Reporting from the internet We are committed to aggressive journalism in all its forms, including in the field of computer-assisted reporting, but we draw the line at illegal behaviour. Internet reporting is nothing more than applying the principles of sound journalism to the sometimes unusual situations thrown up in the virtual world. The same standards of sourcing, identification and verification apply. Apply the same precautions online that you would use in other forms of newsgathering and do not use anything from the Internet that is not sourced in such a way that you can verify where it came from.
Here's the fascinating part, call it the golden shoulder: We have no idea in advance who the great contributors are going to be. We know that there's a huge cohort of people struggling outside the boundaries of the curated, selected few, but we don't know who they are.<br /><br />That means that the old systems, the ones where just a few people were anointed to be the chosen authors, chosen contributors, chosen musicians--that system left a lot of people out in the cold. The new open systems embrace waste. They understand that most people won't contribute and most contributions won't be any good. But that's fine, because this openness means that the previously unfound star now gets found.<br /><br />
"Start talking to each other – who cares how you do it.
Build projects, not echo chambers: Start building new ways for everyone to participate. Don’t worry about it being social. You’ll figure it out.
Reconsider the generic social network. Don’t ditch it but instead make social transparent in your product development app or whatever you use to get things done.
Make blogging a core way for how the company communicates to each other and the world. You will never need a social media director if a lot of people are blogging. People who write are forced to think. That’s a good thing. It’s actually nutritious for the mind.
Narrate your work. Start teaching people how to tell stories about the way they work day-to-day. Help them share it.
Give developers more freedom to make things. They will do far more for the company than one social media director can ever do.
Design for Failure. This is a concept popular in the DevOps movement. It can apply to the entire organization. Treat the company like it is an experiment. Expect failure and design accordingly.
Teach people how to use data. How to collect it, how to use the tools to analyze it and how to act on it.
Rethink what websites get blocked inside the corporate walls. Open up a bit.
Finally: cloud accountability. There are lots of ways now to make sure that costs are kept in check so you can justify all those new efforts that come when you do fire that director of social media."
"Kevin and his team felt they could tap into that knowledge and expertise in something other than a traditional knowledge management approach where people dump their information in a giant database that nobody reads. They created an environment where they did peer-to-peer collaboration.
Kevin and the team at Xilinx initially built very small collaborative tools that enabled their design engineers to start the collaboration process and to get experience in understanding what it means. They had successes build upon other successes in terms of how engineers worked with each other as well as with their customers. And they’ve been able to progressively expand their collaborative capability to the point that they’ve raised engineer productivity by about 25%. It’s a great example of how we define the social organization, which is the repeated ability to use mass collaboration to tackle strategic issues and opportunities — as opposed to it just being a one-shot deal."
"This chart clearly shows that, for The Atlantic, Dark Social, and non Facebook ‘Standard Social’ together, accounts for almost 80% of all referral traffic.
In this light it is obvious that what’s needed is a ‘Facebook+’ strategy. Or better put, a strategy that puts your website at the center, with Mobile + Desktops + Facebook + Twitter + Reddit + Digg + StumbleUpon + Dark Social + many others as link distribution pipes.
This means that for maximum coverage and distribution, every login, sharing, commenting, following, notification, trending surface can’t just be a Facebook widget. You need white label Social Software Infrastructure that connects your audience to your site using the tools, technologies and distribution opportunities of the entire web."
When the company announced its new strategy, days after the "burning platform" post made headlines in February 2011, Hanwell and his team pre-created a number of groups within SocialCast so conversations about the new strategy could take place. Every opportunity is taken to embed openness and discussion into employees' working lives. Social media is also being used to help employees affected by the changes at the company, for example by redundancy, to discuss those changes with colleagues and share the burden.
It might seem counter-intuitive to place social media at the heart of Nokia's future strategy when there is so much it needs to achieve to claw back a share of this fast-changing market, but Hanwell and the other leaders at the company do not doubt its role. "We find people get more done, and better things done, as a result of being better connected," he says. It is difficult to argue with that.
