Haleybradshaw's Blog

October 14, 2009

Crowdsourcing…power to the masses

Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 1:07 pm

Until recently I was unaware of what crowdsourcing is. It can best be explained as : “A term that can be defined as outsourcing repetitive or challenging work to a large group of semi-organized individuals (a crowd) via the internet.”

 

Crowdsourcing is being employed more and more as we are shifting into web 3.0, which is based on the idea of the web focusing on the environment, as opposed to focusing on people  as in web 2.0. The basic idea behind crowdsourcing on the internet is that it’s allowing businesses to use web 2.0 tools to accumulate data and communicate with their customers or potential customers. This concept of   gathering data and ideas is now considered to be under the umbrella term “crowdsourcing.”  The company PurpleCar explains that crowdsourcing is a valuable asset to businesses for a variety of reasons and I will outline their 5 reported ways in which small businesses can crowdsource to boost business.

  1. Start with your real life crowd: This means that small businesses should start with their immediate contacts. They should ask employees, friends, colleagues, or other contacts to add input into coming up with ideas or a solution to a particular problem.
  2. Move to the web: This is where businesses should start focusing on their existing and potential markets. These businesses should start using web 2 tools to expand and search for new markets, but new markets that matter! An example of this is building a room on Twitter or employing a Facebook page to reach potential customers. The key here is to get new people involved and in conversation. Build a crowd. Then use this crowd. Help them with ideas, solutions, suggestions…they’ll do the same. Use web 2 tools to have conversations with other small businesses.
  3. Employ a proper web search: Businesses should use the many resources available to them and search for available data on issue and industry specific problems.
  4. Let information in: RSS feeds and alerts exist for a reason. Incoming information can provide many benefits to small businesses. Purplecar set up an alert so they will be notified whenever their company name is mentioned on the web. These alerts began to inform them when their company name made important lists or was honored by a certain publication. Had they not had the alert, they wouldn’t have known about the honorable mentions.
  5. Read blogs: There are many insightful and useful blogs for small businesses. Start the communication!

Purplecar iterates that the above steps simply require “time and an internet connection.” All businesses can realise benefits from crowdsourcing…”The conversations are happening…jump in!”

October 10, 2009

Identi.ca: A Business perspective

Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 1:21 pm

In an earlier post, I provided the digitalorgs. community with a brief overview of Identi.ca and an example of our first “dent” as an enterprise 2.0 group. It will be interesting to see how we, as community can utilize Identi.ca as a collaborative tool. As this unit is centered around enterprise 2.0 and how businesses can profit from the emerging web 2 tools, I thought it would be beneficial to include a post which interrogates Identi.ca from a business perspective. The first issue to tackle here concerns Identi.ca and what sets it apart from its leading competitor…Twitter.

             Identica-Logo.png            Vs.                              Twitter logo      

Lets begin by acknowledging that Twitter, of course does have a thriving community and even those who dislike Twitter appreciate the achievements which can be realised through the Twitter community.

What are the benefits of Identi.ca?

Identi.ca is an open source and open platform microblogging service which is only in its early stages. Edd Dumbill has identified some important reasons which explain Identi.ca’s value and uniqueness from Twitter. 

  • Open Source: Anyone can help develop Identi.ca by setting up their own “Laconica,” which is the underlying software. Identi.ca allows users to simply jump on the site and help enhance it into a bigger and better functioning service.
  • Open Data: The fact that the data can be shared is part of the communicative and collaborative nature of web 2.o.
  • It federates: “Federation is one of the most enigmatic and exciting things about Identi.ca.” Dumbill explains that users can set up their own servers running the Laconica software, and still subscribe to people with accounts on Identi.ca’s server. Apart from the above features of Identi.ca, Dumbill expresses that users “have nothing to lose!”
  • In trying to determine the purpose and even future of microblogging in the corporate sphere, we should consider the following benefits:

    • Quick communication amongst and across companies: “Employees would be able to quickly reply to colleagues regardless of the medium they use or their location for the purpose of doing things as simple as congratulating them on promotions, letting them feel more connected and part of their work-community. Smaller, more rapid communications can help to identify problems or opportunities more immediately.
    • Flat communication: Communications from management that are delivered in a more organizationally flat method where employees can communicate respond through a broadcast method and be heard.
    • Company Knowledge: Managers and teams could develop a better understanding of the work their team and coworkers actually do, letting mistaken ideas about processes be identified and a better understanding of obstacles be developed.

