Social Media in the Workplace (24 and 25 August, 2012)


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For the Fall 2012, Dr. Nick Bowman of West Virginia University's Department of Communication Studies details the theoretical foundations of social and new media for our Corporate and Organizational M.A. students in Clarksburg, WV. More information about the Corporate M.A. can be found at:

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Social Media in the Workplace (24 and 25 August, 2012)

  1. 1. What is Social Media? COM693K “Social Media in the Workplace” Fall 2012, West Virginia University8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 1
  2. 2. OverviewToday Tomorrow• Introductions (?) • (some more) social media• Syllabus platforms• What is technology? • Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0?• What is social media? • Strength of Weak Ties• (some) popular social media • Who is Media Today? platforms • Medium is the Message8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 2
  3. 3. Introductions• Let’s get beyond A/S/L – Hometown – Major – Corporation – Pet peeve – Something cool?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 3
  4. 4. Syllabus• All readings on eCampus; required• COM693K social media presence – Facebook – #WVUCom335 – We’re not tracking you (much) – YOU = online, at least until the end of November8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 4
  5. 5. Syllabus• Grading – 5% Introduction (due before today) – 10% Theory to Praxis Connection (4 September) – 25% Case Study (8 September) – 10% Discussion of Case Study (eCampus) – 50% “Best Practices Document” (30 November)• Grades issued are A, B, and F.8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 5
  6. 6. 8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 6
  7. 7. Syllabus• Course calendar• Some don’ts – Cheating – Being ethno- or ego-centric – Being a techno-Luddite – Skipping class (physically or semantically) – Phoning it in8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 7
  8. 8. COM693K “Social Media in the Workplace” WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 8
  9. 9. Ages of Communication• As our communication patterns changed, so did our society (technological determinism) – Signs and signals allowed us to communication our internal monologue to others – Speech and language allowed us to communicate ‘in action’ – Writing allowed us to document our thoughts without memorization – Printing allowed written word to spread throughout society – Mass communication made variables such as time and space irrelevant – Digital networking allowed communication from many to many8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 9
  10. 10. The invention of the printing press led to: • Spread of ‘everyday’ Technological languages (i.e., not Latin) Determinism: • Religious upheaval (i.e.,A belief that technology Martin Luther) shapes and drives • Speed of publication historical change, including changes in • Exploration and westward various social, expansioneconomic, and cultural forces. • (interest in) scholarship and knowledge • Newspapers and news8/23/2012 (c) N.D. Bowman, 2009 10
  11. 11. Ages of Communication8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 11
  12. 12. Law of Accelerating Returns• Technological change is exponential – “S” curve growth8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 12
  13. 13. Law of Accelerating Returns• Technological change is exponential – Technology builds on itself8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 13
  14. 14. Law of Accelerating Returns8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 14
  15. 15. Law of Accelerating Returns• (erroneous) Short-term estimates• (erroneous) Long-term estimates8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 15
  16. 16. Natural-Born Cyborgs• First, what is a cyborg?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 16
  17. 17. Natural-Born CyborgsA. Technology is what makes us human *FF to 5:158/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 17
  18. 18. Natural-Born Cyborgs “Yet, new technologies…just realize our ancient propensity to connect to other humans, albeit with electrons flowing through cyberspace rather than conversation drifting through air…Even astonishing advances in communication technology like the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet do not take us away from this past; they draw us closer to it.” Christakis & Fowler, 2009, pp. 2578/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 18
  19. 19. Natural-Born CyborgsB. Our brains are wired to be “cyborgs” – Plasticity – Extended minds8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 19
  20. 20. Natural-Born CyborgsC. Transparent vs. Opaque technologies – FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Is the Internet transparent or opaque?D. Meta-Knowledge vs. Baseline KnowledgeE. Complementarity between brain and tool – Scaffolding the brain with tools • What are brains good at? • What are tools good at? • What are you doing right now?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 20
  21. 21. Natural-Born CyborgsF. We are our tools (for better and for worse)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 21
  22. 22. Natural-Born Cyborgs “There was a battle going on with peace protesters, who were trying to break into their machines. But it was not machines that were evil, he said, but the minds of the top brass behind them. A machine could do no more evil than a violin, or a camera, or a pencil.” ~Colum McCann Let the Great World Spin (pp. 101-102)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 22
  23. 23. 8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 23
  24. 24. COM693K “Social Media in the Workplace” WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 24
  25. 25. Social Media• Part of the Knowledge Economy – Today’s cash is information, not production8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 25
  26. 26. Social Media• Insanely popular8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 26
  27. 27. Social Media• Kaplan & Haenlein (2010) – a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content."8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 27
