March 18, 2013

Why the client covenant begins early on

Photo courtesy of Matt Peoples (Creative Commons)

How taking direction can lead to business success

Target audience: Marketing professionals, business owners, students, educators.

Shonali BurkeHow highly do you rate the ability to take direction from your clients? As communication strategists, we’re often not the ones following but giving direction. To our clients, to our teams, to the people we supervise (sometimes they are cross-functional teams within the same organization, sometimes they span organizations).

The whole thing about being a team player, and “there is no I in team”… yeah, well, that’s a phrase we all pay lip service to, but I think most of us would rather be leading the team as opposed to letting someone else do it, if we’re really being honest. Continue reading

July 6, 2011

What kind of Web 3.0 world should we make?

Reid Hoffman
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman (photo by JD Lasica)

Reid Hoffman on pervasive data and how it will impact business in the future

Christopher S. RollysonIn addition to being the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman is a Silicon Valley insider with rich insight into technology trends, markets and building companies.

I attended his presentation at SxSW, where his main message was that the future was bearing down on us, and he prophesied that it would “arrive sooner and be stranger than we think.”

  • He painted the context for his theme, “Web 3.0 as data,” with this timeline:
    • Web 1.0 was a low bandwidth environment in which individuals searched for files online (and on demand). The concept of “cyberspace” was separate from the “real” world. It was an anonymous world in which many people participated as animes.
    • Web 2.0 was a shift in which people increasingly participated with their real identities (MySpace notwithstanding), and the online world became increasingly integrated with the offline world. Social networks mapped social graphs (again, with real people), and most people blogged as themselves. Online became firmly embedded in offline life, as a way to help manage and navigate by using reviews and other buying tools. Wikileaks and the current revolutions in the Middle East are part of this larger trend.
    • Web 3.0 is mostly to do with the massive amounts of active and passive data we are generating. An example of passive data is phone calls from mobile devices. Bandwidth is increasing, which enables video, audio and graphic sharing and data. Hoffman advocates thinking hard about it and acting to protect data. Think about what kind of future we want to create.
  • Web 3.0’s data introduces significant risks to privacy because every transaction, passive and active, is linked to our real identities. Mobile device transactions are constantly tracked, and this is relevant because they are tied to real identities.
  • Hoffman’s biggest fear is how governments could use information to control people. Governments are organizations that are closest to what he called “pure power” (because they integrate information, legal authority and military/police power). They can mine email, text and all other digital data to learn anyone’s social graph.
  • Unlike corporations, government is not incented to care for citizens; he implied it is less accountable. Continue reading
February 22, 2011

Business hierarchy doesn’t affect online collaboration

For online collaboration to work, forget internal corporate structures, just build human relations

David SparkHere’s some of my coverage from the ICIS Conference in St. Louis. I was covering the event for Dice and Dice News.

When you’re collaborating online with a virtual team, which relationship dynamic works the best? A rigid internal structure of system roles or human relations?

The latter, discovered Nabila Jawadi, an assistant professor at Amiens School of Management, in her research paper, “Leader-Member Exchange in Virtual Team: Exploring the Effects of E-Leaders’ Behavioral Complexity.” The paper was co-authored by Mohamed Daassi at the University of Brest, Marc Favier at the University Pierre Mendes France and Michael Kalika at the EM Strasbourg Business School.

Jawadi and team tried to see what were the rules leaders used to facilitate communications and create a good e-collaboration environment. They found that internal system rules that deal with control and coordination don’t carry much weight in a virtual environment.

For those leaders looking to improve online collaboration, said Jawadi, have a suite of communications tools in place and use human relation rules, not power structure, for management and facilitation.

February 23, 2009

Collaborate with us

time2We think of as a work in progress. As we build out the site over the coming months, we have a vision of where we want to go, but there are lots of different routes we could take.

So we welcome your thoughts and input. What would you like to see on a site devoted to news and analysis of social media? Here are some possibilities:

  • interviews with industry leaders
  • resources, tools and how-tos that explain how to use social media
  • widgets that pull up social media headlines from around the Web
  • case studies of how social media is used inside companies
  • successful marketing campaigns using social media (and others that have flopped)
  • guest posts or videos by other experts showcased here
  • other ideas?

Continue reading

January 15, 2009

At the first Public Media Collaborative

Earlier this evening we wrapped up the kickoff meeting of the Public Media Collaborative (no website yet, private wiki coming, Facebook group here) at TechSoup in San Francisco. The idea, spawned by Susan Mernit, initially drew eight of us (folks like David Cohn, Margaret Rosas, Joyce Kim) to a restaurant last month to plan a gathering around collaboration to promote community building at the local level with social media and technology.

It reminded me in some ways of the citizens media summit I organized in 2005 that drew 40 people to the offices of the Internet Archive a couple of miles from here — with some important differences: Where the summit drew public-spirited citizen publishers from around the country who were running Web publications, this gathering represented a much broader slice of local participants: social media entrepreneurs, nonprofit employees, political activists, journalists, video producers, philanthropists and others.

Some 40 people turned out for this inaugural meeting. Amy Gahran live-tweeted the event on Twitter (hash tag: #PMC). Among those who turned out: David Siskin, Dave Toole, Chris Heuer, Julian Darley, Brian Shields, Austin Heap, Jen Myronuk, Marnie Webb, Amy Gahran, Joyce Kim, Kristy Graves, George Kelly, Raines Cohen, Heather Gold, Richard Landry, David Cohn, Adina Levin, Michael Stoll, Margaret Rosas and many others.

In short, we're a monthly meet-up and working group whose mission is to use media & technology to build democracy and educate and empower local and virtual communities. A few highlights:

Susan Mernit told the gathering she was "struck by how content and video have become more accessible" to users, and that the impetus to engage with media cuts across different communities, like journalists and advocates of public housing. Public Media Collaborative's goal is not to do one big thing but rather to support more "episodic and bursty" efforts based on efforts and interests that overlap.

Someone suggested that the group's purpose was to "create a solutions ecology," a shorthand description that I like a lot. I mentioned that it seemed that the group's purpose, in essence, was to connect the connectors, though Richard Landry pointed out that we can also serve a bridging function in reaching out to organizations that need guidance in the social media sphere.

After a lot of folks' input, I suggested that the organization seemed to be circling in on three main components:

• As a digital salon, with monthly meetings that center on a particular topic or cause, with smaller breakout groups to support each other's efforts.

• As a cross-disciplinary support group with a communication channel to clue in each other about timely efforts.

• As a resource center with a pooled knowledge base and ongoing workshops/bootcamps around social and public media. (More on this soon, as the launch of Socialbrite approaches.) Or, as Joyce Kim says, the Collaborative can serve "as a resource bank where we can build upon each other's expertise to help on our own community projects."

If you live in the Bay Area and are interested in joining up, drop me a line or just pop into our next gathering.