Social Networking goes to Work

Companies are slowly getting the idea that Social Networking works!

Here are some of the many benefits:

  • Boosts corporate ingenuity. Employees can propose changes or ideas, and others can vote on them, meaning that great conceptions can come from anywhere in the corporation.
  • Improves company cohesiveness. Having an internal social network provides a relaxed and communicative environment for employees, even while at work. This has been shown to boost overall cohesiveness, which in turn strengthens worker motivation.
  • Satisfies workers. Workers overwhelmingly support the implementation of an internal social network. While many choose not to use it, others feel more satisfied, engaged, and content with their position within the company after taking part.
  • Creates a one-stop communication shop. Employees with complaints, managers planning a meeting, or departments coordinating with each other can achieve tremendous efficiencies by using an internal social networking application. This application, after all, can be used for business as well as more frivolous uses.
  • Enter the cloud. Cloud computing has taken off in recent years, and many companies are working to get on board. Having a web-based social networking application can help employees facilitate that transition.

If a refer back to where I work, we use Social Networking ALOT. Since we are in the I.T. game, we are always looking for program developers via our Facebook and Twitter sites. We have found that we generally have more luck using Social Networking to find new employees than the traditional methods.

Back in the office, we use social networking tools for displaying the weeks top performers and even what everyone did on the weekend! (always a good laugh). But more on a serious note, we use the tool for gathering feedback and improving our service level, which ultimately is used in the training facilities.

Does your work use Social Networking?



Why Wikis Work

Wikis are awesome! They are so convenient and easy to use, but the real deal maker is that they are completely free!

All of you would have heard of Wikipedia, but did you know that Wikipedia is actually a collaborative effort of millions of people World Wide? So if Wikipedia is an example of a Wiki, does that mean ALL Wikis are a collaborative effort? BINGO! And this is why the organization I work for uses them day in and day out.

Where I work, we use a Wiki to allow employees to collect, share and update information that is relevant to the organisation. One particular reason for the Wiki was to eliminate the dreaded “email chain”. The Wiki enables us to quickly push information to all employees about a particular problem or issue and anyone can comment their opinion. Thus eliminating the “reply all syndrome”.

We also create a different page for each section of the organisation. This allows certain parts of the organization to disclose information privately and not interfere with the development guys down the hall, keeping everyone happy.

Finally, we use the Wiki as an induction tool for new employees. The wiki has all the company policies and the “Dos and Don’ts” which are required to be publicly available to everyone.

When I look back at what we use the Wiki for at work, i’m pretty satisfied with how it works and how WELL it works. Not once have I heard anyone complain about the Wiki.


(for privacy issues, i’m not allowed to show you any pictures of the wiki – sorry folks!)

Gatwick’s going Twitterrific

Gatwick has become the first UK airport to be listed as a trusted news source, with Twitter’s ‘blue tick’ of authority.

Gatwick’s social media usage enables the airport to alert passengers of key tweet content at all times, such as flight scheduling and breaking travel news.

The head of airport communications, Lindsay Baldwin says:

“We recognise the importance of providing accurate and timely communication – not only during times of disruption but also in responding to broader enquiries or passenger feedback. Twitter provides us with an immediate and effective communications platform to do just this and we thank them for their support of our efforts.”

I think it’s excellent to see airports using Twitter as a means of communication. They even display each tweet on a large screen in the airport – brilliant!
Now you will have no excuse for not knowing if your flight was delay or even cancelled.



Gatwicks innovative use of social media

United Breaks Guitars

United Airlines is a major U.S. airline. It is the world’s largest airline in terms of number of destinations  with 88,852 employees and operating the second largest fleet with 702 aircraft.

During the Spring of 2008, a United Airlines customer witnessed baggage handlers throwing his $3,500 Taylor guitar. When Dave Carroll finally reached his destination, he opened the case to find the guitar in pieces. For nine months he called the customer support to receive compensation for his broken instrument.When the final NO was received from the airline, Carroll vowed to make a music video about his negative experience and post it on the web.

