Archive for the ‘Enterprise 2.0’ Category

Enterprise Blogging Practices

To build a strong online presence and to take full advantage of what Enterprise 2.0 offers, lies in how a company regards the importance of blogging. As this is what builds a community around the company or product you want to highlight. Where the everyday blog has now transformed into a powerful avenue for marketing, advertising, product discovery, customer engagement and online branding. What has exploded is the adoption of micro blogging services, for quick and easy relay of information or content to a large group of people.

So how are some companies using bogging services to their advantage. One company that i want to highlight is Intel. Alongside their company blog that has been in operating since 2006 (which is updated daily), they have taken to micro-blogging and twitter as one their main enterprise blogging tool. A post from Intel highlights the different accounts that they are currently using on twitter to promote their various departments and interests. A couple of examples show that they have an account that is used to update their developers and participants to the Intel Developers Forum with latest news, an account that highlights the influences that Intel as a company has had one some people and highlighting their efforts in research or product development, where more can be seen here.

So what are the main advantages and disadvantages to a company having a open blogging approach, well Intel’s main blog and twitter accounts, provided readers with a rich sense of community and encourage involvement of those who are interesting in the company. It also provides a way that investors and stakeholders of a company can look into how the company is going in a non official sense. Twitter provides a constant stream of information for those who are following, as well as use the information and traffic as a real-time market intelligence tool.

One of the down falls this this amount of information sharing is the idea that competitors are looking at what Intel are doing and replicating what works well. However this is expected to happen and should never stop progress online. Another main down side to running a popular corporate blog is that, the information that is post must be heavily reviewed. As hundred of thousands could be reading a single post, anything out side of the blogging guidelines could have some very serious consequences to the overall identity of a company.

Overall i think that Intel has managed their online identity very well with an excellent range of Enterprise tools.
~matt

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Improving the DigitalOrgs Community

First off i would like to say that as a unit it is looking that we have quite a large number of people who have been very active and constantly contribute very informative posts. Located on the units wiki, there is a page that has been dedicated to listing to various number of web 2.0 services and sites.
I have personally taken the approach of expanding my del.ic.ious posts to cover topics that are related to this unit, where by i have been tagging sites with “inb346”. I think that is one of the easy way to sort through the large number of sites we view while researching and that could come in hand for others as well (I have a post that has more details about this).
What i think could be a very interesting exercise, is implement the same approach of many of the professional blogging sites like engadget and lifehacker, and have one blog with all of us contributing in the one place. Each week there could be a pool to topics that could be covered and individuals can take charge of that post. Where it wouldn’t be long until be have a constant stream of content made available, hopefully referenced and draw a lot of traffic.

~matt

Core Patterns of web 2.0

This will be a elaboration from my previous post about how BestBuy is effectively expanding their online identity through Andrew McAfee’s SLATES (Search, Link, Authoring, Tags, Extensions and Signals), and Wkinomics business model (Peering, Being Open, Sharing and Acting Global). It will highlight the core web 2.0 patterns that was highlighted in O’Reilly Radar Report titled Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices and reference by Dion Hinchcliffe’s introduction.

Here are the 8 Core Patterns for web 2.0

  • Harnessing Collective Intelligence: Sometimes described as the core pattern of Web 2.0, this describes architectures of participation that embraces the effective use of network effects and feedback loops to create systems that get better the more that people use them
  • Data is the Next “Intel Inside”: A phrase that captures the fact that information has become as important, or more important, than software, which has become relentlessly commoditized.
  • Innovation in Assembly: The Web has become a massive source of small pieces of data and services, loosely joined, increasing the recombinant possibilities and unintended uses of systems and information.
  • Rich User Experiences: The Web page has evolved to become far more than HTML markup and now embodies full software experiences that enable interaction and immersion in innovative new ways.
  • Software Above the Level of a Single Device: Software like the horizontally federated blogosphere (hundreds of blog platforms and aggregators) or the vertically integrated iTunes (server farm + online store + iTunes client + iPods) are changing our software landscape.
  • Perpetual Beta: Software releases are disappearing and continuous change is becoming the norm.
  • Leveraging the Long Tail: The mass servicing of micromarkets cost effectively via the Web is one of the primary “killer business models” made possible by the Internet in its present form.
  • Lightweight Software/Business Models and Cost Effective Scalability: Everything from Amazon’s S3, to RSS, to Ruby on Rails are changing the economics of online software development fundamentally, providing new players powerful new weapons against established players and even entire industries.

