Yearly archive for 2010

Facebook Commerce 1.0? JC Penney’s Usablenet App

Last week I participated in two roundtable discussions at the PluggedIn Ventures Summit on Ecommerce.(There were lots of interesting tweets during the summit – search for the #pisummit hashtag). When the issue of Facebook for commerce (or F-Commerce) came up on the Social Commerce panel, I pointed to JC Penney’s new Facebook app store as an example of what’s wrong with F-Commerce. In this post I’ll expand a bit more on why I think that’s the case, and what that means to retailers looking to understand how Facebook fits broadly into their multi-channel strategy.

During the initial roundtable of the day, the discussion turned to Facebook, and its role as the new portal:

While I can understand the impulse to draw parallels between the role AOL held for many (especially media) companies in the early days of the (commercial) internet, I think we’ve got to be careful to not miss the lesson the portals never properly learned: on the web, everything else is always one click (or one tab, or one window) away.

In other words, Facebook may be the new portal, but does the concept of a portal even make sense in a world of multi-tabbed browsers, multi-tasking users, and multi-device access? If there ever was a world in which a portal could truly be the user’s starting point and the window through which that user viewed everything on the web (already a questionable claim), that day has long passed. Many web users spend significant amounts of time “on” or “in” Facebook, true, but what else are they doing at the same time?

The question becomes more than just academic when you come at it as a large scale retailer trying to create a strategy for Facebook.

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Gilbane Boston: Content as Strategic Social Object

Gilbane Conference Boston

Although the Gilbane group has a different three Cs that I’m normally talking about (Content, Collaboration, and Customers rather than Content, Community, and Commerce) I’m looking forward to this year’s Gilbane Boston.

I’ll be part of a panel in the “Colleagues and Collaboration” track, about Social Publishing:

C5. Social Publishing: Strategic Content as Social Objects in the Extended Enterprise
Thursday, December 2, 9:40 – 10:40

Content has always been a focal point of interactions amongst employees, business partners, suppliers, and other members of the extended enterprise. However, the emergence of enterprise social software has placed a renewed importance on strategic content that serves as collaboration objects in digital interactions. This panel will discuss what types of content are strategic social objects in the extended enterprise, why they are important to business performance, and how they should be managed.

Moderator: Geoff Bock, Senior Analyst, Collaboration & Enterprise Social Software, Outsell’s Gilbane Group

Jerry Silver, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Documentum xCP
John Eckman, Senior Director, Optaros
Doug Gaff, Director of Technology, NPR Public Interactive

Should make for an interesting conversation – now that content is increasingly distributed (and re-distributed), how does the ‘extended enterprise’ start to blur into the ‘web at large’? Do ‘enterprises’ interact over content differently than regular people do?

Can one make the case that LOLCats are ‘strategic content’ and can serve as ‘collaboration objects’? Or, are the only collaboration objects of use to the enterprise the plain old boring ones like material safety data sheets, TPS reports, and org charts?

No more Chat Catcher

Photo by Chris Sternal-Johnson,

This is all a bit anti-climactic given that if you were an actual Chat Catcher user, you’ve known that the system was going away since at least October 20th, but the final day has come and gone.

Shannon Whitley, the creator of the Chat Catcher service, wrote in an email to all the users:

While it was fun to create multiple Twitter applications in 2008, Twitter’s extreme growth has made it tough for a single developer to manage this type of software project. Hosting, storage, and ongoing support costs are just too high to justify the continuation of a free service.

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Drupal communities at AIIM

Photo by galawebdesign -

It wasn’t so long ago that Drupalcon was in the upstairs rooms at the BCEC while AIIM met downstairs in the cavernous expo hall. The contrast between the suits and huge corporate sponsors at AIIM and the open source designer/developer culture of Drupalcon was pretty palpable that year, and the two felt worlds apart.

Now AIIM has launched some online communities of their own and they appear to be using Drupal Commons to do so, with some excellent theming (and I assume development) work by ForumOne Communications:

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Is a Blog a Community? Hoovers’ B2B Buzz

B2B Buzz - New Community for Small Businesses from Hoovers Online

(Via MediaPost) Hoovers and several business cosponsors have launched a new “social community” for small business users called B2B Buzz. The site’s focus is primarily content:

The voice of the social community will guide the direction for a portal and business consortium that Hoover’s and contributors Outsell, Selling Power, and Shore Communications plan to launch Tuesday. For the first six months the group will focus on building and sharing its collective expertise on marketing and sales, along with a variety of business topics for entrepreneurs.

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