This blog continues to share ideas and hopes to generate discussion on social business, knowledge management, and emerging technologies. It also increasingly covers my home, New Orleans, my painting, and travels.
According to a new study by CNN 43% of peer-to-peer news sharing comes from social media networks and tools e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, followed by email (30%), SMS (15%) and IM (12%). This is not surprising as social media makes it easier, often with a one click means to share. However, data on the topic is good. This blog has that capability and I often see multiple tweets on posts placed here. This is a good thing. Facilitating content sharing and conversations about enterprise 2.0 is one of the main objectives of this blog.
Social Media Today commented that the CNN study found 27% of ‘Frequent Sharers’ (defined as those sharing at least six stories each week) were responsible for 87% of all news shared online. They noted that, as in most online communities, a small number of users are responsible for the majority of content produced and shared.
To their credit Social Media Today did not see this as a bad thing or a shortcoming with social media. I have often seen comments on the “small” percentage of active sharers. However, 27% of a very large number is a very large number. Usually the content sharer percentage is smaller but that is still understandable. Some people need to be readers.
Social Media Today takes a different tack as they write that these influencers who are sharing very high volumes of news are important people for news organizations. There is a benefit from understanding more about how they behave and what they share. A similar understanding within the enterprise will be useful.
I would like to see some similar studies on the use of social media inside the enterprise. I imagine that the same dynamics will more likely hold in organizations that have more fully adopted enterprise 2.0. However, it is likely that email still dominates in most organizations as the primary way to share content. It is ironic as the benefits of using social media for content sharing are greater inside a closed trusted community where analytics can be more focused.
Whether it is on the Web or within the enterprise, content sharing with social media increases the transparency and the ability to find and track such sharing. Darwin’s Awareness Engine™ is designed to help these efforts. It can even look at sharing within enterprise email. However, the expected privacy within email requires a clear policy for enterprise email so users are aware of this data mining. It is cleaner to look within social media, as there is an expectation that transparency is the norm.
The study also noted that people respond better to advertisers associated with this social media content sharing. So it is useful for brands to understand these sharing influencers, just as it is useful for news organizations.
Adobe is making a major play into the enterprise application market building on their strong consumer market presence. They began offering LiveCycle in 2004 and are now focusing this platform on supporting customer experience management. I recently spoke with Nicole Kealey, Group Product Marketing Manager, Enterprise Solutions to go over their offerings in this space. She said that enterprise solutions are now the fastest growing segment of the Adobe business.
They are focusing on helping enterprise and government customers increase efficiencies and improve service. For example, enhancing customer self-service and supporting frontline customer service staff. LiveCycle is an enterprise suite that helps companies streamline human and document-centric processes. It takes advantage of the Adobe Flash Platform for the delivery of intuitive RIAs as well as Adobe Reader for rich documents. . They have been primarily focusing on the financial services, government and the public sector helping produce both B2C and B2B apps.
LiveCycle brings together multiple solutions within one framework. This allows for cross channel integration for supporting end-to-end customer experiences. It offers a mix of SaaS and on-premise options. Three major features of LiveCycle are process automation, security and interactivity. LiveCycle also brings the ability to provide Rich Internet capabilities to BPM and the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant on BPM lists Adobe as a leader.
Nicole showed me a great example using high-end graphics and interactivity to enable self-service for auto insurance claims processing. You told the system what type of car you were driving. Then it displayed an image and you could visually define the areas in need of repair. This helps avoid confusion in claims processing as the visual image can be much more accurate than text. You could also define the accident through graphics of the street location. In addition, this interactivity is more likely to engage the users, reducing the possibility of disengagement and a move to a call center.
Adobe looked at the most common uses cases for LiveCycle and has now released Solution Accelerators to speed development in these areas. Built on LiveCycle 2.5, Solution Accelerators kick-start project planning, decrease development time for production applications, and reduce risk with a supportable and upgradable framework. Solution Accelerators also provide best practice methodologies, solution templates, and building blocks to extend LiveCycle 2.5. They take you through the first 80% of development, leaving space for some customization. The three initial Solution Accelerators are:
Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator enables business users to dynamically create personalized communications using pre-approved layouts and content to provide consistent customer correspondence such as creating a customized claims letter. You can see a sample from the financial services sector below.
Interactive Statements Solution Accelerator engages customers through communications that embed the power of personalized RIAs in secure PDF formats, including credit card statements, telecommunications bills and electronic invoices. Below is a sample from a financial services firm. Nicole showed me a lot of interactivity that you cannot see in this one image. PDF has come a long way with its increased interactivity. I wish my banks and insurance companies used these.
Managed Review & Approval Solution Accelerator can rapidly deliver solutions that enable multi-party participation in content review processes. This has been very helpful for media and entertainment companies as they review visual material. Here is a sample below.
Adobe is also enhancing its support for mobile apps. Nicole mentioned that mobile devices have exceeded laptops. Most analysts predict this as a major growth area.
They are also planning to add more social features, enabled, in part, by their pending acquisition of Day Software. This includes the ability for users to better integrate their global Web presence with LiveCycle apps. Adobe expects to add social Web content management solutions, as well as robust measurement, analytics and visualization tools into future versions of LiveCycle. These are all good moves.
I asked Nicole why enterprise apps are the fastest growing area within Adobe. She said there are several factors. First, it is new so there is more room for growth. Second, enterprise IT budgets generally allow for larger efforts than what occurs within the consumer world. Third, and perhaps most important, there is a movement toward making the enterprise IT world look and act more like the consumer world and LiveCycle is a great platform for this transformation. Looking at what they are doing with LiveCycle, I can see why this platform provides a solid means to create apps with both Web 2.0 capabilities and enterprise business requirements.