Here is how I think that BestBuy has followed these core patterns

  • Harnessing Collective Intelligence: This can be seen by the use of corporate wikis, that managers and staff use to spread information about latest products, updates made to the stores, solutions to possible problems and error made through product descriptions. As it is an opened platform for all who work there, it is able to grow into a very reliable source of information. BestBuy is using ideaX project is very similar to the one created by a group of QUT students called DearQUT. IdeaX is a way that people submit suggestions to improve BestBuy and other vote on ideas they like and agree with.
  • Data is the Next “Intel Inside”: Same with the first core pattern, the implementation of a forum for customers to be a part of buildings a keystone to not only offering the physical device but additional support to all those who use the forum. Information is also broadcasted through their various social networking account on twitter and facebook. This can also been see on the homepage where registered users are able to review products that they have purchased. This provides a great service to other looking at purchasing that product and adds value to the overall experience.
  • Innovation in Assembly: BestBuy uses their BestBuy Connect page as their main collaboration of all their social networking services, and through RSS users are able to follow any new updates.
  • Rich User Experiences: The BestBuy homepage provides a rich experience for new and existing customers, with an easy to navigate site, customer reviews and extensive product search. With the online store it has provided a clean interface to those who visit the site.
  • Software Above the Level of a Single Device: Best buy has implemented a mobile version of the website to make it easier for people viewing the site on a mobile device like a smartphone, or internet enabled device.
  • Perpetual Beta: The use of corporate wiki’s, customer forums and social networking services, it can be said that the transition between old strategies for content distribution and information sharing will be  phased out. And new services like this will be constantly revolving and growing.
  • Leveraging the Long Tail: What BestBuy is able to do with the customer reviews is that they are able to offer a complete buying experience. Where if you were not sure on whether you want to purchase this item, you have the option at reading both user reviews and reviews from cnet.com, offering an end to end solution to purchasing items.
  • Lightweight Software/Business Models and Cost Effective Scalability: Are using technologies like RSS and various Web 2.0 services to leap beyond their competitors. As many of these servers are run run by BestBuy it has little effect on the infrastructure costs for advertising and promotions that would normally be associated with it.

~matt

Companies embracing web 2.0

Here is what i think is one company that is taking full advantage of Enterprise 2.0 practices, while following the model of both wikinomics and Andrew McAfee’s SLATE model.

BestBuy

SLATES Model

BestBuy is an consumer big box consumer electronic company and one of the largest specialty retailer of its kind in the United States. Where they have looked to Enterprise 2.0 practices to maximize their leverage over their competitors.

Search: There is a large amount of additional information located on the company’s run forum, as well their presence on many web 2.0 platforms have made them a very searchable company.

Links: Provides relevant information or links covering both internal and external projects, product updates and competitions.

Authoring: This is shown through their contributions and responses to customers on their twitter accounts and as well through facebook and a internal site that gathers all the feeds from all employees on many platforms in one site.

Tags: This can be seen through their use of twitter and incorporating the use of hash tags (#twelpforce), as a way to provide an easy way for employees to search for post by customers who want to directly talk with them.

Extensions: To a degree they are able to look at the traffic created through twitter to see what patterns are developing by the way customers are using this service.

Signals: BestBuy allows users to track update through RSS feeds, for forum activity, site updates even Twitter and Facebook updates from bestbuyconnect

Wikinomics Model

Peering: This is shown in the adoption of a service called loopt, where this allows a avenue for BestBuys employees to post a new idea and share it and corroborate with other employees. Where this is served as a breading ground for new innovations that can be offered by BestBuy.

Being Open: Through the use of Twitter, Facebook, and forums to extend the knowledge of the company as well as provide an additional level of service to customers. This is also carried out internally with the use of staff wikis, and idea sharing services that promote freedom of information within the company.

Sharing: Information is shared very similar to peering, through the use of internal services, between all stores(wiki’s, KeyTrade and WaterCooler).

Acting Global: BestBuy has expanded their physical presence overseas to Puerto Rico, Canada, China, and Turkey. However utilising the advantage social networks they are able to have a global presence to their customer base.

~matt

Del.icio.us feed is up

I’ve decided to post a link to my delicious account on my blog where i hope to constantly update it with interesting general tech news as well as sites that reflect on information we are learning in inb346. I think this is a perfect resource tool everyone could embrace as a class, as it offers a great way to catalogue the hundreds of sites we visit. I’ve been tagging all my links with inb346, I hope you find them useful!!

~matt

Twitter or not to twitter.

