Somehow we ended up with four hashtags!
We do appreciate the enthusiasm. In approximate order of popularity at the moment they are:
With The Gilbane Conference just a few short months away, I’ve been thinking a lot about the evolution of themes and topics covered over the past few years. This year we are pleased to have a session lead by Russ Edelman and Toby Bell on Two Key Management Concerns About Social Media :ROI and Reputation Management. This is an increasingly important subject especially when it comes to the enormous impact online reputation has not just on an individual but a company as well.
15 Minutes. 15 Minutes is all it takes for an angry customer to chip away at the integrity of your businesses’ reputation by casting an instant smear campaign across all of your social networks. In some cases that 15 minutes is a generous figure as today’s internet users are more savvy than ever ,especially when motivated by what they deem to be an unfair experience.
Kasio Martin, a self proclaimed internet professional and blogger recently related in one of her entries how a series of bad experiences with local businesses and the subsequent online smear campaigns she launched against them received very different responses, prompting both positive reactions and further negative behavior from her.
“After the bad transaction I googled the business again. I left negative reviews on Insider Pages, City Search, Yahoo, Google Pages and Yellow Pages. These review sites outranked the businesses own Facebook Page in Google. The next time someone googles that business they will find my review 5 times before they get any other information about the company. This took me about 15 minutes to accomplish.”
The part of this scenario that strikes me the most is not just the short amount of time it took this customer to cause a major headache for the offending business, but also that the popularity of these sites she targeted make them the first picks in online search results. The company’s lack of response to her complaints showed even less integrity as it showed they either had a poor social media strategy or none at all. As to the effect they had on the business itself there is no mention but one can imagine that it served as a major discouragement towards attracting new customers.
Ms. Martin recounts an additional story in which her online complaints against a large chain restaurant were not only heard but resolved before the day was through:
“Because the restaurant was a large corporate chain, I didn’t really expect anything to come of it. But I received an email response within the hour. They informed me that they were getting that store on the phone and fixing this immediately. . . Within only a couple of hours they responded to me on Twitter and offered to help. . . Before the end of the workday they had resolved the issue and I didn’t have a bad thing left to say on any channel.”
While the Ms. Martin’s of the world may scare the faint of heart away from attempting to grow their business through social media, both scenarios show that regardless of whether or not you have made pages on these sites, that a Social Reputation is being made for your company whether or not you’re the one facilitating it.
Social Reputation can not be ignored, but it can be preserved and even strengthened through early intervention and constant diligence.
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts for getting you started:
Don’t let negative opinions get in the way of your business’s goals: There will always be critics of the work you do and the worst thing you can do is let it get in the way of the doing a good job. Stay true to your companies mission and purpose and ultimately that work will speak for itself, hopefully in the form of good reviews for a positive Social Reputation.
For more information on the Gilbane Conference please visit our website @:
To read more about Russ Edelman and Toby Bell’s Session at Gilbane Boston you can find out more @:
We are very pleased to welcome Mary Stevens to the Gilbane Conference team as Social Media Marketing Manager. Mary is already active on our social channels and someone you’ll be hearing a lot from as conference activity ramps up.
In addition to keeping our social channels updated on conference and related activity Mary is a resource for conference attendees, sponsors, speakers, fans, who follow or want to engage and network with the Gilbane conference community. She’ll be updating you more specifically on what that means to you, but in general, she’ll be facilitating communication, conversations, and networking among all stakeholders. For example, we’ll be publishing speaker social media links to help attendees learn more about our speakers in advance of the event.
Mary can be reached via email; she can be found on our Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn pages and groups (buttons below); you can follow her posts on this blog (none yet!); and you can DM her at @gilbane or @gilbaneboston.
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It dates me, as well as search technology, to acknowledge that anby Ken North containing Medlars and Twitter in the title would be meaningful. Discussing search requires context, especially when trying to convince IT folks that special expertise is required to do search really well in the enterprise, and it is not something acquired in computer science courses.
Evolution of search systems from the print indexes of the early 1900s such as Index Medicus (National Library of Medicine’s index to medical literature) and Chemical Abstracts to the advent of the online Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (Medlars) in the 1960s was slow. However, the phases of search technology evolution since the launch of Medlars has hardly been warp speed. This article is highly recommended because it gives historical context to automated search while defining application and technology changes over the past 50 years. The comparison between Medlars and Twitter, as search platforms is fascinating, something that would never have occurred to me to explore.
A key point of the article is the difference between a system of search designed for archival content with deeply hierarchical categorization for a specialized corpus versus a system of highly transient, terse and topically generalized content. Last month I commented on the need to have search present in your normal work applications and this article underscores an enormous range of purpose for search. Information of a short temporal nature and scholarly research each have a place in the enterprise but it would be a stretch to think of searching for both types via a single search interface. Wanting to know what a colleague is observing or learning at a conference is very different than researching the effects of a uranium exposure on the human anatomy.
