to follow online and who to set up a meeting with.

We wanted to add to this analysis and look at the wider social media conversation among an audience of nearly 16K social media marketers to collate a list of who is driving the most influence across all social media marketing related topics in the run up to the conference.


We were really interested in seeing which #SMMW18 “Tracks” (topics used to categorize all the keynote speeches and panel discussions) received the most attention in the run up to the conference, so we analyzed all the social media posts from November 25th 2017 – February 27th 2018 from an audience of 16K+ social media marketing influencers. This is an audience that we have built up over the past few years by capturing the most prominent contributors the the SMM conversations on twitter, to understand who was most influential in driving discussions.

We looked at social topical influence as well as topical authority by analyzing both their social engagement on Twitter and how much influencers were referenced in association with the track topics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Forums, Blogs, News and Tumblr content. The chart below shows the topic share of voice among the top SMM influencers in the lead up to the conference:

In comparison at #SMM17 the most frequently mentioned topics at the conference were Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Storytelling, Influencer Marketing, Content marketing, Live Streaming, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and #AI. If you want to look at our analysis of the conference last year click here!


We wanted to take a deeper dive into the top 5 tracks at the conference to uncover who the top 25 influencers were in each topic area. In addition to these 5 lists we decided that because influencer marketing was a trending topic at last year’s conference (actually more spoken about than content marketing) we would add an extra 6th list of the top influencer marketing influencers.


46 Ai Addyson-Zhang, Ph.D aiaddysonzhang 0.10


[Video] Why You Need to Understand and Own Your Digital Footprint

Do you know what your digital footprint is? This is a topic I had the pleasure of discussing with Dr. Ai Zhang, Associate Professor of Communications for Stockton University, Facebook Show Live Host of “Classroom Without Walls” and Social Media Pedagogy Consultant.

We start our discussion by defining what a digital footprint is and the impact it can have not only in our daily lives but also in our careers. Dr. Ai identifies a footprint as a “personal ID, much like a passport.” Without it, we can’t go anywhere when it comes to online spaces. But with them, we are able to tell our stories instead of letting others do it for us.

Your Digital Footprint is Real

You can either allow what is posted by others to be what others see of you, or you can get out in front by creating content that reflects what you want others to think of you and the work you do.

Dr. Ai and I discuss the power of your smartphone. There is no need to purchase any expensive equipment. Your iPhone or Android device is everything you need to take pictures, shoot short video clips, make memes, and post your ideas on any or all social channels.

Our conversation then looks forward to how we can build our own digital footprint. Dr. Ai starts with, “Understand your why.” She poses the question, “What is your end goal for having a digital footprint?” This is important to consider when posting or creating content online.

Before posting online, however, Dr. Ai and I both agree that it’s important to not get overwhelmed by the plethora of social media platforms. “Choose one and slowly add other platforms,” suggests Dr. Ai. Choose strategically and slowly build up. But most importantly, “Just get started!”

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Each social platform has a different rhythm and audience. First, know thyself and jump all in with the platform that fits your messaging and how you like to communicate. Never feel compelled to be on every site.

If Twitter isn’t your thing, then stay away from Twitter. You aren’t going to gain anything by having a profile on a social network that you don’t stay actively involved with. What’s most important is that you are consistent in when and what you post and how you engage your followers.

Content is Key to Owning Your Story

Creating a narrative is also crucial as you are more present online. Dr. Ai has always followed the 80/20 rule, where she creates content for 80 percent and shares other content for the remaining 20 percent.

However, Dr. Ai also mentions a flipped formula where 20 percent is spent on creating content, and 80 percent is dedicated to marketing that content. Whichever route you take, either formula pushes you to create content, promote it, and therefore have more control over how your story is told or shared online.

Our discussion of what we create and share ultimately led us to address the fact that your life offline can impact your online presence or reputation. We need to be cautious of what we do in our personal lives and be mindful of what can end up online. “We as educators need to walk the talk,” Dr. Ai urges. “Nothing is private anymore.”