AIIM has been producing a state of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) industry report for a number of years. The 2010 version was recently released. This annual report is based on over 700 responses from users across all industry sectors and sizes, and at all stages of ECM planning and adoption. There are great deal of useful findings related to ECM and I recommend looking at the complete report that can be downloaded form their site.
In this post I will mostly look at their social media findings. They found regarding social media and Enterprise 2.0, 29% of respondents view internal E2.0 as “imperative” or “significant”to their organization’s business goals, citing knowledge sharing, team collaboration and project coordination asthe main drivers.I was hoping for broader penetration but their audience seems to be at all stages of ECM use so these numbers may go beyond any biases that comejust looking at early adopters or vendors’ cherry picking of active users to see how the market as a whole is looking at enterprise 2.0.
They also found that 21% of respondents regard use of external social media as “imperative” or “significant” particularly as a marketingtool for publicity, and for customer feedback. I might have thought that external use would get higher results than internal but I am actually pleased to see the relative higher rating for internal use. That was what first got me interested in the possibilities of social media for business.
They found that staff access to Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instant Messaging is barred in 45% of organizations.This actually makes the numbers above look good. Their audience certainly includes a lot of overly protective firms so the overall results are certainly not biased with too many early adopters.
In addition, instant messages, Twitter posts and blog posts are not archived in 80% of the organizations using them. This represents a real lost opportunity, as there is a lot of great data about the conversations within an enterprise waiting for discovery in these social media.
The study found that 59% agree that socialnetworking will make a dramatic change to business life in the next few years. This is interesting given the much lower rates of adoption in the audience. However, 56% are inclined to seeTwitter as a timewaster rather than “an important rapid-feedback tool”.I guess many are part of the 45% companies than ban Twitter.
Finally, the report states 60% find it easier to locate “knowledge” on the Web than on internal systems. I used to ask this question when I spoke on social media and knowledge management and I never found a single audience member who said it was easier to find content within their organization than on the Web. I guess my audiences were biased.The same number, 60% of new ECM users, listed “content chaos” as the trigger for adopting ECM so there is alignment of these results. It is an interesting report and worth looking at.
Content chaos is something that the Darwin Awareness Engine™ is designed to address. It can look into the content within most ECM systems to provide an understanding of the emerging trends that are occurring within the system.
Inmagic is a Boston based company that provides Presto, a comprehensive knowledge management and collaboration application. I covered them before (see Inmagic Offers Social Knowledge Networks with Presto 3.3). Recently, I spoke again with Phil Green, CTO, and Mike Cassettari, VP of Marketing, about their latest moves with the release of Presto 3.5. Presto enables business users to create and manage KnowledgeNets™, Social Knowledge Networks (SKN) that are tied to a specific business objective.
I mentioned to Phil and Mike that I really like that Presto is designed to support task focused collaboration. When I was involved with the early days of knowledge management I never saw a successful implementation that was not aligned with business processes. I think KM lost some of its promise when it strayed from this goal and became more general content repositories. With enterprise 2.0, we have also sometimes lost the business task focus, especially as tools for the consumer Web are applied within the enterprise.
The new release of Presto provides enhanced functionality that includes discussion forums, which facilitate topic-specific collaboration, extended single sign-on (SSO), which authenticates third-party applications, and improved overall performance optimization for large enterprises. There is also increased metrics with the Integrated Report Writer. You can set up reports to see such social metrics as top contributors, content ratings, etc. A sample report screen is shown below.
The discussion forums connect collaboration activities (e.g.: commenting, rating, tagging) to a specific process or topic, (e.g.: proposal development, sales enablement, competitive analysis), and retain discussion details, unlike email. Much of the important conversations within an enterprise get lost in email so this allows for a transparent archive to make this valuable content accessible. You can post a comment, create a reply, and tag it for easier access. Below is a sample forum screen.
The enhanced security comes through what they term “Social Security” through extended SSO. It provides striated levels of access to information based on user authorization and privileges, creating cohesive security across KnowledgeNet repositories.
There is also improved search performance for large organizations with substantial repositories (>1M records), and ingestion performance is improved for enhanced data loading. Content can come in immediately and then the metadata is added in background processing. Enhanced content relations establish a one-to-one or one-to-many relationship between Presto objects (e.g.: a contract may reference and link to multiple P.O.’s). This allows for easier content curation.
After reviewing the new capabilities within Presto 3.5, we looked at a client case example, HRPA, a Canadian HR association. Inmagic has found a great acceptance in associations and this case makes it clear why. HRPA wanted to provide greater service to its members through enhanced access to content so they set up a Resource Centre enabled through Presto. They also wanted to create a greater sense of community. Both goals are being accomplished as they have empowered users to be more actively engaged in gaining content and deciding what content is provided. HRPA was receiving massive email requests for content and operating in a reactive mode. Now they can make this content accessible through the Resource Centre, making the process more efficient for both the association staff and the members. You can see the Centre below.
HRPA staff monitors requests and adds the most common ones to the content repository. They can also offer fee-based customer research generating more revenue. Now they are looking at organizing forums around practice areas and launching subject matter expert blogs. The Centre was launched in September and the members have seen very excited about the new developments.
I like the improvements with Presto 3.5, especially the ones that address the social side of content management. With enterprise 2.0 we are seeing an increasing integration of collaboration and content management capabilities. Presto 3.5 is a great example of this trend.
Here is a post about a new service offering at Darwin Ecosystems. We now live in a complex and inter-connected world where reliance on simple explanations based on surface analysis no longer allows an organization to remain competitive.Whether you are the CEO of a large global company or the head of a small local organization, what happens in the world as reflected through conversations and events on the Web affects your ability to survive and prosper.
