Archive for Social Computing

Social Media: Creating a Voice and Personality for Your Brand

Gilbane Conference Workshop: Social Media: Creating a Voice and Personality for Your Brand

Instructor: AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner & Social Media Strategist, 451 Marketing
November 27th, 2012 at the InterContinental Boston Waterfront

For consumers, brand interaction on social media platforms is no longer the exception, it’s the expectation. In order to stay relevant, companies must develop digital tactics that boost the brand’s overall communications strategies and marketing campaigns. When utilized effectively, social media marketing enhances your brand’s voice and personality, making you more approachable and transparent to your target audience. But, how can your company devise a social media strategy that entices audiences and encourages interaction? Which platforms make sense for your brand? How can you monitor the effectiveness of a social media campaign?

In this interactive session, 451 Marketing founding Partner and Social Media Strategist, AJ Gerritson, will outline the major social media platforms, strategic approaches, best practices, time commitment, and measurement tools and techniques necessary as part of an effective social media strategy. Using industry statistics and case studies, AJ will teach attendees how to structure a successful social media strategy that can be easily integrated into your brand’s existing communications campaigns.

See the full pre-conference workshop schedule at Gilbane Boston, then [button link=”http://gilbaneboston.com/registration_information.html” variation=”red”]Register[/button].

Collaboration to Business Transformation: Expanding the role of Enterprise Social Networks

Of course we think all of our conference sessions are not to be missed, but for those specially interested in enterprise social networks, and process transformation we’ve paired up AIIM President John Mancini, to share some of the research his organization is completing on this topic, and Mike Gotta, Senior Technical Manager for Social Software at Cisco, and ex Gartner VP & Research Director. Be sure to check this one out the latest trends in this area

C4. From Collaboration to Business Transformation: Expanding the role of Enterprise Social Networks

Gilbane Boston, The Boston Westin Waterfront
Thursday, December 1, 8:30 – 9:30
Effective collaboration initiatives often focus on process, information and technology. However the advent of enterprise social networking has expanded the scope of what’s possible, and it goes far beyond mere collaboration. This session will examine architectural building blocks that enable social networking, common practices to help overcome adoption hurdles, and governance and change management approaches. It will also contain a presentation of the work of an AIIM task force that has been building use cases and best practices relative to social transformation for 3 key value chains in any organization:
  1. sales and marketing;
  2. product design and innovation; and
  3. knowledge worker creativity and productivity.

This session will demonstrate why the time has come to move discussions of social business from the abstract benefits of “collaboration” to a richer focus on process and value chain transformation.

Moderator: Marc Strohlein, Principal, Agile Business Logic
John ManciniPresident, AIIM
Social in the Flow – Moving Social from “Nice to Have” to Process Transformation
Mike GottaSenior Technology Manager, Cisco
Enterprise Social Networking: Identity, Graphs & Social Objects

Check out the Updated Gilbane Boston conference site

The program for our annual Boston event is about 98% complete. We have a great keynote line-up with more to come, 30 additional conference sessions, 6 pre-conference workshops, and 12 product labs. Other useful links are sponsors & exhibitors, speakers, registration, and hotel. Note that we moved from the Westin Copley to the Waterfront Westin this year to be in the new Boston Innovation District and fast-growing Seaport / Fort Point Channel neighborhoods.

Gilbane Boston speaking proposals deadline

Update – We have received a phenomenal number of proposals – almost 50% more than last year. We have also had a huge number of requests for extensions, so we have extended the deadline for speaking proposals through next week – until May 28th. Don’t delay though, as our program committee is already pouring over the proposals we have.

Proposal Deadline: May 16th 28th, 2011

The Gilbane conference is all about helping organizations apply content, web and mobile technologies to communicate with their ecosystem of customers, employees, suppliers, partners, and the rest of the world in the most effective and efficient way possible.

This means understanding what technologies can and can’t do, what practices in applying them succeed or fail, and how to plan for changes in market and technology evolution. We bring together a diverse audience of technologists, marketers, strategists, business managers and analysts to learn, share, and debate best practices and strategies. Our conference is organized into four tracks so attendees in marketing, technology, a business unit, or an internal function will be able to plan a customized agenda.

To submit a proposal for a presentation or panel to contribute your expertise and experience, please see the topics below listed for the four tracks, then follow the instructions and guidelines for submitting proposals using our proposal submission form. Send any questions to speaking@gilbaneboston.com.

You can also learn more by visiting the conference website at http://gilbaneboston.com, where you can also see information from our 2010 conference.