      Marina Martin of the “Oh, Identi.ca” blog was skeptical of microblogging in companies for the reason of ensuring that employees aren’t using work time to socialize with friends, however, she has changed her tune and has expressed a new found appreciation for microblogging…

    • “…it’s a rare employee who isn’t *also* IMing their non-work friends (and no way to allow one and block the other); interactions are one-on-one; and there’s no corporate archiving of the information (GTalk archives don’t work well here). A Laconi.ca instance within a company would solve all of these problems – encourage community/teamwork, logging answers to questions and making them searchable, and allowing any employee to pose a question to the entire organization. As long as the nature of the platform is clear – that is, there’s no obligation to keep it open all day, respond to every message, or even the READ every message – I see it as a positive in many corporate environments.”

    So, to sum up, it is understood that microblogging  in the corporate sphere can:

    • Allow companies to have a structured message system via microblogging message indexed and searchable archives
    • Enable the same level of utility as IM, but with built-in controls letting admins keep the communications inside the company.
    • Offer companies a tracking tool of sorts

    October 6, 2009

    A glimpse into Identi.ca

    Filed under: 1,The World of Enterprise 2.0 — Haley @ 4:36 am

    (more…)

    October 2, 2009

    How Web 2.0 will shape “Web Squared”

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 3:14 am

     We are all aware of the immense effect web 2.0 is having on our personal lives via social networking as well as the corporate domain. In his post, “The evolving web 2009: Web squared emerges to refine web 2.0,” Dion Hinchcliffe explains how web 2.0 has become “vital” to the future of “global culture and business.” He illustrates the power behind web 2 concepts which have shaped and developed things like product development and the future of government.

    Today’s use of social networks has transformed media and software industries and the ascendancy of web 2 techniques such as “user-generated content, open business methods, enterprise 2.0 and open APIs” has been overwhelming. Hinchcliffe provides that deeper patterns and concepts are morphing from web 2 practices. Web 3.0 or, as Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle say, “web squared,” will operate largely on the fundamental concepts introduced from the original web 2.o. As we move into “web squared,” web 2.o ideas and strategies will remain as the basis of its foundation.

    Interestingly, Hinchcliffe presents his concern that “social computing, the relentless growth of devices, network connectivity, and sensors into our lives across our homes, workplaces, and external environment is casting a growing “information shadow.” Basically, the network’s ability to dominate people’s online participation and contributions calls for the need for us to be “the feedback loop that guides web squared through billions of daily interactions.”

     Essentially…Web squared will be the full environment

    Hinchcliffe clearly illustrates the distinction between web 1.0, web 2.0 and the emerging web squared. Check out his comparison table:

    Comparing Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web Squared

    In acknowledging Hinchcliffe’s perceived view of web squared, I was referred to the enterprise 2.0 paradigm shift example. The shift from web 2 to web squared will certainly be influenced by and represent this paradigm shift which is expressed as;

    • New wiring
    • New thinking
    • New way of seeing
    • Different picture of a role
    • Eyes opened

    (Current way of thinking >>>>>New way of thinking)

    In summary, web squared will be a worldly, autonomic environment maintained via real-time data ecosystems, which will generate from implied metadata of open supply chains, which could, in turn, cast information shadows.

    In this post by Hinchcliffe I appreciate his honesty around the uncertainty of all that web squared will entail. It’s difficult to predict the nature of web squared which is why he urges readers to make comments and suggestions on web squared example applications and ideas.

    September 29, 2009

    Companies measuring Web 2.0

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 10:24 am

    It’s no secret that companies both large and small employ web 2.0 applications, like blogs, wikis, chat rooms and online communities. While many businesses are feeling like these apps are boosting business functionality via increased communication and collaboration, there is an evident and increasing need to effectively measure the success of these tools to ensure that businesses are realising full achievements as a result of their employment.