In addition to providing real time discovery of emerging trends and issues, the Darwin Awareness Engine™ has an ability to support the comprehensive analysis over time of complex underlying patterns in markets and the events that affect these markets. You can create, test, and refine hypotheses about root causes against the conversations and events that are transpiring on the Web and through it.You can look at what shapes your markets and topics of interest to make better predictions and discovery new ways to solve the challenges you face.
For example, our client KETC, the St. Louis public television station, was able to test and refine root causes on immigration issues by setting up related feeds and topics with the Darwin Awareness Engine™. They were able to undercover trends that might have been difficult or impossible to discover through traditional search and then feed these discoveries into their community for further exploration. Darwin is now being used to monitor the impact of these discoveries on the ongoing conversations within their community. For more detail on the KETC social media efforts see our five part series: The KETC Social Media Experience.
You can use the Darwin Awareness Engine™ to a tackle the complex issues your organization faces or we can provide the expertise to perform the analysis over time for you.Here is how it works.
Step One: A Darwin expert will work with you to develop testable hypotheses about the issues and challenges that you face.
Step Two: Appropriate content feeds are selected through a number of methods and the initial attractors (topics of interest) are determined.
Step Three: The results from the initial feeds and attractors are examined on a daily basis and both the feeds and attractors are refined.Your initial hypotheses are also tested and refined over time. This is usually requires a few weeks.
Step Four: The refined hypotheses are further tested and shared with appropriate members of your organization and/or community for their reaction and the development of actions plans that align with the results.
Step Five: The actions plans are put in place and Darwin is used to determine the effectiveness of these actions and to provide input for their ongoing refinement.
Step Six: We can train you to carry on this type of analysis, action, and refinement for existing and new issues over time or we can continue to work together to support your efforts.
With Richard, I like his work that is more representational such the
smaller tomato and knife to the left than his abstract expressionism and the
well-known Ocean Park paintings. Here is another example, Cityscape 1963, a
larger scale 60 ¼ “ by 50 ½ “ found in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(image form Wikipedia).
With Emily, the
painterly realism of common objects and the style of the figures are truly an
inspiration. I also like the scale as you can see in the installation view from
the home page of her web site showing some giant jelly donuts.
I like exploration of the details of figures in a style that reminds
me of Sargent, and before him
Velazquez.Here is another image from her web site.Emily went to the Massachusetts
College of Art in Boston, as did my friend Liz. I used to teach education there in the art education department in
the late 70s. She now shows at the Howard Yezerski
Gallery in Boston. I hope to get there to see some of the paintings and go
beyond just seeing images.
I do want to paint more textured and closer to the style shown in
Emily’s figure above and will someday make the switch to oils primarily for
this reason. I often start out textured and then smooth it out as I try
to paint what I see. But I often think maybe I should stop at the more textured
stage. Below is a painting I did that also explores some of the details
of a figure in a style inspired by Sargent.
Bitrix is a Russian company with a US presence that offers a number of enterprise products built on their Bitrix Framework. These include Bitrix SaaS, Bitrix Site Manager, and Bitrix Intranet Portal. I recently spoke with Stephen Ankenman and Denis Zenkin about their intranet offering. It is a robust platform of enterprise collaboration and content management that operates within an enterprise 2.0 paradigm with excellent transparency. They now have over 40,000 business users that run their intranets and websites with the Bitrix platform.
Stephen walked me through many of the features of the Intranet Portal. The dashboard is very configurable at both the individual and admin levels. You can add widgets linking to both consumer Web sites like ESPN and to internal content sources like employee profiles. The admin can select how much flexibility is available. There is a very clear interface. You can see a sample dashboard below.
Finding other employees is augmented through Active Directory and Outlook integration. Whenever an employee is connected to an item, you see the employee profile with the ability to start internal IM style chats and video chats. The IM chats are archived for future access. This is a great feature as most IM conversations are simply lost.
There are a number of capabilities that align with business functions. One of my favorites is the ability to create business process workflows. You can set up a visualization of the work process and include requirements such as multiple approval levels. It is important for enterprise 2.0 platforms to align with business processes and not simply be a utility. This feature address that need. You can see a sample process creation below.
You can also set up visualizations of your organizational structure with the robust profiles placed within each chart. Below is a sample chart.
You can set up groups for a variety of functions such as putting access parameters on a discussion or managing a project. Much of the functionality can be deployed at the corporate level and the group level. This includes calendaring as shown below. File sharing also operates this way as you can use the group function to control access to certain documents. Forums can be within a group or across the enterprise. You can participate in forums through email.
Tasks are another business focused capability and task assignment allows for transparent progress to be available to the group members in the spirit of enterprise 2.0 The Bitrix Intranet Portal is designed to manage a business, making essential content available at the right levels. Stephen said that many of their clients are moving to a collaborative platform for the first time. I can see how they find Bitrix both easy to use and align with their work requirements.
Joe McKendrick commented on the FastForward blog on a post by Irina Slutsky of Advertising Age, 'Chief Listeners' Use Technology to Track, Sort Company Mentions.Irina profiles two Chief Listening Officers, Beth LaPierre at Kodak, and Susan Beebe at Dell. Beth is charged with sifting through 300,000 new mentions of Kodak a month. Susan performs a similar job of “broad listening” to Dell customers and consumers, and “giving all the intelligence to her Dell colleagues internally.” Irina reports that both Susan and Beth said their companies are driving innovation through customer feedback.
Susan says that there is a data-analysis research role to this job and she develops some complex queries to filter through the many mentions of Dell. Joe supports this activity but wonders if in a “era when markets and workplaces are conversations, every manager should be a chief listening officer.” Comprehensive listening is a role that Darwin’s Awareness Engine™ is designed to support. With the simplicity of its interface and the ability to quickly scan the context and relationships between themes emerging around topics of interest, it is also designed for the average business user and does not require technical expertise in devising complex queries.
