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Social Media Policy: ‘Watch Your Word’

I have always looked forward to writing something about what has been close to my heart—journalism.  And it might have been apparent already that I always tend to lean towards my journalistic nature or at least try to.  Well honestly I could not say that it had really been my bread and butter, but I am grateful to have amassed a wealth of information regarding the journalistic rules and ethics from my modest beginnings as a student all the way to marching through.

A trip down memory lane will take me to the very first day at the university where I first went to—10 years awhile back—I could vividly remember the old picturesque building I was at Silliman University (now celebrating the 111th year since its founding in 1901 by Americans in the Philippines) and right at the very room, stood an imposing poster of the Journalist’s Code of Ethics.  That served mainly as our “bible” for writing news regardless of whatever beat (a term used in journalism to refer to a particular area or category of concentration) we were assigned to.

Though I could not say that everything is plain and simple but at least we always have those principles to guide us in our reportage whether it be in print, TV or radio. I might not have scrubbed every single word at the back of my cerebellum but at least I have committed to memory the key points underlying them.  So it’s never difficult to abandon the guiding principles that govern the separation of news from opinion, the appropriate use of language and tone, importance of fact and objectivity, and whatever hallmarks there are in journalism.

But then there came SOCIAL MEDIA, vigorous debates surround media personalities as to how, when to or when not to use it in the line of duty.  It’s amazing that so much had been drawn to discuss the etiquettes and pitfalls of using emergent technologies.  However, realistically it’s undeniable that international media companies now embraced it as an indispensable tool in carrying out what’s expected of them.  Most, if not all, have issued additional guidelines to safeguard them from unnecessary allegations of biased-reporting all due to their journalists’ personal point of views.

And there is one that personally caught my attention and it’s definitely because of its plain straightforwardness—the Australian Broadcasting Corporation through its managing director announced in 2009 the new social media guidelines to which their national broadcaster’s journalists and staff must adhere to accordingly:

  1. Do not mix the professional and the personal in ways likely to bring the ABC into disrepute.
  2. Do not undermine your effectiveness at work.
  3. Do not imply ABC endorsement of your personal views.
  4. Do not disclose confidential information obtained through work.

In my own opinion, those four standards were founded on mutual respect to both parties: one, the company as an organization and, two, their people as individuals. Just because a person decides for the rest of his/her life to become a journalist one day does not entirely mean they abandon stating their personal views whether or not through the use of social media.  But of course they bear in mind that there are values that they need to strictly adhere to.

Now that blogging is my new medium, I was reminded that there indeed was a particular one that I have strongly committed by heart, truly a campus by the sea” memoir—the 11th item in the Journalist Code of Ethics as adopted by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines which states:

 

“I shall conduct myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, DECENCY should be my watchword.”

 

Courtesy of http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/socialmedia

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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Enterprise 2.0

 

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Social ‘Wisdom’ Strategy—Key to ROI

Today marks another milestone in my social networking life—and another one to boot—I now joined Google Plus, thanks to the invitation of a close friend who hails from Sri Lanka.

Needless to say that’s how engrossed I am with whatever’s gravitating around my web browsers.  And yes, perhaps you’ve guessed it—anything or any word followed by 2.0 (I know you’ve probably have had enough of me mentioning it).

As a matter of fact, the most common, if not only executive, response to hearing any word followed by 2.0 is “Huh?” or “Hmm…” and isn’t all this just about a workmate of yours or practically anybody “doing Facebook” on company time?  But really why should you care about Enterprise 2.0? To add more reasons to prove my point, some companies even thought the solution was just to shut down access to technology.

Let’s talk figures, according to AIIM 2010 State of the Industry Survey, they found out that staff access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instant Messaging is barred in 45% of organizations.  In addition, instant messages, Twitter feeds and blog posts are not archived in 80% of some organizations using them.  This is now the challenge and an opportunity.

image from totalmarketexposure.comWhatever those figures are suggesting, I would like to believe that if organizations aren’t connected to today’s emergent technologies, chances are they are not being as effective as they could be.  But surprisingly though from that same survey 54% of organizations consider Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success. That’s why I totally agree with what Andy McLoughlin, Co-founder and Global VP Business Development for Huddle, said about the issue at the heart of the enterprise social software debate is CONTROL.

He explains further that,

By introducing the likes of wikis, blogs, podcasting and instant messaging into the work environment, IT departments are relinquishing their control over what users can and can’t do. However, by barring such tools in the workplace, an organization is sending out a clear message that it doesn’t trust its workforce. Banning such tools could also result in failure to stay ahead of your competitors.

