Tag Archives: Facebook

Are you using social networks more or less?

I am relatively active – I maintain a couple of blogs barryjogorman, bluereek), I post to facebook, twitter, linkedin and google+ (in that descending order of frequency). I scan some current content on all of these sites – generally at least once a day.  I also send and receive significant volumes of email.  I use sanebox to assist me in separating out the good from the bad in my email.

Have been listening to some chatter amongst friends, family, contacts which would suggest some increasing boredom amongst users of social networks.  I experience this myself – large volumes of inane postings.  Then I read this piece on Mashable and somehow it seems to ring true.

No more so that the phone, email, instant messaging, friends, colleagues – social networking content is a distraction when I am trying to complete a task.  And if I have a lot of tasks to complete in a limited time then social media (and phone, email, instant messaging, friends, colleagues) take a back seat – in terms of both passive (reading) and active (commenting or content creation) participation.

I think it’s the old maxim – ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.  If you want to benefit from social networking then you need to accept that it will take time (out of your limited time).  At the risk of mixing metaphors, should also reference ‘lunch is for wimps’ – perhaps there are many who would suggest, at least in a work context, ‘social media are for wimps’.

So what brings me back to social media – or what has brought me back in the recent past?

Linkedin is serving me well at present – in the context of staying in contact with a wide range of business contacts and former colleagues.  Almost a CRM solution – but the real value is in the follow up interactions – be they phone calls, emails, meetings.  And then I find myself capturing some of this interaction in apps such as evernote.

Facebook continues to attract me as a way to continue ‘casual interaction’ with a range of friends – many of whom I would not bump into physically on a day to day basis e.g. because I live in Ireland and they live in US, Australia, South Africa, UK, France, etc.  In general I think the level of interaction on postings has gone down – and changes in the workings of facebook are well documented.

I think Twitter continues to provide me with the most relevant, interesting content – from people I choose to follow – grouped in lists.  So, if I am interested in health informatics for now, I tend to drop in and out to check on tweets by those I have added to my health informatics list.  And in general the content is current, well referenced and useful.

I like google+ – but I just do not seem to have the time to participate in another platform on a regular basis.  I am very frustrated with moves to make it more difficult for all of us to participate in several social networks at the same time e.g. making it more difficult to cross post.  But obviously the various providers have their own strategies for survival or world domination.

And blogging – like this: it really does take time.  And sometimes you wonder about the value of time spent creating personal content in a space that is already very crowded.  But, again, no free lunch and blogging is not for wimps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the person and technology becoming one?

Have just spent a couple of weeks on vacation – without broadband access at my fingertips.  Continued to monitor email and SMS – from my phone.  Probably online three times over the fortnight – had to make an effort.  Posted a few photos to facebook from the phone.

Real difference was not interacting with twitter and other social networks on a regular basis throughout the day.  Also – listened to the radio for news and read a few newspapers.

Just watched Kevin Kelly video/ presentation on future of the web.  KK (of Wired) sees the internet as one computer.  We use various devices to access the one computer.  ‘Things’ e.g. cars, clothes, devices which incorporate chips (e.g. RFID) are effectively part of the one computer.  And, indeed, we are in many respects sensors for this one computer – as more and more information ends up in the one computer.

This is enough to scare off a lot of people.  In the Q&A session KK fields a number of interesting questions, including what are the opt out options, is the one computer and the human race in conflict?  Interestingly seems that most people are happy to go along with what’s happening.  He has a great line ‘No personalisation without transparency’.  Effectively you have to open up, provide information about yourself, your business, whatever, if you want a personalised experience.

This morning read a posting about Gordon Bell – a Microsoft researcher who is attempting to record everything in his life digitally.

Interesting line in this from GB: ‘By using e-memory as a surrogate for meat-based memory, he argues, we free our minds to engage in more creativity, learning, and innovation (sort of like Getting Things Done without all those darn Post-its)’.

I have often thought that this is the case.  An example being that sometimes overprep for a meeting (reading all the material, anticipating the questions, etc) results in a less creative, open discussion.  Another example would be whether examinations are still bogged down in being largely tests of memory rather than tests of reasoning.