The internet is all about connections, how we connect and interact with all types of media. Be it audio, video, latest news resources, while providing a medium to connect with our friends and families. Twitter does what many other social networking sites fail to achieve, that is its ability to provide a quick an easy avenue for people to broadcast an idea, an opinion, an invitation or a link in a matter of seconds (an of course 140 characters or less). When looking at twitter I see it evolving into what will be known as the Internet Address Book. It will come to the stage where a twitter account is as common as an email address. One of the most important factors for users to try a new service is how many of their friends are using it. Twitter has help combat this initial hurdle with providing a list of popular people/companies on twitter that new users can follow and jump right into the twitter experience.

Overall i fell that twitter has more potential when used with businesses and its ability to alert large amount of new products as well as get feedback straight from the source. Companies like Ford and Dell have shown the true power of listening to people and helping them resolve issue in an open forum and that that they are listening and are wanting to help.

http://twitter.com/ScottMonty Scott Monty is Ford’s head of social media

http://twitter.com/APaxtonatDell Dell Customer Service Representative

An article from the Wal Street Journal has highlighted the effects of the companies mention here as well as others who are trying to improve their reach to their customers through twitter. As has been proven to be very successful.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124925830240300343.html

Favourite Web 2.0 Tools

I’ve though i might collate some of the top web 2.0 tools that i have been using for awhile and some that I have just started using for the purpose of this Enterprise 2.0 unit.

  • Dropbox

  • To date is my favourite service to come out of the web 2.0 sphere. What Dropbox offers is a simple way of having your files shared and synchronized amongst multiple computers, Mac, PC or even linux. I’ve found Dropbox to be a perfect solution when managing life between your laptop out and about at uni and a PC sitting at home with the files on it you need. What really drew me towards this service is that it is absolutely FREE to have an account that allocates you 2GB of online storage. There are paid options through Dropbox that can offer you 50GB and 100GB storage options at a reasonable monthly cost. Dropbox also offers the ability to still have access to files that have been deleted for up to 30 days on free accounts and for an unlimited time on paid accounts. Giving all uses the safeguard of knowing if a file is deleted it is still fully recoverable. Since release Dropbox has promoted its referral scheme where users of free and paid accounts can refer people to the service with the bonus of getting free additional storage. Free accounts can add an additional 3GB of free storage (250mb per referral), and paid accounts 6GB (500mb per referral), just by getting friends to try the service. This is definitely a 10/10 service that everyone should try!!

    https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTEwNTM5NjE5

  • Google Apps

  • The very long list of google services have been at the forefront of web 2.0 services for many years. Google Apps have produced many of the services that many including myself use every single day. Services like gmail, docs and calendar have been brought a seamless integration to both online and offline creation of office documents as well as email creation to managing events through Google Calendar. What these Google services have done over many local based aplicaitons is have the ability for true data portability across multiple devices, whether you are online or offline though the use of Google gears.

  • feedburner

  • A free solution to generating a RSS feed for any new blog or website. As well as providing statistical data about the feed and the number of clicks each link has generated per day or even the total number of subscribers to the RSS feed. This is super useful and easy to set up, not to mention has the ability to incorporate adsense to even make some money out of it as well.

  • twitterfeed

  • This is a perfect way if you want an automatic way of getting notifications of new blog posts you create to your twitter account. Twitterfeed is what the name suggest and works by checking your RSS feed for any updates and will generate a new update to your twitter account(s). You have full control on how the message displayed on twitter, even choosing your favourite url shortening service. Twitterfeed is a perfect tool for streamlining notification to twitter followers and expanding the reaches of any blog.

  • Netvibes

  • Netvibes has been my home page on every computer I own for the past 3 years, what it offers is a simple way to aggregate all your RSS feeds, using heavily embedded web technologies like xml and AJAX to help with the customisation of your personal page and incorporation with widgets that have been developed through their API. These widgets work very similar to what you would find in OSX and vista, where you can freely move content around to suit your style. Netvibes has even made it easier to add new content to your personal page by choosing feeds from a pretty extensive library of recommended widgets and most popular RSS feeds based on other users. But it doesn’t stop with RSS feeds from news sites, it supports rich media like content from audio and video podcasts, social networks and as well as email accounts. Netvibes is a perfect way to manage your time when online if you find yourself bouncing around multiple sites!

~matt

Making a good blog post?

Since I have been only blogging now for 3 weeks, I will say that I am far from an expert (well for the moment) to know really how to get exactly my message across to my readers. So I am basing my knowledge on what makes a good post is on the feeds that I like and the reasons why I like them. So here they are,  my top 5 blogs that I can’t go a day without reading.

