Analysts Communications Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Burton report on Enterprise Social Networks

Mike Gotta has produced a very useful Field Research Study for Burton: Social Networking Within the Enterprise (free registration required).  There’s a good exec overview at Report: Enterprises Struggle to Adopt Social Networking Internally. Note however, CIO’s somewhat negative angle there, a closer read shows that there are a number of key hurdles to overcome:


Winning over old ways of doing things is key – ‘we communicate top down’ is an issue to be turned into an opportunity. Cultural dynamics are central. Conservative practices will win through, unless countered with a winning and workable option. In this HR is pivotal- you need to have HR on side. For IT, the argument is  different – Gotta argues that IT need to see that the needs of the business are what counts, not their systems. As one respondent put it:

“[IT] people are  not thinking about what’s best for the company, but rather what’s best for SharePoint. Ops is a consideration, but at the end of the day, it’s the business that counts.”

Therefore IT need to be won over if effective ESN is to see the light of day.

Business Case and ROI

What was really interesting was the business case and ROI for Enterprise Social Networks. The data shows a lack of clarity on either in the respondent’s minds. What this highlights is the need for the technologies to solve specific solutions rather than being a nice to do exercise. After all, no other project would be rolled out without such. However, and here’s the rub – as Gotta reminds us, there’s no set and agreed way of measuring ROI in this area. These are the dichotomies that make funding more and more difficult to ‘attain (and sustain)’:

•  ROI is the wrong focus vs. ROI is still appropriate.

•  Current approaches for analyzing web systems are sufficient vs. no best practices on what to measure in social  environments.

•  Current  web  usage  analysis  tools  are  “good  enough”  vs.  social  network  analysis  tools  are  needed  (but  not mature).

People in Userland

Early adopters are essential.  Make it easy to use. Pitfalls to avoid are actually trying to mimic Facebook inside the firewall – this confuses people. Instead build communities, bring people together as Profiles, based on their need to collaborate and share expertise.


Plan + Legals & Governance – do it upfront, or pay later. We know this – why do people forget it?!


One thing the Burton Report shows very clearly is that platforms are coming to the fore. Lotus Connections, Microsoft’s SharePoint and Jive Clearspace at the fore.


I think CIO’s conclusion is too negative. We are still at the watershed however and which way the current flows is still undecided.  From what I’m seeing in the UK, there’s a great deal of interest in the Enterprise Social Network, but equally the confusion and suspicion Burton has identified also prevail. There’s also an ascendancy of SharePoint here. Almost whenever social media comes up in any of the major career sites, it’s SharePoint MOSS that’s cited as the platform being used. This may have interesting consequences for the UK. Take for example Thomas Vander Wal’s SharePoint 2007: Gateway Drug to Enterprise Social Tools:

SharePoint has value, but it is not a viable platform to be considered for when thinking of enterprise 2.0. SharePoint only is viable as a cog of a much larger implementation with higher costs.

If this becomes the de facto E 2.o platform in the UK, will the ‘larger implementation’ ever really succeed?


This list of benefits is one I personally am going to learn off by heart!

•  We need to connect people globally.

•  We need to address generational shifts.

•  We need to break down barriers.

•  We need to “know what we know.”

•  We need to collaborate better.

•  We need to innovate from the bottom up.

•  We need to learn differently.

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

My “last to leave a burning blog”, WP plugin list

Best plug in list? There’s been a few of these plugin recommendation lists over the years. I started off a friend’s photo-rich blog with with one provided by Aaron Brazell at Technosailor with a whole lotta photography ones – WordPress Plugin Pack: Photography. It provided a very good start too.

On this blog of late though, I’ve been having issues and the whole WordPress shabang grinding to a halt and booting me out at regular intervals. I suspect, in fact I strongly suspect it’s a plugin issue. So what I’ve done is I’ve stripped my installation right down to the bare essentials (not a pretty sight). This has left me with a core list of WP plugins I’d rather not do without. This I thought might be useful info to share, so here goes.

If my blog caught fire, here’s my “last to leave the burning blog plugin list” (can you hear the sirens?)…

Askimet – OK it doesn’t catch all spam, but it snaffles enough to give it house room and causes no problems.

All in one SEO pack – provides a neat way to add all the search guff (not that it helps with a duffer’s blog, but hey ho, one lives in hope and traffic is indeed increasing)

Audit Trail – this one is industrial knicker elastic and saves bacon. It backs up and makes revs of individual posts so if you make a mistake it can restore to last copy. essential.