What’s directly shocking to me as a mass communication/journalism graduate is that newspaper readership continues to decline, 106 million people read at least some of their news online, 70 million read actual newspapers online, and 88 million people use a social networking like Facebook or MySpace.  Sixty million bank online, and 55 million now read blogs (yehey!), creating an explosion of new writers, readers, and new forms of customer feedback that did not exist before.  (Pew Internet and American Life, 2009).

Adding to this msocial media strategyix of social media, allow me to cite Vistaprint as an example for us to grasp on developing a social media strategy, opportunities and increase the digits along this three letters—ROI.  With some assistance from a previous research conducted by Jacob Morgan, author of TwittFaced: Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media,” let’s pick up some lessons learned as to why it’s important to put into place a strong emphasis on the “wisdom of the crowd”:

Vistaprint is an online supplier of printed and promotional material as well as marketing services, and is one of the fastest growing printing companies in North America. Within the enterprise 2.0 space, Vistaprint currently focuses on two things: an enterprise wiki and an internal ideation platform powered by Inutit. The ideation platform was focused around improving the customer experience; the wiki was focused on knowledge sharing and information.”

For the wiki, the lessons learned can be broken down into 4 key things as Morgan has mentioned:

  1. The collaboration and knowledge sharing problem was not a technology problem.  It was a people, process, and culture problem (and thus needed change)
  2. Whatever platform/tool you go with needs to be frictionless and people have to love it
  3. The technology solution that is going to solve your business needs must be fantastic
  4. People who say they are too busy to edit or contribute to the wiki really aren’t, they just think they are.  Everyone always have time for micro edits and inputting bits and pieces of information at a time.

Briefly, it’s a new world of doing business, one that will greatly affect your future business career.  Along with the changes in business come changes in jobs and careers.  No matter whether you are a finance, accounting, management, marketing, operations management, or information systems major, how you work, where you work, and how well you are so compensated will all be affected by… (thinking of that word ending in 2.0 again?…emergent outcomessee Web 2.0 Framework—where most interesting becomes visible, personalized recommendations, meaningful communities, relevant content easily found, enhanced usability and COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE!

 

SO FINALLY, no more “Huh?” for me as it could only be “Hmm…” for I now have a real definition of what “wisdom of the crowd” ought to be!

 

(Let’s see, sounds like I’m going to get some of that wisdom at Google Plus—do you think?)

 

 

 

[Reference Used]

  • Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. (2011). Essentials of Management Information Systems. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Enterprise 2.0

 

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The Enterprise 2.0 Phenomenon

If Tim O’Reilly is the father of Web 2.0 after having coined the term, Andrew McAfee, on the other hand, is the champion of Enterprise 2.0. Both terms have garnered more enthusiasm in recent times. But how are they exactly relevant these days is what we will delve deeper.

True enough that time and technology does not stand still, we all know someone, some place, at some time or another is going to figure out a way to advance online computing. I couldn’t agree more, and yes, that time and place is here and now.

It had not taken a while until people have started realizing this particular advancement now. From O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 concepts, now let’s examine further as to how this can be engaged in the enterprise. The prime mover of this realization was Harvard Business School’s McAfee when in US Spring of 2006 he coined yet another emerging term to refer to this concept as ‘Enterprise 2.0’.

This burst sprouted from his article in the MIT Sloan Management Review called ‘Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration’ (McAfee 2006).  A principal research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McAfee has this definition:

“Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.”

Allow me to share this interview courtesy of OracleVideo, for us to get it straight from the horse’s mouth:

What we are exactly doing now as bloggers, like you and me, is contributing content that is worthwhile and even just by reading articles such as this one is already an example of reaping the benefits of Web 2.0. But this time let’s go a little further by discussing how we can effectively share in allowing organizations to leverage social media for success like maximizing return on investment (ROI).

When I say maximizing ROI in this one, as in my understanding, I’d like to refer it this way as having all the things we love about the web and combining it now with all the things we love in a business table (well I hope to get one later when I have my own business).

Having said that, it’s also interesting to learn that a PhD student of Queensland Institute of Technology, Mr. Sirous Panahi is doing just that (a perfect example) as he is investigating the impact of social web technologies by looking at how clinicians or clinical care teams can share tacit (understood or implied without being stated) knowledge whilst using social networks—which I reckon is supporting a pathway to enterprise 2.0 success in the clinical health industry.