Matt’s top 5 Blogs

  1. Engadget
  2. Gizmodo
  3. MacRumors
  4. LifeHacker
  5. Mashable!

So why these sites, well the frequency of updates is very important in the world that is tech news, as everything is changing so rapidly being the first to the story will draw massive amounts of traffic. But the ability to back it up with credible sources and technical information is very important as well. I know that this blog entry will be long, however what I like about these sites is the simplicity in the nature of the posts and the trust I have for the authors of the posts.

On the other hand, what makes makes a horrible blog entry? I find that many major news sites when covering a topic fail to link to the original item (particularly a video) that they are referring to. And I find it very frustrating to have to go search for what they are talking about. This I hope I never do!!

Doing a very quick google search lead me to Lorelle who has been an avid blogger for over 10 years as well as published many books about blogging tips.  I did find one of her post a massive help, as it listed a collection of all of her previous guides (many directly dealing with wordpress) extremely useful. Even though the post was written in 2005 it is still has the core values of what a blog should incorporate.  You can find her blog entry here.

I will say it is oddly satisfying having your own RSS feeds to content that you have created, it’s a proud moment for a young blogger, that or get on the front page of digg.

I’ve also looked into how to get RSS feeds of my blog post made available. At the moment I have the free version of wordpress, so it is very limited in the native plugins that are made available in the sidebar (hopefully host my own blog in the next coming months, very excited). So I  have turned towards feedburner as it is extremely simple to use. I will say it is oddly satisfying having your own RSS feeds to content that you have created, it’s a proud moment for a young blogger, that or get on the front page of digg. A site i have found very useful is wpdude.com as they go into detail about different avenues on implementing RSS in wordpress as well as read RSS feeds, extremely helpful!!!

So after all this work will I continue to blog after this unit, the answer probably yes. It’s about self expression in a very accessible medium for friends, family and even strangers to read which I’m very excited about. The amount of money that is generated through advertising on the major blogs sites will fuel their success until there are no more stories to report on, which is never. What seems to be evolving is micro blogging services like twitter and friendfeed to shout out information to the masses. This is where majority of the everyday blogger will flock to now, but my thoughts on twitter is best for another post.

~matt

Personal Brand

I’ve just downloaded the wordpress app on my iPod touch and seeming I have my iPod always on me this will definatly come in handy during the semester!

After work and training tonight I’ve decided to have looked into the website rockthejob.com. The episode that have been posted I’ve found to be very relevant and informative in critically thinking about how we should manage our online presence. I enjoyed their recent episode about how to own the first page of google. As everyone should, I googled myself and found that majority of the page is mine. Listed is my facebook, linkdin and Twitter pages (no sign of wordpress as yet), and then 5 or so random links that had nothing to do with me persoanlly.

This brought me to Jason’s question, how do we build our own digital presence? One example is using the service wefollow.com, that allows twitter users the ability to search for other users easily via categories and by the number of followers. This would make it easier for people to either find you, or for example enjoy sports and want to follow another person in the sports category.

I shall be keeping an eye on this website for future episodes. As they will be relevant for future assignments in this unit.

I blog therefore I am

The most that i have come to blogging is updating my facebook status and any activity i have on forums I’m a member of, which isn’t really blogging. But i do see how it can help me get my name out onto the internet with the other 1.5 billion computer users. I joke, but this will be a good personal experiment about publishing what I feel about this unit as well as anything else, I guess that’s the purpose of this. It should be an enjoyable 13 weeks.

Going from the intro lecture, I looked at Sacha Chua’s Blog and she has incorporated an easy way for readers of her blog to post her entries on some of the most popular social media sites, del.icio.us, digg, reddit and stumble upon. You wont see a blog or site without some form of linking to these social media sites. Where many of these sites get what is know as the digg effect, and by the sheer amount of traffic get taken down, in a mini DoS attack.

I’ve also notice that she has linked her friend feed account to her personal blog, this is a good idea to bring people from her feed account and blog account together.  I’m still playing around with the free version of wordpress and yet to see how I can incorporate facebook connect in the sidebar, could be interesting.

In the tech community, you cannot go past the big blogs of engadget and gizmodo. It is very rare to see a daily Digg feed of top stories that doesn’t include a post from these sites. Both sites have a massive user based and comments on a particular post can go well over 500 posts at a time. Which shows the true drive for any successful blog is content for your audience!