Corporate Blogs and Methods for Success

Hi there,

In this post I will be discussing the thought of corporate blogs, and methods for success as well as some examples which I’ve encountered.  Let me start of by saying that business and corporations have been around for many years and require the need to communicate with their employee’s in order to communicate information to them; as time has passed so has the methods for communication, this is directly related to technological advancements.  Therefore in this day and age corporations turn to blogs, micro blogs, wiki’s and various other types of web 2.0 tools like Facebook and Twitter.

After researching various organizations’ corporate blogs I’ve discovered that there are a number of similar advantages which organizations try to gain by using corporate blogging, here are the 5 main points:

  • Organizations can build relationships with its customers and promote its products at the same time
  • Promote communities and allows for business to reach their customers more easily, allows for stronger relationships and brand loyalty with its customers.
  • Gives employees a chance to demonstrate their expertise on a particular topic, become an excellent way of sharing knowledge, showcasing the organization as having talent and expertise.
  • Allows for a positive way to get feedback, and greater understanding towards customer needs, by receiving comments, complaints etc…
  • Cost effective and useful compared to other more resource expensive communication methods.

Corporate blogs such as Nokia’s blog “Nokia Conversations” allows users comment on issues and get answers to their questions from experts within Nokia or other users. This blogs informs users of new upcoming technology, news, technical issues, software updates, prices, phone specifications and details as well as future project, videos and podcasts.  They also use micro-blogging tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, RSS feeds, email/newsletters and podcasts, to make announcements or provide news to people, as well as having bookmarks in Delicious and Digg.  Nokia is at the forefront of blogging success as they use all mediums of social media technologies and enterprise 2.0

Even for a company like Nokia there can be disadvantages or pitfalls to blogging some of the key issues which companies face on their blogs are:

  • People may be talking out of the topic or may use the blogs to write negatively about the company which can lead to bad publicity.
  • If blogs failed to comply with the applicable local, nations and foreign requirements for doing business, can lead to liabilities and legal issues.
  • The expressions of ideas can be limited due to lack of interest or inability to display their views in a compelling manner.
  • Writing coherently is very time-consuming, many blogs are not updated and this affects the reputation of the organization.
  • When the blog is voiced singularly the organization can be viewed as an anonymous corporate identity.

I believe that blogs are a great way for businesses to keep engaging both internal and external users, as well as provide a medium which is more accessible than perhaps email or messages to each individual, regarding events, news or updates. The main thing to remember is that blogs must be well maintained, have a solid structure and has a specific purpose it must have a reason for existence, but this must be carefully done as blogs can have negative impacts due things like bad publicity or if a blog is out-dated or not maintained it can decrease the loyalty towards that organization therefore they must be maintained carefully. Blog usage has been on a steady increase over the years and in future I believe that blogs will be a integrated part of businesses as well as communities much like emails, phone calls and faxes.

If there are any other points of success or similar examples  of corporate blogs anyone is wanting to share just post a link in the comment i’ll get back to you. “Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”
~ Kavin

| Leave a comment

Social Networking Including Corporate Considerations

Social networking – an online community, allowing people to connect with each other and share information with their contacts.  I use a few forms of social networking tools including myspace, facebook and bebo.   I use all these social media’s for social and recreational purposes, mostly to connect with fronds, as well as joining some groups such as games like HON for updates and news.  Social networking sites like facebook and myspace allow users to create their user profile as well as updating and changing their status, and adding social links.  Social networks create an online community where various opinions, ideas activities events and interests can be posted by individuals and be shared throughout the users within their network, which form a linked community.

Social networking sites are not only useful for communicating or interacting with other people internally, but are also an effective way for business promotions.   Businesses and corporations can now use social media or social networking sites to respond to customer queries.  Social networking sites represent a large pool of information from day to day living, and this allows businesses to tap into the larger market.  There is a huge potential in social networking and advertising on various social networks.