Regardless of the title, there is strong listening component to any social media activities and those responsible for them need to monitor what is being said about their companies to understand the context and issues prior to starting social media activities. They also need to be able to monitor the impact of their efforts. Rob Paterson recently wrote about two such innovators, Baochi Nguyen at Boingo and Jordan Miller at Kotex.
Boingo supplies wifi to business travelers in many locations and Baochi Nguyen manages the Social Media Program. Rob writes that at Boingo, social media is not an add on, but is core to the firm’s philosophy. Like her counter parts at Dell and Kodak, Baochi main role is to listen rather than to market or sell and compares the role to a navigator on a ship. Senior management is actively involved and helped set the framework for her activities. This involvement is critical for the program’s success. Baochi also has great freedom to operate within this framework, another success factor. Rob said he first learned about Boingo’s social media efforts as a customer and enjoyed their rapid help through Twitter.
Jordan Miller leads the new Kotex social media campaign that is built around listening and engagement. She builds trust with Kotex followers through active listening and focused responses. The Kotex campaign is built around issues that interest their customers rather than promoting the features of their product. She is allowed to be edgy and develop a personal voice that is appreciated by her followers. Jordan and Kotex are now connected to a community of 1.4 million women who have found something important to them in the conversation. This is a great foundation for continued growth. Again listening and understanding the important themes within a large conversation will be a key success factor.
KM World and Enterprise Search Summit 2010 are around the corner. It is one of the longest running shows in the business event world. It is both a testament to the long running nature of knowledge management and the value these combined events bring to that movement and enterprise IT in general. I am looking forward to attending this event as i did last year. It will be held at the Renaissance Washington DC hotel. There is another great line up of speakers. I will be writing about many of the session on this blog.
I am also pleased to be speaking on Facilitating Content Discovery Using Chaos Theory as part of theKnowledge Showcase. My session is from 12:30 to 12:45 on Thursday. They are taking place at the KM Corner in the conference Showcase, these presentations cover a range of topics & subject areas. Here is the session description.
“The presentation provides a practical application of chaos theory for creating useful content focal points from the chaotic mess of content resources distributed across the web. Several examples will be provided, both from the internet, where socially generated content is exploding, and from the enterprise, where social tools are contributing to content bloat. The examples illustrate how activity can make information more discoverable and easier to explore through various visualization techniques.”
I came across Traackr through a tweet that mentioned my presence on one of the their Authority Lists. So I followed up and found out a bit about them from their site. Traackr “identifies, qualifies and facilitates the engagement of top online influencers.” They sort through the massive amount of data within social media to “identify the most influential individuals in their community around specific issues, markets, brands. Traackr calculates influencers’ score based on proprietary algorithms to help marketers and PR professionals decide who they need to contact and how to reach these influencers.”
CNN recently reported that social media provides 43% of content sharing, running far ahead of email at 30%. The content sharing was primarily done by a subset of the total users. They noted that both news organizations and brands should study these influencers who share content.
Here is more from their site: Traackr's Online Authority List is a list of individuals steering online conversations about a specific market or topic. Traackr scans the social web to identify the most influential and most relevant people online and dynamically generates your Authority List. Each Authority List includes detailed profiles for each influencer with contact information, influence score, recent posts, an online identity card, and complete performance data.
They provide three scores:
Reach - Ability to generate views.
Resonance - Ability to spark conversations.
Relevance - Ability to cover specific topic/market.
I was pleased to make their A-List for Top PR2.0 Influencers, coming in at 19 in the list of 25. They listed three of my blogs including this one. This was a pleasant surprise, as I know some of the others on the list. My highest score was in resonance. This was even better and I would prefer this result.
Here is another in a series of posts that provide access to my favorite tweets that contain links to useful information. Some of these I did to link to things I found useful and others are RTs that I want to save for the same reason. Since Twitter archiving is an oxymoron, I am now going to post my favorite links for the month so they can be easily accessed later. I will repeat this once or twice a month depending on volume.
I spot tested the reduced shortened urls and they all should work. I hope this is also useful for you. Let me know your favorite tweets for the month.
I was sad to hear of the passing of Solomon Burke on October 10 – 10/10/10. Solomon had just arrived at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for a sold out show at Paradiso. He was a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and had so many great songs such as Cry to Me. The one that strikes me the most is None Of Us Are Free.
I am very
pleased to mention that the Darwin Awareness Engine™ was named a finalist for
the KM promise award sponsored by KM World.The winner will be announced in the November/December Issue of KMWorld with distribution at the
2010 KMWorld and Enterprise Search
Summit in Washington DC which will occur November 16-18.I will also be speaking on Facilitating Content Discovery Using Chaos
Theory as part of the Knowledge Showcase. My session is from 12:30 to 12:45 on
Thursday, November 18.
“Many companies promise that their technology is the best knowledge
management solution. One of the greatest challenges for organizations purchasing
these technologies is to determine which of these companies will deliver on
this promise. This award is given to the organization that is delivering this
promise to its customers by providing innovative technology solutions for
implementing and integrating knowledge management practices into their business
processes. The award-winning organization demonstrates how it goes beyond
simply delivering technology to working with clients to ensure that both the
technology and knowledge processes are imbedded into the work processes. In
other words, it helps organizations realize positive business results.”
We are very honored to be named as a finalist for this award.
Foursquare has become huge as a location checkin service. There are others, as well in the field. I have not gotten the bug but it took me a while to warm up to Twitter. Now, as Mashable reports, a number of services have popped up that re-purpose the checkin concept, popularized by Foursquare, and connect it to media and entertainment, as opposed to location.