All of this relates closely to one of my own areas of primary interest – linked data and the semantic web.  Linked data requires entities to share more data – for the benefit of being able to correlate this with other shared data.  The semantic web aims to enable ‘intelligent’ processing of data by computers – ie the one computer referenced by KK.

I think KK is right.  The one computer is more and more a fact of life.  There are many benefits – and a number of threats.  While there are opt outs – and ways to escape e.g. go and live on a deserted island off the west coast of Ireland – inevitably the internet continues to be more pervasive (and invasive).

Looking forward to another few days of restricted broadband access.  And then back to life interacting with the one computer.

Twitter – part 3

Completing a series of three articles re twitter – why, what how?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 – How does twitter fit in with web site, blogging, facebook, linkedin, other social networks?

I see my website as my anchor on the internet. My website says I am who I am, sets out my stall, explains how to contact me. I want my website to be found – by people looking for solutions which I can provide. Periodically I will update my website to describe additional solutions, new partnerships, new references/ endorsements.

My blog is where I provide my thoughts – hopefully my insights to emerging social, business, technical issues – as they occur to me and and I develop/ refine my thinking. I expect the blog to incorporate feedback from readers. Over a period of time my blog accumulates an amount of my thinking re the issues of the day.

So there does twitter fit in with all of this – and with the other networks in which I participate?

Twitter is the medium through which I develop interactive dialog with people of mutual interest (I am interested in their thoughts, they follow me – so presumably are interested in my thoughts). Through those contacts I am also looking to expand my network – attracting attention to my competencies and learning from other experts.

With this in mind I automatically notify twitter of any new blog postings. I post questions to twitter, I respond to queries from others on twitter. I use twitter to draw people’s attention to information which I think may be of interest to them.

Both linkedin and facebook are also important to my social and business networking. Initially I focused facebook on the social side and linkedin on the business side. Facebook now has a much broader role – and has an important business element to it. For now I have a range of contacts who may/may not use all of the solutions e.g. may be a member of facebook but not using twitter or linkedin, only use linkedin, etc.

All of these are being brought together. Many people are members of all of these (and many more) social networks. Initiatives such as SIOC are working to faciliate interoperability. Using tools such as Yoono with Firefox it has become very easy to update your presence/ status across mutiple environments. I cross post to facebook from twitter and using ‘company buzz’ on linkedin twitter references to me are published to linkedin.

So what’s twitter, at the end of the day? As one of my twitter friends (@rbconsulting) says, flippantly – ‘hard to belive it took them that long to get SMS working on the PC’. And that captures the essence of the microblogging limits. Twitter is that and more. Most importantly it’s a platform which makes it very easy to establish relationships with people all over the internet – for business, social, educational, recreational, whatever purpose. The value of the relationships flows from the level of interaction, quality of contributions, responsiveness.

case study – social networking in travel industry

Contributed to a case study in the Innovation section (pp42 – 44, Experts’ Advice – P44) of  today’s Irish Times  – looking at how a ski adventure company could use social networking to market their business.

Text of my advice in the case study:

BlackRun: Online for off piste

This is a typical 2009 scenario in Irish business – someone from the Facebook generation (‘gen f’) bringing ideas about social networking to the owners. The concerns are classic: fad or not, geeky or not? Simone is right – at least half BackRun’s target audience is social network friendly. So it’s a ‘no brainer’ – need to get on board. The good news: with some upfront planning this can be achieved, without swamping the team.

BlackRun needs a basic web site, optimised for search – integrated with a blog (could use software such as WordPress). Ruth & Simone need to set targets for blog posting frequency e.g. 3 times per week. Team members should be profiled in the blog and encouraged to post. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts should be established – using auto notification of postings on the BlackRun blog. Worthwhile Twitter accounts should be identified and ‘followed’. BlackRun should aim to tweat daily – ask questions, answer queries, use hashtags. Facebook advertising should be considered.

There are great tools available to assist in managing online presence e.g. google webmaster, WordPress utilities, Tweetdeck, Nexus (Facebook). BlackRun needs to avail of these.

Finally, management should commit to measuring the effectivess of these initiatives on a weekly basis.

