Featured Articles General

Commute down the Thames (2)

Possible ways to commute to work and avoid the traffic jams. Another novel way to commute down the Thames.

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles Theory

Base and Superstructure, 2.0

Resisting all puns and correlations between cargo cults and our own somewhat moribund British attitude to production I was struck by Oliver Marks’ piece on Enterprise 2.0 and those fetishistic religions: Strategic Thinking before Operational Actions: The Enterprise 2.0 Tool Cargo Cult Problem. Oliver makes an interesting remark that, “Enterprise 2.0 is essentially the superstructure, to use a sailing ship analogy.” And he continues,

The superstructure is the part of a ship above the main deck, where sailors climb up and down the rigging and do the busy work of propelling the ship along. The people directing the destination of the ship at the wheel had better have mapped out their route or there will have been a lot of hoisting the mainsail and tying of nautical knots for nought.

This reminded me of my days studying Critical Theory and the once cherished theoretical chestnut of a little understood German philosopher called Karl Marx. The old boy once remarked that:

In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter Into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely [the] relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure, and to which correspond definite forms of consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political, and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or — this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms — with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces, these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead, sooner or later, to the transformation of the whole, immense, superstructure. In studying such transformations, it is always necessary to distinguish between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, artistic, or philosophic — in short, ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out.

Presuming he’s right, whither would one put 2.0 in this dialectic? As a starter, here’s Zizek on this topic of base and superstructure and in usual fine form!

Analysts Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Gartner Hype Cycle: Geek & Poke Version 2.0

Great cartoon from Geek and Poke on the Gartner Hype Cycle!

Gartner Hype Cycle Version 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Enterprise Social Network Rollout – notes

Some notes and bullet points on how to continue the enterprise social network rollout after a successful viral launch (5000+ users). Best practice from recent case studies and white papers.

Comms & Marketing

•Viral launch

•Work with local champions

•Executive buy-in: high profile blog?

•Inspire with examples

•Use available communications channels: Print, Online and Plasma

•Create a ‘buzz’

•Support with intro packs and informal training sessions

Profile Campaigns

•Profile Campaign – sell benefits of users filling in the profile

•Connect up users

•Success stories

•Feature top profiles

•Competition – iPod Touch for best profile?

Help and How To’s

•Promote as ‘walk up & use”

•Plus support with ‘How To’ step-by-step guides

•Brown bag sessions

•Help key execs to get them onboard (help to overcome exec-shyness)

•Self-support teams

Summary of recent white papers and e2.0 blogs:


•Integrate with events and business process

•Key stakeholder involvement

•Digital native and champions

•Hands-on sessions for training

•Walk up and use

•Keep it simple

•Create a buzz

•Culture is key

•Respond to needs & egos

•Take risks

Combine to plan enterprise social network rollout / strategy / aims. Keep is SMART.

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

McKinsey Quarterly: Is Biz best @ E2.0?

Just been rereading the McKinsey Quarterley from July: Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise Global Survey. There’s quite a striking finding in the survey data that I missed first time round. McKinsey look at How Companies bring in 2.0 and then, and here’s the twist, the level of satisfaction of what’s been adopted.

What it shows is that most 2.0 is brought in by IT, and that has the lowest level of satisfaction amongst the user base.  but every time the Business identifies new technologies, the satisfaction is higher.

Why is that I wonder? Is it the actual technologies themselves, the way they’re adopted, the way they approach business issues, challenges or opportunities? Or maybe all of these plus others…

Be interesting to cross reference this against specific patterns of deployment and of course on the technologies themselves. I wonder where SharePoint would figure as a social media tool compared to the more overtly social tools. especially as bearing in mind the fact that the survey puts Knowledge Management as the number 1 use of social networks in the enterprise.

And perhaps one of the most suprising and refreshing findings was the way that an increasing number are seeing the transformative potential of enterprise social networks:

“As web 2.0 gains traction, it could transform the ways companies organize and manage themselves, leading to what some have dubbed Enterprise 2.0.”

This, say the most positive proponents surveyed by McKinsey is leading to a distince competitive advantage and degrees of departmental and possible business transformation. Of note, the most positive here are once again those in business rather than IT managed roll-outs.

And regardless of satisfied or not, all companies said they were going to spend more on 2.0 tools. This, at The Parallax View,  is welcome news 😉

Featured Articles General

Cultural Capital Crime

A while a go I remarked on an idle pursuit of goading search engines by asking them “What is your Cultural Capital?“. It was Bing’s turn today and the results were not promising.

Tops sponsored place was an ad for a capital One Credit card. Top item on my search was Liverpool. 2nd was me. Fancy that, being beaten into 2nd place by some scousers. Time to stick with Google.

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Why Tags are socially sociable in a social network

The critical mass of a social network’s success is not only the number of regular users, and this goes for inside and outside the firewall, but also the level/frequency of engagement. With more and more users with varying degrees of engagement ranging from hardly ever, casual and perpetual, there are two other deciding and connected factors to through into the quantity / quality conundrum – tags and the profile.