Now checkin to TV and movies is more virtual than physical but that is fine in a virtual world. In practice, this entertainment checkin behavior is more familiar than location checkin. It actually emulates the way we experience entertainment in our everyday lives. Mashable writes, “the desire to share is unchanging — it’s how we share that will continue to evolve with the help of social media and entertainment checkin services.” I agree.
Mashable mentions three entertainment based checkin services: GetGlue, Philo and Miso. They all have mobile and web applications designed to support and enhance this natural entertainment-driven social behavior. Here is what Mashable wrote:
GetGlue’s iPhone app extends beyond just television content and supports checkins for books, wines, topics, celebrities and video games. Rewards come in the form of stickers earned from app activity. GetGlue has been around for years attempting to master social recommendation via the browser. With the move to mobile, the company can marry checkins to the social intelligence previously harvested.
Philo is hyper-focused on live television. Viewers use the iPhone app or web to check-in to the live content they’re watching. Philo pulls TV listings directly from cable providers, so viewers can even see the content that’s trending locally and pinpoint where to watch it. App users earn show-specific awards based on their behaviors and work their way up a Hollywood-style ladder to earn “Director” and “Executive Producer” “credits” for shows.
Miso is also about creating a social television watching experience. The alpha service currently has iPhone, iPad and web apps that support TV show or movie checkins. It bills itself as “Foursquare for TV” and has its own game mechanics and badges that are designed to hook viewers with the promise of unlocking additional content.
It seems that checking-in to television shows or other entertainment modes, if done right, can create a connection between media consumers with similar interests. I wonder when this trend will move to the enterprise. In some ways many of the collaboration platforms provide a similar services as you can see who has read what and people can comment on it. The difference is that checkin takes it a step further with real-time reporting. Even this capability can be found in some enterprise collaboration platforms. It is just not focused in the same way as these Web checkin tools.I am sure that this and Foursquare for the enterprise will evolve but will it take off and sustain itself. I am still thinking about this one.
The NetProspex rankings are posted and I was pleased to see that my current town of Boston ranked fifth on the NetProspex list. The top four were, in order, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., New York, Austin, Texas. They also monitored the social media activity of employees at many companies in the US, and ranked them according to overall activity. This order makes intuitive sense. New Orleans, my home town, was ranked 48 as it has better things to do.
Their NetProspex Social Index (NPSI) was used to score and rank social network activity across a number of social networks, including Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. The data was mined from their database of business contacts. There are three components to the score. First there is social connectedness: the number of employees with at least one social media profile. Second there is social friendliness and reach: the average number of connections per employee across major social networks. Third is social activity: the average number of tweets, number of followers, and number of users following.
The top ten verticals were, in order: search engines – portals, advertising & marketing, banking, traditional media, and toys & games, HR & recruiting, IT, software, consumer electronics, and retail apparel.The last on the list (46 – 50): museums & art galleries, zoo & national parks, trucking, moving & storage, laundry, funeral homes.
They also looked at Twitter use in a separate listing. Some of those on the bottom rose to the top ten (in order): search engines – portals, traditional media, banking, advertising & marketing, zoo & national parks, beauty care, HR & recruiting, toys & games, IT, and software. This list was the most counter intuitive of the various listing and thus, to me, the most interesting.
In addition, NetProspex looked at the social media usage by job roles. The top five were (in order): marketing, HR, communications & PR, IT, and sales. The bottom three were: payroll, treasurer, and maintenance. It is not surprising to see that the outward facing jobs are making greater use of social media.
This is the second in a series on an IBM social media press event I attended last week following part one posted yesterday. I covered a similar one in 2005 so I was pleased to see their new directions. Jeff Schick, VP social software, mentioned that IBM Research has done a study on the implications of using social and infusing collaboration into commerce experience. They are connecting social with IBM commerce software. One lesson learned for this effort was a requirement for moderation. The need emerged to drop non-constructive comments. Also there is a need for approval to share in some cultures and it can be addressed through the moderation function.
Jeff now sees the social concept everywhere. For example: How can collaboration be infused into product development? Into help desks? They are now working with many areas of IBM so each one does not have to create their own social capabilities.
Jeff also spoke on social analytics. It is an exciting part of the business for IBM. Information in the river of news is growing. So how to create information and attention management to do your job in this context? How can you be alert to what is useful? So IBM is focused on bringing analytics into collaboration process. For example, you can use analytics to find both good and poor functioning. Your services division revenue may be down in relation to product revenue and you can see that products people are not talking to services on leads. You can find who to offer a retention bonus in merger of two banks since he or she is a hub in connections. Atlas is the commercial name for IBM’s monitoring tool.
Joan DiMarco next spoke on IBM Research. There are eight labs with over 3,000 researchers. IBM has been granted more patents than any other company for past 17 years. The Center for Social Software started in 2008 with strong Lotus ties. It looks to customers and academics for ideas and uses a wisdom of crowds approach.
Joan mentioned some past examples of ideas to products:
In 2006 SaND and Fringe were developed and they provide connection recommendations,
In 2007 Social Blue was developed as Beehive. It provides informal workplace sharing and status messages.
The Center for Social Software does what they call venture research. They design, build, deploy large-scale systems and seed a crowd of users. Then they watch how the system evolves with usage and apply lessons to the IBM product pipeline.
There are five themes: Analytics, visualization, harnessing the network, aggregation, and social updates. Social analytics is a big push in IBM now.
Here are six projects that occur at the intersection of visualization and analytics.
Banter provides machine-learning analysis of blogs and tweets. It looks at emerging themes and tells you what tweets require action and by whom.
