February 2, 2011

Social businesses: Glimmers of a macro trend


Social Business Design (CC image by Dachis Group)

Annual look at the best strategies, tactics, case studies & insights in the enterprise space

Christopher RollysonCompared to 2009 and 2008, the past year was a relatively calm one because the amplitude of market gyrations clearly diminished and businesses began to find a new floor on which to build stakeholder expectations. Although I watched with high interest the unfolding financial drama in Europe, I didn’t have the time to conduct the research necessary to do a rigorous interpretation, although I published a brief reflection last week. The big story of the past year was this: 2010 marked a turning point in the adoption of social technologies and in the recognition that analysis and strategy are necessary to achieve consistent results with social initiatives.

Macro trends: Moving from broadcast to relationship building

Until recently, being on Facebook was an end in itself, agencies produced vapid content and little interaction occurred because people rarely interact when brands are talking at them instead of listening

Social has been in adolescence until recently — “being on Facebook” was an end in itself, agencies produced vapid content and little interaction happened because people rarely interact when brands are talking at them instead of listening. People feel it when a brand is interested in using social tools to promote itself. They also feel it when a brand is interested in building relationship, which is marked by active listening and responding, along with a relative absence of self-promotion. Brands that build relationship learn that they don’t have to try so hard to promote themselves: when they are truly interested in people, people will promote them. However, this approach remains a future state for most companies. Relationships take serious work — thus, a need for a strategy.

The growing use of strategy is also a harbinger for what I call “social business” (a step beyond social media), in which leaders use social technologies to transform their businesses by collaborating openly with various outside and inside stakeholders to innovate constantly. Early movers will begin emerging this year: Only a few gutsy players will aggressively adopt social business practices in 2011. I believe they can change markets.

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January 18, 2010

ICQ launches all-in-one social network tool

ICQ7 introduces a way to manage social messaging across networks

icq-logoAyelet NoffIf we look back in history , we will find that much before Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, there was ICQ. For anyone who doesn’t know, ICQ was created in 1996 and is now wholly owned by AOL. Back in the day, ICQ was the pioneer of social media and real time updates. It introduced us to instant messaging and a revolutionary new way to communicate with people instantly in real time.

ICQ could have been a sort of Facebook or Twitter a long time ago. It’s taken ICQ quite a long time to get back to its status as a social pioneer, but now with its new client software, ICQ is getting back to what it was about all the way from the beginning: a place to interact with your friends everywhere. “Everybody Everywhere” is, after all, ICQ’s slogan, and being an ICQ veteran myself, I am very excited to announce the launch of the new ICQ 7. Continue reading

December 30, 2009

Top Web 2.0 tools to help with your New Year’s resolutions

nye202Deltina HayWhether you want to lose weight, get in shape, manage your time or money, live a more sustainable or philanthropic life, or quit smoking, chances are there is a Web 2.0 tool out there to help you succeed with your 2010 new year’s resolution.

Here is a list of some of the top-rated sites for helping you achieve some of the resolutions most often made: weight loss, healthier living, quitting smoking, philanthropy, and better money and time management. And if you don’t have a resolution yet, perhaps this list can help you find a worthy one!

Inclusion in this list is based on how well a tool is rated in common review sites and the cost of a tool’s service. Reasonably priced services and sites that offer a free version were more likely to make the list, as were sites that offer some sort of collaboration or interactivity when applicable.

Weight loss & fitness

David Little, BodyDaemon's resident Personal Trainer & Fitness expert.

David Little, BodyDaemon\’s resident Personal Trainer & Fitness expert.

beYOU.tvoffers fitness and wellness videos ranging from yoga to boot camp, pilates to meditation. Videos may be watched for free with advertising or purchased and downloaded.

BodyDaemon is a free lifestyle monitoring tool that allows members to record their workouts, food, body, goals, injuries and lots more. Share as much or as little information as you like. Members can update their journal via the Website, your Facebook application or mobile phone.

Extrapounds is a free online weight loss community that provides you with weight loss tools to help you stick to your diet plans. It is where Extrapounds members share their experiences and support one another on their journeys to becoming weight loss success stories.

Fitness Journal is designed to enhance any diet or exercise program. They do not tell you what to eat or how to workout. Fitness Journal allows you an easy, interactive way to manage your workout and diet information. Their software will help you focus on the end result, and motivate you to keep moving in the right direction.