Barry O’Gorman consults in social networking, collaboration and semantic web.

Thoughtful piece on social networking and facebook

Interesting piece from Fiona McCann in today’s Irish Times, ”on facebook“.

Would agree fully that Facebook has changed (and devalued) meaning of friends.   Much of what Fiona says rings true with me – as someone who spends a fair amount of time blogging, twittering and updating facebook.  Her comments would also be well received by many of those who are actually my friends.

Many of us set out  to use FaceBook for the personal stuff, sites such as linkedin for the business networking, with twitter and our blogs potentially reaching across both.  However, even within this, there is inevitable overlap between personal and business.  And Facebook wants the business stuff anyway!

Many people also waster a great deal of time working to update their various sites/ presences – with material which is of very little interest and/ or benefit to themselves or the reader.  There was a an excellent piece recently by Dion Hinchcliffe 12 Rules For Bringing ‘Social’ To Your Business.

I think one of the other interesting areas in all of this is bringing the various islands of social networks together.  Much of this is being pioneered out of DERI in Galway.  Projects such as SIOC spring to mind.
Comments certainly make a lot of sense.  As of now do not have all the answers.




Interesting comment re journalists and the internet

In today’s Sunday Times another excellent article from Terry Prone – entitled: It’s in the media’s interest to support a probe into privacy.  In the middle of the piece Terry Prone makes the following comment:

‘It must be said, however, that the openness of journalists to examine all sides of possible legislation is currently complicated by their promiscuous fascination with internet-based offerings. Few of them concentrate on the dangers that online content pose to individual journalists and to the profession as a whole. I can think of no other well-paid profession whose members compete against each other for free. You don’t get orthopaedic surgeons doing knee replacements in their leisure time without charge. Yet you get journalists writing blogs for nothing, their urge for self-expression obscuring the fact that they are undermining their own employers. After all, why should readers buy newspapers when they can get the same writers on the net for free?

Journalists who pride themselves on their maverick stance are nonetheless joining the electronic herd, submitting to the peer pressure which holds that you must have, for example, a Facebook site. ‘

I have commented in the past on the challenges facing the newspaper industry.  Journalists are not the only ones  ‘joining the electronic herd’.  An obvious example is the number of IT consultants blogging and providing thier expertise for free – in competition with themselves or their employers.

There is another element to this – some feeling (amongst those blogging) of belonging to a larger, collaborative environment – with an exchange of ideas and a sharing of knowledge.  The question as to whether this will lead to useful work, revenue, jobs is largely unanswered.

‘Peer pressure which holds that you must have, for example, a Facebook site’ - yes I think there is some definite pressure around facebook.  One reason for this is the existence of 150m+ accounts  (how many of these are active?).  But for many facebook is a useful tool, rather than something they are pressurised to use.

Terry Prone and many of the other journalists writing for the Sunday Times are the reason there is a future for this industry.  But the business model my be changing.  The news is available online almost immediately (e.g. twitter).  But the assessment, the interpretation, the commentary – this is where quality journalism is required and has a strong future – with the right business model.

 

Sustainability of web business

We’ve been there before – .com bubble & bust.  But what will be the impact of the current economic collapse on the WWW business?  The first time round many of the businesses did not have any real business  model.  The last number of years have seen ‘established’ businesses embrace and exploit the technology e.g. www.ryanair.com moving to a web based booking model only.  However at the same time we have seen businesss such as the newspaper industry being almost annihilated by the move to the online world.

In two recent pieces the Economist references the challenges being faced by many of the web2.0 and/or Silicon Valley companies.  For instance how will Facebook extract value from its global penetration, how will Twitter make money?

Seems to me we will have the same result again.  Those with a sound business model will survive.  And a sound business plan includes providing something of value – ie something worth more than it costs.  www.linkedin.com seems to be able to generate revenue from its business members.  I think the www.ft.com offering whereby a limited amount of free reading is provided may be a way forward for newspapers.  However business’s also need to understand that the technology itslef has changed the business environment.  News cannot be delivered by print – comment/analysis/ out of the box thinking can be delivered in print.

Should be an interesting next 12 months.