Starbuck’s uses two alternative blog’s My Ideas in Action and My Starbucks Idea.  They also have several facebook groups and pages which all cross link to My Starbuck Idea, as well as twitter, regarding updates on new menu releases as well as special offers.  They have multiple posts on Digg.com and Delicious.

Social networking sites can be used to not only cost effectively market products to a new market, as well as existing customers; they also build credibility as it allows organizations to connect with customers on a professional and personal level.  It also allows for greater spread of reach into markets, as when one persona joins your companies group, the wider community can also be linked to your product or service through friends.  Some disadvantages are that social media site are prone to scams and harassment and can impact your business greatly if it were to happen.

Another successful blog implementation by a large corporation is Nike they use a corporate blog, Official Nike Running Blog, within this blog users must register and then can create a profile and check out various products, news, events, and videos as well as allowing users to ask questions about products and merchandise.  Official Running Blog is a good site to get loyalty from customers and provides them with a community, while using Nike products as the common factor.

If anyone has heard of corporations using social networking in successful or unsuccessful ways, post a link in the comments i’ll get back to you. “Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”
~ Kavin

| Leave a comment

Corporations and Wikis – Benefits – Measures for Success!

Hello,

In this blog post I will be discussing how corporations can benefits from wikis and the measures needed to be taken in order to ensure success.  Wiki’s are a great collaborative tool for corporations and many organizations use it in today’s day and age.  Wiki’s are a great tool for organizations as it gives users the opportunity to edit, change and delete live content.  Wiki’s are a type of CMS (Content Management System) allowing users to participate in the development of the websites content, regardless of their technical structure – be it blog, wiki – all require a great deal of maintenance and oversight.

Here is a quote of what a CMS is

“A CMS is a tool that enables a variety of (centralized) technical and (de-centralized) non technical staff to create, edit, manage and finally publish (in a number of formats) a variety of content (such as text, graphics, video, documents etc), whilst being constrained by a centralized set of rules, process and work flows that ensure coherent, validated electronic content.”

An example of a successful corporate blogs is that of Starbucks called my Starbucks Idea which allows users to login and add and create their own ideas about the range of products offered by Starbucks or they can add their own new ideas.  The Starbucks wiki site allows any registered user to post their ideas or feedback within the site.  Startbucks Idea is a great example of a wiki as it allows users to edit, add and delete their own content and lets Starbucks employees or experts give feedback to users about their ideas or thoughts, the purpose of this site is to allow users to bring up issues which they like to see improved, thing such as products, services, store locations, prices and of course new ideas.  It also shows that the company actively listens to its consumers and they can get feedback to improve their business.  They also have a good notification system showing users which ideas/issues are currently being reviewed, processed, launched or in the works; ideas have also been categorized into 3 sections, Product ideas, experience ideas and involvement ideas.

I’ve actively been using a wiki tool myself at Enterprise 2.0 wiki, this wiki tools allows the use to actively collaborate to a wiki forum page about Enterprise 2.0 and the various mediums which they exist in.  This page allows any registered user to log in and contribute their thoughts, experiences and ideas with everyone, on an existing web 2.0 technology or add their own.  I’ve found that as it was a university based forum, most people were accurate on the information which they provided and also there was a sense of community within the site.

By reviewing various corporate wikis, I have come up with 3 major similar benefits which an organization using a wiki would be after, these are:

  • Enhanced reputation
  • Work made Easier
  • Helps organizations improve its process.

The purpose of wikis is to easily and quickly have a group of people add to a central store of information that grows organically over time, the community of users around a wiki are what determines its usage and evolution, since typically anyone can edit anything, you find rapid change and a general trend to more complete/accurate information, with the revision feature allowing for rollbacks in case of accidental, malicious or incorrect edits

Here are seven strategies which if followed ensure a successful corporate wiki.

