Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Social Media Success

How can you tell if your social network is working?

There can be many measures of success for social media. It can make a connection that helps you land a job or make a sale. It can be a channel that enables you to help others. It can build your personal or corporate brand. For a business it can be a marketing channel. Some results of Social Media are tangible while others may be more difficult to measure.

Friday, November 13, 2009

There Are No Social Media Sea-Monkeys®

The 7 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing
I read a great post on Copyblogger and it was wonderfully enhanced by one of the comments.
“Unfortunately, there are a few faux gurus selling the equivalent of social media sea monkeys. Just add water, makes its own success!”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blogger Buzz: Coming up Next...

This Blogger NavBar item sounds much more useful than it used to be. I'm looking forward to using the new feature to discover blogs like mine.

Blogger Buzz: Coming up Next...

Friday, October 23, 2009

LinkedIn Connections Hockey Stick

Today I hit an inflection point. I’m OK, It didn’t hurt. I connected with someone on LinkedIn who is really connected. Since my post, LinkedIn to More Than a Million, I’ve been watching my LinkedIn network creep up from 1,000,000 people to almost 50,000 more.  Today I am connected to 1,814,100+ people on LinkedIn.
I connected with an individual who has more than 5,000 connections. Compared to my 116 connections that is absolutely insane. Now my network is going to explode. Let’s assume that each of his connections has 100 connections (I actually have no idea so this is just an example). That would be 50,000 people that are two degrees away from me. If each of these people make 1 additional connection 50,000 people join my network. That would be equivalent to the entire growth of my network in the past month. I have a feeling things just changed.

For Better or For Worse

Right now I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I expect the connection I made will be great, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it. Since I haven’t experienced a network this large I can’t tell what it means if anything. I am making an effort to do a better job at networking so this could be very helpful. If it is true that it isn’t what you know but who you know, I may have just met a game changer.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome to Moe's Joey Junior

Moe's Southwest Grill did something right. I just had a new junior size burrito for lunch and it was great. With their regular size I would end up eating just a little too much because I didn't want to waste the last few inches of my burrito. I noticed ads for the new size and today I had the opportunity to try it. As Goldilocks would say, "This one is just right." Thanks Moe's!

Friday, October 2, 2009

EACH Strategy for Social Software

Forrester Research, Inc. uses a methodology they call POST to help clients properly formulate their social media strategy. Briefly summarized on the Forrester site:
Forrester's POST methodology enables you to make smarter marketing decisions with social technologies. POST is a four-step process:
  • People. Review your target customer's social behaviors and attitudes.
  • Objectives. Decide on your social technology goals.
  • Strategy. Determine how your objectives will change your relationship with customers.
  • Technology. Choose the appropriate technologies to deploy.
For social media at work we can borrow the methodology and adapt it to quickly work through most of the steps.


Internal use of social media is focused on the enterprise. This solution is not intended for customers or even partners. The people in this solution are employees.


The purpose of enterprise social software is to improve your organization’s performance. Performance improvement may be realized as increased efficiency and/or higher quality. The objective is what the company wants to accomplish. This is one of the more difficult parts of the EACH strategy.


To work together. Don’t mistake this for what you want to accomplish. Collaboration is not your goal, it is how you will accomplish your goal. The strategy the enterprise will use is employee collaboration. There was some internal debate that this step should be communication. I got tired of arguing with myself and decided that even if it were communication, in order to be social it would have to be collaborative. For instance, I communicate with you by writing this blog. Once you comment, it turns into collaboration.


This step remains the most similar to the POST methodology. Once you have properly determined the first three steps, you are ready to analyze the tools that can be used to implement your strategy. If you want the VP of Sales to communicate with the sales force have her blog. If you want to capture the institutional knowledge of your organization set up a wiki.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It’s So Easy to Say It’s So Hard

Thinking of the big picture makes enterprise social software very intimidating, almost overwhelming. What do we need? How will it work? Who can we trust? Like any project, it is vital to understand the goals you want to accomplish.

The Purpose of Enterprise Social Software

The primary reason to use social media within a company is to improve quality and efficiency. Isn’t that the reason for all the tools you use at work? Today many individuals work is collaborative. Making it easier to find the right individuals and simpler to work together improves efficiency. Being able to discover experts, and information, that helps you with your current task helps improve quality. A person doesn’t have to struggle to find an answer when they can ask an expert. The purpose is improvement, and this improvement occurs through better communication and collaboration on an as-needed basis.
There are additional benefits and some will be more tangible than others. An organization’s use of social media may help foster a culture that will appeal to potential employees. The use of social tools at a company will influence how the company is perceived, especially by younger workers who are used to the type of interaction the tools enable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

LinkedIn to More Than a Million

I noticed recently that I am linked to more than a million professionals on LinkedIn. The number of people in my network has been growing since I began using LinkedIn years ago. However, I noticed that within the past few months it was growing at a faster rate and even approaching 1,000,000. I planned to write a blog post on the accelerated growth and my excitement that the number would soon be more than a million. Alas, I waited too long. Within a few days of considering the idea it was too late. I already passed the mark. I've also discovered the rapid increase is continuing.

The thing I find exciting is during the last several months I have added very few connections on LinkedIn. I connect with one or two people a month. So the number of my connections hasn't increased that much but the number of people I am connected to is growing faster and faster. Pretty cool. Building my network has gotten to the point where it grows with or without me. This is a really powerful phenomenon. I have been very particular who I connect with on LinkedIn. I currently have just over 100 connections. If you're not familiar with the way LinkedIn works you have three degrees of separation included in your network. So the group of people you are linked to includes your connections (1st level), their connections (2nd level), and their connections (3rd level). If you have 100 connections and the same is true for each of your 1st level connections that would add up to 10,000 professionals as 2nd level connections. Add in each of their 100 connections and you find your way to 1,000,000 3rd level connections.