    The ROI of Enterprise 2.0 and Social ComputingDion Hinchcliffe on Determining the ROI of Enterprise 2.0

    Some company executives explain that data received from web 2 sites designed to effectively measure web 2.0 success for companies could potentially “improve customer relations and even measure the buzz surrounding their brands” (Havenstein 2008). One company, Kimberly -Clark set out to examine web 2.0 data about the company by installing a “beta version of a so-called marketing warehouse from Portland, Oregon -based Web Trends Inc.”

    • WebTrends Marketing Warehouse is an “enterprise-scale hub for online and offline data storage and analysis and can integrate the web data with other corporate information sources, applications and systems”    

                     -Dirk Hoerter, team leader for relationship marketing at Irving, Texas-based Kimberly-Clark

    One key finding showed that the more frequently a user (or customer) participates in the community, the more loyal he is to the companie’s products. Kimberly-Clark harnessed in on this information and now uses this data storage and analysis company to help identify these loyal customers and discern which content they view or which tools they use the most. This enables the company to produce the most sought after content for its loyal users to strengthen customer relations.

    • A company called Responsys Inc. is currently employing something called, “DemandBase Stream” to learn whether sales calls or emails to potential customers have been a success.

    A 2009 article from E Marketer provided insight from a McKinsey Quarterly “Global Survey” which polled companies about the benefits achieved from various web 2.0 tools, both internal and external. The survey revealed that some web 2.0 tools were extremely effective at enhancing relationships with employees, as well as customers and external ties.

    Results indicated…

    • Company blogs were the most effective tools for producing customer-related benefits, “bringing measurable benefits to 51% of responding companies worldwide.
    • Video-sharing and social networking came in second both representing 48%
    • RSS feeds came in at 45%
    • Wikis, podcasts, ratings and tags were reported to be less useful to companies “but still benefited customer relationships for about one-quarter to one-third of companies worldwide.”

    * Perhaps the most important lesson in measuring the success of web 2.0 in companies, is that the companies can’t expect their customers to jump into using these tools with total functionality and satisfaction. Of the companies that reported measurable benefits from web 2.0, 74% expressed the importance of integrating the web 2 tools with “other forms of customer interaction,” and 52% said that “marketing the web 2.0 initiatives themselves was a best practice.” This reveals that companies, whilst interested in employing the latest web 2 tools, realise the eminent need to measure their success and market these initiatives.

    *Also, when considering the benefits achieved from web 2.0 in companies, it is important to remember to account for benefits associated with;

    • Internal purposes
    • Customer-related purposes

    and

    • External partners/suppliers

    September 25, 2009

    Web 2.0 influences Music 2.0

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 4:14 am

    As I have mentioned in an earlier post, my group for the second assignment will be formulating a business proposal for up and coming band, Passtime Poets.  As I began to research the various ways in which web 2.0 has previously or could potentially enhance business from the standpoint of a band, I stumbeled upon the term “music 2.0.” I can’t say I was surprised to see another expression of “…2.0,” especially in relation to music since bands gain advantage over their competitors, ie. other bands predominantly via social avenues. As web 2.0 is changing the way we communicate, it is expected that bands are pouring a great deal of effort into their online, social networking audiences. In this post I aim to outline the core facets of “music 2.o” and align these fundamental ideas with enterprise 2.0 theory while drawing connections to our business proposal which aims to leverage web 2 tools to promote business for band, Passtime Poets.

    *MUSIC 2.0…”Open is King”*

    If you’re like me you have never heard of music 2.0 and are a little curious as to what  it entails. Gerd Leonhard, a labeled “music futurist” has created a music 2.o video to explain not only what it is, but how and why the music industry should shift and adapt to web 2.0 principles for business.

    In the short video Leonhard expresses that todays music listeners want buy based on clicks so the music companies should “sell it the way consumers want to buy it.” He illustrates that every facet of media has shifted from closed to open, with the advent of web 2.o and explains the need for a new model in the music industry. By creating an open, transparent and uncontrolled ecosystem, music creators and users can take back control. Leonhard explains the need for new licensing agreements, similar to an email subscription whereby users will “pay with attention” and the music companies can profit from advertising and clickstreams.