  28. 28. What is Social Media, again?• “a group of Internet-based applications…• ….that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0…• …and that allow the creation and exchange of user- generated content."8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 28
  29. 29. Technology as the base8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 29
  30. 30. What is Social Media, again?• “a group of Internet-based applications…• ….that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0…• …and that allow the creation and exchange of user- generated content."8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 30
  31. 31. O’Reilly (2005)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 31
  32. 32. O’Reilly (2005)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 32
  33. 33. O’Reilly (2005)• Core competencies of Web 2.0 – Services, not software – Control of data that get better with If Web1.0 is use Read and – Trusting users as co-developers Retrieve, – Harnessing collective intelligence Web2.0 is – “Using the long tail” Create and Collaborate – Non-device specific software – Lightweight interfaces, rich user experiences8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 33
  34. 34. What is Social Media, again?• “a group of Internet-based applications…• ….that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0…• …and that allow the creation and exchange of user- generated content."8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 34
  35. 35. Keitzmann et al (2011)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 35
  36. 36. Keitzmann et al (2011)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 36
  37. 37. Keitzmann et al (2011)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 37
  38. 38. 8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 38
  39. 39. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” FACEBOOK8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 39
  40. 40. How does Facebook stay valued?• Advertising – $2B in 2010, up from $52M in 2006 – Very low click-through rates (almost 1/5 your average Web ad via Google)…so how do they make up for this?• Brand and product pages – No cost! – Decent ROI, particularly for small accounts • Not so much money, but fans = followers = visits to primary Web = ?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 40
  41. 41. Other types of capital via Facebook?• Social capital is considered the currency of social media – Resources accumulated through relationships among people, in terms of bridging , bonding, maintaining• (No surprise) Facebook usage is used to increase all three forms• Can we turn this into liquid capital?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 41
  42. 42. Facebook IPO = What Happened?• Facebook was offered to the public at $38 per share, currently worth ~$20. What?!?• Perfect storm of: – Market glitch – NASDAQ screwed up the trading system – Shaky initial valuation – Facebook has never had a stable business model8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 42
  43. 43. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” TWITTER8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 43
  44. 44. Who says what to whom?• Classic definition of media: – Who says what to whom through what channel (with what effect)• 50% of tweets come from .05% of users, but not directly (theory?)• 85% of tweets seem to be headline-related (are we media?)• These .05% tend to follow and share with each other (problem?)• Messages tend to RT 1000x regardless of one’s number of followers (implications?)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 44
  45. 45. How does Twitter stay valued?• No ads, so how do they do it? – Venture capitalists; current dominant model – Promoted Tweets (brands basically insert themselves into an ongoing conversation) • Topically, not chronologically – Promoted posts within a users Twitter stream (even when we don’t ask for them) – “…the promoted posts … exist in the organic Twitter stream.”8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 45
  46. 46. Troubles at Twitter• Problems? – Twitter tag is to “Instantly connect people everywhere to whats most meaningful to them”…who defines meaningful? – (similar to Facebook) a shaky business model with little senior oversight; similar to “Dot Com Busts” of the 199028/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 46
  47. 47. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” GOOGLE+8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 47
  48. 48. What is Google+• A “social layer” of Google users, attached to the larger Google platform suite• Increased user control of data and privacy, less commercial interest – Selective sharing• Currently around 125M users, initial users were invitation-only – Skews male and tech-oriented8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 48
  49. 49. boyd & Real Names• “I am a high school teacher, privacy is of the utmost importance.”• “I have used this name/account in a work context, my entire family know this name and my friends know this name. It enables me to participate online without being subject to harassment that at one point in time lead to my employer having to change their number so that calls could get through.”• “I do not feel safe using my real name online as I have had people track me down from my online presence and had coworkers invade my private life.”• “I’ve been stalked. I’m a rape survivor. I am a government employee that is prohibited from using my IRL.”• “As a former victim of stalking that impacted my family I’ve used *my nickname+ online for about 7 years.”• “*this name+ is a pseudonym I use to protect myself. My web site can be rather controversial and it has been used against me once.”• “I started using *this name+ to have at least a little layer of anonymity between me and people who act inappropriately/criminally. I think the “real names” policy hurts women in particular.• “I enjoy being part of a global and open conversation, but I don’t wish for my opinions to offend conservative and religious people I know or am related to. Also I don’t want my husband’s Govt career impacted by his opinionated wife, or for his staff to feel in any way uncomfortable because of my views.”• “I have privacy concerns for being stalked in the past. I’m not going to change my name for a google+ page. The price I might pay isn’t worth it.”• “We get death threats at the blog, so while I’m not all that concerned with, you know, sane people finding me. I just don’t overly share information and use a pen name.”• “This identity was used to protect my real identity as I am gay and my family live in a small village where if it were openly known that their son was gay they would have problems.”• “I go by pseudonym for safety reasons. Being female, I am wary of internet harassment.”8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 49
