Recently in Corporate Social Networking Forum Category

#csnf - Implementing Enterprise 2.0 Successfully

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2nd panel discussion, hosted by Iwona Petruczynik of Frost & Sullivan

What is web 2.0?

Olivier Crieche: the stuff people use at home and are now starting to use at work
Zeinab Lenton: It's about sharing and community
JP: It's what the web should have been

How to implement?

JP: get on with it. Look at e-mail. How much never leaves the company - is there a better way to do that?

When it goes bad?

Dominos Pizza: reputation damaged
KFC: had to cancel a promotion because bloggers spread it too fast and it was costing them too much.
One clent of Six Apart complained about the lack of feeds in Movable Type - which are built in. The UT department just didn't understand the product.
JP: you need both benevolant dictatorship from top and bottom-up adoption. If cost if repair is same as cost of entry, you suceed. If enough people can inspect information, you can make it good. You need a pincer movement on the immune system in the middle.


OC: use it to monitor customer problems with products, so they can reach out to them.
ZL: Teaches people new behaviours with low cost of entry.
JP: Twitter is publish/subscribe. 2. Is brief. 3. Assymetric follow. 4. 31 million reasons you carry on

#csnf - Krem and creating success

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[Switched to iPhone due to laptop battery death - please excuse typos]

Thijs Sprangers of Krem is up, asking why we aren't talking more about LinkedIn. Krem have defined five relationship roles, and think it is important to figure out what relationship your network is serving.

Look where your audience are active already and head there. It's not only business doing this, it's politics, it's banking...

Menno Braakman up now:

POST Method:

Who are your target group and what us their online participation?

Objectives: Determine the goals of the community

Strategy: how will the goals change the relationship?

Technology: Then choose the right social tools, based on the above.

eg Alumni networks are a useful source of business referrals and recruitment. So they built a network for ORMIT Alumni, and connected with LinkedIn. Use the Alumni group on LinkedIn to advertise the functionality of the private group.

#csnf - Lee Bryant and Credit Crunch Culture

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Lee Bryant's thesis is that businesses cannot afford big expensive investments right now, but that social tools can give us decent returns from low investments.

Deliver more for less, and investing things that save money
Social tools can rejuvenate old systems by putting a social layer on the top. 
Trust is fundamentally cheaper than control.

In the late 1990s intranets and the internet forked. The Internet went social, the intranets didn't. The internet has had umpteen users testing and feeding back on all its products. The intranet has lacked that evolutionary pressure. IT are rarely good user experience designers, and most people don't care. eBay's reputations system is 10 years old - nothing like it has appeared on intranets yet.

You need to look at the concept of network productivity. Over time, the network becomes more productive. We need to look at that, rather than just individual productivity. Cisco has reduced business planning from 6 months to one week using these tools.

We're wasting too much brain power in our organisation. We spend a lot of money on people, and sit them in front of Neanderthal tools. We also need to make use of hidden data and shared intelligence, like people's searches and click-streams. Microblogging gives us ambient awareness of what people are doing - and thus improve decision-making.

More and more platforms are including small elements of social networking, because these status updates are vital.

People start to negociate meaning for themselves - planned taxonomies are passing away...

It takes one to two years for good adoption and up to five to really transform businesses.

#csnf - AXA Case Study

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How do you launch social media in a company where every second of an employee's day is timed? That's the challenge Sonia Carter, head of online internal communications at AXA UK is talking about.

Intensive Customer Experience (love the name, so much room for innuendo...) training courses created great motivation, which wasn't sustained in the office, because too many other people hadn't done the course, and it was business as usual for them. one of senior management asked for "a blog" - was that what he meant? Did he mean that? Or a forum? Or a wiki? How can 12,000 people use a blog effectively?

So they decide to create an online community instead: OurSpace. Distinct separation between opinion/discussion space and the intranet which is the "hard facts", including visual cues in the design. Used a vBulletin forum. Guest hosts lead discussions on particular topics. The CEO as guest host melted the system.

  • 6 weeks to launch
  • £4k to launch, then another £6k for a nice design later
  • vBulletin for forums, Wordpress for OurIdeas - heavily customised
  • You need to hide from/ignore/bribe IT, Security, Risk, Compliance, etc...
Majority of discussion is work-related. Fewer examples of best practice and success stories, more question answering. Using blogs for ideas, which people can discuss and vote on.