    Leonhard states 8 characterisics of music 2.0:

    1.) Immediacy- priority access, immediate delivery

    2.) Personalization- tailored just for you

    3.) Interpretation- support and guidance

    4.) Authenticity- be sure it’s the real thing

    5.) Accessibility- whereever, whenever

    6.) Embodiment and Experience

    7.) Patronage- paying simply because it feels good

    8.) Findability and Curation

    Music 2.0 will promote these attributes within the online music community making us “wave goodbye to scarcity and say hello to abundancy.”

     In recognizing Leonhards 8 characteristics of music 2.o, I noticed that these ideas, align with some of the fundamental values associated with enterprise 2.o as a whole.

    In lecture 8, Jason introduced some of the benefits of social networking…

    Internally:

    •quicker access to expertise and resources

    •swifter innovatio(visibility)

    •enhanced collaboration

    •more effective leadership development (ties are essential)

    •better moral (social interaction builds trust)

    …Also, benfits from an external standpoint:

    •build relationships with your customers

    •easily connect with clients, suppliers and partners

     •build trust and emersion

    When observing the basic concepts of music 2.0, you can draw the connection to web 2.0 and social networking. For example, bands who are already successful or  bands who are trying to make a name for themselves should both harness in on building relationships with their customers. By shifting from a formerly closed music environment to a new, open and transparent ecosystem via the web and specifically web 2.o, bands and users can get what they want by staying connected. Bands certainly want to connect with clients (users), and partners, as well as build trust with their fans. It is interesting to see that these benefits of social networking apply to the musc industry (enterprise). This is yet another example of how web 2. o can enhance business functionality and help create and foster new relationships.

    September 22, 2009

    The Latest Buzz on Facebook

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 11:52 am

    HEY FACEBOOKERS!!

    Something that Facebook users can gear up for is the availability of voicechat on the social networking site. The new feature by Vivox Voice Chat will enable Facebook users to initiate a conversation with any of the friends in their friends list. It is reported that within the next month, Facebook users will be afforded the option to chat with friends via “high-quality audio conversations.” Vivox is a “Boston-based company that provides the integrated voice service for virtual worlds like Second Life and EVE Online, and which already has more than 15 million users worldwide.” It seems that this company has found its niche in the social networking domain- perhaps other social networking companies should aim to incorporate innovative additional tools to the already successful social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace rather than compete with them?

    Characteristics of Voicechat on Facebook;

    • Facebook users must download the Free Vivox plugin: Users will be provided the option to participate in one-on-one chats or even group chats
    • Even non Facebook users will be enabled to participate in voicechats: Vivox offers free dial in numbers that will allow anyone to chat
    • Although some may not be willing to install the plugin, the Voicechat feature may be worth installing as it will potentially enable more quality-rich conversation and “better” phone call quality.
    • Good for retailers (like Overstock.com) as it enables quick and easy chats to friends about products.
    •  Enables conference calls and podcasts: Almost functions as web conferencing software

    The Downside???

    Facebook will consume even MORE of our time and detract us from our jobs, school work etc..!!

    The following display shows users what to expect in terms of the look and feel of the new app.

     vivox-facebook

    This news about voicechat on Facebook is not only exciting to the average Facebook user, but also to third part developers who want to incorporate sound into their specific applications. This is certainly creating new duties for these third party developers to decide on how they want to represent themselves from an aural perspective.

    Well-known social media expert, Charlene Li is enthused about voicechat revealing that she will indeed use it and says,” it is a continuum of communications with the people I want to stay in touch with.” She also provides that retailers will not have to independently install chat functions themselves but rather they can just “put in Facebook chat.” She predicts this will make for many interesting ideas for businesses.

    While there are clear supporters of the Vivox voicechat for Facebook, some are less enthusiastic and predict the new app will take users time to adapt to, especially in the area of social gaming on Facebook. As with almost any web 2 development it takes time for users to adopt, and more importantly, appreciate and integrate certain tools. The best thing for the Vivox company is that they are paving the way into voice chat for multiple sites and creating a name for themselves. What better social networking site to partner with?!