Customers & Engagement track
Topics to be covered include: Web content management, content strategies, analytics, web design and UI, social media, digital and cross channel marketing, rich media, global reach, multilingual practices, personalization, information architecture, designing for mobile devices, e-commerce, search engine optimization. Read more

Colleagues & Collaboration track
Topics to be covered include: Collaborative authoring, intranets, knowledge management, search, wikis, micro-blogging and blogging, managing social and user-generated content, integrating social software into enterprise applications, SharePoint, portals, social software platforms, enterprise 2.0 strategies. Read more

Content Technologies track
Topics to be covered include: Multi-lingual technologies and applications, smartphone, iPad and tablet app development, XML, standards, integration, content migration, search, open source, SaaS, semantic technologies, social software, SharePoint, and relevant consumer technologies. Read more

Cross-channel Publishing track
Topics to be covered include: Multi-channel publishing, multi-lingual publishing, mobile app and digital product development and marketing strategies for the iPad, and other tablets and ebook readers, mobile content management, digital rights, digital asset management, DITA, documentation, structured content, and XML. Read more

http://gilbaneboston.com/speaker_guidelines.html

http://gilbaneboston.com/speaker-submission-form.html

Follow the conference on Twitter at http://twitter.com/gilbaneboston. Tag: gilbaneboston

Questions?speaking@gilbaneboston.com

Sneak peek at the conference community site to be announced next week.

“Extreme multi-channel publishing” and other trends for 2011

I hadn’t planned this post on trends but ended-up creating a list for a colleague who was helping a client, and I was definitely overdue to post something. These are in no particular order, and there is a lot more to say about each of them. There are other trends of course, but these are especially relevant to our coverage of content technologies and to Outsell/Gilbane clients.

  • Marketing and IT continue to learn how to work together as marketing assumes a bigger role in control of digital technology for all customer engagement.
  • Content strategy gets more respect.
  • Mobile confusion reigns – which platforms, which formats, apps vs. mobile web and which apps make sense, what workflows, etc. 
  • “Extreme multi-channel” publishing reality hits. You thought web plus print was a challenge?
  • Enterprise applications start including mobile and don’t look back.
  • “Apps” approach to software distribution expands beyond mobile.
  • The line between pads and notebooks blurs in both user interface and function.
  • Spending on digital channels continues to grow ahead of curve.
  • Enterprise social platform growth stagnates, consumer social platforms continue to grow, but with little direct application to enterprise beyond feature or UI ideas.
  • Business model experimentation accelerates in content businesses.

You Are Your Organization’s Chief Collaboration Officer

There have been a couple of interesting blog posts about organizational collaboration leadership penned recently by respected, influential thinkers. Last week, Morten Hansen and Scott Tapp published Who Should Be Your Chief Collaboration Officer? on the Harvard Business Review site. Yesterday, Dion Hinchcliffe posted Who should be in charge of Enterprise 2.0? on Enterprise Irregulars.

It is logical that the question of the proper seat of ownership for enterprise collaboration efforts is being raised frequently at this moment. Many organizations are starting the process of rationalizing numerous, small collaboration projects supported by enterprise social software. Those social pilots not only need to be reconciled with each other, but with legacy collaboration efforts as well. That effort requires leadership and accountability.

Both of the posts cited above – as well as the comments made on them – add valuable ideas to the debate about who should be responsible for stimulating and guiding collaboration efforts within organizations. However, both discussions miss a critical conclusion, which I will make below. First, allow me to share my thoughts on the leadership models suggested in the posts and comments.

While it is critical to have collaboration leadership articulated and demonstrated at the senior executive level, the responsibility for enterprise collaboration cannot rest on one person, especially one who is already extremely busy and most likely does not have the nurturing and coaching skills needed for the job. Besides, any function that is so widely distributed as collaboration cannot be owned by one individual; organizations proved that long ago when they unsuccessfully appointed Chief Knowledge Officers.

Governance of enterprise collaboration can (and should) be provided by a Collaboration Board. That body can offer and prescribe tools, and establish and communicate policy, as well as good practices. However, they cannot compel others in the organization to collaborate more or better. Yes, Human Resources can measure and reward collaboration efforts of individuals, but they can only dangle the carrot; I have never seen an organization punish an employee for not collaborating when they are meeting other goals and objectives that are given higher value by the organization.

There is only one person (or many, depending on your perspective) for the job of actively collaborating – YOU! Ultimately, each individual in the organization is responsible for collaboration. He can be encouraged and incented to collaborate, but the will to work with others must come from the individual.