Now for some fun. What happens to the number of people you are linked to if you add 1 connection? If that one connection has 100 connections who also have 100 connections you just increased your network by 10,000. If each of your 100 connections added one connection, each with 100 connections, your network would increase by another 10,000 people. This means if everyone added one connection a month you would gain 20,000 new members in your network.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Social Media Suprise

I happened to fill out an additional field on my Blogger profile. After adding a couple of items to the interest field and saving the update it refreshed to the view profile page and my interests were displayed as links. By clicking on the links, Blogger let me know how many other users had the same interest. That is interesting, pun intended. I discovered more than 80 other Blogger users are interested in Grails, my favorite development framework. A few I was familiar with but the vast majority were new to me. I clicked through to a few profiles and found links to their blogs. I ended up discovering a new blog I really enjoyed, Fermentedly Challenged. You might guess this blog doesn't focus on Grails development but the topic of craft beer is equalling appealling. In case you're wondering, there are over 20,000 Blogger members interested in social media. That was a few too many to click through but it is a fascinating statistic.

After the pleasant suprise of finding other people with similar interests I filled out the ocupation field. The results were not as thrilling. Only 5 Blogger members listed Portal Administrator as their occupation. Oh well. I didn't find any new portal people to add to my network but I did begin to follow @ChipperDave on Twitter. If you are interested in craft beer you may want to do the same.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Morning DJ is on Twitter

During my morning commute the DJ mentioned his Twitter account. It shouldn’t have surprised me, he’s always talking about texting and he seems to keep up with technology in general. For some reason it still came as a surprise. He is from old established media, what is he doing using social media? If you want to follow along and find out check out @mikewheless.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just Don’t Be Friends With Crazy People

“You’ll be OK, just don’t be friends with crazy people.” That was the advice my colleague gave someone who had just signed up for Facebook. I laughed out loud. I certainly understand why some people don’t participate in social sites. It can seem dangerous to make even more information available to the masses. Isn’t Google frightening enough without adding more personal information to the mix?

My take is to try and feed the web what you want to be there. For years I didn’t make it easy to find out who I really was online. It could still be done but I hesitated to make it obvious. I would use nicknames or handles and seldom posted items with my full name. Now I want people to see that I’m me. Although there are many individuals with the same first and last name who could be confused with me I try to make it easy to see who is behind the short username.

I do understand there can be consequences to being yourself online. As another colleague found out, old girlfriends can find you on Facebook. This might be bad if, as in his case, they are people you would rather not find you. So I think the crazy people advice is right on the money. Be careful about who you associate with online, but be open to meeting new friends. It is easier every day to find like-minded individuals with whom you would enjoy sharing ideas. Search out people you would like to be associated with while being careful to accept as a friend those you know nothing about.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Facebook Knows What You Did Last Summer

In the column The Medium - Facebook Exodus the author gives several examples of individuals abandoning Facebook. One of the users profiled quit Facebook because after recommending a movie on a different web site she found it had updated her Facebook page. Facebook was spying on her.

I think this is the future of online updates. Google is getting into the game too. You can passively update your friends to let them know what you've been up to online. Several sites already aggregate updates from individual web sites to give a stream of what you been doing. You don't need to post on Twitter that you updated photos on Flickr. Everybody can already see that on FriendFeed. Sooner or later status updates will not be necessary because everything you do online will be available in a feed somewhere.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Social Media at Work in Athletic Department

NC State designed new basketball uniforms and posted an image to their Twitter home page. The response from fans was so negative that the athletic department decided to scrap the uniforms and go back to something similar to the previous design. It may be embarrassing to some extent but it certainly beats what could have happened if the image hadn't been seen on Twitter. Although the story is being portrayed as making a mistake I think it avoided a much larger one.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Experience: The Blog: Who Matters Most in Social Media? Not You!

It has been said before but I think it is worth saying again, it isn't the quantity (or frequency) that matters it is the quality. I think this post nails the idea that Social Media is a new medium for communication but communication hasn't necessarily changed.
Experience: The Blog: Who Matters Most in Social Media? Not You!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Yes it is a weak title for a post but it was all I could write.

Today at work a colleague sent an email to a few people with a link to a blog post about the importance of mobility to social media. Then he went on to express regret that he was emailing the link because he didn't have internal resources that could be used to make the information available to a wider audience in an appropriate manner. It was a perfect example of the opportunity to deploy solutions internally at an organization in order to make information readily available to those who can benefit from it.

When he wrote that he didn't have the tools, all I could answer with was "Yet."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How to Listen to Your Brand (Presentation)

How to Listen to Your Brand (Presentation)

Check out the post on Mellow Billow to view the presentation.

"Here are some of the highlights:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All the Way to the Beginning: New iGoogle Social Features

All the Way to the Beginning: New iGoogle Social Features

This is the spark that lead me to create this blog. For the first time I realized the possibility of a passive way to update others. What if you didn't need to post to a social site? What if what you are doing on the Internet just shows up there without you actively posting updates?

I'll be curious to check back in a year and see if this heralded a change in the way social media updates are produced.

Social Media at Work

Social Media at Work means at least three things to me. How do you get social media to work? How do you use social media for work? How can social media be useful at work?

To answer the first questions requires a "how to". The second question is a "what for". And the third one really gets interesting. Is there a way to deploy social media inside the corporate firewall to better enable employees to create solutions to business problems?

I intend for this blog to record my discoveries as I strive to answer the questions I have about social media at work.

What is Webitty? I don't know yet. So far it is a domain name that was available for registration. I'll see where it goes from here.

Ed Tennant