Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hope you have a great time.
And, thank you all for reading my blog and tweets and all the online and offline interactions. They are much appreciated.

I'm on vacation with my family, so I'll won't be blogging and will hardly tweet. Hope to meet you soon - in 2012!

My Predictions for 2012

The future cannot be predicted. But, even if it could, we would not dare to act on the prediction.

- Arie de Geus in The Living Company

Join me at the Intranet Conference 2012 #intra12

As you know I work for Entopic. Entopic has organized a conference about intranet for several years now. It has become the largest intranet conference in the World.

We’re working hard on the 2012 conference. It will be held on March 13, 2012 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. A large part of the program has been defined and we hope to finalize the program in the coming week.

This year we wanted to focus on the soft(er) side of intranet. What are the skills intranet-related people need to successfully implement and maintain a intranet and especially a social intranet. We found three keynote speakers that know all about this side of intranet:
We also have a great list of interesting breakouts this year. Ranging from Shell about knowledge management and intranet to the Local Government of Amsterdam about their paperless dossier management via iPad.

Check out our new website and the program and tell me what you think. Of course I hope to meet you there.

State of the Blogosphere 2011

How is the blogosphere doing? Several post have been written in 2011 about it being dead. At the beginning of the social media revolution everyone was told to start blogging. Now, most think microblogging is enough, it seems. Twitter has become a popular why to (micro)blog. And other types of blogging are showing up, like Posterous and Tumblr. As well as photo blogs, like Instagram.

Since 2004 Technorati publishes an overview of the State of the Blogosphere. Recently ‘The State of the Blogosphere 2011’ was published. I’d like to share a summary of this interesting report with you (as I’ve done in previous years).

Who are the bloggers? 
4114 bloggers were surveyed for this report (about 3000 less than in 2010). According to the research 75% of the bloggers are 25-44 years old. The level of education of blogger is high, mostly college and university level.
Technorati distinguishes four types of bloggers: hobbyists (60% of the respondents), part-time and full-time professionals (18%), corporate (8%) and entrepreneurs (13%).

Blogging patterns
The majority of the bloggers has been blogging for at least 2 years. It is remarkable that all bloggers maintain more than one blog. 60% of the respondents blogs up to three hours per week, the rest (40%) blogs more. 13% say they spend more than ten hours per week.
The majority of the participants blogs 2-3 times a week. Professional full-time bloggers blog more often. 26% says they post at least three times per day.
The general trend among bloggers is to spend more time on blogging than in 2011 and to post more often. When bloggers decide to blog less this is due to, just as last year, spending more time on other social platform and especially microblogging.

Blogging and business
What is the influence of blogging on brands? This year blogs are listed as having the most influence on brands. Compared to 2010 this is a huge leap forward. As a second and third brand influencer friends and other social media are mentioned. All types of bloggers are asked regularly by brands to blog about their product or service. Even though most bloggers think that companies find them less professional, compared to traditional media.
A remarkable finding from the survey is that blogs are still considered to be most influential under consumers when they look for recommedations about products and services. Facebook is also influential, but less than blogs. Twitter’s influence has also decreased in this respect.

Blog inspiration and success
To find input for blogposts, most bloggers tap into social media sites (21 uur/week). Bloggers don’t watch a lot of TV.
Professionele bloggers measure the success of their blog by the number of unique visitors and financial gain. Hobbyist measure success by personal satisfaction. 70% of the bloggers blog to share experience and expertise with others. Another way to measure the success of a blog is if it has been quoted in traditional media. 36% of the bloggers say their blog has been quoted.
An interesting fact is most bloggers don’t want advertisement on their blog, although most bloggers admit they do not have enough readers for advertisers to be interested in advertising on their blog.

Blogging and other social media
82% of all bloggers uses Twitter. Under professional bloggers almost all use it. Hobbyists have about halve as many followers on Twitter as professionals. Professional bloggers have around 1000 followers. In most cases blogposts are automatically published to Twitter.
89% of the bloggers has a Facebook account. Setting up separate Facebook pages for your blog has increased by 15% in the previous year. In most cases the blogpost is not automatically posted to Facebook.
More than 6 out of 10 respondents uses Google+. The reasons to use Google+ are comparable to Twitter and Facebook: promoting your blog and finding interesting links. As with Facebook, automatic publishing of blogposts to Google+ is not done often. 
The participants find Facebook and Twitter as most-effective to publicize a blog. LinkedIn comes in 3rd place.
Wordpress is the most popular blog hosting service. 51% of the participants uses it. Blogger en Blogspot are popular as well (21% en 14%).

Blogging and mobile
A nice question was about the impact of tablets and smartphones on blogging. 45% said they use more pictures and images and 43% said they write shorter posts because of mobile.

You can read the whole report online. Have you read it? If so, what were the most remarkable findings according to you? And what’s your vision on the future of blogging? Is it doomed, as some say? Or does it have a (certain) future? 

Note: This post was also published in Dutch on FrankWatching and Teed.

Scoren met Twitter [Dutch post] #ilunch

ThiemeMeulenhoff organiseert maandelijks een iLunch. Een iLunch is een inspirerende bijeenkomst voor TM medewerkers. Meestal wordt een externe spreker uitgenodigd om de iLunch in te vullen. In december was ik uitgenodigd om te spreken over het succesvol inzetten van Twitter, privé en zakelijk. Mijn slides heb ik gedeeld op Slideshare en bij deze ook hier. Feedback, vragen en commentaar zijn welkom.

