Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The 2010 Social Business Landscape

If you read nothing else this year, read this. An excellent summary and round-up of what is happening in the Enterprise 2.0/Social Web environments by Dion Hinchcliffe. Dion provides useful insight into both emergent and mature social trends and technologies over a wide spectrum of business (and despite the the title, personal) use of the technolgies. From microblogging and crowdsourcing to social shopping and supply chains. The Social Business Power Map provides a useful picture of the social media trends.

Dion will be the opening keynote speaker at this year's Online Information Conference in London, 30 Nov - 2 Dec. http://www.online-information.co.uk/index.html (which incidently I'm chairing for the first time this year). I'm looking forward to meeting him.

Amplify’d from www.dachisgroup.com

The blurring of the lines between the consumer Internet and the business world has continued apace this year. I’ve begun referring to this phenomenon as CoIT when it happens in the workplace, but that’s not quite the full story either. What has happened is that social media has become one of the biggest mass changes in global behavior in a generation (since the advent of the Internet itself.) Over the last few years, the meme around social has filtered down into countless activities and processes across the business world, giving rise to now significant trends like Enterprise 2.0, Social CRM, customer communities, and so on. Keeping track of all this has officially become a full-time job and those just getting familiar with the Social Business world have a lot to absorb to get oriented.

To help with keeping up with the fast moving pace of Social Business, we’ve created a useful new model aimed at helping you stay up-to-date with the major moving parts of Social Business today. We define Social Business here as the distinct process of applying social media to meet business objectives.

The Social Business Power Map, presented above, is an attempt to identify the major social media trends, how they can be mapped generally along consumer/enterprise axes, and where they are in terms of their overall maturity level today. Note that many of the aspects of social media in the consumer Web side is also heavily used in the enterprise side, while the reverse is generally not the case. This map is as exhaustive as space allows but inevitably some items had to be omitted. Any all such omissions are my fault alone. The items on this Power Map are rated on the following scale:

  1. Buzz: A newer social media trend, technology, or approach that is both compelling and getting attention at the moment but its staying power and ultimate fate are still unclear.
  1. Experimentation: These currently have some fairly widespread interest but lack of broad commitment from either Web companies or businesses. They may eventually hit mainstream adoption, but may also enter the dustbin of Social Business if they fail to show promise.
  1. Adoption: These are aspects of social media which are currently experiencing broad uptake but have not yet broken out to a majority audience. They are all likely to become mainstream. It’s still possible that some of them will fade away before then or be replaced by something newer though it’s not highly likely.
  1. Maturity: These are all widely used and very popular aspects of social media. They all have global reach and most Internet users either consume or participate in them. Note that enterprise social media currently has no aspects that are yet in a mature state, but that will likely change soon with Enterprise 2.0, customer communities, and Social Media Marketing about to cross over.
Read more at www.dachisgroup.com

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Lean Machine

Much has been written about 'Lean', and what a 'lean' organisation looks like. 'Lean' quite simply means creating more value with fewer resources. A popular misconception is that 'lean' only applies to manufacturing industries, but in fact it can be applied to any business process, including within service industries. Clearly it it is a concept that should be concentrating the minds of Government and Local Government in these austere times, though whether an intelligent and disciplined approach is being made to the cost cutting we're now seeing, or whether its more of a 'slash and burn' approach I'm not too sure. Perhaps this will become clearer when the spending review is completed this Autumn.

While we wait for this, and for anyone still confused as to what 'Lean' actually means, I can recommend this presentation from Caludio Perrone. the best I've seen in explaining a simple concept in simple terms.

Posted via email from stephendale's posterous

Friday, 24 September 2010

Thriving as a 21st Century Information Professional

  I will be addressing the Network for Information and Knowledge Exchange (NetIKX) members at their meeting on Wednesday 29th September about the challenges and opportunities facing information professionals in today’s information rich – time poor environment. To some extent this is going back to my roots, having been more closely involved in the dark arts of ‘knowledge management’ (and specifically on-line communities) these past few years.  However, information management and knowledge management are two sides of the same coin, and I’ve always made the connections between them when talking about either.
I quite like simple definitions, so for anyone confused by the terms ‘information management’ and knowledge management’, here’s a useful pointer:

Information Management is about organising stuff…..

…..Knowledge Management isn’t!

So, having cleared up any confusion there, I’ll just mention that my presentation to NETIX will be about organising yourself to become more knowledge aware. The full synopsis (an oxymoron?) of the presentation is as follows:
The volume of information continues to grow at an exponential rate; new tools, products and web services appear almost daily. The recession has hit hard but nothing seems to stem the tide of innovation. If anything, the economic climate has fuelled even greater innovation and allowed companies to be even more radical in the way they use the information tools and platforms now available. These are challenging times for the information professional. We all need to be able to work smarter, acquiring and developing the skills to become more effective knowledge and information workers. The talk/presentation will pinpoint the tools and behaviours that can help us develop and sharpen our skills and embrace the opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing now available. Specifically:
  •  how to develop the filters and lenses to overcome 'information overload'
  •  understanding the barriers to engagement and collaboration and how to overcome them
  •  how we can break down the information/knowledge silos that exist in the organisation
  •  how 'Web 2.0' and 'Social Media' tools can support personalized learning and self development
I will make the slides available on slideshare subsequent to the meeting, but don’t want to spoil any surprises (and there are some) by posting prematurely. Suffice to say I’ve identified five key steps to help information professionals make the most of the information-rich environment we now live in, and how to tap into and connect with the ‘networks of knowledge’ that are fast becoming the fundamental DNA of the social web.  On a slightly more provocative note, I will also challenge the perception that we are indeed information rich and time poor; trends over the past several hundred years have given us increasingly more leisure time – it comes down to how we as individuals use this time.  Much food for thought!
If any of this stirs your interest or curiosity, come along to the session on 29th September.
A note from the organisers:
If you are a NetIKX Member or  join NetIKX now there is no charge. Non Members are welcome to attend at a charge of £50.  If you have not attended a NetIKX meeting before we are offering a reduced fee of £25, refundable if you join, so that anyone interested in joining NetIKX can come along and try us out.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Knowledge Hub and Linked Data

This is a presention I did for the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO-UK) for their conference on 14th September 2010 on the topic "The Future of Knowledge Organization on the Web".