Four Ways Enterprise Social Networks Drive Value
Despite the promise and potential for ESNs, they have only received moderate traction. The problem is that most ESN deployments to date have been treated as technology deployments with a focus on adoption and usage. A different way to think about this is that ESNs represent a new way to communicate and form relationships — and because of that, can bridge gaps that exist in terms of information sharing and decision-making processes. To better understand these use cases, we found that they boil down to four different types of gaps in the organization — tough problems that can’t be addressed by the current technology, process, or culture.
Encourage sharing. Remember how revolutionary email was? It fundamentally changed the way we communicated by reducing the cost/effort and collapsing the time frame and scaling it to include multiple recipients. Social represents a fundamental change, simply because, at its essence, it encourages sharing. The simple presence of a status update box on a page encourages people to share their thoughts, activities, and expertise.
Capture knowledge. Capturing the collective knowledge of an organization is a daunting task because it includes a wide range of facts, information, and skills gained through experience. Yet few people proactively sit down each day to document and capture their knowledge. ESNs provide an opportunity to do just that, by capturing glimpses of knowledge through profiles, activity streams, and interactions.
Enable action. Having an ESN in place means that operations and processes can begin to change as well. This happens when the day-to-day process changes because the ESN enables new relationships and behaviors that address a gap that prevented actions from being taken.
Empower employees. The last way ESNs drive value is that they empower and embolden people to speak up and join together, as well as gives them opportunities to contribute their skills and ideas.
Chris Brogan blogged recently about his decision to close his Linkedin account. This got me thinking, yet again, about whether I should do the same.
I have been in Linked in for nine years, having been user number 1400 or so out of 100 million. It is useful for keeping up to date with the people I know's changes of circumstance but little more.
I keep trying to get involved in the various Linkedin groups I am a member of but a few things drive me away.
The first is the interface which throws away nearly thirty years of experience with online forums and either doesn't do, or does badly, most of the basics of online discussions.
The second is the feeling that it is slipping into the Ecademy nightmare of desperate out of work consultants pouncing on corporate folks like piranhas seeing meat. Many otherwise interesting threads end up either spammy or "me too".
Ironically the third thing that drives me away is the thing that I suspect makes it appealing to others. It is too safe and too corporate. It feels bland and lifeless. Despite having no great affection for Facebook I spend more time in there because at least the discussions are more free flowing and lively.
Unlike Chris I am going to keep my account, and make the most of having a self updating address book, but it is a shame it never became more for me.
Twice a year the heads of BBC’s digital services brief partners and suppliers on how BBC Online and Red Button will work with them in the months ahead. At the broadcaster’s ‘Spring Briefing‘ today the BBC released research on how the UK population interacts with digital media.
The reserach considers digital media interaction, from sharing links and photos to writing blogs. It turns out that the old 1% rule, which said that more people will lurk in a virtual community than actively participate, is old news and that now, more than 10% are getting online to contribute and interact.
The UK is not a wallflower when it comes to online participation, according to the study, 77% of the online population is now active in some way. But that still means that nearly a quarter of the UK are lurkers.
Ease of use, ubiquity of devices and improved user experience is bound to contribute to the amount of people who get online and take part in activities.
Interestingly the BBC’s research says that lurkers are not necessarily people who are digitally illiterate or unable to gain access. The study results say that 11% of passive web consumers today in the UK are early adopters who choose not to participate. Maybe the sheer volume and noise of life online is putting them off.
The study was led by Holly Goodier, Head of Audiences for BBC Future Media who says on the BBC Internet blog, “Digital participation now is best characterised through the lens of choice. These are the decisions we take about whether, when, with whom and around what, we will participate. Because participation is now much more about who we are, than what we have, or our digital skill.”
The BBC is using this research to create a new model to look at digital activity and is calling it ‘The Participation Choice’.
In the graphic above, ‘initiation’ is distinguished from reaction because it includes activities that are triggers to other people’s participation. So that’s things like uploading photos, starting a discussion and creating groups.
The ‘easy reaction’ group is the closest to passive, they tend to have fewer devices, but they do participate. They respond largely to the activity of others. This includes replying, ‘liking’ and rating, all activities where there’s little effort, exposure or risk.
The Participation Choice is a synthesis of primary and secondary research conducted over the past 18 months. The data published today are all taken from the most recent, large scale survey of 7,500 UK adults – representative of the UK online population.
Social activity and the growth of devices attached to the Internet means that we are changing our habits. It’s not so surprising that the old 1% rule’s time has passed with social media taking up so much room in our lives online.