Enforce Preference – I keep this one as I had an argument with a pal once about whether ‘www’ was needed and this enforces the preference either way.

Feedsmith Burner – this was nearly thrown out but I think I still need it to sort out the mess made by Google when they acquired Feedburner

Google XML Sitemaps makes a site map, in XML, for Google. Nuff said.

No Self Pings – this stops me having to approve my own comments if I cite my own blog. Handy.  (No I’m not that vain, it’s handy).

Robots Meta – chats up bots

SEO Slugs -sorts out some SEO items

SI CAPTCHA – Adds a fuzzy letter question to a blog entry submit. A follower on Twitter says this doesn’t work. When it doesn’t, I’ll replace it. Stats – essential stats plugin. I’ve added others that are much more sophisticated, this one I’ve kept.

WP Calais Auto Tagger – I’m still suspicious of this one, but I buy into the Calais project. I need to re-check Tagaroo.

WP tags to Technorati – there were delays with my blog updates being seen in Technorati, despite pings. This seems to have fixed it.

Enterprise 2.0

2 Excellent posts on social media inside the firewall

As per my post on Prince, too busy to do this justice but suffice to note 2 excellent posts on social media inside the firewall / enterprise social networks:

Businesses will live to regret their social media ignorance Suw Charman-Anderson

Why Your Business MUST Adopt Enterprise Social Software Larry Hawes

Put simply, people will find ways round poor processes and social media makes this more and more easier to do. More fundamentally, the enterprise will lose control of information if it fails to adopt social media – and not the reverse as many IT chiefs seem to fear.

Communications Featured Articles

Prince2 training and Internal Communications

A quiet week on the blog front as on a Prince2 (a UK project management system, similar to the US’s PMP) course all this week with Parity training at Moorgate. Lots of homework to do and there’s so much to cram in. Learning about Project Initiation Documents (PID) and Dr.Qil – Daily, Risk, Quality, Issue and Learning logs (better check my notes to make sure that’s correct).

Interesting to cross-reference to Internal Communications praxis and some of the DMAIC / 6th Sigma courses I’ve been on. Communications and effective ones at that are built into the core product docs such as the PID and by inference internal comms is accepted as part of the business process. I wonder if the reverse is true and how many Prince2 Internal Communicators there are out there?

Communications Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Twitter: time to shift the money paradigm

There’s a good many of my compilation of social media case studies that point to using Twitter to successfully market goods or service. Few have thought of ways that Twitter itself might make money. Premium usage, advertising, pay per user, are the usual solutions proffered.

Now as Erick Shonfeld informs us, is another one: How Much Is A Suggested Slot On Twitter Worth? Jason Calacanis Offers $250,000. With Twitter offering a list of 200 suggested people to follow on Twitter, Jason Calcanis has worked out that it’s worth $250K to be on that list for 2 years.

This is may well be so. I think there’s a pity here. And that’s not the usual, ‘I remember when this was all fields‘ type of lament, that Twitter has become a business trying to be a, well a business. No, my concern is as follows…

The rationale behind Jason’s offer, is one founded on advertising and traffic. Such a space Jason argues, likening it to that of a pitch at the US’ super bowl. That it may well be, and as such marks a shift from when space was space, a name name on Twitter to something monetary. No, it’s this – some of the best minds of a generation are putting their keen intellects into play not to make things, to increase the sum bound of wealth on earth, but to skim what’s already there.

It’s the service model. I remember at the end of the 1980s recession when services were proclaimed as the way forward and a £ earned from services being as good as one earned from making stuff. The City then became the UK’s biggest earner. The UK economic model being to take a small (or large) skim from all transactions flowing through its coffers.

This skim paradigm now defines our age. It’s stale, it’s overdue. I think it’s time to reinvent that paradigm, to start inventing and making things. Of course one might retort, we already do. I wonder about that though. Ask most about an invention of the 21st C, and the iPod will come to mind. We’re not in an age of grand great inventions. Just reinventions, post modern irons. Skims. Blah!

Post script. The ads on the right generated by this post are amusing. ‘How to make £1000 a day doing nothing’ etc.

Featured Articles General

What time is 12am?

What time is 12am? What time is 12pm? An entertaining discussion on the Chiswick W4 site on what time is 12 am? Local Tom O’Keefe informs us:

I received a PCN [Parking Fine Ticket]today for parking at 14:22 in a bay near Hoxton square (Hackney) that showed parking to be restricted between 8.30am and 12.00am. I assumed that 8.30am to 12.00am meant restrictions for the 3 and a half hours following 8.30am, but since I have received a PCN can only assume 12.00am means 12 midnight.