  1. Integrate the wiki as one of several important tools in an organization’s IT collaboration architecture.
  2. Understand the wiki “rules of conduct” and ensure they are monitored and enforced.
  3. Optimize the use of wikis for collaborative knowledge creation across geographically dispersed employees, and for crossing divisional or functional boundaries, in order to gain insights from people not previously connected.
  4. Assign a champion to each wiki and have that champion observe contributions that people make to the wiki; the champion will help foster employees who adopt the important “shaper” role within the wiki.
  5. Recognize that the most difficult barrier to cross in sustaining a wiki is convincing people to edit others’ work; organizations should ask their champion and managers to help with this.
  6. Recognize that a significant value of wikis comes from embedding small software programs into the wiki that structure repetitive behavior. Some include organizing meeting minutes, rolling up project status or scheduling meetings. Ask wiki participants to keep watching for repetitive activity to evolve and enhance wiki technology.
  7. Understand wikis are best used in work cultures that encourage collaboration. Without an appropriate fit with the workplace culture, wiki technology will be of limited value in sharing knowledge, ideas and practices.

Resources:

http://www.contentmanager.eu.com/history.htm

Wiki’s are an awesome tool for pretty much any large collaboration or project they can be used to increase efficiency, productivity, increase communication and provide a centralized medium for teamwork. If wiki’s are embraced more by corporations for major projects they can become a more effective form of collaborative source.

If there are any other points of success or similar examples  of corporate wiki’s anyone is wanting to share just post a link in the comment i’ll get back to you. “Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”
~ Kavin

| Leave a comment

Web 2.0 conclusion..!

Greetings,

Throughout this semester of Enterprise 2.0, the workshop activities have helped me gain a good understanding of what Enterprise 2.0 means, as well as why it is a crucial part of society today.  By completing the activities I have gained in-depth value into the main issues concerned with web 2.0 technologies, and the various measures required in order to have a successful web 2.0 implementation.  From completing the activities my confidence in using web 2.0 technologies has increased, as well as my knowledge of them.  I’ve been blogging for over 2 months now, I wouldn’t say I have become an expert but I have gained many thoughts, experiences and ideas for perhaps future blogs I may create.

I’ve also learned about the many issues concerning, governance, laws, policies and various detail associated with web 2.0 in organizations, such as defining policies before setting a Facebook or Twitter initiative.  I’ve become fimilar with many web 2.0 technologies and have used many of them first hand, here is a list of the various web 2.0 technologies which can be used by bother businesses and everyday people for professional development or recreation.  Here is a list of the the web tools which I have had experience with throughout this unit:

One of the latest web tools I am current is called Zoho Accounts for my assessment 2 project Zoho Accounts is a  Web- based online office suite containing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, CRM, project management, invoicing and other applications.  Zoho applications are a type of (SaaS) Software As a Service or Cloud Computing, and the key point is that the user accesses all the utilities via a web browser.

I hope to continue using web 2.0 tools and technologies and hopefully in future use them at an industry level, and perhaps they will be even more used then; as well as increasing my blogging skills and experience.

Kavin

| Leave a comment

Dropbox.com Efficient collaboration for university studies

Hi,

Just thought I’d post something I have used before, this is an online site called Dropbox which acts as a FTP (File Transfer Protocol) by registering there for free you are given web space and within this space you can create folders etc….virtually acts as a online hard drive. (Sort of similar to Google doc)

I’ve used this system for many semester of uni, for collaborating, as all your team needs to do is create a user account each and from their one person creates a shared folder in which assignments, notes, lecture material, resources all can be kept, stored/updated.

I have had incredible success using Dropbox.com as versioning becomes much easier, especially when compared to emails. If anyone else has used this before or perhaps has used a similar site/program i would like to read your thoughts and opinions. (I’m not entirely sure but i do believe there are few other similar sites out there…get searching 😉 Ah they also have wiki http://wiki.dropbox.com/
if anyone is interested.

cheers

Kavin

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | Leave a comment

Business Risks and Enterprise 2.0 secrets

Greetings,

In this week’s blog post I will be talking about the legal risk undertaking social media tools and other enterprise 2.0 related risks, as well as mitigation strategies for such risks. One of the main concerns for organizations is the many risks associated with using social media tools and the weighting in benefits such as gaining competitive advantages against the many risks that are associated with undertaking the use of social media tools and how to mitigate or nullify them.

