Archive for Tag ‘content‘

The Difference Between You and a Media Company

(From ICanHazCheezburger)

Sounds a bit like a lead-in to a joke, doesn’t it? Like the difference between you and a media company is that you haven’t laid off half your staff, or the difference is that the media company has likeable characters, or . . .

Actually it’s a great blog post by Joe Pulizzi – The Difference Between You and a Media Company:

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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?

Is the Internet out of Ideas?

Photo by Alun Salt -

Last week Forrester Research published an update to their popular (and useful) Social Technographics report which showed that- depending on which pronouncements you read- seemed to indicate that online social activity had reached a plateau, or was even shrinking. Just a quick sample:

Arguably all the fuss has its origin in a blog post on Forrester’s site announcing the new report, which notes:

many groups in the US market plateaued. Creators, the group that is actually adding content to the Internet, are one example of this lack of growth.

(Though she does note they still represent 41 million US online adults). She goes on to conclude:

The story behind the data is pretty clear. The initial wave of consumers using social technologies in the US has halted. Companies will now need to devise strategies to extend social applications past the early adopters.

Looking at the numbers in the actual report, though, shows a much more muted story. Yes, the percentage of US Online Adults identified as creators did change from 24% to 23% between the 2009 survey and the 2010 survey. This is the core data point folks latched on to (this plus a change in critics from 37% to 33%, and a rise of inactives from 18% to 19%). But does this mean we’re all fresh out of new ideas? Nothing new being created on the web? No more activity from “the group that is actually adding content to the internet” (as opposed to merely commenting, repeating, critiquing, consuming, and lurking around)?

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It’s Not [Just] About Your Site: Managing Your Digital Footprint

One of the core aspects of the assembled web is the concept that brands and all companies need to think more broadly about their presence. It isn’t just their web site, or even their network of 10, 20, or 200 sites for various products, services, and brands.

It’s about your digital footprint: the sum total of all the interactions your customers, prospective customers, fans, antagonists, employees, suppliers, and partners have with your content and services throughout the entire Internet.

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The Assembled Web: Notes Toward a Manifesto

In the spirit of (and heavily inspired by) the original Cluetrain Manifesto and the recent 10th anniversary edition, I offer the following definition and 10 principles of what we at Optaros have been calling the Assembled Web.

The Assembled Web is not experienced as a set of discrete web applications and sites, neatly separated from each other and organized into categories: it’s an indiscriminate field of content, functionality, and people interacting in multiple contexts and in unpredictable ways: like life.

New web applications are assembled from other projects/applications/frameworks/services, sometimes on the server, sometimes in the browser, sometimes in the cloud. People’s accounts, identities, and networks come with them across sites, applications, and contexts.

How should enterprises not only come to grips with this bewildering confusion but thrive in it?

By embracing the assembled web and participating fully in it.

Assembled Web First Principles:

  1. You should always be thinking multi-site, multi-interface, multi-project. If you think you will (always) only have one interface to any given set of content of functionality, you’re mistaken, and you will paint yourself into a corner.

  2. Success on the web is no longer (if it ever really was) about driving traffic to your site, or keeping eyeballs there once they arrive. It’s about engaging audiences everywhere they already are. It’s about improving the size, quality, and velocity of your “digital footprint.” Ubiquity is the target, not exclusivity. The danger is not that people will say bad things about you but that you will be ignored.

  3. Your brand is not what you say it is, but what your prospects, customers, partners, and employees say it is. In short, your brand is what the Internet says it is. You influence this not through marketing but through creating appropriate experiences and getting users exposed to those positive experiences. (Micro-interactions are ultimately assembled into and become brands).

  4. Design is critical, and design is not about pretty shiny objects. It’s about usable interfaces, in the sense of traditional HCI (Human Computer Interface) design, visual design, and technical design. Creating usable experiences for users and usable projects for developers are both essential, and to ignore either is to invite failure.

  5. The internet itself, like the *nix operating systems on which it (almost entirely) runs, is a set of small pieces loosely joined. Every project you do must be composed of smaller discrete components communicating with each other. The corollary is that every project you do must also be composeable or consumable by other projects – including projects you know nothing about. This is true across multiple projects (within your organization and outside it) as well as over time within a given project.

  6. The difference between “behind the firewall” and “out in the cloud” is trending toward zero. Same for the difference between employees and contractors, customers and prospects, competitors and partners. If you’re still thinking in terms of intranet, internet, and extranet, remember that the difference between them is (from a technology point of view) entirely arbitrary. What differentiates them is business processes and decisions.

  7. There is no defensible reason to invent a proprietary standard wherever an open standard exists. In fact, even where no open standard exists, great efforts should be extended to create one, rather than implement a proprietary version.

  8. Working in isolation from the rest of the internet is inherently limiting and dangerous. This is true whether you’re a one-developer shop or a 5000 developer IT department in a Fortune 100 company. Collaborative engineering with appropriate participants (which almost always means open source licensing arrangements) is required. Why continue to work alone now that the Internet exists?

  9. Consumer Technology is beating Enterprise IT, and soundly. If your “in-house” IT can’t compete with a consumer-grade provider available “on the web” you need to catch up and compete or concede the function.

  10. Small incremental releases are essential. It isn’t just a question of not putting too many eggs in one basket – it’s also about lowering the cost of failure and therefore raising the level of innovation. Don’t accept quarterly releases of functionality, or even monthly. Web applications should change hourly or at least daily. The web is live, not pre-recorded.