Productivity, Multitasking, and the Death of the Phone - HBR IdeaCast

One of the podcasts I listen to is the HBR Ideacast. They have lots of interesting talks with people. Sometimes these talks are related to articles published in HBR. Recently they interviewed Sherry Turkle of the much-debated book 'Alone together'. You can find the podcast here: Productivity, Multitasking, and the Death of the Phone.
It's an interesting podcast to listen to and think about. I understand the problem she is seeing and describing (although I still have to read the book). I understand she is worried about it too. But every time I read about her book and listen to what she's saying I think: Shouldn't this problem be addressed by helping young and old people understand the new web and using it in the 'right' way? For instance, help people filter the web, search the web, understand web privacy and build networks using the web. I see a huge need for this around me. And I don't see many schools (and parents) stepping up to this task.
I liked Turkle's 3 areas where more thinking and debate is needed:
  • the role that we are going to give to robots in daily life
  • about productivity in the workplace and new social tools
  • getting rid of the word 'addiction' w.r.t. computer devices
If you've listened to the podcast, let me know what you think. We'll continue the discussion on your or my blog!

The State of the Blogsphere 2010

Wow, sometimes it takes forever to get a blogpost ready for publication... This is one of them. Sorry for the late post about 'the State of the Blogosphere 2010', hope you enjoy it anyway.

I've been blogging what I learned from the SotB for a couple of years now. Technorati's report on how the blogosphere is doing is lengthy and rich. To my knowledge it's the largest piece of research on the blogging community. They started back in 2004. Besides collecting general data about blogging, this year's focus is on the female bloggers.
Blogs are in transition, they say. The line between blogs, microblogs and social networks is blurring. Mobile blogging is the key trend this year. Based on the results of the survey and interviews they see great optimism about blogging. More and more blogs are generating revenue, more frequent blogging and more blogs are planned and more and more people say the go-to resource for news will be blogs. The trust in mainstream media is dropping.
Hobbyists remain the backbone of the blogging community (65%). And again the blogging community is shown to be a "highly educated and affluent" group. The report also shows bloggers consume lots of information, mostly through reading.
About 60% of the bloggers spend up to 3 hours per week on blogging. 40% puts more time into their blog.
Compared to 2009 the hobbyists are updating their blog less. In general updating is done much less on a daily and more on a weekly basis. This is mostly (63%) due to family and work commitments (did bloggers get better and more busy jobs?!). 30% said it was due to shift some communication to microblogging and social networks.
Bloggers that blog about their work/company say they have greater visibility in their industry, also leading to prospects and sales.
Just about 80% is using Twitter (not all! - 34% of the non-users don't understand the service, they say, others use Facebook instead) to promote their blog, share links and keep up with news and events.
Facebook and Twitter are seen as the most effective platforms to market blogs.
A small increase can be seen in mobile blogposting (24% in 2010, 20% in 2009). I'm really curious if this number will go up faster with the iPad market penetration.
Really interesting is the fact that social media sites are outpacing search engine optimalization as widely-used marketing tools. Only "38% of bloggers use SEO".

Interesting quote by Barbara Jones: "I see Twitter and Facebook as two very different applications. Facebook is like a backyard barbecue, mostly friends and family. I see Twitter as a cocktail party where you have the ability to pop in and out of conversations and make relationships."

One thing I miss in this report (and I've mentioned this before) is some hard numbers about the number of (active) blogs and the number of new (active) blogs.

Let's see what 2011 has in store for blogging! For now, my question to you is, do these trends relate to your blogging practice? Are you blogging more or less? And what tools do you use to promote your blog?

Mobile Intranet

Mobile and the mobile web is huge. Lots of the discussion about mobile and the mobile web is about mobile and the Internet. Until recently not much attention was paid to the implications of mobile for the intranet. But this is changing rapidly. More and more interesting posts and reports are being written about mobile intranet.
One of them was published not to long ago. It is written by Martin White and is titled 'Focus on Enterprise Information Mobility'. This is a first paper giving an overview of what's happening in this place. It summarizes and structures lots of information about mobile enterprise. So, if you want to get up to speed on this topic, I encourage you to read it.
But let me give you some highlights from the report:

  • The GMSA Mobile Congress has a Mobile Enterprise track for the first time this year (March).
  • "Enterprise mobiliy" usually refered to some employees using their cell phone and/or connected devices remotely. This has changed. Enterprise mobility now presents itself as "a pervasive and ubiquitous mesh of software, middleware and hardware requiring seamless integration, state-of-the-art user interface and pristine security." Security is "the elephant in the room".
  • "A mobile strategy is not the equivalent of making your web applications accessible via a mobile device."
  • Surveys show that more than 50% of the companies are working on or planning mobile deployments. Many based on the iPhone or iPad. The biggest reason not to deploy just yet is security. Business Intelligence is a big driver for enterprise mobility. Other reasons are: productivity/speed, and the real-time enterprise.
  • White shows that most are not strategic about mobility. The intiatives are hardly tied to business goals and processes. This is surprising, I find.
  • Employees give their employers very low marks for their mobile strategy. Most don't have a strategy and/or guidelines.
  • Intranet information architectures will change drastically. There is little point "in providing access to all sections of the intranet." Also the mobile intranet challenges us to think about our user. White gives an overview of the user segmentation VDC provides: road warriors and executives, mobile office professionl, etc. Don't give them all the information, but the information they need to get their job done.
This is a first release by White about making the internal company information mobile. I'm looking forward to White's future publications about this topic!