The truth of the matter was revealed quickly when local councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman (who happens to be our representative for all things traffic and roads), brought in not the authority of traffic law, but that of his dad:

I can recall my old dad, a master mariner, telling me that there was no such time as 12.00am or 12.00pm – they were 12 noon or 12 midnight.

And he’s right: there’s no such time as either 12 am or 12 pm. As NIST, the US’s National Institute of Standards and Technology explains:

…12 a.m. and 12 p.m. are wrong and should not be used.

To illustrate this, consider that “a.m” and “p.m.” are abbreviations for “ante meridiem” and “post meridiem.” They mean “before noon” and “after noon,” respectively. Noon is neither before or after noon; it is simply noon. Therefore, neither the “a.m.” nor “p.m.” designation is correct. On the other hand, midnight is both 12 hours before noon and 12 hours after noon. Therefore, either 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. could work as a designation for midnight, but both would be ambiguous as to the date intended.

So now you know and if you get an invite for a meeting at 12 am, just don’t turn up, as it clearly is going to be a waste of time! Whether Tom’s parking ticket appeal will work and he is let off his parking fine, is still a moot point…

Update: Hackney Council saw sense and removed the PCN. Wonder if they let the next person off?

Enterprise 2.0

Great preso on ‘Free Web 2.0 Project Management tools’

This is a great resource from Douglas Tokuno. First I’ve seen looking at PM and 2.0…will start looking for more

Case Study Enterprise 2.0

4 Hot new sexy social media case studies

Doritos Positive Brand Hijacking – It takes 2 to Tango and Doritos prove this by encouraging slow sexy dancing, in the streets, plus 33 Facebook Groups, 20,000 members, 240 blogs, 200,000 views on YouTube plus $600K media!

Dell make the Word of Mouth Marketing book – ya, ya, ya, Dell hear bad things on a blog, eventually put things right. (I bought HP after buying Dell and ringing customer support.)

Dell and Twitter – update on continuing sales and Twitter featuring a compo to drive them even higher. (Are peeps mad?)

Twitter as a scalability case study. This is cool and different – it’s about Twitter’s architecture and well techie. I like it.


All added to the Hot List – and I will sort this out into a more complete and searchable resource

Featured Articles General

Where the idea for the iPhone came from?

Analysts Communications Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Nielsen’s internet footprint – a toe in the water at work?

The latest report from Nielsen, Social Networking’s New Global Footprint showing the growing normalisation of social media in internet use is of interest for several reasons. Most notable the age demographics refutes the fallacy that this is a novelty for young male users. The broad median of users extends from 38-49 across both sexes and shows a significant number of users in the 50-64 range, with the majority there being female.

Mobile time

Secondly, the report shows an increase in mobile use, particularly in Japan, where devices such as the iPhone are seen as a bit primitive, especially when compared to the functionality of the average Japanese fliptop phone. Finally, Nielsen note the increasing amount of time spent on these networks, this is increasingly not a flitter visit by users.

Implications for Internal Communications

So, what are we to make of this for the workplace? The most important aspect is the demographics. Most 2.0 literate internal communications professionals today, will have had experiences where 2.0 was dismissed as “not something our middle-aged managers will ever bother with”. One more case of refuting this. And whereas previous observers have remarked on the need to provide the same sort of tools and collaborative experience for Gen Y entering the workplace, the same could be applied to Boomers already there. If we can edit a website in seconds at home, why does it take a week or 2 at work?

Blue collar workforce

The enhancement of mobile use is also of note. As these things get better, even outside Japan then so their use will increase.This will have a knock-on effect for the the workplace. Put a WiFi device in a wireless work environment and even those not usually connected to a PC can be part of an electronic communication and collaborative environment.

Moore’s Mighty Woosh

Of course this does all presume a connected, e-savvy workforce. My point about WiFi ushers in the possibility of blue collars being connected with cheap(er) devices. Indeed I use my iPod Touch as a poor man’s smartphone and it works well as I move from wireless zone to zone. Why not then the same at the workplace? Even if the full impact of the tectonic shift – Moore’s great ‘Woosh’ isn’t there yet in the workplace, it sure is everywhere else, well everywhere that has the internet.

Not on the phone

On this we ought to be mindful of the fact that most people globally are not online. What we’re talking about here is for those countries and workforces that are already industrialised. Chomsky used to like to remind us that not only have the majority of people alive today never been online, most of them have never made a phone call. I wonder if this has changed much and if so by how much in the last decade?