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Written by SteveEllwood

May 17, 2009 at 10:12 am

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office – social media experts?

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I’ve just remotely attended a really interesting presentation in London [OK, I attended remotely], by Media Snackers who talked about engaging with the young, through social media and so on.

Couple of things:

The world’s changed, and it’s not turning back

used to be their strapline – but they’re now emphasising

cheaper, quicker, sexier

as what the social media stuff can do. Look at their site to see what they are about.
A couple of the points they raised struck me – the takeup of social media amongst the young is astonishing; they highlighted a Forrester report which segment the social media area into

  • Creators
  • Critics
  • Collectors
  • Joiners
  • Spectators
  • Inactives

and this is segmented by age – with the creatives and critics highly represented in 16-24, with spectators and inactives being preponderantly 50+ (like me!)

perhaps nothing too new for some of us – although there are scary figures about the change in media consumption, but something he said struck a chord. More or less:

… a lot of people seem to be getting into the space; I mean, look at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office – they’re a lot of suits, but they’re on Flickr, on YouTube, on Twitter, they blog… where are you? I mean, c’mon guys…

I thought, that can’t be right, can it?
Hmm…
So, I had a brief look, and found a Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blog platform presence for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. It may not be exciting, but it looks like they do have a coherent social media strategy.

What are you doing?

If someone looks for you on Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter – what will they find? If they search for a blog presence or social media involvement – what will they see?

If you’re not taking part in the conversation… it will go right on. Without you.

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Written by SteveEllwood

February 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Social Media & Knowledge Management

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scratching head

Social Media in the Enterprise

I wondered about the impact social media tools were making in knowledge management for the enterprise. We have got some very rapid growth in the takeup of the tools in my company; we have loads of wikis, internal blogs – growing use of Twitter.

I wondered about the difference between *Information* Management & *Knowledge* management.

Thanks to a tweet from @elsua I found my way to an excellent presentation given by John Bordeaux (@JBordeaux, since you ask).

As with many of these things, what you can take away from it depends to some extent on your organisational culture. I found it very interesting, particularly the view on

Basic information sharing infrastucture – just do it!

    Enterprise search
    Democratic web publishing
    Social media! Everything 2.0
  • Image Credit: I am K.E.B.

  • Written by SteveEllwood

    February 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    @SouthwestAir responds to questions to La Guardia

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    I’ve posted about corporate use of Twitter before. I like the way it can build a brand’s position and personality.

    I really liked this use of a response to a question from Jaunted by the Twitter face of @SouthwestAir (Christi) – and of course, she tweeted about it. Now, that’s a great way to use your Twitter account. They get it.

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    Written by SteveEllwood

    January 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Posted in Social Media, Twitter, Web 2.0

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    Flock O’ Tweets – sorts tweeters into flocks

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    Flock O'Tweets

    Every now and then you find a little mashup that makes you go “Now that’s a good idea!”.

    Flock O’Tweets is one.
    Put a group of those you follow in, separated by commas: out pops a nice little RSS feed for you to consume at your leisure.

    Give it a try.

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    Written by SteveEllwood

    January 28, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Posted in Twitter, Web 2.0

    Will your social media engagement scale?

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    gig audience

    Do you listen to your customer?

    We do … that’s what we all say. It’s what we all want to do. Sometimes, particularly in a big corporate, it gets to be a bit difficult to hear what they’re all shouting to you.

    Sometimes, it might be “Thanks”; sometimes, “Can you do it tomorrow?”; it might even be “I want to complain”. We want to hear all of those. We want our customers to know we’ve heard them.

    How do they talk to you

    Ideally, how they want to. They can ring you, email you – hey, even write to you.

    What if they use Twitter?

    @SouthwestAir and @ComcastCares are examples where corporates engage with an audience – they look for who’s tweeting at them, and talk back to them or help them.

    @stephenfry is an extreme example of an individual – some 63k people follow him and he follows back about 32k. He can’t hope to see everything that comes through [replies virtually every 5-10 seconds], but he does engage with his audience. [You can find me at @steveellwood, but I only have 203 followers – but I follow 234 people!]

    What if they use Facebook

    What groups are being set up around or about your brand? Are they positive? Are they YourFirmSucks? How are you going to deal with it? If you don’t, what’s the message you’re giving? Not saying anything, is making a statement – whether you mean it or not.

    Should you engage with your customers via social media

    If you start to, and more customers pile in, will it scale?
    Chris Brogan (surprisingly enough @chrisbrogan) says in Are you Important to me?

    No. No, it will not scale. You cannot … maintain a 1:1 relationship with every single person who interacts … I think the same is true of using these tools within an organization. Only, the beauty is this: inside an organization, you can spread the connections out a bit. Not everyone has to talk with Tony Hsieh at Zappos. They might want to, but they will find that there are plenty of other great folks there.

    Ditto Comcast. Ditto Dell. Ditto every brand that’s trying to figure out these tools and this space.

    It will not scale, but if you want the bottom line return on investment value, you’d best remember to remind people that they’re important to you. And that’s what these tools do best.

    What are you doing to engage with your customers in social media? I’d be interested to hear.

    Image Credit:svenwerk

    Written by SteveEllwood

    January 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Is Yammer really a Twitter in the Enterprise?

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    scales

    I don’t think it is.

    Having seen a posting from @pistachio about Yammer, I wittered on our internal blogging sytem about this – and was astonished and delighted to get a ping from @richarddennison saying there was a BT group on yammer.

    I joined it. Nice sign up, requires a corporate address, a confirmatory email is sent to the address. There’s a nice web interface, and a cute little AIR desktop client.

    There’s a familiar ability to follow people, see “All” – basically a corporate public timeline, and  an in-built tagging and search facility.

    I really quite like it.

    But – and there’s always going to be a but – their monetisation model seems to be that you can have a network free; it’ll cost you $1 per person, per month if you want to admin it.

    That includes removing people, setting session details, branding. Note, some later experimentation confirms that any member of the network can block another by going to the admin section and saying the user is no longer part of the network. This forces a reconfirmation of the email address; if the blocked individual no longer  has an email address then they won’t get back in. That addressed one of my larger concerns.

    I don’t anticipate a huge signup from within BT. Say 100k employees, 2% signed up… that would require $24k a year; and a huge control overhead, given that there’s free signup. As we have people retire, leave for other contracts they’d all need to be excluded.

    We have some internal tools, that link to our HR system (so low admin costs for us) which might be easier, though the interface isn’t as fancy.

    I’d add that I miss the “broad church” of Twitter. I wish it luck, but I don’t see it taking over my microblogging.  It may, perhaps, give people new to blogging/microblogging a quasi-safe environment to try in. I think if it gets taken up for that we’ll need to remind folk that it isn’t really a controlled environment.

    Of course, the easy sign up process means that anyone with a domain could use it. I could set up an Ellwood Family group.  But why wouldn’t I use Twitter instead, where I can choose to follow my family – and whoever else I’m interested in?

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    Written by SteveEllwood

    September 16, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Posted in blogging, Twitter