Another step towards internal maps

Outdoor maps are great. Google is doing a wonderful job with Maps. But what about indoor maps? I've been tracking posts about this topic for some time. And just recently Google announced it's taking Google Maps indoors. Here's a short video about his initiative:

I think this will have huge implications for companies as well. Just think about adding maps to your internal intranet employee directory.

Social technologies are extending organizations

McKinsey has been following the social business movement for some time now. And they're following to see if it can live up to the expectations. Recently they published the results of their 5th annual survey under 4200 global executives. The polled them how their organizations use social tools.

The finding of the report are interesting. There's clear progress: social tools are being used more and more and in more effective ways. When adopted across the networked enterprise and integrated in work processes of employees, clear benefits are seen. There's a boost in financial performance and market share, which relates to the results of previous surveys. However not many companies are fully networked, meaning they are internally and externally networked.

One of the most interesting things I read in the report was the fact that executives believe if organizational barriers to social tools diminish, they could transform the core business processes. This is a big statement as most business processes are formal and supported by heavy and expensive IT-systems. Exhibit 8 give you an idea of the processes that will/can be changed. This does not imply social tools are good for all business processes. Exhibit 7 should which business processes have the best fit with social tools. As you see, social tools are mostly used to scan the external environment.

The survey mentioned that 72% of the organizations have at least one social technology inhouse. And 40% have a social networking and blogging platform.

Of course we all want to know what the affordances of social business are. According to this report they are:

  1. increasing speed to access knowledge
  2. reducing communication costs
  3. increasing speed to access internal experts

Another interesting finding is the fact that it is easier to loose benefits of social tools than to gain them. Implementing social tools is hard work and requires continuous effort.

Books I'm reading and why

You may have never seen this. But my blog contains a list of books I'm reading at the moment. I just finished reading 'Making it all work' by David Allen. I re-read his book 'Getting things done' every year to review the way I'm working and apply new GTD elements to my productivity framework. But I thought I'd read Allen's newest book instead this year.
I'll review 'Making it all work' soon and share it with you as a blogpost. I enjoyed reading this book as it goes into the philosophy and mechanisms behind GTD.

Currently I'm reading 3 books:

Have you read one of these books? If so, leave a comment and tell me what you think of it. If you're planning to read one of them, let me know so we can read together and share notes.

Great assignment

Just wanted to share my enthusiasm with you about a great assignment I received from a client. Recently we were contacted because our client wanted to set up a new intranet. They were thinking about doing an internal survey to find out what employees expected from their (future) intranet. Soon they concluded this would only give them a list of things they already knew. "We don't really know what we need." So, they came to us/me with the request to organize trips to five interesting intranets. Show us five interesting intranets that we can learn from. Based on those visits we will learn a lot about organizational issues, budget, technology platform, adoption strategies, types of intranets, etc.

Wow, what a great assignment! I also think this is smart thing to do. Why do it all yourself if there's so much to learn from others? Isn't this also a faster way to get to results?

I'm honored to get such an assignment and it's great to organize this for them. It's just as inspiring to me as it is to them.

Enterprise 2.0 Summit Ambassador #e20s

Just a short post to say I'm honored to be an ambassador of the 2012 Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris!

I was hoping to be an ambassador last year, but was asked to give a talk then. I really enjoyed the summit. The keynotes were very good, the breakout sessions were interesting, the conference was well-organized and the evening dinner and drinks were inspiring. It was fascinating to see what is being done in Europe in the enterprise 2.0-social business space.
This years program looks great as well. The summit will be held in Paris instead of Frankfurt, which will be interesting. You can register here.
All my posts about last year's summit can be found here.

Are you going to the Enterprise 2.0 Summit? I'm also curious which Dutch people plan to go! ;-)

Less Filter Bubbles with Twitter and RSS?

Talking to an old-aged man who had just discovered the internet, he said: "The internet is just so great, what a huge amount of sources we have there!" And I agree with him. The internet is amazing. The huge amount of content shared there about all kinds of topics. The way we can interact with content and people via the internet. The amazing number of different internet services. And we have reached the end of what the internet will bring us.

But is the internet all good. There have been many that question if the internet is such a positive force. Shouldn't we question some (or all) of the changes the internet is doing to the world and to. Andrew Keen wrote about the negative aspects of the internet on culture. Nicolas Carr published about book about what the internet is doing to our brain. And more can be mentioned here.

Recently I bumped into a review of The Filter Bubble in my Dutch newspaper, went over to watch the related TED Talk with the same title and the post about information gatekeepers popped up in my feeds. Talk about the wonders of internet and serendipity...

In short the TED talk is about how services like Google and Facebook are automatically filtering out information for us, without us knowing, based on our profiles, search behavior, friends, etc. And the question is asked if this is good thing.

I'm happy these kind of questions are being asked. It helps me question myself if I'm too positive about the (role of) the internet in my life. One of the things I like about the internet is the fact that so much information is accessible at my finger tips. And the fact that I can follow close and far-away friends, thinkers and experts with such ease. I try to keep my filters fresh and open to new views. And as I agree and understand that Google and Facebook are trying to help me find what's relevant, I also see that I need other ways to get unfiltered content. Isn't this where Twitter and a good feedreader come in? Oh, yes, even there I don't follow the whole world on Twitter and I can read all the blogs in the world. But it's hard to block out all kinds of information I think I don't want to see. I can't stop someone I'm following to not send a tweet or write a blogpost about a certain topic. Of course I don't have to read the blogpost, but to do that I have to read the title of the post. And with that I'm at least confronted with his/her view on a topic.

Does this make sense? I'm really curious how you stay out of the filter bubble. Please share your thoughts!