Communications Enterprise 2.0

iBus: when’s the 1st London Bus mashup due?

Anyone who has been on a London bus lately, will have noticed the audio journey announcements telling you the next stop, the digital display of the same and the how long have I got to wait digital signage at bus stops. This is all part of Transport for London’s iBus project.[tfL web team, turn off the play=yes on the video pleeze!].  For some iBus is a bit of an annoyance (see for example the usually placid residents of ChiswickW4), but overall aim is to provide a better service to all London residents:

In a nutshell, iBus is a £117m, state-of-the-art Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and radio system which helps us run a more reliable, consistent, bus service.

iBus works by using a GPRS system that tracks all the buses fitted with the iBus transmitter and sends that information to a central server called CentreComm – which is also the 24/7 Emergency Command and Control Centre. From here bus controllers can tune in and monitor all buses, spot speeders and laggards and make them go faster, slow down to synch the schedule. With all this in place, why can’t we access it too? We should be able to log-in and see how often the E3 bus decided to finish early (as often happens) and how often they decided to break all speed limits to finish their shift (as often happens). But more interestingly, we should be able to see the map of all the buses so we can tap into the system at a bus stop. Wouldn’t it be good if Google maps was mashed up with the iBus system and we could see what buses were on their way via a SmartPhone? I’d find that useful and could time when I went to catch the bus allowing a leisurely stroll to the bus stop and avoiding long waits in the cold. Update – I’ve been advised that there’s not one due, but when it does arrive, 3 will turn up at the same time.   Update: Londonreconnections Blog has good background info on this: TfL and Approaches to Communication


Žižek replies, Kirsch does too

Slavoj Žižek has replied to Adam Kirsch’s accusations that he’s anti-semitic in pretty forthright fashion. Kirsch replies back. A pretty nast spat. Who doesn’t understand whom in this affair?

zizek kirsch 1:0

Communications Enterprise 2.0

Why Forbes says e-mail is so last century

Web 2.0 has arrived and your company needs it, now. Who says so? Forbes’ Mike Schaffner does ‘Why Companies Need Web 2.0’. For Schaffner we’re in a web 2.0 world now that extends from his daughter’s vacation in Paris through to the next wave of new employees. 

Schaffner lists out the whole sweet shop – RSS, Wiki, Blog, YouTube, FriendFeed, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. E-mail he says is so last decade, it’s an old hat. Thus use Twitter instread says Schaffner, who can can see collaborative communications research done in a tweet:

Imagine someone putting out a Twitter message (a “tweet”) that says, “I’m updating the marketing plan, does anyone have any info on X?” rather than sending out an e-mail that gets lost in everyone’s inbox. The tweet may have a wider reach and generate a better response. 

And it’s not just convenience or the need to attract the best talent that’s at stake. It’s time to move forward or perish:

Like it or not, our employees and customers–not to mention our competitors–are using these technologies now and will soon be expecting you to provide them, too. Don’t do it and you may find yourself at a competitive disadvantage. What are you doing about using these technologies inside your company?

The eagle 2.0, has landed, well ok it’s still landing (07.07.08). But as soon as this is posted I’ll communicate it via Twitter and FriendFeed…as one does.


Record LP Sales

There’s been something of a buzz on Nielsen’s data for US music sales in 2008. Not surprisingly it shows CDs hit by purely digital music, but also a sharp increase in LP sales. Lucas Mearian’s article Back to the future: Vinyl record sales double in ’08, CDs down is worth reading even though it suffers a little from the usual misplaced credulity toward the medium seen often in the more ignorant digerati. This was heard in depth on the BBC World Service Business Daily where a short trip from Shepherd’s Bush to The Walrus would have disabused them of their failure to research. More on that when the podcast comes out.


On to the Nielsen data, the overall stats are:

TOTAL LP ALBUM SALES (12/31/07 – 12/28/08)










% Chg.


    1.88*   .99   89%

But what’s the juice on what people are actually buying?






