Plinky Prompts You to Write Better Social Updates [Social]

Plinky Prompts You to Write Better Social Updates [Social]: “Sometimes, believe it or not, there’s just nothing going on worth writing about for Facebook, Tumblr, or even Twitter. Plinky can condense and improve your spare-time writing with one question…”

(Via Lifehacker.)


An A-Z (Atlassian & Zoho) of Enterprise Web Working

An A-Z (Atlassian & Zoho) of Enterprise Web Working: “

Written by Imran Ali.

Back in October, I had the pleasure of attending O’Reilly Media’s Web 2.0 Expo Europe, at the Berliner Congress Centre in the heart of East Berlin. One of the more interesting conversations I had was with Jeffrey Walker and Laura Khalil of Atlassian, creators of the Confluence enterprise wiki software.

In describing the company and product’s history, Walker and Khalil indicated a corporate culture that was very much based around the notion of web working. While this isn’t completely unheard of for a large corporate, web working is a style that’s more closely associated with freelancers, startups and smaller organisations.

Khalil pointed me to a post on the company’s blog that discusses some of the cultural and technological adjustments the organisation has made as it needed to manage offices in Sydney and San Francisco:

  • Internal communication is oriented around the Confluence wiki product: bringing together product management, HR, marketing, business metrics, template emails and PR.
  • Task and project management, such as customer requests and bug reports, are tracked and managed using the company’s own JIRA product.
  • Email is discouraged as a collaboration tool, being displaced by Confluence and JIRA, but still employed for 1-to-1 and ‘broadcast’ communication.
  • Lightweight tools such as Flickr and, notably, Delicious bring other collaboration and knowledge-sharing capabilities.

Interestingly, the company’s internal and external blog authors number around 160: an extraordinarily high figure for a 200-person company, with 80 percent of its staff publishing and sharing their work.

Also at the Web 2.0 Expo, I ran into Rodrigo Vaca, Zoho’s director of marketing, responsible for leading efforts to promote the popular web-based office suite.

Like Atlassian, Zoho’s  solution to geographically distributed staff in many different timezones is to employ its own products and services as a component of the company’s culture. More so perhaps, with a thousand staff in offices from India and the U.S. to Japan and China, the web-based foundation of the company is critical. Vaca related how even the company’s COO works from home in order to minimize time wasted in physically commuting.

What both Atlassian and Zoho’s utilization of web working indicate is that it’s a working pattern that’s very much suited to large, mainstream, multinational organization – something we discussed a while back in Telecommuting Trends and our coverage of the emergence of Smart Work Centres.

Read more about Atlassian’s web worker culture and tools in An Insiders Look: Part 1 of 2 on how we (Atlassian) collaborate.

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(Via Clippings.)

5 Years for Facebook. What’s Next?

5 Years for Facebook. What’s Next?: “

-Facebook 2004 Screenshot-Facebook is 5 years old today, and the social network has admittedly come a long way in those few years. Just take a look at the album Facebook posted, chronicling the layout of profiles from 2005 until now. But what does this 5 year milestone really mean for Facebook? It means that we can all take this opportunity to see what Facebook has planned to ensure it can celebrate another 5 birthdays.

All Things Digital took today’s birthday as an opportunity to reflect on Zuckerberg’s plans for Facebook shortly after launching the website from Harvard’s campus. There’s an air of foreshadowing, considering Zuckerberg didn’t want to sell Facebook then and has stuck to many of his core principles surrounding Facebook ever since.

Even Zuckerberg’s own Facebook birthday blog post highlights the objectives Zuckerberg still holds dear to his heart when it comes to Facebook and its ongoing potential-to become a place where people can openly share information about themselves with each other, initiating conversations about a given topic and encouraging global discussions through Facebook’s social network. Idealistic as this may sound, Facebook has in many ways become just that, for the good, bad and the ugly.

So as the dominating social network, is Facebook still on the right track? As far as social networks go, there’s been an overriding tendency for them to become fads. Yet many still see Facebook as having longevity potential, and have even compared it to Google from a Silicon Valley startup success story perspective. The article at All Things Digital went on to compare Facebook at 5 years with Google at 5 years, and with estimates for Facebook’s valuation being far lower than Google’s at 5 years of age, Facebook may still have some work to do.

While the two companies are different in many ways, the idea that Facebook could become a major centralizing service for individuals interacting on the web means that its permeability could be far reaching. As with Google, future growth may be tied with the economy Facebook has created with its Platform and Facebook Connect. Facebook also continues to create native apps in hopes of bringing users back to the site, as the company still needs to compete with the other social networks that are out there.

And yet there is still room for improvement, especially in regards to the economy that Facebook could create for further empowering third party developers, end users and itself. The open communication Facebook founder Zuckerberg seeks isn’t always the direct byproduct of individuals’ interaction within the social network, yet such idealism continues to drive many of the concepts behind ongoing projects at Facebook. I’m not exactly sure what the next 5 years will hold for Facebook, but I can’t wait to find out

(Via Clippings.)

