Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Twitter Internal Comms Top 10: NEW!!?

This blog has been a tad quite of late as I’ve been busy building social networks out of raw slabs of php (well OK, out of Elgg and WordPress Multi User + BuddyPress), but it’s now time to kick-start it back into action. And what better way that to relaunch the Twitter Internal Comms Top 10 the 10 people IC professionals should follow on Twitter? It’s probably out of date as interests and focus changes and of course there’s lot more fab IC people on Twitter now compared to 6 months ago or so when I started.

To get it right thtis time, or at least a bit better, I need help, your help. What I’d like feedback on is how to do it… should it be democratic with a poll, Survey Monkey and the like? If so, how, which etc? Or could it be done with raw data – is there a metric I could use to decide and select?

And the big question – who do you think should be in the Top 10 in your judgement? My original criteria was based on interesting to follow, relevant points, known in the field etc., I’ve had some feedback that we need more vim and rigour here – so here’s your chance!

You can let me know either via the blog feedback on on Twitter (and if you want to send in private and I’m not following you, send me a note and I’ll follow you).

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles Theory

What is Cultural Capital?

Every now and again I like to wonder about social search and the semantic web. I have a secret question, which I shall share, my own personal Turing Test to see if the machine is paying attention. I ask it this – “What is Cultural Capital?” The results vary as the algorithms shift, sometimes the results are reasonably close to the actual meaning, other-times far off, way out.

In my most recent foray into this remarkably unscientific experiment, Google did OK, bringing in a Wikipedia result which, correctly as I understand it explains that the concept originated with Bourdieu:

For Bourdieu, capital acts as a social relation within a system of exchange, and the term is extended ‘to all the goods material and symbolic, without distinction, that present themselves as rare and worthy of being sought after in a particular social formation (cited in Harker, 1990:13) and cultural capital acts as a social relation within a system of exchange that includes the accumulated cultural knowledge that confers power AND status. (my emphasis – source)

Down the list in Google I get a similar, worthy list of definitions. I then shift the question by asking this – “What is your cultural capital?” Google of course can”t answer this – nothing equates to an answer, no one has made a cultural capital calculator which might get thrown up in such a search. I also it should be noted get all sorts of stuff I don’t want, such as Barnsley is the cultural capital of the North and such.

As a comparison, I then asked Twitter search the question:


I like these answers, of course they’re generated by people, but a machine found them for me. But to answer the question, in any other form than a list (to which Google is currently limited) there has to be cultural capital. I like the concept of cultural capital as bricolage. That enriches my own cultural capital. We are all bricoleurs in the knowledge economy.

Can a machine have cultural capital?

This makes me wonder if when I get to ask Wolfram Alpha the same question next month, whether I’ll get closer to a real answer. Will Wolfram Alpha have cultural capital?

A web tool that “could be as important as Google”, according to some experts, has been shown off to the public. Wolfram Alpha is the brainchild of British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram. (BBC)

Next blog or so (I may do one next on Pocket God) I’m going to look at Social Capital. This was inspired by the forthcoming Somesso conference where they’re flagging it as about: “Benefiting from Social Capital and the Relationship Economy as the recession bites”. As cultural capital is to the bricoleur, so I’ll argue social capital is to the flaneur. One assembles meaning via accumulating disparate knowledge, the latter creates meanings via the network of associations and wandering.

The big question though is this – can we measure social capital in a non-reductive way?

Communications Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Yes Tweetminister

Not sure why anyone would want to do this, but a new Twitter application lets UK citizens (or anyone else mad enough to do so) follow their MPs on Twitter. Called Tweetminister Wire the app – in beta as I write – is made by Tweetminister and lets users stalk, follow the every move of their favourite ministers and members of parliament via their Twitter accounts.

Tweetminister Wire
Tweetminister Wire

HP Source

Inspired by the American the app hopes to increase engagement with our politicians, by drawing in data from APIs such as the Guardian and The Register and mashing this with their Tweets. As Techcrunch explains:

Users can participate within these conversations, tying in to TweetMinster’s aims to foster an active community around UK politics.

Will Ann Keen Twitter?

Whether this aim is met is a moot point. And beta caveat aside it is still early days with many MPs not using Twitter. My local MP Ann Keen for example. One also has to wonder on the quality of information being disseminated, not least after the Damien Green affair and the whole tendency of British politics to be wars of spin and PR, rather than fundemental debate on real issues. Tweetminister perhaps not surprisingly see their role as quote the opposite, as they claim it:

gives you the ability to search tweets, view and compare topics and identify trends in UK politics from the real life conversations behind the spin.

Commercial Uses

All this aside the app has interesting commercial uses too. A corporation could provide it as a way of filtering through vast swathes of Twitter and API connected data with either advertising or their own content taking pole position.