(based on vinyl album sales from 12/31/2007-12/28/2008)




Units Sold




Units Sold


In Rainbows/ Radiohead

  25,800     1   Radiohead   61,200

Abbey Road/ Beatles

  16,500     2   Metallica   39,500

Chinese Democracy/ Guns ‘N Roses

  13,600     3   Beatles   20,400

Funplex/ B-52’s

  12,800     4   Elliott Smith   17,800

Third/ Portishead

  12,300     5   Bob Dylan   15,200

In the Aeroplane…/ Neutral Milk Hotel

  10,200     6   Portishead   15,100

Dark Side of the Moon/ Pink Floyd

  10,200     7   Ryan Adams   14,000

Fleet Foxes/ Fleet Foxes

  9,600     8   Coldplay   13,900

Death Magnetic/ Metallica

  9,400     9   Guns ‘N Roses   13,600

O.K. Computer/ Radiohead

  9,300     10.   Neutral Milk Hotel   13,200

Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon??? What cotton-picking cloth-ears is going out and buying these?

Well so far, only data in for America, not been able to see what the stats are for UK and Europe or global and would love to see what Japanese ears have been listening to. Equally useful would be data on 2nd hand sales, this must be massive with vinyl, especially with sites such as eBay and Discogs.

If anyone has any data, please do let me know.

Analysts Communications Enterprise 2.0

Gartner: From the tie to 2.0, CIOs & 2009

Sailing against the cold winds of doom, a refreshingly upbeat set of recommendations from Gartner for the embattled CIO. The synopsis is straightforward – the current crisis presents opportunities to be seized:

In time of a recession, organisations have more time for introspection that identifies what the deep needs are and also creates demand on what IT can do. It brings the opportunity for businesses to exploit the technology they currently have to create something new. John Mahoney Gartner.

To achieve this Gartner recommends 10 resolutions for the CIO. What the CIO needs to do is walk the walk, talk the talk re new technologies and social media, using it to connect with the talent base old and new.

Social Media can create new communities of knowledge among past and current employees plus there will be bargains to be had in 2009 as the crunch continues:

This will create something of a buyers market for some high-calibre IT talent in 2009. However, company recruitment lockdowns will stop CIOs taking advantage if they don’t take specific actions. Mark Raskino, Gartner.

The lead is by example, from the tie to 2.0. The CIO needs to be seen using the bright new promise of 2.0, making YouTube the default search engine for the day, being seen to use social media. What’s more, the need to start taking the cloud more seriously than previously – take somecalculated risks and to learn from the experience.

Are we going to see this happen? The emphasis here has to be on the seeing aspect. If any CIO takes Gartner up they’re going to be visible. And that visibility might be more transparent than say the comfort of a company blog nestled in the safety of the firewall. Will we therefore see CIOs on Twitter actively engaging with the everyday bustle of conversation? Are there examples now we can examine and even gently prod converse with on public social media platforms? Such data would be interesting and might provide a useful barometer on just how socially active and prepared for the opportunities, the 2.0 savvy CIO is in 2009.


Alfred Shaheen 1922-2008


Alfred Shaheen 1922-2008
Alfred Shaheen 1922-2008



Alfred Shaheen  A true legend and a genius of textile print and design.


All About Jazz


Enterprise 2.0

T-Shirt @ Panic Goods

Hats off for a superb range of T-Shirts at Panic Goods.

This has to be top of the list:



But….for the ultimate in nerdy-wear it has to be Spinner.

Communications Enterprise 2.0

The Chiswick Gardener – gardening on an iPod

I’ve recently set up a blogging site for a friend of mine – The Chiswick Gardener. The site’s owner Andrew does what it says on the tin – garden maintenance, gardening and gardens in Chiswick and the surrounds of W4. The site uses a standard WordPress template and I’ve installed YAPB – Yet Another Photo Blog to manage the photographs. 

thechiswickgardenerThere are literally hundreds of photos available for the site and to get the site started I’ve just uploaded a handful to begin with. And this photographic aspect is where its potential is already demonstrated. Yesterday I visited High Road House with Andrew and he was able to showcase the site on his iPod using the House’s free private members’ WiFi. This was something to see, an epiphany for me. I’d seen the site as a portfolio of gardening work done for people in Chiswick but I hadn’t quite seen the mobile potential.

What I realised sitting in the subterranean rooms at the House was that this site provides a mobile digital portfolio of Andrew’s work. So long as there’s a WiFi connection, and most of Chiswick High Road has that, Andrew can connect up to the net and showcase his work. looks great on an iPod – the colours of the gardens comes through brilliantly and one gets a real sense of the work done – even in a completely windowless underground room.

In one of the predictions for 2009 someone mentions mobile broadband overtaking wired. I cannot comment on the logistics here but I can now see the transformative nature of this. Everyday items such as an iPod become connected cultural artifacts, showcases of a life and works, as well as annoying music devices…

Enterprise 2.0

Avatar made at SP Studio

Following on from my Tao of 2.0 post, I’ve been having a play with the software that made the image of the Lao Tzu SP Studio. I’m not as good at it as the people that made these poets, but I’ve made a new avatar for blogging comments and for Twitter.