In this mobile, global, connected age we live in, it is worth considering what you want your digital footprint to be. Do you want to be known for blended learning or curriculum development or integrating G-Suite Apps into the ELA classroom? Maybe you just want to share your experiences in hopes they may be helpful to others.

Whatever your endgame is, create content that showcases your knowledge and expertise—content that positions you as an authority (or a learner alongside the reader/viewer). By taking the reins and owning your digital footprint, you have control over your own story and the stories told about the ideas and projects you care about.

Owning your digital footprint is also a great way to join in on important conversations and make life-changing connections with others around the world. You just never know what doors this might open.

Sex sells. But how about beauty and truth in the age of authenticity?

By Mark Schaefer

This is a blog post about beauty, sex, and marketing. It’s not a clickbait headline. We’re sailing into new waters today marked by towering waves of change and an undertow of psychological conflict.

Beauty in our culture has become the new battleground in the age of authenticity, a trend that pits nature against nurture, challenges our deepest human desires, and tests whether honesty can have a place in the impossibly airbrushed world of advertising.

Our first stop is the beauty aisle in our local pharmacy.

Let’s get real

CVS, the American pharmaceutical/retail giant, is taking a stand for natural beauty and pledged to stop “materially altering” all of the imagery associated with its beauty products — in stores, on its website, and on social media.

The photographs women see when they go to buy a CVS brand lipstick or perfume will not have been so smoothed, color-corrected, and remastered to present a more natural representation of human beauty.

In addition to pledging not to alter its own imagery, The New York Times reported that CVS is also asking all of the brands it sells (like L’Oréal, and Maybelline) to do the same, or to label retouched images clearly and visibly as “modified.”

The company has created what it is calling a “beauty mark” (see example below), which will be applied to all images to signal truth in advertising.

This is a significant step in a movement to make people seem more real in our advertising. In a world where we demand authenticity! authenticity!, the universe of fashion and beauty has seemed unapproachable and unmovable.

Applause to CVS for taking a stand and giving us permission to be real. Or, at least trying.

How far will this trend go? Will be seeing age spots and laugh lines in beer commercials? In magazine ads for fashion and fragrances? On the Victoria’s Secret angels?

The answer is complex, because we have been conditioned all our lives to know that …

Sex sells.

Here is a humble and honest admission.

I was watching a football game and a commercial repeated all day featuring a very strange-looking woman with a high-pitched, annoying voice.

Here was the thought in my head: “If you’re going to bombard me with this commercial for the next four hours, can you at least put a beautiful person in the ad?”

It made me think about how I’ve been conditioned over my lifetime to expect model-like perfection in our ads, our media, and our culture. I felt guilty that I wanted this less-than-perfect person kicked out of this repetitive ad.

I was conflicted. In my true soul, I want to accept and celebrate everyone. But in my human nature, I am (we all are) profoundly wired for sex that leads to the sustainability of the species, and businesses have capitalized on that fact for decades.

Sex sells (kind of)

Research shows that even across cultures, there are constant and ideal proportions that define human beauty. By appealing to expectations seemingly encoded in our DNA, companies can sell more beer, trucks, and lingerie … or at least they used to. Times are changing.

In preparation for this post I did research to see what the latest thinking on the topic is. Turns out, there are studies that can be twisted to prove just about any position you want to take:

  • Sex sells.
  • Sex sells, but only to men.
  • Sexy ads turn women off unless it is tied to a theme of commitment.
  • Sex doesn’t sell.
  • Sex-based marketing outperforms most other kinds of marketing.

… who really knows? My head was spinning.

But there is a larger point here. People deserve truth, they are asking for truth, and companies are beginning to deliver it.

A sexified culture

The objectification of women (and men) has led to a very whacked-out culture where we expect people to live up to an impossible air-brushed human image.

Although there are some bold signs that “natural” appearances are becoming more accepted and rewarded, the trend is more or less negated by the ubiquitous, hyper-sexual expectations amplified by social media and Instagram icons like Kim Kardashian.

What will win? Nature or nurture?