What have not changed much in the world of applied search technology are the reasons we need to find information and how it becomes accessible. The type of search done in Twitter or on LinkedIn today is for information that we used to pick up from a colleague (in person or on the phone) or in industry daily or weekly news publications. That’s how we found the name of an expert, learned the latest technologies being rolled out at a conference or got breaking news on a new space material being tested. What has changed is the method of retrieval but not by a lot, and the relative efficiency may not be that great. Today, we depend on a lot of pre-processing of information by our friends and professional colleagues to park information where we can pick it up on the spur of the moment – easy for us but someone still spends the time to put it out there where we can grab it.
On the other end of the spectrum is that rich research content that still needs to be codified and revealed to search engines with appropriate terminology so we can pursue in-depth searching to get precisely relevant and comprehensive results. Technology tools are much better at assisting us with content enhancement to get us the right and complete results, but humans still write the rules of indexing and curate the vocabularies needed for classification.
Fifty years is a long time and we are still trying to improve enterprise search. It only takes more human work to make it work better.
SimpleFeed, Inc. announced customers can now publish any content in SimpleFeed into their Twitter accounts. Customers and prospects increasingly want to subscribe to news, offers and other information via Twitter. SimpleFeed creates, manages and measures syndicated content for large corporations. To create feeds for its customers, SimpleFeed integrates with many sources of content – republishing of existing RSS Feeds, content management system integrations, web services integrations, data feed integrations, HTML scraping and manual content entry. SimpleFeed Enterprise Twitter publishing enables marketers to publish any of this content into their Twitter streams. Features of SimpleFeed Enterprise publishing include:Publish any content in SimpleFeed to multiple Twitter accounts; Publish to specific Twitter accounts based on content tagging; Control of the publishing process via the SimpleFeed User Management System; Publish once to everywhere – Feeds, Twitter, Web Sites; Custom publish content (not just title and link); Support for tinyurl and bit.ly; and Enterprise level support. http://www.simplefeed.com/twitter.htm
I came across an interesting scene the other day on Larry King. Ashton Kutcher was basking in his success to be the first person to have 1,000,000 followers on Twitter, beating CNN by just minutes. My first thought was “Why Ashton Kutcher?” My second was “Why not?” As an aside, should we now call Ashton King Twit?
Anyway, it got me thinking about Twitter and how I communicate electronically. I have been a rabid user of text messaging for several years. It has become the primary mode of communication with my college age sons (except when we are in the room together), who have all but abandoned email, even IM. Phone based text messaging even allows my wife and I to constantly keep in touch while I travel without requiring both of us to be talking synchronously (another way of saying being tied up at the same time). Asynchronous communication in the form of emails, text messages, tweets, IM, etc. have freed people up from maintaining a real-time state with their conversation partners. Maybe asynchronous messaging has helped me stay married for so long. Also, messaging has become invaluable for work, allowing me to multitask and keep things moving with coworkers asynchronously.
Now I am using Twitter, ramping up, getting to know it better. One thing I really like about Twitter is that it is device and software independent unlike cell phone messaging which I must do from my phone. I can twitter from my computer, phone, or IPod Touch. If you haven’t added your phone to your Twitter account, do it now (more info at http://help.twitter.com/forums/10711/entries/14014).
By the way, I looked up Twitter and Twit on a couple online dictionaries. The noun Twit means “an insignificant person” or “an excited state”. The verb means to “taunt”. The verb Twitter means “to talk lightly and rapidly” just like a small bird twitters. I don’t think Mr. Kutcher is an insignificant person, or his accomplishment unworthy of attention, but he does tend to talk excitedly and to taunt (“You’ve been Punked!”). Why not Ashton Kutcher indeed! </>
We’ve started using Twitter in multiple ways, and while our use of it will certainly evolve, I thought it would be helpful to point how what we are doing with it. (I’ll save thoughts about how it could or should be used for another time.)
Any suggestions on how else we might use Twitter?
It was great to find out for sure last week at Gilbane Boston that the economy has not had too much of an impact on the conference business (we even had attendees from a few financial service companies). While I’m sure there were some people who couldn’t make it because of travel or other budget concerns, our Boston conference was larger than our San Francisco conference last June. Of course most of our attendees are in IT, a sector that has not been hit nearly as hard as most others. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal wrote about a Forrester forecast that “Businesses and other organizations in the U.S. will spend $573 billion on computer software, hardware and services next year, just 1.6% more than they spent in 2008, according to new data out Tuesday from Forrester Research Inc.” Clearly, this is not ideal if you sell enterprise software, but really, for a fresh forecast for 2009, this is not bad. In fact, the content technology areas we cover seem to be rolling along pretty well.
I won’t try and write about all the discussions and activity at the conference here, but there was much a-twitter about Twitter. Our audience seemed to be split on its usefulness, but the animated discussions about it did cause a few people to sign up for a Twitter account. Although I joined Twitter when it first launched, when faced with the “What are you doing now?”, my reaction was “Well, this is silly”. So my first tweet was only a few days before last week’s conference. I’m sure there are other good uses of twitter, but so far I think conference activity is one of the best (http://twitter.com/fgilbane). It was certainly useful to me as a way to monitor what at least one segment of attendees were thinking and doing, but it also looked like it was a useful way for attendees to share info about different presentations, network, and arrange “tweet-ups”. This is not news to all. There are some downsides however – see Amanda Shiga’s thoughtful blog post on the pros and cons of conference twittering.