Tagging happens during the engagement – users tag as they blog, comment, make wiki documents, respond to forum questions and answers. It can, especially in the corporate terrain, provide the vital glue for a social network, making a disparate corporate network of disassociated individuals actually network as they discover that Francis,  Olaf and Yoshisma have are taggees in common and share common interests, skills, experience or just plain headaches. Tagging is the social glue of a network.

Problem: not many people tag.

Profiles happen at the start of the engagement. Users join a social network and are asked to supply core registration details. There is an inverse (or should that be perverse) relationship between the number of registration questions asked and the number that don’t bother to complete. Put better – ask too many reg questions and you’ll lose x% of users, at the outset.

The task then becomes a tricky one. Ask as few reg questions as possible and hope, plead, bribe or badger the users to come back later to fill in their profile. And why would one bother?

The answer has to be to gain. To aggrandise or to connect, to display or to aid, to entertain or to annoy; there has to be some sort of payoff in someone completing their profile. In the corporate environment we can of course force people to complete their profiles on pain of whatever, but it still has to be a carrot as much as the stick.

The carrot might be obvious – a prize such as an iPod Touch for example for the best one, but the real carrot has to be the perceived gain in experience, in connecting and being social.

It’s for this reason that I like tag clouds in profiles (and I think it might be fun to load up one here now I’ve been blogging for a while), tags + profiles make the socialising in the social, so much well, social.

Any ideas for carrots on getting profiles filled in, or better still, getting folks to tag, much appreciated! But more than that – how can the gains of profiles + tags be made so immediate, so compelling that everyone just wants to do them?

Featured Articles

Commutes down the Thames 1

One way to beat the jams and avoid buying a luvvly Bianchi road bike –  Thames commute

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Updated: Social Media Inside the Firewall Roll-out Best Practice

I’m putting some  materials together on “Social Media Inside the Firewall Roll-out Best Practice.”  This is part of my new role where I’m consulting/managing a Jive Software based pilot at a big energy company.

I’ve been compiling my notes and gleaning some online research. These are my fave bookmarks so far:

Best Enterprise 2.0 Launch Ever? Penn State’s ThoughtFarmer Roll-out

Eight Competencies to Socializing Your Organization

New study: Deep brand engagement correlates with financial performance

A checkpoint on Web 2.0 in the enterprise

Ten top issues in adopting enterprise social computing

Enterprise 2.0: Social Software on Intranets

Social Media Handbook for Local Red Cross Units

A Wiki of Social Media Marketing Examples

Intel’s Enterprise Social Computing Strategy Revealed

Six Steps to Company Wide Adoption (Social Text)

Six Steps to Successful Enterprise Collaboration Implementation (Open Text pdf)


Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, averting the risks (Russell Herder & Ethos Business Law)

Sun Microsystems encourages employees to blog

Social software in a corporate context – BT

Using social media to save time

The CIA wiki project for capturing collective knowledge

Web 2.0-savvy teachers testing old assumptions

Yakabod offers enterprise 2.0 adoption best practices

Hope you find them as useful as I did. Thanks to those who helped with suggestions here. Any more always appreciated.

I’ll do a post on the actual best practice notes in early September…Darwin willing.

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Social Media Rollout: train or not to train?

For quite some time I’ve thought that having to train people to use social media inside a firewall is an admission of failure, in the sense that if training is needed, then the solution is too complicated. As I start to compile a preso on best practice enterprise social network roll-out, I’m starting to wonder more and more about this.

Full-blown training is I think not what’s needed. But as in so many familiar processes, there’s a lot unsaid that only gets articulated when a complete novice asks the show-stopping question of ‘why x rather than z?’ There’s more at stake than a joint learning exercise though. Lack of social media literacy amongst workers is for Dion Hinchcliffe No 1 uptake  issue.  Pointing to basics most of us take for granted, like netiquette, Dion also notes that old lags are going to be much more at home with social media than those who rarely or never use it.

Even the basics of netiquette as well as key techniques to get the most from social computing platforms such as encouraging the building of links between data, tagging information, or establishing weak ties over the network are often poorly understood even by frequent users of social computing tools. In short, social computing requires some literacy efforts in most organizations to achieve effectiveness, just like personal computing skills did a few decades ago.

Ten top issues in adopting enterprise social computing

Now if we add to this 2 salient facts then the picture becomes volatile. All the studies I’ve read tend to recommend that one ought to:

1) Get enthusiastic involved

2) Get leaders involved – (stakeholder support)

But, and here’s the but, we know that getting execs involved is difficult. Dion again:

Despite even the earliest Enterprise 2.0 case studies confirming that social tool adoption is greatly improved by an organization’s top personnel leading by example, these are often the folks that have the least time to participate and little practical experience in doing so.

Quite often in my experience there’s a willingness to engage with the technology, but I sense a distinct lack of comfort.  What I think is happening here is a fear of the new of feeling that they ‘ought’ to know this new fangled trendy 2.0 stuff but a nervous knowledge that they don’t. Add to this the presence of eager enthusiasts and the problem increases.

It’s essential for a successful Social Media Rollout I believe, to provide handy cheat-sheets, informal training and at times 1-1 sessions with key execs if you want to get them on board. The execs have potentially a great deal to offer in both their expertise and setting the lead, but may not come on board unless they feel comfortable. Even if it all looks easy to the digital native, it might not to someone who is unfamiliar with the online world.