In addition, since we are talking about clinical or medical— according to Paul F. Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center he opines:

“Andrew McAfee coined the term Enterprise 2.0 to describe a phenomenon that has changed the way the world does business. Now, he takes it a step further. Whether your firm is already deeply embedded in Enterprise 2.0 or you are trying to communicate its value to your staff and your customers…”

In conclusion, this new platform—in my humble opinion—as imposed by Enterprise 2.0 is now creating “silos” but perhaps what we ought to equip this said platform with is our better understanding of how to put forth proper control, reliability, stability and security in existing companies and organizations, hence, providing them a better tool to collaborative participation.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Enterprise 2.0

 

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Blogging—The New Frontier

SINCE this blog has considerably served it’s time, at least for the past few months (but will still do), as a modest chronicler of ideas of what Web 2.0 is all about, it is about time to tackle another emerging and equally  becoming popular term in this fast-paced world—Enterprise 2.0

As a frequent blogger about the life here in Brisbane, it is imperative that this new commitment of mine to create blog posts should now run equally, if not, deeper than my PASSION to be a conduit of information not only of anything about Australia’s New World City but also about today’s emerging technologies.

With that new found passion, allow me to embark on another journey with you and head onto the next level up by exploring the wonders of blogging and how you can reap benefits from it in the enterprise world.  As I see fit, I will try my best in the next series of posts to do so NOT in a hodge-podge approach—but rather in a more organized manner.

Blog-hopping has now personally been my favourite mode of daily transport (in the Cyber World of course!).  And I must admit everything is now happening here.  After few months of finally blogging again since my first blog post ever in 2005, I reckon maybe it’s time to get serious or haven’t I been?  It seems that I’ve gotten myself caught in a web and I don’t know how to get out.

Okay first things first, need I not mention that this cyber world I’m talking about is known to you as a place where users have the mechanisms in place to transact any business or personal activity as easily and freely as they can transact them in the physical world. We are now seeing an eclectic range of whatever market have you. Say, from the simplest gadgets, to sports gears, to the luxurious sports cars or DotA-inspired merchandises for MEN, or the unimaginable accessories, overpriced cosmetics, to the never-ending fashion for WOMEN. Seriously, anything can be blogged about NOW!

What is a BLOG then?

Matisse.Net defines the term BLOG (from ‘Web Log’) as:

“Basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.  Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.”

People ASK ME, why do I blog? And I try to explain, hang on a second—but why wouldn’t I?  A fellow Filipino and now Toronto-based is currently making waves as far as Enterprise 2.0 is concerned. In fact, she’s literally living an awesome life working for a top company’s operations in Canada and one of the world’s computer giants, IBM.

This lady by the name of Sacha Chua inspires me to blog further as it does also make me think clearer and even true to her words that:

Blogging doesn’t have to be about building a personal brand or improving your search engine ranking. You can write as a way to learn, understand, remember, share, and save time.

Report generated at 12:26 pm of 18 August 2011

As of 12:26 pm, 18 August 2011

To my surprise, I was even happy to learn from my Live Traffic Feed courtesy of FeedJit that she (Chua) did pay a visit here after our brief Twitter conversation.  So who will not be more PASSIONATE about blogging with that?  Thus proving something at least, that with the advent of—Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0—social technologies can help us work and connect more effectively!

Perhaps when it comes to blogging, it is also important to bring out the POSITIVITY in you as the world reflects back as to how it perceives you.  This is especially vital when you want your readers to keep coming back for more and eventually collaborate with you.

On positivity note, Henrik Edberg shares 16 lessons he has learned on how to build a somewhat Successful Blog whilst explaining it with details on his The Positivity Blog”.   

Allow me to succinctly re-echo these nuggets of wisdom and even if you are not a blogger yourself, you can still apply it in other areas of your life:

1.       Provide value.
2.       Market your blog.
3.       Learn from more experienced people.
4.       Optimize.
5.       Be patient.
6.       First impressions matter.
7.       Formatting is pretty and important.
8.       People aren’t just angry or hostile online. Quite the opposite.
9.       Don’t think about what everyone else may think.
10.   Making posting a CHOICE, not a must.
11.   Future posting is your friend.
12.   Don’t spend too much time checking statistics or other blogs.
13.   Blog consistently.
14.   Expect a slump after a few months.
15.   Don’t clutter your blog.
16.   When you get a big traffic spike, be prepared.