Twitter Backchannel provides visualization of major streams as word clouds and topic streams.
Social Lens filters your update stream to focus on your areas of interest.
Many Eyes allows you to upload data for visualization. I have used this tool and there are a variety of interesting visualizations available.
Many Bills offers text analytics applied to US Congressional legislation to make it more accessible and understandable.
SaNDVis provides visualizations of aggregated social network data.
Three projects are combinations of the themes of harnessing the network and aggregation
Answers supports enterprise question and answer sessions.
Blue Spruce supports the Radiology Theater medical research project that Francine Jacobson described.
Audrey is a personalized news service that recommends news stories and blog posts to intranet users by leveraging their social network.
This is a diverse and impressive collection of applications. In 2005 some of the social media efforts looked at supporting collaboration across business processes. This was a great goal then and remains one but it has matured a bit. Now they are looking at how to better understand and use the massive amounts of unstructured data and conversations that have emerged through social media. I think this is the next great opportunity for social media innovation so I agree completely with their direction.
IBM provided demos of these tools mentioned above, along with the latest versions of Lotus Connections and Unified Communications. Connections has added some interesting analytical capabilities since I last covered it in 2008 (see Looking Closely at Lotus Connections). You can see the social networks of participants and manipulate these visualizations to uncover patterns. In future posts in this series I will explore Social Lens, Many Bills, Audrey, and Connections in more detail.
Last week I attended an IBM media event where they conveyed a number of their recent efforts in social software. I was pleased to get this invitation as I have been covering IBM efforts in the space for a while (see for example my 2005 post - IBM’s Social Software Initiatives: Blogs, Wikis, Tagging, and More – Part One). I think they are innovators in the social software space, both for enterprise and Web use.
Alistair Rennie, general manager collaboration software, began and gave some examples about how social “software” is becoming mainstream. I put software in quotes as he just used the term “social” and I can agree with this as it is more than software but rather a more open approach to communication and conversations.
Someone made the point that much of the IBM focus has been on internal social media rather than external social media. Being a consultant and writer in the enterprise 2.0 space I see this as a good thing. A lot of the enterprise 2.0 tools came from the consumer Web. IBM was an early leader in internal uses and this has given them a head start in the enterprise 2.0 space.
Jeff Schick, VP social software, answered this comment. He said that IBM started with internal usage of social software because of their large internal needs but what they have done can be applied externally This is an reversal of the trend as I noted above. He gave the example of continuing education for attorneys. An association is doing this and has created communities around legal topics for pre and post class interactions to build greater connection with their students. IBM has long been involved in technology enabled education. I was involved in developing a multi-media tool for their marketing instructors in the mid 80s.
Jeff offered another example. Teach for America uses social media. This is a great program that I recently heard about on NPR. They place future leaders in teaching roles within areas of great need. Some continue in education but all are exposed to real lives of those in need. It is now the top job application in schools like Yale and Duke and has only about a 10% acceptance rate.
Teachers in the program can log into the portal and have communities of practice, for example, other 8th grade math teachers. They can do collaborative lesson plans through wikis and look for people in different parts of country and teaching certain subjects, etc. There are also blogs, discussion forums, file sharing, and other capabilities. This social media support allows for broader group support from people in similar situations across the country. This is a great alignment of organizational goals and audience needs.
The Salvation Army has an extranet with bi-directional connection to their Facebook site and connects to other Facebook sites that might be related so both outward and inward connections are made.
Alistair said that firms will now look at outcomes more than structure, technology and channels. The consumer world is influencing enterprise IT. Business people are reaching out to firms like IBM to talk as their own IT people do not want to address social media issues. There is a lot of experimentation. Policies are being developed, in part, by looking at similar tools to determine policy issues like access control and moderation
Jeff Schick said that IBM has developed an adoption methodology – Business Value Assessment - to quantify business results from social software developed through IBM internal experiences.
Jeff said it used to that they would say that technology was so easy a young person can use it. Now the term is “Technology so easy even an old person can use it.” I like this as i used to say technology so easy even I can do it.
Someone asked for the five big myths that IBM faces with social software. The answers were:
people will waste time
people may say things that company will not like
security concerns coming from looking at open Web tools
if you build it they will come – but really need a business goal to aim the tool at
There are answers to each of these as they are truly myths.
Dr. Francine Jacobson from Brigham and Women’s Hospital next spoke about her work in radiology research using IBM technology. Her team of radiologists does work in lung cancer screening and are using social software now for collaboration. They are looking at larger data sets for other related diseases and are able to cast a wider net. They have created the Radiology Theater to support this effort and here is the Radiology Theater on YouTube.
They are bringing together visual and non-visual data in a major COPD gene trial and making visual information more accessible. This is allowing for more comprehensive analysis that looks across data sets and types for patterns and provides for greater collaboration for interpretation. Now they can focus more on the meaning of the data and spend less time on just getting it
Two major issues are security and patient privacy. Data is aggregated to look for patterns rather than individuals. Data will be made available for other researchers because the research is publically funded. The work combines metadata with tagging and this is part of the social part.
Francine said there are two camps within the researchers – those who contribute and share and those who just take and do not give. However, the COPD gene research is not so affected by those dynamics, in part, because of the leader who promotes a sharing culture.
The virtual Radiology theater.com acts like a physical theater for collaboration. Docs are generally hesitant to do social networking but they feel this is safe because it is their community. There is also protection from a HIPPA perspective as patients are not identified.
ReadWriteWeb had covered this effort and here is a bit of their coverage. “IBM has announced an online "radiology theatre" product, currently at the prototype stage, which allows teams of medical experts to "simultaneously discuss and review patients' medical test data using a Web browser." The project … is built on IBM's next-generation browser platform Blue Spruce…IBM also used the WebKit Open Source Browser Engine. The app runs on the Linux or MacOS X operating systems and the browser may be Safari or Internet Explorer.”
