Foundation of Web 2.0 Series

Many business are utilising web 2.0 concepts as a way to maximize their exposure online, while building online communities around their products through services like Facebook, twitter and blogs. The following post in this series looks are how different online sites and services are building from the concepts Tim O’Reilly has developed that are the foundation of a strong business model in the web 2.o. The eight core patterns explored are:

  1. Harnessing Collective Intelligence
  2. Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’
  3. Innovation in Assembly
  4. Rich User Experience
  5. Software above the Level of a Single Device
  6. Perpetual Beta
  7. Leveraging the Long Tail
  8. Lightweight Models and Cost-Effective Scalability

These patterns highlight the transition of moving an site/service online from web 1.0 to web 2.0, and using the internet as a platform.

First up in the series I will be looking at Digg and how it has been Harnessing Collective Intelligence.

Further reading on Tim O’Reilly’s excellent research into this topic can be read here

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

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

Twitter in content distribution

As more and more business are looking to increase their digital identity, twitter has seemingly become one of the most effective tools in achieving this. Where numerous company’s are using twitter to get their core messages across to a large number of people. An excellent reference is the Twitter 101, that highlights what twitter can do for many businesses. Elaborating on practices that businesses should consider when building their digital identity. Not to mention case studies that outline what practices some business have used to maximized their potential online.

Sound and Vision Mag has compiled a list of companies that are using twitter as a form of digital distribution of their content, as well as promotional offers and reviews on products. This only highlights that twitter is more than a way to share “What are you doing?”. The links below are examples of some of the companies that have been using twitter to expand their content.

http://twitter.com/Disneypixar
http://twitter.com/SonyPlayStation
http://twitter.com/SamsungTweets

Make sure that you check out the Sound and Vision Mag link as well.

~matt

Snow Leopard finally here!!

I got my pre-order copy of the Snow Leopard 10.6, Apple’s update to Leopard 10.5 in the mail today. I’ve have been tempted all day to install it, but thanks to many uni assignment this hasn’t been the case. Looking at the review posted by engadget, I certainly cant wait to install it tomorrow.

Snow Leopard

~matt

EDIT: for those who are looking to upgrade to snow leopard most of your applications are going to work. However there are some that haven’t been update to support 10.6. I found this site that has a pretty comprehensive software list and where they are at with 10.6 compatibility.
http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/start

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

Facebook sued for privacy concerns….but why??

News.com.au is reporting that Facebook is being sued by users because of new claims about the level of privacy and the options users have over their accounts. Where there are also concerns from people about the level of control they have over uploaded data. Another key issue raised in the lawsuit is how they verify the age of members joining up. As it has been claimed that a user aged 11 signed up to the service and and posted material that was inappropriate for other to see.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has been faced with issues relating to privacy where earlier this year, Facebook came under fire for changing their Terms of Service removing the following from their terms of service (ToS).

“You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

What this highlights is that people are still unaware of the consequences of uploading any form of data on the internet. I would assume that many people wouldn’t consider reading the ToS and be oblivious to these issues. After reading the news.com.au article i don’t agree with the title “Facebook sued for being too popular” as the number of people who use Facebook is irregardless to how privacy should be managed.

Facebook has continuously looked at improving their privacy policy and the options given to uses to lock their account to just friends and family. I feel that the people who put the lawsuit to Facebook obviously don’t understand the concept of social media and what is involved using this service. Where they seem a lack of understanding and possible implications associated with not knowing the platform properly. Instead of the responsibility of privacy purely placed on Facebook, it should also be placed on users and access the impact of what they are uploading and posting!

~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