At the end of the day, blogging for me is truly a new frontier.  A new place that is untamed and untainted by the rest of the world.  It will be like a fresh start on a whole new planet or continent, similar events set in motion by the adventures of the Spanish Conquistador Ferdinand Magellan to the PHILIPPINES!

Welcome to the New Frontier and my OWN CHOICE…

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Enterprise 2.0

 

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It’s Live and Light

Finally down to the last pattern of Tim O”Reilly’s What is Web 2.0—“Design Patterns and Business Models”. It has been somewhat like a long and arduous journey for me, after having explored the seven principles in my prior posts. Now I’ll be highlighting the 8th principal feature which is “Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability.”  Notably, one of the significant lessons he mentions about this is to:

Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems. The complexity of the corporate-sponsored web services stack is designed to enable tight coupling. While this is necessary in many cases, many of the most interesting applications can indeed remain loosely coupled, and even fragile. The Web 2.0 mindset is very different from the traditional IT mindset!”

In Web 2.0 this means that really simplicity is the name, and doing more with less is the game. Whilst making sure that the business models are scaled as well as their assisting technologies that implement them. One can produce a cost effective solution if the amount of resources required to make them are reduced to the smallest possible amount or degree.

A very good example of Web 2.0 application that I can relate to the pattern is my favourite online storage service—Windows Live SkyDrive, a part of Microsoft’s Windows Live family of Web 2.0-style online offerings. You receive 25GB of free Windows Live SkyDrive online storage (although individual files can be no bigger than 50MB each), and you can store any type of file to a Private, Public, or Shared folder.

With your Windows Live SkyDrive log-in name and password, no one except you can access Private folders; anyone on the internet can view your Public folders, but only people you invite can see Shared folders. You can restrict invitees’ access to windows live skydrivecertain Shared folders or grant them Contributor status for viewing, adding, modifying, and deleting items in a folder.

I tried sending invites first to those who already have a Microsoft username and password before they can access a Windows Live SkyDrive Shared folder. Another good thing is that there will be no problem if they use Hotmail or Windows Messenger, or otherwise have an MSN or Windows Live ID. The last time I checked Microsoft promised that a future release of the service will support sharing folders with users who don’t have any Microsoft account, but I’m not sure if that has already been fulfilled.

I know there’s Dropbox, XDrive and Streamload already around though but what sets SkyDrive apart from them is the fact that it is already tied with my own primary email at Live MSN. However, it does fall short with some features offered by the aforementioned like allowing you to stream stored audio files and perform automated backups and lets you synchronize data between two computers.

As Tim O’Reilly has said, the next time a company claims that it’s a “Web 2.0” we make sure that we will have to test their features against the concept of the 8 patterns I’ve written on these blog posts. He adds that the more points they score, the more they are worthy of the name. It’s always good to be reminded of his quote that “excellence in one area may be more telling than some small steps in all seven.”

 

On a more personal note, amidst all the blogging for Web 2.0, I felt to myself like I was a town crier in my old home town back in the Philippines constantly spreading announcements, proclamations and what not. But most of what will remain from me now after a semester of academic requirements doing Web 2.0 Applications is this blog that will serve as a chronicler of events capturing memoires of my learning; I feel this one would be handy at some point if I try to recount on what I have demonstrated as a vanguard of ubiquitous computing.


Lastly, writing for Web 2.0 is a great practice to incorporate into my article-writing ritual because it allows me to get my articles higher up on the search results—thus, a “Long Tail” effect (thanks to tags) and it’s good to be in front of the people who are ready for some action. The fact that you’ve read to the end of this entire document and are hanging out with me at the bottom of this page, I’ll have to say thank you truly it was a splendid adventure, but my journey has just begun!

 

 

 
 

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Leveraging the Long Tail with Youtube

Now we’re almost about to wrap up all the patterns of Web 2.0 as described by Tim O’Reilly, by the way the second to the last, is one that kept me thinking on how new businesses are discovering now the new ad forms. At a base level, regardless of IT budget, people need solutions to their issues and are often crafty enough to figure out a way to get things done. To discuss on the true children of the Internet era, O’Reilly touched on some good points with good examples:

Overture and Google’s success came from an understanding of what Chris Anderson refers to as “the long tail,” the collective power of the small sites that make up the bulk of the web’s content. DoubleClick’s offerings require a formal sales contract, limiting their market to the few thousand largest websites. Overture and Google figured out how to enable ad placement on virtually any web page. What’s more, they eschewed publisher/ad-agency friendly advertising formats such as banner ads and popups in favor of minimally intrusive, context-sensitive, consumer-friendly text advertising.