    I don’t know about you all, but personally I am eager to see how the Vivox voicechat via Facebook unfolds. Initial uptake will be very important I believe. Please let me know your thoughts about this new web 2 tool which will grace Facebook in the near future!

    September 16, 2009

    Social Networking in Companies…problems vs. opportunities

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 1:59 am

    An interesting recent article on SearchCRM.com discussed the decisions some corporations are making about the employment of social networking tools on company websites. The question of whether the marketing or customer service departments should manage social networking has been posed. The article mentions a scenario where one customer who purchased an IRobot vacuum cleaner discovered a fault in the product and created a YouTube video illustrating the defective vacume cleaner. At first glance this might seem like a disastrous situation for the companie’s PR department. However, following the public display of the vacuum’s faultiness, the creator of the video proceeds to provide a clear demonstration on how to fix the problem to resume its functionality.

    This is a clear example of social networking emanating a double edge sword quality of sorts for companies. Yes, the marketing department for the IRobot Roomba Robotic vacuum cleaner will struggle with branding issues for the product, but simultaneously, IRobot’s customer service department will likely experience a relief from costly calls to the companie’s call center thanks to the fix-it-yourself video created by the frustrated but innovative customer.

    This is a prime example of how web 2 technologies can affect business operations. While many companies may be wary of negative feedback and comments from social networking users, this example should serve as a clear example of how social networking can effectively recover one bad situation from worsening. Social networking and web 2 tools certainlypromote openness and transparency and this can be positive or negative thing for businesses depending on how you look at it. Yes, social networking enables unmonitored positive and negative communication about companies via customers, but more importantly…it provides companies with the means to rectify taxing situations in a timely fashion which is a prime factor in any troubleshooting scenario.

    September 9, 2009

    Lifestreaming

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 2:54 am

    The nature of blogs are continually evolving and this can prove to be challenging for new bloggers like myself. It seems that traditional blogging methods of posting occasionally on a range of particular identified themes, commenting and other common blogging activity, are no longer the norm and that there are new, more personal and informal means to blog. Lifestreaming is entering the blogosphere and is essentially ” a format for communication extends beyond just that one social site to encompass an entirely new way to establish your home on today’s social web.”

    LIFESTREAMING…A great example of how the nature of blogs are evolving

    This blog example was displayed in a recent entry on the Read Write Web and notes the fundamental changes between traditional blogging and lifestreaming:

     

    • Instead of referring to communication as “comments” it provides “recent discussions”
    • Instead of an “about me” page, it provides a link to the authors Facebook profile
    • Instead of lengthy posts on sometimes formal material, lifestreaming can simply be a collection of videos, photos, random thoughts, links, etc.

    This article on lifestreaming also presented some tips on how to implement lifestreaming techniques into your blog which I will provide;

    I think lifestreaming is a very interesting way to express your interests and ideas. It certainly has a less formal feel than traditional blogging and from what I can see, is not concerned with  discussions on quality rich material. It is interesting to learn about the ways in which some users are participating in lifestreaming. For example, Julia Allison’s “lifestreaming” blog earned her a story in Wired Magazine on the topic of self promotion. Allison’s blog is simply, “a short collection of photos, videos, copy-and-pasted emails, random thoughts, links, and general over-sharing. The site even scrolls horizontally instead of vertically which makes it seem much more like a timeline than just another blog.” Alllison has made a name for herself via internet activities and “attention-grabbing stunts” and is currently followed on her lifestreaming blog which clearly presents unconventional blogging and communication styles.

    Check it out:)

    A few comments by lifestreamers…

    • “I have a Lifestream to share a rich online diary that I can also use to reflect upon my past. But my Lifestreaming is only one method for how I want to tell stories whereas blogging provides a different one.”
    • “I’m not discounting any medium of communication. I’m merely urging those with interesting thoughts not to limit themselves to a more concise medium. Lifestreams are a great supplement to your blog and other long form thoughts. They should not be a replacement.”

