Living with the Firewall: Social Media & Big Business

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These are the slides I used on April 12th to support a presentation to an audience of young professionals in The City.

An extremely edited version of the script follows:

(1) There is a new digital divide that is being created in big corporations which flies in the face of (2) the extraordinary growth in social media. While business leaders may be in two minds (5) about these new channels companies of all types and sizes (6,7,8) are beginning to embrace this new behaviour. If you stop, look listen and think (9,10,11,12) then there are plenty of reasons in B2B to take the social media world seriously.

Blogging is a form that I find fascinating. Both serious and playful the term was coined by a hairy man (13) in 1997 and the world hasn't looked back since. Professional blogs (14,15,16) allow space to expand on themes that traditional media doesn't feel able to afford. And its wonderfully meritocratic and borderless. If you blog from your study in Manchester (17) you can have a readership (18) spread across the world.

Twitter is a B2B medium (19) although no-one would know it given its firewall status as a social networking crime against humanity or at least productivity.

So the overall effect of social media on debate? It's improved (20). And yet you wouldn't know this if you live in a glass palace and my fear is that the benefits (22) are lost on business, the very places where these attributes are most needed.

My own blogging is enthusiastic but amateur (23) but it does give me some sense of how all this works. And its fun. And thinking about the future (24) I really have no idea where its going with the key tensions being the balance of free and paid for content as well as regulation and control which has been remarkably slow in emerging. As a reactionary Luddite (and contrarian) I see the future in terms of the past. (25) Expert, specialist niche paid-for media for every topic under the sun.

In summary, the future is about collaboration (26) and the knowledge economy is moving to a behaviour economy where curiosity and passion (28) will trump unvarnished intelligence. Always.

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  • These are the slides I used on April 12th 2011 to support a presentation to an audience of young professionals in The City.

    This is a massively edited version of the script.

    (1) There is a new digital divide that is being created by big corporations which flies in the face of (2) the extraordinary growth in social media. While business leaders may be in two minds (5) about these new channels companies of all types and sizes (6,7,8) are beginning to embrace this new landscape. If you stop, look, listen and think (9,10,11,12) then there are plenty of reasons for the B2B world to take the social media world seriously.

    Within that world the development and role of blogging holds particular fascination. It's a form that is both serious and playful and the term was coined by a hairy man (13) in 1997 since when the world hasn't looked back. Professional blogs (14,15,16) allow space to expand on thoughts and debate that traditional print and broadcast media doesn't feel able to afford to mass audiences. And it's a form that is wonderfully meritocratic and borderless. If you blog from your study in Manchester (17) you can have a readership (18) spread across the world.

    And despite its official description as a micro-blogging service Twitter is a B2B medium (19) although no-one would know it given its firewall status as a social networking crime against humanity or at least productivity.

    So the overall effect of social media on debate? It's improved (20). And yet you wouldn't know this if you live in a glass palace and my fear is that the benefits (22) are lost on business, the very places where these attributes are most needed.

    My own blogging is enthusiastic but amateur (23) but it does give me some sense of how all this works. And it's fun. And thinking about the future (24) I really have no idea where its going although the key tensions are the balance of free and paid-for content as well as regulation and control which has been remarkably slow in emerging. As a reactionary Luddite (and contrarian) I see the future in terms of the past. (25) Expert, specialist niche paid-for media for every topic under the sun.

    In summary, the future is about collaboration (26) and the knowledge economy is moving to a behaviour economy where curiosity and passion (28) will trump unvarnished intelligence. Always. A digital divide that separates you from this collaboration with your peers, your customers, your stakeholders, your suppliers is just not where you want to be now.
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Living with the Firewall: Social Media & Big Business