To help sift through this complex topic, I asked several of my smart marketing friends to add their views. I learned a few things, and you will to …

Expert views on the trend toward “natural”

Ai Addyson-ZhangProfessor and Researcher:

“I am currently in South Korea. I am constantly shocked by how much Korean women look up to Americans as their beauty standards. Having plastic surgeries to have western looks is as common as going to restaurants to eat. Many local people told me that parents give their kids money to get their faces fixed as birthday gifts!

“As a mom, I cannot imagine instilling such values in my kids. So, as people over all the world are more connected than ever, I do hope brands like CVS understand that their message of beauty has not only local impact but a global one, as well.”


Top 10 Livestreamers To Follow In 2018

As we are coming close to the end of 2017, we can see the rapid changes in social media.

Facebook continues to be the dominant social media platform with over two billion monthly users.

YouTube is second with one billion monthly users this year

The biggest shocker was YouTube TV being the official sponsor of the 2017 World Series in which the Houston Astros won (yeah for my friends here)

Instagram (a subsidiary of Facebook) achieved 800 million monthly users and is on pace to reach one billion monthly users next year.

Snapchat has 178 million monthly users by the third quarter of this year according to Statista.

Though it is less than facebook, snapchat seem to be the dark horse in social media because they are more focused on dominating the iPhone market.

Which leads to video.

It has been the driving force for 78% of all internet activity this year.

It is set to be at 82% by 2021 according to Cisco.

Snapchat is leading the way with ten billion video views a day.

YouTube is second with five billion video views a day.

Facebook has 500 million video views a day.

It is a different story in the case of live video.

According to the state of live streaming by

17% of video views is on Facebook Live

16% of video views is on YouTube Live

12% of video views is on Snapchat

And more live streaming shows have become more professional looking thank to third party video platforms like Blue Jeans NetworkZoom and

We can expect to see more businesses invest in live video next year due to personalizing their message to their target market.

We also will see more post cable networks created next year and become a force like Cheddar.

Businesses can take a look at the people who made the top ten livestreamers to follow in 2018 list.

They use a variety of social media platforms like facebook live, youtube, periscope and snapchat to put out quality content on a weekly basis and grow their audience.

So without further ado, here are the top ten live streamers to follow in 2018 (not ranked in any particular order).

10. Dr. Ai Zhang.

- Dr. Zhang is a digital consultant. She served as a professor at Stockton University in the Philadelphia area before moving to South Korea. Dr. Zhang was recognized as top social media blogger at Medium and host “Classroom Without Walls.” The show features experts in higher education and how they use social media to incorporate in their classes. It airs Wednesdays at 5 p.m. eastern time on Facebook Live


Recent Interviews:

MF 160 : Moving Forward in a ‘Classroom Without Walls,’ with Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang



Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher RadioGoogle Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang is a professor of communications and a social, digital media consultant. Today, Ai will share how you can move forward as a lifelong learner with social media, both as a consumer and a creator.

Successes at a glance:

  • Professor of communications
  • Social and digital media consultant
    • Contributor to Medium and Hubspot
  • Host of the Facebook live show, ‘Classroom without Walls’

Topics discussed:

  • Ai's brief introduction
  • Ai’s mission
  • Ai’s biggest challenge.
  • How Ai past that challenge
  • Knowledge bursts
  • Who is Ai in five years
  • Parting wisdom from Ai

Connect with Ai:

Using Social Teach Social Media with @aiaddysonzhang #hubspothighered

In-person podcast interview with #prprofs @aiaddysonzhang & @kfreberg on how to best use social media in the classroom. #euprera2017


Topics discussed:

  • How can professors – regardless of field – be more creative
  • What are ways to use digital communications tools to enhance the student experience
  • How can professors become co-creators in the learning process with their students
  • How do we prepare students for jobs that don’t exist in the future due to advances in technology

Connect with Ai:

Twitter Chats

Women in pr & Technology

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- A Digital Event brought to you by Shonali Burke


 - Hosted by  #Luv4Social

- Hosted by #Luv4Social


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- A Digital Event brought to you by Shonali Burke

Are You talking to me? communicating with millennials

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- Hosted by #GuruChats

#ChatSnap: The Twitter Chat all about Snapchat

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- Hosted by Kristy Gillentine

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