The BBC has access to a huge audience in order to collect data about user habits. No doubt this research will influence the corporations forthcoming online moves as well as informing others as to how they might harness the latest interaction habits.
WHAT TO TWEET
* Interesting, current links with useful descriptions. The most valuable tweets usually point to fantastic content, with sufficient description for people to know why they should click on it.
* Links to your own content. People like links to content created by the Twitter account owner, which is why they follow them.
* Stimulating questions. People find value in interesting and provocative questions, whether or not they respond on Twitter.
* Occasional unusual or humourous posts. It is good to break up the flow of a Twitter account with funny or different posts, rather than have it be too consistent.
* Responses to others. Twitter is a conversation, so it is important to respond to others, and these can be among the most interesting and informative posts.
WHAT NOT TO TWEET
* Content-free statements. Don’t say things like hello and goodbye, or other interjections that contain no content and add no value.
* Excessive personal updates. Unless your Twitter circle is only close friends, don’t just tweet your day-by-day activities. It is good to share of yourself and the notable things that you experience, just don’t overdo it.
* Negative thoughts. If you’re feeling down, it’s usually better to keep it to yourself. People are attracted to positive attitudes rather than negative ones. Of course, if you do want to reach for connection at a time of need, Twitter can be invaluable.
* Extended conversations with individuals. Anything much more than a couple of to-and-fro tweets is stultifying to everyone else. Move to direct messages or email.
* Old news. Don’t share things that everyone has already seen. If you’ve seen something on the TV news, be sure that everyone on Twitter knew about it a long time ago.
Management literature typically emphasizes individuals and locates explanatory power in their personal properties. Leaders are the sources of motivation, control and direction. The manager’s perspective is taken for granted as setting the limits of action and what is thought of as right or wrong.
Management theory is based on the same Cartesian assumptions of self as subject, other as object and relationships as influence and manipulation. This is why the present management thinking severely restricts what is thinkable and doable in the world of networks.
The potential of social media cannot be realized without the very different epistemological grounding of the relational perspective. Power in networks is about “power to” or “power with”, and not “power over”. Independently existing people and things become viewed as co-constructed in coordinated networked action.
The emergent pattern changes when the local interactions change. Self-interest in the network economy looks different from self-interest in the market economy. By seeing one’s actions in a network of mutually beneficial reciprocal relationships aiming to enrich the individual and the collective effort, each individual’s success is more likely to be guaranteed.
Cooperation is the new competition.
As business increasingly becomes either knowledge-or service-based, constant communication is necessary for employees to collaborate. Social platforms, or intranets, have emerged as the leading technology for information sharing at companies. Social intranets apply the cross-communication capability familiar to us from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to internal communication and collaboration platforms.
"Social intranets encourage wide authorship and involvement among workers," says Chris McGrath, co-founder and vice-president, sales and marketing, for ThoughtFarmer, a social intranet supplier.
"Social intranets address pains such as poor communication, poor collaboration, employees not feeling 'connected' to head office, multiple and conflicting sources of information, and employees not feeling like they're being listened to or valued."
Social intranets do more than create happier employees. A Gallup survey of data from 152 companies showed significant differences between highly engaged and less engaged workforces. Companies with engaged workgroups scored better in productivity, profit-ability, safety incidents and absentee-ism, and had 3.9 times greater earnings per share growth.
"Presented at the Library of Congress, June 23rd 2008. This was tons of fun to present. I decided to forgo the PowerPoint and instead worked with students to prepare over 40 minutes of video for the 55 minute presentation. "
Twitter is an online social networking tool in which users post 140 character updates of what is going on in their lives along with links to things they think are interesting, funny, or useful to their followers (“following” being essentially what “friending” is on other sites). People use twitter in many ways, some as a newsfeed by following prominent people or networks, some as a pseudo-chatroom by limiting their followers and whom they follow to close friends and family, and some as a microblog for updating people about the work they are doing and their personal lives.
I don’t know if this is significant, but I think it might be. The other evening as my tech head teenage son, Luke, drove me home after work, he announced that he’s off Facebook. I’ve been “Facebook” sober for ten days,” he said proudly.
“Why now?” I asked.