An example which I shall refer to is from my previous blog post, in which a bank SBAB implemented a wiki into their enterprise as a direct step toward web 2.0 implementation; now in SBAB’s case it was a success story but there were many risks associated…what risks u ask? Well say for example a bank, perhaps an employee of this bank chats with a customer about the details of working at this bank, the working environment, other employee’s (bosses, managers etc); now this conversation might be informal and easy going but this innocent discussion could lead to information being leaked. In some cases the customer might be displeased with the bank and perhaps has a blog in which he writes the name and details of what the employee had mentioned and this becomes a type of exposé. This could lead to loss of integrity, loss of customers, and a damaged reputation, loss of stakeholders, dropouts of investors and many other media influenced risks.

An example here is Terminating employees for after hours social media this article talks about Catherine Deveny who had been terminated after imprecate tweeting of her employers. Now it is important to note that if an employee makes unsavory comments about their own workplace it is likely to be noticed by more people and have a greater impact especially when posted on Facebook account or Twitter accounts (with large number of followers) as unintentional as it maybe, in the case of Miss Deveny’s her employers The Age became vulnerable to attacks of reputation and integrity in which the only option was to dismiss Miss Devery. In most similar related Australian court cases the employer cannot terminate the employee for after hours activities useless the act was of high severity or importance to the employer.

In today’s day and ages within the circumstances of public sharing spaces such has Myspace, Facebook and Twitter employers must think ahead and create disclaimers which clearly outline the rules for publishing confidential information. Or enforce a legally biding social media policy which directly deals with after hours activity, negative comments about staff on social networking sites; as they can be grounds for dismissal.

I personally believe that employee’s should know better than to throw hammers their own employers, but it is important to recognize that during the information/technological ages where there are no secrets; employers must remember to enforce and set boundaries such as social media policies which help not only the employee but help mitigate many problems faced when implementing web 2.0 and social media tools.

Social media tools are very effective if implemented and managed correctly by an organization, one of the main reasons for failure is that enterprises do not fully commit to the idea of social media as a ‘real’ means of communication, connectivity and collaboration between employees, and this is one of the misleading reasons which cause social media tools to be overlooked by some organizations. And in turn leads to no social media policies or disclaimers being made and when an employee does post sensitive information on a social media site, things take a turn for the worse! Web 2.0 tools and social media tools all need to be measured and monitored by organizations to an extent as well as creating polices which protect the enterprise’s integrity, information security precautions as well looking after the employee’s. “Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”
~ Kavin

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | Leave a comment

Enterprise 2.0 Risks and Benefits, Web 2.0 Tools

Hi,

In this post I will be discussing various benefits and risks associated with using enterprise 2.0 technologies, within businesses. There are firstly many good points associated with enterprise/web 2.0 technologies but use of these technologies must be taken with care as it can be a double edged sword; as there are various risks associated with using enterprise 2.0 within a business.

According to Implementing Enterprise 2.0 there are many elements to consider when assessing how web 2.0 technologies impact enterprise these include: organization size, employee distribution, age distribution, specific industry, knowledge intensity, regulation, organization culture, stakeholder outlook and current technology system within the enterprise.

There are many potential benefits of Implementing Enterprise 2.0 technologies here is a table I’ve created depicting the various affected areas and benefits experiences in each business sector.

benefits table

This is a table with the associated risks.

risks ent. 2.0

Although there are many risks and benefits associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0 there are many other risks associated with not implementing enterprise 2.0, these include:

Unauthorized use of web tools – staff many use unauthorized external tools in an effort to perform their work more effectively, this can lead to IT security risks and lack of integration with existing systems.