If anyone makes any rude comments I’ll make one of them too!

Communications Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

The Tao of 2.0 – The Way of the Web


Go forth and prosper

If one wants to roll out even the most modest of web 2.0 internal comms initiative in the enterprise it can be very daunting. For every good idea there seems to be dozen doubters, for every champion a league of naysayers. In such circumstances it’s too easy to give up and stick to the traditional old ways – no one will be upset that way and you can always slowly advance your career in the tried and the trusted.

In our hearts many of us know this is a loss- a loss of opportunity and of a panorama of never to be seen horizons.

As with all potential great journeys, discovery and advance are only made by venturing from the straight and 1.0. How to move forward then when any approach seems beset by paths of treacle?

Nothing is softer than water

What I’d like to suggest is that the Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu might have some interesting advice for us here, so I’ve compiled some of his inspirational quotes to guide us here. With this in mind, I’d like to look at how Lao Tzu can help us with deploying internal communications 2.0. Let’s start by considering of his observations about the unstoppable nature of water:

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.

simplicity, patience, compassion

Social Media is like water. It’s not hard, it’s not machines, yet no matter what we do, or others do to stop it happening, it will find a way into the enterprise. No firewall is hot enough to evaporate it, no working practice to severe enough to prevent it. Remember all of this as the tide is on your side.

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

Begin the journey

Keep your first 2.0 projects simple and above all have patience. Chances are it won’t happen immediately and don’t get fed up with people not accepting or using the tools. 2.0 like anything else will be used by people because it benefits them. If it goes wrong don’t blame them, look with compassion at why an application wasn’t used.

A tree that can fill the span of a man’s arms grows from a downy tip; A terrace nine stories high rises from hodfuls of earth; A journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath one’s feet.

Lead from behind

Start off modest – maybe some blogging software installed or a forum. While there’s a lot to be said for a joined up approach, far better to gain experience now, rather than waiting months for a large-scale complex solution. So start now, make those first baby steps.

To lead people walk behind them.

What is good

Look at what your audience do now, what benefits them, where they go to find information. Think how you can help them. Learn from what you audience wants and where they go. Lead and be lead at the same time.

Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.

Tell no fibs

Be honest with your audience, don’t try and blind them with science or gobbledygook, no matter how well intentioned. Keep it simple and honest – they will see through duplicity eventually. So no BS, ever!

Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world…

Where are you going?

Allow your audience to create their world by pulling in the information they want. Make sure that they can easily find and access the information they need. Use RSS webfeeds so they can get the information without having to surf the entire intranet. Make sure search in the enterprise is tip-top and can find social media info. (But also check it’s not swamping all other search…)

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

The reality check

Set objectives and have measurable aims. Review these regularly – look at your metrics and milestones. Be flexible and don’t be afraid of changing direction!

Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

How to make crooks

Accept and expect the unexpected and learn from where 2.0 takes us and evolves. Don’t try and force an outcome, even if your audience will let you, it won’t work. If media gets used in ways that you didn’t expect then learn from that rather than trying to stop it.

The more laws that are written, the more criminals are produced.

Of that which we cannot speak

Don’t over govern or over legislate web 2.0 in the enterprise. There will always be those who distrust your audience and fear what might get said in a blog or discussion. Trust them, we can all make career limiting moves by sending out an e-mail, social media is no different. So by all means create guidelines and best practice but try and avoid a big list of Don’ts.

He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.

Fishing on the net

Social media can often draw out the shy and bashful who have a lot to say and lots to share. Conversely, it can highlight the real value (or not) of the louder contributors too – empty vessels make the most noise etc. Make sure that you media allows the shy to be heard – you may find that they have the most value to add. Any lecturer will tell you this – the best essays can come in from the quietest student.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Wicked leaders

An old favourite but still true. Provide training and help – many will learn the technology rapidly – that’s what 2.0 is all about, but make it as easy as you can and provide support, aids and training materials. Think of ways that your audience can teach others to fish – forums for newbies supported by the early adopters.

The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’

Our job as 2.0 internal comms leaders is all about enabling our audience. Enabling them to find the information they want at the right time and place (or that information finding them), it’s about conversation, collaboration and sharing. And above all 2.0 is all about the ‘we’us doing it for ourselves….