He mentioned that he’d seen some Youtube videos recently that pointed out while you’re spending all your time on Facebook you’re missing out on a lot of real activities. It also is a lot of “me, me, me,” he added. “And that got me thinking.”
Easy to navigate and update, link to and promote anything
Reach far beyond your inner circle of friends
One feed pools all users; anyone can follow anyone else unless blocked
Pure communication tool, rapid responsiveness
You don’t have to be logged in to get updates; you can just use an RSS reader
Very interactive, extensible messaging platform with open APIs
Many other applications being developed (Twitterific, Summize, Twhirl, etc.)
Potential SMS text messaging revenue from wireless networks (although Twitter states they are not currently getting any cut)
Potential future advertising and/or enterprise subscription-based revenue streams
With its “thin” overhead, Twitter is probably more scalable than Facebook, giving it a cost advantage
Limited functionality; find people, send brief messages, direct replies
Limited to 140 characters per update
Not all people find it immediately useful
Over-emphasis on follower counts
Easily abused for spam and increasing the noise level
Relatively smaller installed user base
As yet no readily apparent monetization strategy
Application mashup; find people, make connections, email, instant messaging, image/video sharing, etc.
Most people can quickly grasp the value of connecting with friends, family and established contacts; some people report they use Facebook instead of email and IM
More emphasis on deep connections with others vs. who has the most connections
“True Friends” feature increases your transparency to selected connections; almost like having private and public profiles
Huge, rapidly growing installed user base
Inherit stickiness, third party applications, “gift giving” and personal data collection make Facebook a powerful advertising platform
More difficult to navigate and update
Requires investment of time to realize sustained benefit
Opt in model requires a user to allow others to connect
Less immediate responses; unless you stay logged on continually
Overhead of mashup and “thick” applications could limit scalability, bloat cost structure
Note - Facebook is not the Internet
Today, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled “Facebook: Actions,” a dramatic overhaul of the now ubiquitous ”like” button, which users click to indicate anything from “I agree with this op ed” to “I have laughed, just now, out loud,” to “I have just clicked the like button on facebook.com.”
Now, “like” will be broken up into a number of different actions like “own,” “watched,” or basically any verb that can be recorded, cross checked and stored in a database.
Before I get into specific examples and illustrations of where I think the list fails, let me give you four basic problems I have with it as it stands today:
1. Many of the examples on it could potentially show positive ROI but – as presented – only reference selective gains from social activity and not actual, factual, empirical ROI. If that made no sense, that’s okay. Let me explain:
For something to be ROI, you need two ingredients: The cost of the activity and the gain from that activity. (That cost is the investment. The gain is either revenue or cost savings.) It’s math. Really really really simple math. ROI is an equation and it generally looks like this:
($ Gain – $ Cost) ÷ $ Cost = ROI
($ Revenue – $ Investment) ÷ $ Investment = ROI
(You can also multiply the result by 100 to get yourself out of the decimals, but that’s a personal choice. You can do that in your head.)
Anything that isn’t the result of the ROI equation is not ROI.
Note that a gain is just a gain,like cost is just a cost. Neither gain nor cost is ROI on its own. Ever. Not in any known universe.
Put another way, bread and ham may individually be part of the ham sandwich equation but ham alone is not a ham sandwich. Ham is just ham. The problem we face today: This list pretty much mistakes ham for a ham sandwich. Good thing it was free or we would all be asking for a refund (or a word with the chef).
The Internet is full of fakes. Specifically, fake profiles of people using fake names.
While some are people with real opinions who just want to be anonymous, these fake profiles are increasingly part of organized, for-pay efforts that hire people to create accounts under false names and use those accounts to post positive or negative online reviews, push a company brand or political message or make an online site look popular.
The challenge for companies is that the issue is big, and it’s only going to get worse.
According the November 2011 paper “Serf and Turf: Crowdturfing for Fun and Profit,” by researchers in the department of computer science at the University of California Santa Barbara, “campaigns on these systems are highly effective at reaching users, and their continuing growth poses a concrete threat to online communities such as social networks, both in the US and elsewhere.”
The term “crowdturfing” is a new one. It’s a combination of “crowd sourcing” (using the brainpower of the masses to help with a task) and “astroturfing” (informational campaigns that look like grassroots efforts but really are sponsored by organizations).
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