  1. 1. “living with the FirewaLL” SociaL MeDia anD GlASS PAlACES MichaeL Barnes 12th ApriL 2011
  2. 2. dO YOU HAVE? Facebook [ ] Twitter [ ] LinkedIn [ ] Blog [ ] Slideshare [ ] Flavors.me [ ] -2-
  3. 3. Makes you thinkWikipedia is the biggest single repository of mankinds knowledge ever built. It would take 100 million man hours to build it from scratch. 14 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. The Huffington Post has 28,000,000 unique monthly visitors. Twitter has 200,000,000 users and 65,000,000 tweets a day. -3-
  4. 4. -4-
  5. 5. 55%-5-
  6. 6. -6-
  7. 7. -7-
  8. 8. -8-
  9. 9. Why shouLD companies care? “Social media: More than just a passing fad say bankers” Finextras international series of social media events kicked off at Thomson Reuters London headquarters today, with participants from the financial services industry chewing over the opportunities and pitfalls presented by the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. …..blah blah blah blah blah blah…… How this information is used and the privacy implications are still unclear but the ubiquity of the tools means banks cannot afford to sit back and wait for a clear path.Finally, demonstrating the open nature of the medium and perhaps revealing why it still scares some bankers, a dissenter, @MODERN1ST, self-described "anarchoid petit-bourgeoisdeviationist running-dog lackey of the most reactionary elements of international finance capital" used the event hashtag to express disgust at banks "UGLY" use of the form. -9-
  10. 10. Why shouLD companies care?AdAge pointed out recently that only 44% of the Fortune 50 display their Twitter icon on the homepage, and a sad 4% link to their blog. While I hate to speculate on why they withhold their accounts from this prominent real estate,their homepage, I have to admit that it appears as if they’re, well, above it…….. …………………………..I wonder if sometimes corporations become fearful of the very thing that makes them great, their customers, and social media canamplify that. The thing to remember is, people are talking about your brand anyway, and offering social media spaces where you can engage in those conversations gives you more control, not less. - 10 -
  11. 11. Why shouLD companies care? Aside from establishing thought leadership, there are numerous other reasons why B2B companies should be blogging.While search engines like blogs, so does the media. The media wants to talk to thought leaders, and that interest can result in media coverage.Blogs gives potential purchasers a glimpse of what it may be like working with you (another risk reduction in their minds)Your blog can drive more traffic to your website, especially if you integrate the blog into your existing site Blogging is one of the best ways to consistently build links to a B2B site, which will not only drive traffic, but can also increase your rankings in the SERPs Blogging represents an opportunity to get found in the natural search results for a more diverse set of keywords related to your business. - 11 -
  12. 12. Why shouLD companies care? 06 April, 2011 - 13:12 Twitter analysis boosts trading results Twitter is being used by German economists for a Web site that predicts stock price trends, after an academic study found the micro-blogging site a prescient tool. In a study, the Technical University of Munich economists analysed 250,000 Twitter messages written in a six- month period related to S&P 500 listed companies.They found the sentiment of tweets to be associated with abnormal stock returns and message volume to predict next-day trading volume. The analysis shows that if an investor had used Twitter sentiment to guide share purchases in the first half of 2010, they would have achieved an average rate of return of up to 15%.Timm Sprenger, economist, TUM, says: "If a Twitter user often gives good stock recommendations, he will, as arule, have more followers and will be retweeted (ie quoted) more often by other users. Hereby, tweets with good recommendations are affirmed and receive greater weight in the overall analysis." - 12 -
  13. 13. The bLog thing• 1997, ‘weblog’ coined by Jorn Barger, ‘logging the web’• Famous blogs Huffington Post, Perez Hilton, Belle de Jour• Web newspapers or blogs? Convergence?• Personal, Professional, Community, Special Interest,• Quantity and Quality, a popular meritocracy Jorn Barger - 13 -
  14. 14. - 14 -
  15. 15. - 15 -
  16. 16. - 16 -
  17. 17. I Live in Manchester…. - 17 -
  18. 18. …this is my worLD - 18 -
  19. 19. My news wire - 19 -
  20. 20. Impact on news anD business? • Different voices can be heard/read • Different arguments can be presented • Information flows faster with an explicit audit trail • The is space, a medium, to allow ideas to breathe • Debate can be engaged with the informed, the uninformed and the mad“The half-life of sloppy journalism is getting shorter and shorter” - 20 -
  21. 21. IdE d I V TA l IG I d N EW HET - 21 -
  22. 22. living with the FirewaLL Outside Inside in the real world in corporate-world Fast ? Open ? Organic ? Innovative ? Surprising ? - 22 -
  23. 23. Why dO I bLog?- Present- Debate- Promote- Experiment - 23 -
  24. 24. The future? ?>Cost Free Paid for ?Control Unregulated Regulated ?>Content Old stuff New stuff >>>Connection Fixed Universal >>>>>Speed Slow Fast >>Use Static Dynamic - 24 -
  25. 25. BACK TO The future? - 25 -
  26. 26. “The worLD is moving from a pLacewhere vaLue was createD in verticaL siLos of commanD anD controL to a worLD where vaLue is increasingLygoing to be createD horizontaLLy by how you connect anD coLLaborate” The World is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman (2005) - 26 -
  27. 27. CQ + PQ > IQ ALways. Thomas L. Friedman (2007) - 27 -
  28. 28. EnD of. - 28 -

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