Site was promoted during training event, and followed up with e-mail invite. Simple acceptable use policy means little is inappropriate. Only 2 breaches so far in 18 months, one of which lead to a disciplinary. Not bad, given that there are 12,000 people.

#csnf - For and Against Social Networks

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James Garner is leading a reasonably robust panel on the pros and cons of social networking.

Panel are Euan Semple, a social media consultant, Trish Hunt from Dell and Dirk Singer of Cow.

Euan Semple - People confuse the internal and external use of social networking. But the line is blurring. I'm hearing more and more stories of people going home to work, because they can be more effective there. Doesn't want to respond to corporate Twitter accounts, because he doesn't know who the person is.

Trish Hunt - Yes, blurred. If you're speaking on behalf of the company, you should have responsibility. (She keeps calling Twitter "Tweeter")

Dirk Singer - First job with internet, they had to collect e-mail, for control. That's gone and will go with social networks,

ES: 10 to 20 years for command and control to go. Social networking is fun but does it add to the ROI of the company? Same can be said of meetings...

TH: People finding that they can share information and avoid meetings is a big benefir, especially if the can come into the office less.

ES: HR is embodiment of C&C backed up by IT - they have the most to lose, but the biggest opportunity.

TH: Disagree. From a  Dell perspective, we're committed to it, but there is monitoring and management.

DS: Survey after survey after survey shows that most companies are taking a different approach, and are becoming more restrictive. Laurel Papworth is a good source for this. 

One of the audience asked about the death of e-mail. Euan siad he didnt think it was dead, but people need to learn to manage it better. Trish agreed. The questioner asked then if e-mail was more considered than Twitter, which Dirk countered by saying that 140 characters forces consideration. 

Biggest Blockers?

ES: Culture
TH: Sales force who think it gets in the way of the sale
DS: Bosses, who don't think it's work. 

#csnf - Managing the Modern Employee

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Robert Johnson, strategic consultant at the Central Office of Information, knew nothing about social networking when he took on the talk.

60s: people told what to do without explanation
70s & 80s: more communication and buy-in
90s: Corporation as friend, expectation of employees as innovators. Blame-free, supportive culture. 

We have baby boomers, GenX and Generation Y in the workplace at the same time. Three different sets of people with different needs and aspirations - but the general shift is from telling people what to do to a collaborative environment.

Lots of detail on Johnson's speech - hopefully the slides will be up after the event, because there's more than I can capture here. The summary is that the GenYers with their need for engagement are more prevalent than ever before. People are happier, more productive and more likely to stay if they have good relationships - so you can't ignore the new social tools. But implementing is a complex, many-layered thing, particularly at the social rather than technological level.

Key points:

  • Recognise that sharing and learning are valued
  • Seek out information for yourself
  • Bee a good networker
  • Support others
  • be inclusive
  • Be sensitive to commercial boundaries
  • Use tech to add value
  • Consider their work/life balance.

Niall Cook on Corporate Social Networking

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Niall Cook has started his talk with a challenge to preconceptions about social networking in corporates. It's not a case of buying something with Enterprise 2.0 on the box and thinking it will work. It won't. 


Any innovation in history usually is based around a technology that has been around for a while, but it requires a perfect political. social, technological storm to make it work.

The credit crunch is what is making it work. The "R" of ROI doesn't need to be much if the "I" is very small. You don't need to spend millions to get something that works. Our existing internal systems don't work. E-mail is overloaded. Intranets aren't working either. They're not collaboration tools, they're publishing tools and nobody's interested. The more social stuff is the only place that traffic will be holding up.

There's a shift from CEO as God to CEO as guide. And employees don't want command and control any more - they want managed engagement. The research says that if you're employees aren't engaged, they're creative negative value for your company. 

The workplace and the business are changing. It's more mobile, and more information-focused. The expectation of the workforce is greater than ever. They don't go "I'm at work now, I'm quite happy working in this structured, clunky system and then go home and use Facebook." They won't put up with the old-fashioned stuff any more. There's a shift in the psychological contract between employer and employee.

Digital natives are entering workforce - they don't care what impact their technology choices have on the business. Technology is part of their culture and they won't leave it at the door. 

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