“According to IBM, it has created a secure Web site that allows select medical experts at Brigham and Women's Hospital to access and collaborate on data such as CT scans, MRIs, EKGs and other medical tests. Each medical expert can "talk and be seen through live streaming audio/video through their standard web connection, and have the ability to whiteboard over the Web page as well as input information to the patient's record." Basically it is a secure multimedia experience running inside a single browser window, using Blue Spruce as the platform.”
I will pick up with more from the event in part two of the series that appears tomorrow.
My friend Eric Wilson and his cousin Arturo Manzano
recently made a wonderful looking paella over a wood fire.You can see the stages below, following
by the final presentation and then the cooks. I wish I was there to enjoy it
but I may do a painting based on the final version.
I have enjoyed both consuming and creating Spanish
cooking since I did some work there in the early 90s. I have made paella
numerous ways including grilling the non-rice contents but I always cooked the rice over
a gas fire. Now I will have to think about this approach.
Here is a 24" x 30" acrylic painting of fried onion rings at Captain Al's Tiki Bar in Buzzard's Bay Massachusetts. The rings were delicious. Before I ate them I took a picture and did this painting from the photo and my fond memories.
The Customer Information Access Solutions
(CIAS) are a set of individual, but related, extensions of the core platform
that address specific business issues.They are built with concept of “stop moving data” in mind. Companies
spend large sums of money and too much time trying to take data from multiple
sources and attempting to put it in one place for easier access. With Coveo’s
unified index approach you do not need to move this data since it can be
accessed from its original location.This can include emails, documents, CRM apps, databases, knowledge
bases, social media, Web content, and more.
There are three interrelated concepts here that I
like: focused business apps built on search, single point of information access,
and the dynamic mashup of information to fit specific user needs. These are
part of the foundation for an effective enterprise 2.0.
We first discussed CIAS for Customer 360 that
provides analytics dashboards. It provides comprehensive account information
in a single view, bringing in relevant data from multiple sources. Coveo comes
with many out-of-the-box connecters to sources such as Sharepoint,
Salesforce.com, Jive, and Atlassian. Others can be quickly created if
necessary.These content sources are
combined into a single index for unified access. This allows the user to easily
refine your searches and narrow the target data set rather than having to
operate within the constraints of the data architecture. In addition you
can consolidate and correlate content through mashups and monitor content to
get up with essential information. Below is a screen shot of customer account
In addition, there is Coveo CIAS for Contact Centers
that provides agent support through the same core capabilities in Customer 360
including unified access. Often contact center agents have to sort through
multiple systems with different search capabilities and interfaces. I remember
being told by an agent that one of the core skills was engaging in entertaining
chat with the customer while they waded through the many sources to find
answers. Below is a sample CSR screen.
Coveo CIAS also includes Customer Self-Service with a similar
robust set of capabilities. The interface and content is a subset of the
contact center application to achieve consistency, another move I like. There
is contextually relevant guided navigation to reduce drop-offs and increase
To further support monitoring and continuous improvement there is Coveo
Usage Analytics that compiles and presents all user interactions with the CIAS
solution. You can see top queries, documents, users, and various user
behaviors. Managers can see trends content gaps, and other useful insights. You
can see a sample screen from the Usage Analytics below.
Louis mentioned the customer example of Computer Associates that has
rolled out the Coveo platform to its 1600 agents. Since then CA has achieved a
10% increase in customer self-service satisfaction, a 50% reduction in case
resolution time, and they have deflected 10% more calls to self-service,
hitting about 50,000 queries a day with a response time of 0.2 seconds. I can
believe these results as I have seen similar effects when contact center
support tools are enhanced.
Companies first implemented knowledge base solutions to assist contact
center agents. These offered some help and I was involved in a number of them.
However, it required the creation of yet again another information source for
agents to content with and it significantly increased the development time and
cost.Now this effort can be
bypassed with a unified access solution such as Coveo CIAS.This is truly a break through in
information access. I think that Coveo was right to target contact center
support since the ROI here is huge as the CA results demonstrate. At the same
time there are many other applications that can benefit from this approach. It
is at the core of enterprise 2.0.
I have been following Michael Fauscette on Twitter for some time and enjoy his updates, many include links to helpful content. Last month he posted a comprehensive set of predicts, Evolution of Change: Signs for the Future of Business, that tie different trends together.Michael draws on"The Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil and the concept that we often underestimate the rate of change but and tend to look at change in one area in isolation rather than as a part of a set of related changes. Michael links some current change factors to conclude there are some dramatic and fundamental changes ahead for business. I would agree and a part of this, but certainly not all, is related to the combined set of initiatives grouped under the term enterprise 2.0.
I will not review all of the trends and I encourage you to look at Michael’s complete post. A number of them relate to what we are doing at Darwin Ecosystem and these are the trends I will focus on here. They include: cloud computing, everything as a service, networked business (customers, employees, partners), the power of community, internet of things, big data, predictive analytics, multifaceted business models, and necessity driven innovation.
Like many other firms we chose to offer a cloud solution and a services approach for the flexibility we can offer and the simplicity that our clients face in terms of technical implementation. We can host the Darwin Awareness Engine™ for a client or clients can do this themselves. In both cases there is little effort to integrate with their current technical architecture and/or involve the IT guys, even when Darwin is targeted at internal enterprise content in sources like Sharepoint and Domino, or multiple subscription services as Forrester, Gartner, etc.