Increasing difficulty in attracting and retaining talented staff – can impact firm’s ability to attract and retain young talented people if they are perceived as not an attractive and technological advance company.

Reduced competitiveness – competitors can gain great benefits from using Web 2.0 technologies, and if competitors gain an advantage over you it can become extremely difficult to overcome.

The aim of my blog post today was to illustrate the advantage and disadvantages of web 2.0 technologies in organizations, and to portray as to why enterprise 2.0 technologies are so crucial, in today’s technological industry. Web 2.0 technologies are important not only for the opportunities they provide but also because these types of technologies are becoming more and more present in society and business; in order for enterprises to complete effectively they must be one step ahead of their competitors; also be at the forefront in using that latest technology.

A article which I’ve recent read about enterprise 2.0 success is “Pizza & Beer – a successful E2.0 launch” this article discusses how a bank in Sweden known as SBAB and there success story of enterprise technology in there business and the benefits received. They introduced the web 2.0 initiative through an informal meeting with the offer of pizza and beer, and to their surprise from this meeting their web 2.0 success had begun. By introducing a wiki and getting people involved, SBAB had over 4000 wiki contributions within five months, which was remarkable considering they had only released to one business unit consisting of only 40 to 50 people. One of the key benefits here apart from the high contributions on wiki and the 10% increase in efficiency are that they had 74 active users contributing to the wiki when there were only maximum of 50 people in the business unit.

It states in the article that there were 4 correct decisions made in order for their success:
-Got acceptance from management
-Kept it small
-Saw the importance in keeping it informal
-Clear vision

By doing these 4 key things SBAB kept their risks to a minimum, as well create a solid foundation for enterprise 2.0 implementation. If perhaps they did not follow these 4 success points such as not getting acceptance from management – could lead to future problems if security or user access were to become a problem as well time and finances. SBAB did well to keep it small as larger implementation of web 2.0 tend to be harder to approach as well as manage. Like most web 2.0 tools today, mainly being used by an informal crowd; so it was important to keep it informal and simple allowing interaction from users.
Finally keeping the vision clear if they did not plan ahead then perhaps the goals of implementing enterprise 2.0 would be lost.

I beleive SBAB did well in their implementation of wiki’s, and maybe in future they could consider using other web 2.0 tools such as Twitter or Facebook.

This is a quote from the article and the strategy behind there approach to enterprise 2.0.

We have succeeded in creating the pull effect instead of pushing it out. People want it. We achieved the grassroot effect.

If there are any other similar articles or success stories in enterprise 2.0 or if anyone is wanting to discuss more into enterprise 2.0, leave me a comment and ill get back to you. “Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”
~ Kavin

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | Leave a comment

Information at your fingertips – RSS feeds and WIKI’s

Hello again,

Blog entry – number two

As I’ve been blogging I’ve come to realize that each time I post I am sharing a piece of myself with the blogging community, it allows me to productively add to the community by sharing my knowledge as well as increasing my personal branding. My experience in blogging and web 2.0 so far has been limited; therefore I decided to look into RSS feeds and Wiki’s. RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) is according to Software Garden:

It is a way to easily distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a wide number of people.

By using RSS feeds I got from Australia.gov.au I constantly received updates about the federal election on a regular basis, this allowed me to stay at the forefront of the election as I was regularly informed on results as the votes were being tallied. I used Live Bookmarks (RSS reader) which is a feature of the Firefox web browser, it allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds and receive updates on your browser tool bar as they are sent. Here is a diagram demonstrating the way a RSS feed functions.

rss feed

RSS is a very basic notification and provides information based on most current to dated news, most RSS feeds have a description and a link to the actual document or web page.
I found RSS feeds extremely useful and very informative as well as reliable. I could see this being used by many large organizations, by setting up their own RSS feeds, they could regularly update their staff on a daily basis, instead of having to email updates which we all know can be very ineffective. RSS feeds are very effect at providing regular updates on any topic, which solves a common problem as many news, community, product, and medical sites change their information regularly and it is extremely difficult to keep track of. Previous solution was email notifications of changes but we all know that this would tend to result in spam in your in box, that is why RSS is a much more effective and efficient way to be informed about new content. I believe RSS feeds are extremely useful they are an efficient way to receive important updates and allows users to be informed and up-to-date as changes occur; as well as not having to constantly check there email’s.