ProjectWeightLoss is an online community of users looking to achieve a healthier lifestyle. It offers tools to help you count your calories, decide on a diet program and a fitness program, and evaluate where you stand weight-wise. Plus, you’ll be in contact with a lot of like-minded people.

SparkPeople’s mission is to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals and lead healthier lives. They offer nutrition, health, and fitness tools; support; and resources that are free. Their weight loss program teaches people to stop dieting and transition to a permanent, healthy lifestyle.

Thintopia is an online community with the purpose of helping each member reach his/her weight loss goals. They are dedicated to providing services the community needs to motivate, inspire, and educate each other. The main service they provide is free weight loss competitions.

Traineo’s mission is to create the most effective health and fitness community on the Web by combining the latest software technology with sound information and services from the world’s leading health and fitness experts. Traineo is the culmination of over six years of development, testing, and focus group studies in partnership with leading experts in weight loss, health, sports, and fitness.

Healthy & sustainable living

5limesFivelimes is an entirely user-generated community that acts as your independent resource for information on the latest eco-friendly and socially responsible products and services. Our mission is to make the job of finding, discussing, comparing, and shopping for green products and services around the world extremely easy. The more people acting together, the greater our impact will be.

Green Map System energizes a diverse global movement of local map-making teams charting their community’s natural, cultural, and green living resources with universal icons and adaptable multi-lingual resources. Explore hundreds of perspective-changing Green Maps created by local Map teams in 50 countries. Continue reading

December 17, 2009

Transitioning to a digital news world

Transitioning from a print to a digital news world from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaIf I were starting out in journalism today, I’d probably opt to work for a Web-based publication — or start my own — rather than learn the ropes at a newspaper. Because those ropes are becoming increasingly frayed.

We’ve been checking in periodically with young people in the journalism field to get their take on how they’re dealing with the enormous changes taking place in the mediasphere.

One such person who immediately impressed me is Sharon Vaknin, a student at San Francisco State University journalism-logoand a producer/gadget guru at CBS Interactive’s CNET.com. She discusses her entry into journalism, broadcasting and the news business in this 6-minute video interview shot at a busy intersection in San Francisco.

Sharon says she’s “not really worried about” the future of the news business. “Web 2.0 has given us the opportunity to be more collaborative,” she says. “Because online is so collaborative right now, news will never disappear.”

She points to innovative programs like the New Media Lab and Visioning Summit as helping in the transition between traditional print journalism and its digital future.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo Continue reading

December 10, 2009

Do you have a strategy for social bookmarking and crowdsourcing?

Excerpt from Survival Guide Chapter 7: Sharing, not self-promotion, should be top of mind

survival-guide-toDeltina HayHere is part 7 of the series I will post over the next few months based on chapters from my new book, A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.

The book is meant to be a guide to building an optimized foundation in social Web for beginners and advanced users alike.

Chapter 7 of the book is about social bookmarking and crowdsourcing using news aggregators, enabling users to save and share their favorite Websites and determine the popularity of a news story, blog entry, or Website through various voting and rating systems.

The following excerpts are from A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web by Deltina Hay

Copyright 2009 by Deltina Hay. All rights reserved.

A Social Bookmarking Strategy

The first thing to do is get a good feel for a number of social bookmarking sites. (In the print edition, there are some popular sites listed at the end of this chapter and on the resource CD.) Choose a couple that represent your interests. If you don’t feel inclined to do the research, I recommend starting with Delicious.com, Technorati, and StumbleUpon. Using these three sites should give you a broad reach into the world of social bookmarking. Before you begin using a bookmarking site, it’s important to become familiar with the guidelines. Some sites are much more stringent than others about bookmarking your own sites, or representing a business of any sort. It is best to go forward informed rather than risk getting a reputation for ignoring the rules, or worse, getting banned from a site. Continue reading

December 9, 2009

Le Web day 1: End of day show report

David SparkHere’s my end of day show report for Le Web, the Web 2.0 conference in Paris. I’ve been in Paris for the week reporting with the Traveling Geeks (watch video of us on a train). Watch the video for a quick summary of the companies I saw, plus a quick story at the end about an outbreak Robert Scoble had at the expense of the French entrepreneurs.

Companies and links mentioned in the video.