February 23, 2010

17 visionaries predict impact of social on the enterprise

Nicholas de Wolff, National Film Fes­ti­val for Tal­ented Youth: "Too many peo­ple are div­ing into the Web 2.0 and 3.0 pools before they even know with whom they are swim­ming."
Nicholas de Wolff, National Film Fes­ti­val for Tal­ented Youth:
“Too many peo­ple are div­ing into the Web 2.0 and 3.0 pools
before they even know with whom they are swim­ming.”

Social business seen as making seismic waves in marketing, sales, operations

Christopher RollysonThe adoption of Web 2.0 and social networking accelerated significantly over the past year, and it shows no sign of stopping. Global digital word of mouth is disrupting growing swaths of business models, and CEOs want to understand its opportunities and threats. Although the Web is resplendent with prognostications from social media gurus, the voices of enterprise practitioners are too rarely heard.

To remedy that, I’ve gathered the perspectives of highly experienced executives who share their thoughts on how Web 2.0 is changing their businesses and mindsets. They also share its limitations and problems. Keep in mind that each contributor wrote independently, and I have made no attempt to unify their views, although I will offer my analysis and conclusions as well as the intriguing backstory below. Here is a sampling of the group’s eclectic insights:

  • A seismic shift in marketing is emergent, and chief marketing officers will require robust strategies to succeed consistently with Web 2.0 and use it to their advantage.
  • Gamification will redefine “work” and “play” and gradually make them indistinguishable.
  • Performance demands on government will force it to shed its laggard stereotype and pioneer social business at local and federal levels.
  • Arguably the biggest disruption of all is that green energy is enabling billions of previously unconnected people to join the world as participants; China and India are two of the fastest growing economies of the world, and millions of people are jumping online every year. Infrastructure limitations are forcing extreme innovation.

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October 2, 2009

Newspaper social media policies: Out of touch

newspapers - (cc) photo by Zarko Drincic on Flickr
Photo by Zarko Drincic on Flickr

JD LasicaThis year we’ve seen the steady succession of social media policies issued by major news organizations. The common theme that runs through these edicts is that they were written by top managers, with the input of lawyers, who seem to have little understanding of how social media can benefit journalism and news organizations by building community.

It’s as if the top editors in the country got together and decided to roll back the clock to 1995, with no appreciation of the enormous forces that have reshaped media in the year 2009.

First, here are the social media policies from major news organizations that I’ve managed to track down:

• Washington Post’s social media policy (leaked this week)

• New York Times’ social media policy

• Associated Press’s social media policy

• Wall Street Journal’s social media policy

For posterity’s sake and for comparative purposes, I’ve republished all of these on Socialmedia.biz at the links above.

I’ve brought attention to the problems with these policies before, including in this Aug. 3 interview with Mashable. Now, some more specific analysis and deconstruction:

A missed opportunity

twitterFirst, what’s striking about these policies is how they are framed: as a “do not” list instead of a “do well” list. This, unfortunaely, has been the way of the world at the vast majority of newspapers since I entered journalism more than two decades ago.

But what’s even more striking is how social networks are perceived in the executive suites of news organizations: as a threat, a knotty problem, filled with challenges to the traditional way of doing business, rather than as a way for news outlets to reengage with their readers and communities.

None of these policies could have been written by someone who deeply understands social media and what it can offer to traditional news organizations.

Standards of objectivity wobble on their pedestal

The winds of change in the mediasphere have shifted so abruptly over the past three years that newspapers — never agile organizations — have not kept pace with the corresponding shifts in our culture.

The notion that journalists don’t have personal lives or opinions, that they shouldn’t reveal political preferences or engage in civic causes regardless of their beat, that they should be shielded from direct interaction with the public for fear of disclosing a compromising point of view — this is sheer lunacy.

If newspapers die, it will be because they splayed themselves on the altar of objectivity rather than moving to a new kind of relationship that the public is clearly craving for. Continue reading

September 18, 2009

Social journalism: Using social networks to build community

JD LasicaHere’s the slide presentation I gave yesterday at the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association Summit of newspaper publishers and ad managers. My talk turned out to be 80 minutes long.

A half dozen newspaper executives thanked me for the presentation afterward, so the message of change is resonating in some quarters. The question is whether enough publishers will have the courage to turn their battleships into speedboats and green-light the wholesale experimentation needed to help newsroom journalists engage with their communities.

So far, no media companies have contacted Socialmedia.biz for consulting work (yes, we’re very busy with clients in other sectors), so I’m doubtful. Continue reading

September 16, 2009

Tools to build an engaged online community

JD LasicaHere’s the Social Media Bootcamp presentation I gave at Seizing the Moment, the workshop for ethnic media publishers at San Francisco State University the other week. At 41 slides long, it’s called “Tools to Build an Engaged Online Community.” (See it on Slideshare or download the PDF.) And while it’s geared to ethnic media publications, its lessons apply to traditional media outlets, news organizations and citizen media sites, too.

You’ll find the sites all tagged on delicious at my socialmediacamp account, with subsections on tools and platforms.

Free one-page handouts

Also, I prepared two nice-looking flyers for the bootcamp participants, which I’m hosting on Amazon S3:

Resources, Platforms, and The power of geotagging (PDF)

Social news ecosystem, Sites we like, and Facebook Groups & Fan Pages (PDF)

8 tactics to build community

The presentation addresses strategies in the sharing economy and suggests eight tactics to build community:

1. Be first with breaking news
2. Leverage Twitter
3. Enable conversations
4. Community video
5. Online petitions & causes
6. Geocoding & citizen photography
7. Google map mashups
8. Facebook communities Continue reading

July 23, 2009

Newspapers and blue sky thinking

JD LasicaFor the past 10 weeks I’ve been a faculty member of the Knight Digital Media Center Leadership Conference, helping editors from 10 newspapers learn how to incorporate social media into their newsrooms. The online training sessions culminated in three days of hands-on, in-person workshops this week in downtown Los Angeles.

Some top-flight social media consultants — Susan Mernit, Amy Gahran and Paul Gillin (whose slide show Getting Over Fear of Failure to Make Rapid Decisions is embedded at top) — and USC’s Dana Chinn were also on hand, with Vikki Porter and Michele McLellan running the show. (Follow KDMC and Michele on Twitter.)

I came away from the session more hopeful than I’ve been about the fate of local news organizations. While newspapers still face formidable obstacles in addressing the systemic shifts under way in the mediasphere away from mass marketed products and toward specialized, socialized, fragmented media forms, I was intrigued to see the energy and creative ferment that animate several of the projects.

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