The Tweetminster Wire is also a Twitter client, so you can tweet, follow, reply, retweet and direct message your friends and followers.

How, who when puts this to new commercial uses will be interesting to follow.

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.

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

Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

Google Mail Panic? – Not with Thunderbird!

Twitter is going berserk as Gmail is down. Funny that it works just fine via Thunderbird!

Download Thunderbird and set for IMAP

Case Study Enterprise 2.0 Featured Articles

How to make a bean online!

Cat Poo Coffee

kopi-luwakAs promised on Twitter, this blog entry is all about coffee beans and how one business is making money online selling them. Two days ago I started to Google for some coffee beans as I was getting low and quite fancied trying some ‘cat poo’ coffee, Kopi Luwak. A few Googles soon put me off that idea as it was around £50 for a small 50g bag. However, I did still need coffee so started to look at some sites.

Not all like the High Road coffee shops

The searches revealed a mirror of the high street coffee shops – lots of them and a high degree of uniformity in the coffees they provided and the design of the sites. One site stood out though and that was HasBean. What I liked about it was the range of coffees and most particularly the fact that someone who obviously knows a lot about coffee was writing the copy for the site. Here’s an example:

In the cup, I got fruit salad sweets on the front end (for those who don’t know these are very sweet fruit chews), and a lovely acidity to match that is not over powering but completely in balance with the whole cup. This is what this coffee does best, it is balanced in the cup. This  develops into a winey, complex, rich flavour, followed by a sweet sweet aftertaste that just carries on and on and on.

And not only do we get splendid reviews, we also get a history of the plantation, a map of its location showing where the beans grow and pictures of the growers. El Salvador La Ilusion Cup of Excellence No.1.

Mr HasBean on Twitter

Back at Twitter I commented on Has Bean, remarking that their site stood out over the rest of the paid search companies. Noticing new followers I checked to see who they were and saw a certain @hasbean was in the list. Saying hello I asked Mr HasBean which bean he recommended and was informed that Cacheoria Canario is amazing coffee and not only that, there’s a video on it!

Perfect brew

My Purchase from HasBean

This I thought is impressive and promptly placed an order. HasBean has got all the ingredients for success:

  • Well designed, informative and easy to purchase e-commerce site
  • A blog connected to the site
  • Video blog on the beans
  • A Twitter profile offering personal advice on beans and coffee makers
  • An absolute passion for coffee 

A history of the bean

This is not the story of using the web to get rich quickly. The history of the company is heart-warming and hilarious with great tales of coffee roaster fires in the garage and cups of coffee for the local cops. What’s more, the more I look at the site the more I find and now I’ve enrolled on an online course on coffee in the form of e-mail tutorials.

Maxing the video

The site, service and the owner Steve Leighton are an object lesson on getting it right. The only thing I’d advise would be to make more of the video. Years of sending sales videos inside the enterprise taught me that short is best and these would be my tips for maximising the video element:

  • Keep the video to 5 mins max
  • Edit in any plantation or map pictures to break it up
  • Create a YouTube channel and post them there too (like Hot for Words!)
  • Embed the video in the main HasBean site and have links from the individual bean’s section

True Enthusiasts

Before anyone asks, I’m just a happy punter who likes his coffee. I’ve gotten to like it even more because of the web and true enthusiasts. like Steve. On that note, here’s one of my favourites which taught me a lot about getting the best from my La Pavoni:



Phew, this is thirsty work, anyone for a cuppa?

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.

Communications Enterprise 2.0

Twitority, Twitter Internal Communications

Just did a quick check on the Twitority of the term ‘Internal Communications’ on Twitter. Of dubious merit methinks- firstly, for a quirk of data, I actually get a mention because of my Top 10 Internal Communications people to follow on Twitter; but hardly any of that list who should be there, actually make it directly into the Twitority posting. But, saving grace, @csaba81 does get mentioned in dispatches and he certainly has genuine authority not to mention generosity, in the sphere of internal comms and Twitter.

I know this was knocked together quickly in reponse to a post from Loic, but hey ho, it still produced some questionable results:


For more seasoned analysis of Twitority and Authority see:

Communications Enterprise 2.0

Top 10 Internal Comms / 2.0 Twitter List???

There’s a great post on TwiTip called Construct your own ‘Top 10 Must Follow’ List as it relates to your own Niche”.

Which is what I’ve done: my niche is internal comms and all thangs 2.0 and I’ve found some of the key players on Twitter. 

‘Ten People all Internal Communicators Should Follow on Twitter’

But it’s not up to scratch at all, as I’ve only got 6 peeps. So who else should be there?

Update: I’ve started a page as a more permanent list…

If there’s someone left out, let me know…