When is Good: Spend Less Time Scheduling, More Time Meeting

When is Good: Spend Less Time Scheduling, More Time Meeting: “

Written by Darrell Etherington.

wiglogoIn general, I am meetings-averse. Most of the time I find them of questionable value, with attendee lists that defy logical explanation, and a frequency which is almost never merited. They are also frustratingly difficult to schedule at a time that suits all of the attendees. Accordingly, anything that makes the business of meetings easier, and less of a hassle to organize, is a useful tool in my book. When is Good, a new, simple scheduling web app designed to take some of the calendar-fumbling out of planning a meeting, definitely fits that description.

picture-1Part of the beauty of When is Good is its absolute simplicity. At no point do you have to even register for an account, which is great because I’ve registered for so many sites that I lost track of them long ago. In fact, at this point, lack of registration alone is a feature I look for in a web app. On the other hand, if you are the registering type, you can create an account to track your events and meetings history.

picture-2All you really need to do to access When is Good’s main functionality is click the ‘Get Started’ button on the web site’s homepage. From there, you’ll be taken to a default calendar with the next 21 days displayed, with each day broken down into 1-hour blocks  from 6 AM to 8 PM. All of this is customizable, including the number of days displayed, as well as which times and which days of the week are shown. For those of us working with multiple timezones, you can check the ‘Use timezones’ box, and everyone can work in their own local time.

Once the grid is set up to your liking, you simply click on times that you would like to schedule the event, type in a name for the event in the field designated for that purpose, and click ‘Create Event.’ Write down or copy the code displayed on the next page, and then you’ll be given a link that you can send to people you want to attend. They can then mark which of the times you’ve selected is good for them. You can opt to be notified of responses by email, or just periodically visit the public link provided  to see what time invitees are choosing.

picture-3You can also edit the event using another customized URL provided by the site. And, if you’re feeling really fancy, When is Good offers the ability to sync your event with an iCal file or URL. Not a bad list of features for a free service that requires no sign-up or sharing of personal information.

Obviously, this service is better for smaller events, since it could quickly become unwieldy with a long list of invitees, but there’s not limit to the type of event to which it could apply. A business meeting, a meeting with clients, teleconference, sales call, promotional event, tweetup or party would all benefit from When is Good’s help, and best of all, if your invitees can use email and a browser, they can use this app.

Have any good tips for scheduling meetings? Share them in the comments!

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(Via Clippings.)

Preaching Beyond The Choir: Get Clients Jazzed About Social Media

Preaching Beyond The Choir: Get Clients Jazzed About Social Media: “

Written by Darrell Etherington.

bullhornThough I couldn’t attend OMMA Social San Francisco (I’m so far away, and my travel budget is currently non-existent), I did enjoy this article from MediaPost summarizing five key takeaways from the social media conference. The article’s author, Catherine P. Taylor, makes a number of good points, but what interests me most is the impression she got that social media, while still white hot with professionals working in the space, has yet to catch fire with clients.

The problem is a familiar one. Those of us who champion the use of social media tend to be fairly zealous about its use, but trying to transmit that passion to others, especially to key decision makers, can be a trying affair. For instance, I’ve had recent experience with a Managing Director who actually didn’t use a computer, so you can just imagine how easy it was to convince him of the value of having a corporate Twitter account.

Of course, it’s to be expected that senior executives exhibit a degree of technological inertia. Luckily, they all still speak the same basic languages: Return on Investment (ROI), Brand Recognition and Corporate Image. Even if they don’t speak all three (take a small consulting firm, for example, which depends on word of mouth rather than aggressive branding), they will understand one of the above: ROI, which is what I’ll be covering in this post. Social media is a hard area in which to gather solid ROI figures, but it’s not impossible. Plus, it can be very easy to sell on the expenditure side, since most of the time the only cost involved is the labor of the resource tasked with setting up and maintaining your social network accounts. That alone is a convincing argument in a business climate which is shy with its advertising dollars but eager to maintain a public presence.

You can show ROI by gathering info on click-throughs from links posted via Twitter, or on Facebook, on profiles, groups, and pages. I find Twitter especially useful for attracting clicks, since your tagline, not the URL itself, is the seller, thanks to URL truncation. If you can write clever copy, users will click, and they won’t necessarily feel as ‘marketed’ to if they don’t see your corporate address in the URL.

Providing the decision-maker with comparable examples of successful social media program implementations in your space is probably the best, and easiest, way to show verifiable ROI. If you can’t find any examples in your specific field, collect near misses and play up the fact that you’ll be a pioneer in your area. Mashable has a great article on establishing ROI for social media that talks about setting a success metric, and benchmarking competitors will help you do that.

If they’re not sold on the fact that online presence makes good money sense, you might want to sell them on the business card metaphor, which goes as follows: You would never leave a business meeting, lunch, coffee, etc. without exchanging business cards with the other party, would you? Even if it’s a sales call that wasn’t particularly promising, you leave the card, and hope your name comes to mind when they need something down the road.

