Social Networking in the Enterprise - Part 2

In my first post on this topic I described using by Twitter account (MartinSS) to meet specific enterprise or business objectives.

  • Clearly in this case I’m working in the social marketplace of the web trying to achieve enterprise objectives. I have other activities in the social workplace that I’ll discuss another time.

As I mentioned last time, I didn’t score highly as a Twitter user. Clearly if you are going to use Twitter to meet specific objectives you should do it well or not bother. Last week I embarked on a program to use it better.


My orientation is to use Twitter as a brand development tool.

My posts or tweets now revolve around the topics of my work interests – enterprise content management (ECM, #ecm, #cm). I tend to watch related topics such as social networking and tweet or re-tweet (essentially resending someone else’s tweet that you find interesting). And I make posts to my four work-related blogs (including this one).

Let’s be frank – I certainly want to support the brand of the company I work for = Open Text. But in doing so I can’t help but impact my own brand (hopefully positively). I also spent quite a bit of time at this – both work time and personal time – but as many blog posts have noted recently, work and personal time merge in the new world.


And the results? Without Metrics you can’t know if you’ve been successful. Fortunately with Twitter there are many third-party tools available. Here’s how I rate:

  • Twittergrader (takes a moment to execute) – today’s rating is 93, it was 90 10 days ago. I moved from 145,422 out of 1,828,061 to 112,249 out of 1,952,297
  • Tweetwasters – tells me I spent a total of 2.68 hours since I started posting, based on 30 seconds a post. Methinks it was a little more, but then I actually look for ‘good stuff’ and read it, rather than talking about walking my dog. At least I rank 27,739, but I’m not sure out of what.
  • TweetStats – shows my posts have really picked up

But arguably the most important metric is how the number of followers I have has changed. Last Monday I had 132 and today I broke 250. You can see the changed velocity in this nice graph from twiitercounter.com, although the numbers it uses seem to lag a bit.

So the effort worked. The results are not stunning, but then I am focusing on a niche topic area = ECM – I’m sure I could get thousands of followers talking about other things in other ways. But that’s not my intent.

In my next post I’ll talk about WHAT I did to achieve these results, including using several other applications to handle some tasks and manage the incoming flood.

Is this all?

Twitter allows you to have multiple accounts. I might already have a completely different account based on another identity, doing very different things and getting other results… or I might not! I’m not telling! ;-)


Closing the Enterprise 2.0 Expectations Gap

This week I’ve been asked several times to talk about challenges to deploying Enterprise 2.0 technologies within Enterprises, which is personal interest of mine.

In brief here's my current perspective:-

Most early Web 2.0 adopters were young consumers, drawn by ease of use, immediacy and social reach.

Recent data have shown growing adoption by older consumers, especially those with well established careers, leading to pressure for comparable tools within organizations.

Enterprises have been slow to understand the applicability of these technologies and to develop a balanced analysis of benefit vs. risk.

Recent changes in the Economy introduced new factors to this analysis:

  • Benefit – Specific 2.0-style technologies applied in a focused manner promise organizations very welcome operational savings
  • Risk – The longevity of many of these technologies is questionable as many small venture-backed startups offering similar tools are acutely, financially challenged
    • Creating mashups from several such technologies greatly increases operational risk

Enterprises have requirements which run counter to user experiences with consumer Web 2.0, including:

  • A need to control information sharing, especially in heavily regulated industries
    • Much Web 2.0 literature talks about the value of sharing information openly
  • A preference to only deploy relatively small toolsets and to try to limit silos
    • On the consumer web users are used to trying many similar sites and technologies, flitting to the next ‘hot’ site
  • Long deployment cycles, especially with current economic considerations
  • A need to consider long-term information preservation in a recoverable form

At least my predicted contraction and retrenchment in the number of Web 2.0 choices on the consumer web, and perhaps fewer free-to-end user services , may narrow the gap in user expectations… or not…