But for now I'm wondering: is your intranet ready for mobile? If not, are you getting ready for mobile? Please share your thoughts!

Using Social Media Inside Organizations - BNR Digitaal Interview

Not too long ago I was interviewed for the BNR Digitaal program. We talked about how social media is used internally by companies. The trigger for the interview was the research we do on intranet trends. The Intranet Monitor 2011 will be published shortly.

I shared the link on Twitter right after the interview and thought I'd share it here as well (at least it's in my archives now...).

The interview was in Dutch. The interview circles around topics like: why do companies use social media internally?, do they use one platform or several different tools? and how does chat relate to microblogging?
It was my first time in a radio interview. It wasn't completely live, but recorded in one go. I enjoyed the experience! Radio is even more about small bites of information, so I prepared myself to deliver short, informative answers. You decide if I succeeded in this!

I'd love to hear your comments or feedback!

Social Media and Fashion - Presentation for ABN Fashion Lunch

Recently I was invited to give a short presentation about social media for a network event organized by the ABN-Amro bank. I inserted the presentation below.
The participants were all related to the fashion industry in some way. I kicked off with a presentation about social media and business processes/networks. A second presentation was giving by Laurens Bushof about social commerce and their new service Shop with my friends.

I really enjoyed the discussion with the audience. It's clear this industry is looking for ways to use social media for business. What struck me though is that hardly any were successfully generating business with the social tools. Some hadn't even tried yet and were skeptical. Others had dipped their toes into social media. Others wondered how to make their first steps into this space.
These presentations always help me structure my thoughts and challenge me to bring the message in such a way that the broad audience understands the messages and can translate it to practice. One thing I keep on learning is: We have only just started to understand and (successfully) adopt social media in business.

Use Less of Your Product

I love challenges like in this post. Andrew Winston has an interesting post about asking customers to use less of your product. So you're in the printing business: ask your customers to print less. Or you sell hamburgers or books, ask them to buy less. Thinking in this way can open you up to new opportunities and business. Sometimes you are forced to think this way.

Let's make this concrete. If you were a printing company, would you advise your employees to add a footer to every email saying: Please don't print out this email!

Of course many would say: Hey, but this would cannibalize my business! True, but as the above-mentioned article says: It's better to do it yourself, than that someone else is doing it to you.

I think we can also flip this challenge to ourselves. Think about what you would do if your customer (member of family, friend or client) would use less of your product/service. What would you do?

Social software for business performance - Deloitte Report

Deloitte recently published an interesting report about their research on Social Business. It's titled: "Social software for business. The missing link in social software: Measurable business performance improvements". Some colleagues and I were interviewed for this report (when I worked for Oce) - see table on page 8. One of the reasons I wanted to participate was because this research was focused on truly measuring the impact of social software in organizations. We'd been rolling out social tools and using them widely. Also, we measure or tried to measure the value of these tools for business. We focused on two types of value. Value based on hard (analytics, increased productivity) and soft metrics (stories showing the value of these tools). We combined both because we knew that one can easily shoot holes in the 'hard' numbers. For instance you can wonder if the productivity increase is really due to use of social tools or did other factors (like organizational and cultural change) actually account for the increase?

Andy McAfee also relates to these issues when discussing this report. We need proof that social tools do improve business. Although many companies have been using these tools successfully, we are still learning what good these tools should and can bring. Measuring in terms of adoption is not enough, as the report says.

This reports points to several companies that focused less on adoption. They focused on operational pain points and tried to solve them with social tools. And these cases show that social tools did help here and did provide measurable and sustainable ("organize for the long haul", as McAfee says in this book Enteprise 2.0) performance increase. I think this relates well to what we've been discussing at the last Enterprise 2.0 Summit and my blogpost about this topic.

Alcoa and OSIsoft are the two cases. And I think Deloitte did a great job in showing they actually made long-term performance improvements. For instance by using a microblogging tool to decrease the issue resolution time.

With McAfee I'm greatful for this report. I hope many more will follow giving examples of others areas with dramatic improvement using social tools.

I wonder how you measure success in your social tool deployment. Please share your experiences in the comments section.

Workshop Open Innovation and Social Media - Join us!

For some time now I've been helping a new initiative of Oce called Document Services Valley to build up their web presence. In short Document Services Valley is a venture to encourage and speed up innovation in document services in an open network (collaborative innovation).

On April 28 a workshop will be organized about Open Innovation and Social Media. Stefan Lindegaard, expert in the open innovation field will lead the workshop. I also have a small role in the workshop.

More information about the workshop can be found here. We hope you will join us! Till then.