The Darwin Awareness Engine™ can aggregate content across the networks that a business sets up or you can look within individual components of these networks. Clients can see the emerging themes and conversations their employees and business partners are holding. Michael writes, “The Internet creates hyper-connectivity and opened up the flow of information around barriers. The social web changed interaction models and redefined community.” Now you can look within these communities to better understand emerging themes.
The “internet of things” extends to television and opens up new models for traditional news media. Now you can combine traditional media and social media. Darwin lets you understand the emerging themes and breaking news. One of our clients, KETC, the PBS affiliate in St. Louis, is using Darwin as part of a pilot program connecting social media and television. Through Darwin they look for breaking news and trends within their news targets and then plan to also make use of Darwin to better understand the impacts of their new efforts within the program.
The proliferation of data and the need to look with this data for predictive analytics is the foundation on which the Darwin Awareness Engine™ was created.In 2008 more digital content was created than in the history of content and then the same thing happen again in 2009. Rather than try to impose external frameworks or use semantic techniques to try to comprehend this exploding content, we use Chaos Theory to allow the content to self-organize. Then we use data visualization approaches to allow the human user to determine which themes are in important for further exploration.In the process we avoid the potential for spam and the practice of SEO that other approaches bring.
Finally, we are exploring multifaceted business models, enabled, in part, by our cloud services approach. We offer can Darwin’s capabilities as a direct service, through other software firms to enhance their content discovery process, through content focused business partners that publish their own niche publications, and as niche solutions that set on top of the core technology. We began as a necessity driven innovation because of the difficulty imposed by current models of content discovery that often required complex semantic techniques and/or the need for taxonomies. This led us to Chaos Theory and the use of a radically different approach.
Thanks again to Michael for bringing these trends together and helping us reflect on their interconnections.
Rob Paterson recently posted on: It's not the content
but the connection that counts - NPR Rocks. He said that NPR is trying to
attract an younger audience and has succeeded “not because of a content shift but
because they made it easier for a younger audience to connect to content on
their terms! The secret was in the flexibility of the new connection
NOT the content.” They used social media and mobile apps to achieve this
Rob points to Jolie O’Dell’s post on Mashable, How NPR Is Leveraging
the Twitter Generation. She made this statement that I totally agree with. “…the future of
news media lies in successful integration of social media to get the
attention (and click-throughs) of a younger generation — a generation whose
news needs are vastly different than those of the generations that preceded
it.” We recently cover how our client KETC, the PBS television station in St.
Louis, is engaging in a successful integration of social media,
NPR is becoming a poster child for this social media effort.
They found In a recent survey
of more than 10,000 respondents, that its Twitter followers are younger, more
connected to the social web, and more likely to access content through digital
platforms such as NPR’s website, podcasts, mobile apps and Facebook. The survey
found that, 59% of respondents said they use NPR.org, 39% listen to NPR’s
podcasts, around half use an NPR mobile app and 28% access NPR via Facebook.
The survey also found that, 77% of NPR’s Twitter followers said they get all or
most of their news online. These Twitter followers are more likely to expect
breaking news, likely because of Twitter’s real-time nature.
the question that the Economist asks and comes up with a yes answer at the
moment. I have already written a
bit about how Google, Apple and Microsoft are making plays in this market.The Economist reports that in the first
seven months of 2010 that 12% of all the
flat-screen televisions sold in America in the first seven months of this year
were Web connected and the number may increase dramatically. However, many of
these consumers do not know how to use this connection and/or are not
interested in it.
The three tech companies are
challenging the cable and satellite vendors and looking for ways to run around
them. However, there is another group that holds much of the cards in this
game. There are only a few big film and television producers, and they have
slowed down this game according to the Economist. Apple has been unable to set
up a subscription service for television and films. Hulu, owned in part by the
studios, has similarly failed to obtain many shows from cable TV or from CBS,
America’s most popular broadcast network.
Traditional television is going as
strong as ever. According to Nielsen people watch online video for three hours
per month, compared with 158 hours for traditional television. The only winner
so far is Netflix, which rents DVDs. It has been amassing subscribers with 15 million
so far. Now it is gradually moving into online distribution, and is becoming
popular on connected TVs if anyone uses them. Neltflex will be built into the
new Apple TV. The Economist also reports that Netflix has lots of money to
spend on rights, and its wants to acquire some content exclusively.
This continues to be an interesting
game to watch.
Here is another in a series of posts that provide access to
my favorite tweets that contain links to useful information. Some of
these I did to link to things I found useful and others are RTs that I want to save
for the same reason. Since Twitter archiving is an oxymoron, I am now going to
post my favorite links for the month so they can be easily accessed later. I
will repeat this once or twice a month depending on volume.
I spot tested the reduced shortened urls and they all should
work. I hope this is also useful for you. Let me know your favorite
tweets for the month.
r, and it is one I follow. He describes his blog as “designed
for and about what I call the "Intentional Photographer". That is a
person that has been taking pictures for several years and has advanced through
the point and shoot years, to their first DSLR, to a stage where they may be
professionals and getting paid for their work. Or, they may be photographers
that are right on the edge of going professional.”
The latter is always an
inspiration for me. I actually did some professional photo work years ago and
successfully immigrated to Canada as a professional photographer when I was a
graduate student since I could do it as a student. My immigration status as
long since lapsed, as has my professional photo work but I hope to someday sell
photos again. I mainly use photography now as subject matter for my painting
but all photos on my Art and Photography blog are also for sale, as well as the paintings.
Randy’s blog has a lot of
useful information beyond this list. There are also some great images that he
has taken. Many are excellent landscape with good light effects. It is worth
Here is the
monthly listing of my Fast Forward blog posts. I find it helps me with an
archive and hopefully is also useful to you. There is a separate category for
these summaries in my right side column on this blog. There will be more in