The presentation covers the issues faced by users who need to connect and join-up online conversations and information from multiple networks and websites in order to gain domain specific insight and knowledge. Conversations are becoming increasingly disaggregated; useful data is disconnected and lacks context. The Knowledge Hub connects and semantically links multiple information sources to deliver a personalised user experience for supporting improvement and innovation in UK public services.

The Knowledge Hub is a LG Improvement and Development project that will be launched in February 2011.  If you are interested in knowing more, or participating in some way in the delivery of this ground-breaking initiative, you may want to consider joining the Knowledge Hub Community of Practice.

Posted via email from stephendale's posterous

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Google Launches Blog Finder by Topic

I hadn't appreciated the significance of this announcement from Google, but having tried it I think it could open up a major new search facet. I gave up on Technorati some time ago (I've maybe missed some history here as to why the Technorati blog index is so limited), but a comparitive search for the terms 'linked data' on Technorati brought back 57 results; on Google Blog search I got 516,000 results - which sounds a bit more realistic. Of course, I can't vouch for the relevance of all these results having only tabbed through about 5 or 6 pages, but from what I saw the results were pretty much what I was looking for.

So, if you missed the stealthy release of this announcement from Google, go try it out now. It certainly gives another dimension to real-time search. I'm impressed!

Amplify’d from www.readwriteweb.com

Google has quietly launched a new feature: search for blogs on any topic. The company announced the new type of search in a weekly round-up of search updates last week, and respected SEO blogger Bill Slawski argues that the launch may be related to a new Google patent.


How to Search Google for Blogs by Topic

The Google Blogsearch service has for a long time surfaced a small number of blogs related to any search query, above the list of results from a search of blog posts, or entries. This new search is different, though, and surfaces different results.

Do a search on the general web search interface, google.com. Then, click on the "more" link in the left-hand sidebar if "blogs" doesn't already appear as an option. Once you're looking at blogs from this perspective, then a new option will appear in the sidebar: search for posts or blog home pages related to your query.

Now that the sun has set of the Technorati blog directory, and no one has done as good a job in its place as it once did, it's great to see a new option at all. The fact that full-text search is the method employed here, along with some patented analysis of the sites, is great. The patent that Slawski points to, (Indexing and retrieval of blogs, filed September 2005), "describes how it may create a 'hybrid document' about a blog out of information from both XML feeds, blog posts, and pages linked to from those feeds and posts such as profile pages," he writes.

That great. Add some ranking, some OPML export, and then we're really talking.

Long live blog search!

Read more at www.readwriteweb.com

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Facebook blocks Apple over Ping

Another example of the 'closed shop' mentality at Facebook? I guess we could take this at face value and believe that it really is something to do with loading the Facebook infrastucture with people sync'ing their social graph from other networks. Or is it a case of 'competitors keep out!'?

It will be interesting to see how Google's much-hyped 'Facebook killer' - Google Me - handles links with other networks. Their whole model is based on openness, so I'm guessing they will integrate with Ping, Twitter and any other service in the social web. Well....at least I'm hoping so!

Amplify’d from www.blackweb20.com

The launch of the Ping social network at Apple’s recent media event isn’t really something most of us expected. It’s an interesting service which uses your social network to help you discover new music within iTunes. Of course, in order for it to be of any use, you need to have a social graph for it to pull data from. Most sites would simply connect to your Twitter and Facebook to give you a base to work from, but this isn’t possible for Ping because Facebook decided to block Apple’s API access.

Most of your up-and-coming applications that connect to Facebook do so without any formal agreements. This is because they are usually small and won’t cause much of a dent in Facebook’s resources. For companies like Twitter and Apple, Facebook requires some type of agreement in place just to cover their bases. That many users trying to sync up their entire social graph from Facebook could be a problem.

In Apple’s case, they had all the functionality in place and the Facebook feature worked for a day or so, but was promptly blocked by Facebook at the API level. This is because the two companies never reached any agreement. Apple hasn’t commented on the matter, but Facebook did give a canned response:

“We’re working with Apple to resolve this issue. We’ve worked together successfully in the past, and we look forward to doing so in the future”

Why does this canned response sound familiar? Hrm… Oh! Because this is the same message we got from Facebook after a similar situation with Twitter: “We are working with Twitter to resolve the issue.” Facebook and Twitter were never able to get it together, so it’s not really looking good for an agreement between Facebook and Apple. This is especially true given that Jobs himself says Facebook wanted “onerous terms that we could not agree to.”

While a simple partnership would benefit both companies, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Both companies are well-known for being stubborn. However, if Ping can’t get the social ball rolling on its own, it may need a boost from Facebook to fill in the blanks.

Read more at www.blackweb20.com