    For those who might be interested in lifestreaming…

     SocialOysterSocialOyster is a lifestreaming service which “lets you share your online social activities with friends.” The site has 3 basic features which let you display your acivities and interests. These features include

    • Oysterpass: Shows users’ friends and blog visitors their web-based social movements and activities
    • The social search engine: Allows users to search their friends on various networks and platforms
    • The Oysterline: Allows users to turn the tables and follow their friends’ online social activities

    * Several other lifestreaming services which are notable of looking at include;

    1. FriendFeed
    2. Iminta
    3. Profilactic & Plaxo Pulse
    4. Jaiku
    5. Dandelife
    6. iStalkr
    7. Correlate.us
    8. Tumblr & Identoo

    My concern with too much lifestreaming concentrates on hesitation in joining social life communication with professional branding and promotion. I’d love to hear your comments and whether any of you have tried the above services and your views on them!

    September 5, 2009

    Web 2.0 at the QUT Library (Brief lecture wrap-up)

    Filed under: 1 — Haley @ 10:23 am

    “Promoting Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World”

    This past week’s lecture consisted of a presentation held by members of the QUT Library. Barbara Ewers, Catherine Slaven, Emma Nelms and vicki McDonald provided insight into the currently employed Web 2 tools on the QUT Library website. I was one of the few students that didn’t have laptop so, unfortunately I couldn’t participate in the real-time chat that was occuring with the class via Twitter. A pretty good example of feeling isolated without internet access:) Well, with my pen and paper I jotted down a few key components of the lecture to help those of you who may not want to or have time to listen to the podcast.

    Views on Web 2.0 Importance:

    The speakers illustrated their views on the importance of Web 2.0 as it relates to the QUT Library website. They mention that Web 2.0 is about flexibility, visibility, encouraging website participation,and promoting higher education in a Web 2.0 world. They realise that web 2.0 is not simply a fad and that they must be more conscious of it and use it more effectively.

    Current Employment of Web 2 tools on QUT Library website:

    • E-books: These are the latest trends in the library and are such a valuable source as they are available 24/7
    • Twitter: The QUT Library has its own Twitter account which students, staff or the general public can follow/
    • Del.icio.us: The QUT Creative Industries department is playing around with popular social bookmarking web service Delicious and will continue to advance its uses on the library website.
    • Feeds: There are a variety of library feeds available. Soon there will be a feed available for the QUT Library Twitter account.
    • Youtube: The QUT library has its own YouTube video account which it has used for instructional purposes
    • Online Polling: The library utilizes online polling tools to gain insight as to what parts of the library website users are using the most.
    • Lib Guides: This web 2 widget provides a “help and feedback” section that enables users to ask questions between the hours of 9-5. Lib guides involve the liason librarians packaging information for students.
    • Blogs: Liason Librarian to the School of IT, Emma Nelms has run an independent blog since 2007 which encompasses information regarding new databases, funding, news, or insight into special functions such as endnote or google scholar. While there is not an official QUT space for blogging, Emma’s blog receives a good deal of commenting and recognition. For instance, Emma explained that some students/staff have learned about E-prints through her blog, rather than from the QUT website. This should provide reasonable evidence that the QUT Library should integrate an official blog as it could serve as a great way to provide library related material while also providing a space for questions.

    In The Works: One Web 2 tool they’re trying out is called “Libtool.”

    …In the Future

    The QUT Library is working toward:

    • Embedding more services in student spaces
    • Moving from HTML subject guide web pages to more “permeable” services
    • Making Liason Librarians more accessible
    • Using Web 2.0 tools to cater to individuals or units
    • Simplify students access
    • Explore access via mobile devices
    • Learning whether company priorities align with student priorities
    • Managing the website as a branch library
    • Increase library Web 2.0 service visibility
    • Promoting self-services
    • Improving information architecture
    • Using cloud computing for services

    It is critical to the QUT Library team that the website reflects the skills of the staff. They want the website to have a personal touch and to identify key contacts within the deparment. They realise that there are currently disparate systems and are aiming to centralise these systems for better site functionality. The speakers conveyed the need for some web governance to give their sites more credibility.

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