So what is a wiki? According to Wikipedia (world’s largest wiki site)

A Wiki ([ˈwiː.kiː] or [ˈwɪ.kiː] ) is a type of website that allows users to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change most content very quickly and easily.

A wiki is a great tool in the web 2.0 assortment, it allows for large communities to collaborate and share information; wiki’s are quick, easy and effective way to share and collaborate information on research, projects, documents and texts.

Here is a table I’ve created depicting the possible advantages and disadvantages of implementing a wiki.
wiki's ad/dis

According to basicwiki101, Wiki, meaning quick in Hawaiian, was developed to allow for easy and fast collaborative development and editing of a website.

One of the most used and important informational sites today are wiki’s, wiki’s are websites which allows the creation, editing and illustration of interlinked web pages; wikis can be used to increase personal productivity and also allows for collaboration from a community and adding to a large foundation of knowledge. A few examples of wiki’s are WowWiki and Wikipedia

Commoncraft have created many videos relating to an assortment of web 2.0 technologies. One of these videos (‘Wiki’s in Plain English‘) is based on the basics of wikis and how they function as better collaborative tools, for personal productivity.

I believe that wiki’s are a highly productive tool which can be utilized by anyone be it a large enterprise or a small class room, wiki’s allow for real time collaboration and give users the ability to share ideas and information. Wikis are a much more efficient method of communicating and sharing ideas than emails and mobiles as it is the unity of information instead of a division of messages. Everyone eats from the same plate – regurgitates what they didn’t like and processes what they did; collaboration at its yummiest.

Reference:
http://rss.softwaregarden.com/aboutrss.html
Basic wiki101: http://basicwiki101.wikidot.com/what-is-a-wiki-site
If anyone has an interest in wiki’s, RSS feeds or any other web 2.0 tool which they find useful I would love to hear your opinion.
“Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”

~ Kavin

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 3 Comments

Enterprise 2.0 & Blogging

Howdy

Blog entry – number one

Welcome to my first ever blog. I have created this blog as a part of my university studies into enterprise 2.0 and how blog’s can be used in future as a vital part within businesses to increase idea output, cohesiveness in projects and overall help the effectiveness of communication within a business. Through this blogging process I hopefully will realize the full extent of how blogging can be effective.

I believe that blogging or some sort of public sharing of information whether it be about games, technological advancements, opinion on a debated topic of even sharing new cooking recopies is very important in today’s technological driven society. Blogs can be viewed as public journals where thoughts, ideas and opinions can be shared about a particular topic, and this collaborative space can be used effectively by many individuals to share and build on information which normally would be seen through one singular dimension.

Someone who has achieved blogging success is Sacha Chua, Sacha’s blog depicts a sharing and collaborative culture, when Sacha posts she encourages comments and feedback as well as having a “for the greater good” approach to a majority of her posts. She also tends to not only captivate the audience’s attention through words but also her various diagrams and sketches, allowing readers to get a visual encapsulation of the topic or situation at hand.

In order for me to have an active and productive blog I must try and capture the audience’s attention through my words and encourage feedback; the main point to remember here is that blogging is a tool and without people’s interaction, it’s nothing. I hope to accomplish and gain great insight into blogging and share my knowledge, thoughts and experiences to you the blogging community. “Stay tuned and keep hope alive you are somebody”

~ Kavin

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 2 Comments