For a person like me who does not have quite a good grip of economics, you might also wonder why a Wired magazine editor talks about the hindmost part of an animal and of it being long. Certainly it’s got nothing to do with that thing that waggles behind a kangaroo hopping on our backyard. But it’s about what Business Week magazine said about “a powerful new economic force in a world where the Internet allows access to almost unlimited choice” which is a brilliant theory of Chris Anderson who has “identified an important truth about our economy and culture.” His example was how Amazon.com makes most of its revenue from huge numbers of specialised titles, not the blockbuster ones, or the high-selling books we see in bookshops. Each specialised title may only sell hundreds of copies per year, but there are just so many of them, compared with the small number of ‘top ten’ books (which is, of course, always only 10). He further adds that “In a Long Tail world, the future does not lie in hits—the high-volume end of a traditional demand curve—but  in what used to be regarded as misses, the curve’s endlessly long tail.”

So for this very reason, O’Reilly clearly tells us a good Web 2.0 lesson and that is to leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.”

And since I don’t want you to be in the same dilemma of deciding what is “heads” and “tails” on a given coin (it’s not always easy), I might as well keep on tossing it.

On Traditional TV versus YouTube (Heads or Tails?)

TV versus YouTube

Television is a good example of this: Chris Anderson defines Long Tail TV in the context of “content that is not available through traditional distribution channels but could nevertheless find an audience.”  So those, whose independent contents could not— for economic reasons— find a place in the TV distribution channels as it is controlled by expensive advertisements costs, will resort to other mass medium.

Thus, the advent of services offered by YouTube opens up the opportunity for niche content to reach the right audiences. YouTube where thousands of diverse videos— whose content, production value or lack of popularity make them inappropriate for traditional television— now make independent contents easily accessible to a wide range of viewers. These may not always attract the highest level of viewership, but their business distribution models make that of less importance.


 
 

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Will beta services perpetually flicker?

Before going deeper to Greek letters and what not, allow me to quickly share with you the reason why I decided to take up information technology as a field of study. It was primarily because of the fact that (well other than hopefully getting a decent job) I have loved the idea of staying apprised of latest developments in the I.T. world. But I used to feel though that some releases by software developers were just a part of cynical marketing tactics. Could this be true?

Probably not, but nonetheless it’s about time we get to the Greek part!  My Concise Oxford English Dictionary, which has a ubiquitous presence in my room, defines “Alpha” and “Beta” as the first two characters of the Greek alphabet.  So how these Greek terms landed in the world of software development was presumably because they refer to the first and second rounds of software testing.

alpha beta

And because of the need for most web applications to be constantly refined and constantly improved, hence the phrase “Perpetual Beta” coined by Tim O’Reilly to describe practices like continuous production and continuous integration.  Apparently procedures like these provide organisations more agility in the lifecycle of their products and to give us a clearer picture of this Web 2.0 pattern O’Reilly suggested that:

“When devices and programs are connected to the internet, applications are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services. Therefore: Don’t package up new features into monolithic releases, but instead add them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience. Engage your users as real-time testers, and instrument the service so that you know how people use the new features.”

In layman’s term, say if you are a big organisation and you badly want your customers to really engage to your business, product/service, or whatever project have you, you need to also allow them as human beings to feel part of it with dynamic and active roles, but if you only try to control them and manipulate them by treating them just like another ordinary consumer, sooner or later, they will leave, and all the time they spent with you, will be someone else’s advantage, maybe your competitor.

Photo courtesy of codinghorror.com

Flickr for example has been qualified as beta for several years. In its website, Flickr states that it “continues to evolve in myriad ways, all of which are designed to make it easier and better” and for them to organise what service will be the next released service their approach was through creating communities of users that evaluated and proposed new user requirements based on their behavior. And as I have noticed also from the rest, this ultimately has become more of a business practice rather than a software practice.

Remarkably with his “Perpetual Beta” not only has O’Reilly proven me wrong that the open source dictum of “release early and release often” is just a part of what I used to think as cynical marketing tactics, he also made me understand that today’s world of ubiquitous computing is fueled by ever-changing innovation and constant iteration.  



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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Web 2.0 Applications

 

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