United Airlines took over a week to react to the video and by that time it had gone viral. When United did call to compensate for the damages, Carroll declined because the exposure was worth more than the $1,200 it cost for him to fix it.

Here is the story in Carroll’s own words:

“In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didnt deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say no to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.”

As a result, United Airlines stock price plunged 10% costing shareholders $180 million.

Here we can see the power of YouTube, turning an obscure musician into a video star and corporate headache in less than a week. Not only did this hurt the United Airlines brand, but also its reputation.

Here is a great video about Social Media Policies.


The Web 2.0 Workplace

IT governance is tightly woven with business goals and policies to ensure that services are optimized for the customer expectations – but have we gone too far?

With the introduction of cloud technologies and social media tools in the workplace has caused an OVERLOAD of concern with security and the business image. Here is an example that not everyone gets it right, even the big boys. Social media is a tool that can grealty benefit your business, however you must understand what your responsibility is when you post that comment, as there is no going back!

Personally I think that the risks of using social media technologies in the workforce far out weigh the risks associated. In a recent survey conducted by Mckensey Quarterly, 77% of respondents agreed that using web 2.0 tools, increase the speed of access to knowledge. That is huge!

There is no denying that Web 2.0 technologies are weaving their way into enterprises everyday. While the risks are prevalent, using them as a means of generating business awareness and connecting with its customers directly is (i think) fantastic.


The Productive Web…

The web continues to grow, and Web 2.0 tools are emerging constantly. I’ve only done a small amount to research and already the amount of Web 2.0 applications available are overwhelming. However, understanding what each application does, can really increase your productivity.

Lets take a look at my newfound favourites…

Doodle is a free online coordination tool. (I can’t wait to try this one out!!) Say good-bye to endless emails, and text messages… With doodle you can schedule your next event with the click of a few buttons.

Flipboard (I recently found whilst browsing the app store on my iPad) is a social magazine that brings all your online stories, photos and news into life! The app pulls down all your favorite sites and displays them in a cool “flipboard” layout. Now you may be thinking… “but how is this productive?!” Well flipboard can even pull down your twitter feed making it super easy to browse everyone’s blogs.

These are just a few of the MANY Web 2.0 apps around. Take a look at this place and discover even more!

– Nick

E 2.0: Content, Content, Content…oh and traffic.

If you didn’t get it already, blogging is all about content and traffic. No blog survives long without traffic, and generally a lack of traffic is due to poor content. The key to getting traffic is to come up with a strategy to get your blog noticed. Here are my top 3 strategies for creating an awesomely good blog:

  1. The Content
    Your blogs content is the most important part of being a success because it’s the reason people will come and visit. Find what your audience wants and match your writing to what your readers will find interesting and engaging.
  2. Publish, Publish, And Publish
    To gain an audience for your blog and retain them, you must publish new content consistently. You must publish as often as possible, while making sure that the post you’re about to push is meaningful, of value, well writing and of interest to your audience.
  3. Give your blog its own unique voice… you!
    Readers who identify with you on a personal level are more like to become consistent readers of your blog. Don’t be afraid that your positing on subject will run contrary to that of your readers. Disagreement with your readers generates debate, which in turn can stimulate greater reader interest than the original blog post itself.

Top three things I would like to achieve through blogging are:

  1. O is for Opinion
    Just like my third strategy above; I plan to “tell it like it is”. Why bother talking about something you don’t believe is right – how tiresome.
  2. Be different
    As you can imagine, there is going to be a lot of similar blogs around (there are over 100 of us). I need to find a way to stand about from the crowd!
  3. Meeting new people
    Who says you can’t meet new people online….right?

Here are some of my favourite blogs:

I think the reason these are my go to sites is the clean layout and design. Obviously the content engages me as it keeps me coming back for more. What do you guys think about my favourite blogs?