Imagine the cumulative time your company spends doing work online as a business meeting, and then imagine that, to date, despite all that time spent with prospective clients, you’ve been leaving them with nothing but a hastily scrawled phone number on a bar napkin (your email signature, for the purposes of the metaphor). That wouldn’t fly in the real world, and it shouldn’t be allowed to suffice on the Web, either.

Of course, your boss or client could counter with the fact that you have a web site. Explain that just having a web site is like leaving a business card tacked to a public bulletin board and hoping people will take interest. Social media is the handshake, the lunch meeting, the phone call during which you ask about the family. In other words, social media brings that priceless ‘people’ factor online.

It may seem silly at this point to still have to sell clients on the value of social media, but it only seems that way because we live inside that world every day. Impossible as it may be to believe, there are still some, like that Managing Director I mentioned before, who dictate their emails to their assistants. Talk about someone who needs the perspective of a helpful evangelist!

What strategies do you use for convincing clients of the value of social media?

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(Via Clippings.)

L’avenir des réseaux sociaux est-il à la puce RFID

L’avenir des réseaux sociaux est-il à la puce RFID: “

Si vous lisez régulièrement ce blog, vous devez savoir qu’il existe une multitude de réseaux sociaux. OK, mais comment faire son choix dans cette profusion ? Et si vous choisissiez un réseau qui combine à la fois la puissance et la praticité des réseaux sociaux en ligne et la proximité des relations de quartier ? C’est en tout cas la promesse que nous fait cette nouvelle génération de plateformes sociales hybrides qui repose sur des profils en ligne et sur des objets équipés de puces
RFID pour initier les rencontres

SnifTag, parce que votre chien drague mieux que vous

Premier exemple avec
SnifTag, un réseau social réservé aux propriétaires de chiens (l’équivalent d’un
Dogster) qui innove en proposant aux maîtres d’équiper leur chien avec un petit mouchard :

Le mouchard RFID que vous accrochez au colier de votre chien

Le mouchard RFID que vous accrochez au colier de votre chien

Une fois le mouchard installé, vous pouvez suivre les déplacements de votre chien au quotidien (savoir le nombre de kilomètre qu’il a parcouru ou le nombre d’heures  qu’il a dormi) mais également connaître ses fréquentations. Les puces RFID des colliers communiquent entre elles et enregistrent les identifiants des autres chiens qui sont passés à proximité.

Les puces RFID du système SnifTag

Les puces RFID du système SnifTag

Une fois à la maison, vous pouvez consulter les fiches des chiens rencontrés ainsi que celles des propriétaires. Et oui, derrière ce dispositif se cache un réseau de rencontres (amoureuses ou non). L’idée est redoutable car les chiens sont effectivement un très bon vecteur de sociabilisation. Vous combinez donc la puissance du réseau social (avec les listes d’amis, les recommandations…) avec la proximité de votre ville / quartier. Plus d’infos ici : 
Pet Tracking Meets Social Networking.

Poken, le complément hors-ligne de votre réseau social

Deuxième exemple avec les 
Poken, de petites figurines qui embarquent elles aussi une puce RFID. Le principe est encore une fois très simple : vous liez votre Poken à votre profil (Facebook, MySpace…), vous accrochez cette figurine à votre tenue de soirée (ça veut dire que vous êtes ouvert à une ou des rencontres) et lorsque vous sympathisez avec une autre personne ‘pokénisée’, vous les faites se taper dans la main pour échanger vos identifiants :

Le fonctionnement des pokens

Le fonctionnement des pokens

Une fois chez vous, il ne vous reste plus qu’à brancher votre Poken sur votre port USB pour récupérer les identifiants de vos rencontres et consulter leur profil. Voilà, c’est simple et bon enfant. Ce système me fait penser à des badges sortis dans les années 80 que l’on pouvait configurer pour qu’ils émettent des signaux lumineux correspondant à notre état d’esprit (vert pour ‘tu peux me brancher‘, rouge pour ‘casse-toi pov’ con‘).

Même si ce dispositif limite le nombre de points de contact (tout le monde ne passe pas ses soirées à écumer les bars), il a tout de même le mérite de proposer un intermédiaire entre le poke et la drague ‘old school‘. Par contre je serais bien mal placé pour prédire le… taux de transformation. Mais même si vous ne transformez pas (ou mal), au moins vous pouvez faire un peu de data-mining sur vos stats (à quand du date analytics ?). Plus d’infos ici :
High-five the panda to connect online.

Bon, trêve de plaisanteries, je suis persuadé que, derrière ce concept de plateformes sociales hybrides (en et hors ligne), nous avons enfin un modèle économique qui ressemble à quelque chose avec la vente des appareils (qui pourraient également servir d’appâts) et pourquoi pas un abonnement ou du micro-paiement à l’acte.

(Via Clippings.)

L’actualité des médias sociaux (janvier 2009)

L’actualité des médias sociaux (janvier 2009): “

Je continue mes récapitulatifs mensuels avec un résumé des articles publié sur :

Et je vous rapelle que les inscriptions sont toujours ouvertes pour notre petit déjeuner du 12 février prochain à Paris :
Quelles opportunités pour votre marque dans les médias sociaux ?

(Via Clippings.)