Collaboration in the enterprise is similar in this regard to knowledge management, where the notion of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) has been gaining acceptance. PKM advocates believe that having each member of the organization capture, share, and reuse knowledge, in ways that benefit them personally, is far more effective than corporate mandated knowledge management efforts, which generally produce benefits for the enterprise, but not the individuals of which it is comprised.

So it is with collaboration. If an individual does not see any direct benefit from working with others, they will not do so. Conversely, if every employee is empowered to collaborate and rewarded in ways that make their job easier, they will.

The Enterprise 2.0 movement has correctly emphasized the emergent nature of collaboration. Individuals must be given collaboration tools and guidance by the organization, but then must be trusted to work together to meet personal goals that roll-up into measures of organizational success. The only individual that can “own” collaboration is each of us.

LinkedIn Signal Demonstrates The Power of Role-Based Activity Stream Filters

LinkedIn today announced Signal, a new feature (currently in beta) that lets members see an activity stream that combines LinkedIn status updates and Twitter posts from other members who have opted-in to the feature. LinkedIn has licensed the Twitter firehose to incorporate all of its members’ tweets into the site, not just tweets with the #in hashtag embedded, as is current practice.

While it is hard to imagine anyone other than corporate and independent talent recruiters will make LinkedIn their primary Twitter client, Signal does have an element that is worthy of emulation by other social networks and enterprise social software providers that incorporate an activity stream (and which of those does not these days!) That feature is role-specific filters.

I wrote previously in this post about the importance of providing filters with which individuals can narrow their activity stream. I also noted that the key is to understand which filters are needed by which roles in an organization. LinkedIn apparently gets this, judging by the screenshot pictured below.

LinkedIn Signal screenshot courtesty of TechCrunch

Notice the left-hand column, labeled "Filter by". LinkedIn has most likely researched a sample of its members to determine which filters would be most useful to them. Given that recruiters are the most frequent users of LinkedIn, the set of filters displayed in the screenshot makes sense. They allow recruiters to see tweets and LinkedIn status updates pertaining to LinkedIn members in specific industries, companies, and geographic regions. Additionally, the Signal stream can be filtered by strength of connection in the LinkedIn network and by post date.

The activity stream of every enterprise social software suite (ESS) should offer such role-based filters, instead of the generic ones they currently employ. Typical ESS filtering parameters include individuals, groups or communities, and workspaces. Some vendors offer the ability to filter by status as a collaborator on an object, such as a specific document or sales opportunity. A few ESS providers allow individuals to create custom filters for their activity stream. While all of these filters are helpful, they do not go far enough in helping individuals narrow the activity stream to view updates needed in a specific work context.

The next logical step will be to create standard sets of role-based filters that can be further customized by the individuals using them. Just as LinkedIn has created a filter set that is useful to recruiters, ESS providers and deploying organizations must work together to create valuable filter sets for employees performing specific jobs and tasks. Doing so will result in increased productivity from, and effectiveness of, any organization’s greatest asset – it’s people.

Focusing on Smart Content

This summer, Dale Waldt, Mary Laplante, and I have been busy wrapping up our multi-vendor report about “Smart Content in the Enterprise: How Next Generation XML Applications Deliver New Value to Multiple Stakeholders.” We’ll be publishing the report in it’s entirely in a few weeks. We are grateful to our sponsors – IBM, JustSystems, MarkLogic, Mindtouch, Ovitas, Quark, and SDL – for supporting our research and enabling us to make headway on this important trend for the future of content technologies on the web. Here’s the link to access some of the case studies that are part of this report.

XML as a tagging standard for content is almost as old as the web itself. XML applications have long proven their significant value—reducing costs, growing revenue, expediting business processes, mitigating risk, improving customer service, and increasing customer satisfaction. But for all the benefits, managers of successful XML implementations have struggled with attempts to bring XML content and applications out of their documentation departments and into their larger enterprises.

So much XML content value remains untapped. What does it take to break out of the XML application silo? What is the magic formula for an enterprise business case that captures and keeps the attention of senior management? These are the issues we set out to address.

We believe that the solution needs to be based on “smart content.” When we tag content with extensive semantic and/or formatting information, we make it “smart” enough for applications and systems to use the content in interesting, innovative, and often unexpected ways. Organizing, searching, processing, discovery, and presentation are greatly improved, which in turn increases the underlying value of the information that customers access and use.

We started this discussion late last year.  We now have the solution-oriented case studies and the additional analysis to reinforce our perspective about the drivers for the digital revolution at hand. We look forward to the continuing conversations with all of you who are seeking to transform the content-related capabilities of your business operations by championing XML applications.