  50. 50. boyd & Real Names• Some networks have begun to enforce a “real names” policy• “What’s funny to me is that people also don’t seem to understand the history of Facebook’s ‘real names’ culture. When early adopters (first the elite college students…) embraced Facebook, it was a trusted community. They gave the name that they used in the context of college or high school or the corporation that they were a part of.” (boyd, 2011, para. 6)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 50
  51. 51. Google+, not so big?• Lots of folks use Google, so why is Google+ not getting new users? – Early invite-only drove away “non-elites” – Not everyone cares about selective sharing – Digital migration is a hassle8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 51
  52. 52. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” LINKEDIN8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 52
  53. 53. What is LinkedIN?• Basically, a social network for professionals• ~175M users – NOT in: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria• Works on the principle of Degrees of Influence8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 53
  54. 54. How does LinkedIN stay valued?• Publically-traded (LNKD)• Otherwise split between: – Hiring solutions (job ads) – Marketing solutions (site ads) – Premium subscriptions• Okay, but what is the real value to us (re: social capital)?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 54
  55. 55. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” LOCATION-BASED 1018/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 55
  56. 56. Location-Based 101• Advances in GPS technology and network access have led to an Internet of Things• FourSquare among the most popular (20M users) – Points – Badges – Mayors – Brands8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 56
  57. 57. Location-Based 101 – value?• Venture capital• Marketing partnerships to: – Proximal users – Frequent users “mayors” (theory?)• Where is the real value in “check-ins”?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 57
  58. 58. Please Rob Me?• February 2012 saw (c) ND Bowman, 2012 58
  59. 59. Some tips for LB…• Remember the long tail? (think 1000 true fans)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 59
  60. 60. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” SOCIAL BOOKMARKING8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 60
  61. 61. Social Bookmarking 101• In general, programs that allow you to organize and save (“bookmark”) your favorite blogs and websites…• …but share with others!8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 61
  62. 62. Taxonomy vs. Folksonomy• A taxonomy is a pre-set category system• A folksonomy is a user-set category system Consider: A taxonomy is how an organization refers to an object; a folksonomy is how the users refer to an object (concept?)8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 62
  63. 63. Taxonomy vs. Folksonomy• Social bookmarking allow us to customize information for us, rather than relying on another algorithim• All about crowdsourcing8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 63
  64. 64. Taxonomy vs. Folksonomy• Links = taxonomy (sort of) – Guide our traffic through the web – Implicit endorsements, spread information quickly• Likes = folksonomy – Easy to create – Explicit endorsements, spread buzz quickly?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 64
  65. 65. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” THE STRENGTH OF WEAK TIES8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 65
  66. 66. The Strength of Weak Ties• What makes a tie “strong” – Amount of time – Emotional intensity – (mutual) intimacy – Reciprocation Who do we have strong ties with?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 66
  67. 67. The Strength of Weak Ties 24% “bridge” 60% 40%8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 67
  68. 68. The Strength of Weak Ties…If you want information tospread quickly, who wouldyou tell? 8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 68
  69. 69. The Strength of Weak Ties• Safe and easy diffusion happens with central leaders, but what about marginal ones:8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 69
  70. 70. Strength of Weak Ties• Weakness in our own networks? – Egocentric groups, community groups can be joined through bridging8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 70
  71. 71. Strength of Weak Ties• Weakness in our own networks? – Egocentric groups, community groups can be joined through two-step flow8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 71
  72. 72. 8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 72
  73. 73. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” ARE WE ALL MEDIA?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 73
  74. 74. Here comes everyone!8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 74
  75. 75. Here comes everyone!• How was Evan able to accomplish this? We’ve always looking for social networks, but we’ve only been able to afford so much. Has social media changed our “connection budget”?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 75
  76. 76. Social Media Horror Stories8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 76
  77. 77. It’s Persistent!• “What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube” (Qualman, Ch. 2) “The 20-something now thinks twice about getting so drunk that she blacks out and can’t remember how she wound up in the hammock of a stranger’s backyard” (pp. 34) Do we think this is true today? Is this a concern in your daily life?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 77
  78. 78. The passivity of the social network• Social media requires creation and collaboration (re: Web 2.0)…• …but this active process can be remarkably passive But that doesn’t make any sense! How can an active process be passive!?! ANSWER ME!8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 78
  79. 79. Passivity leads to preventative-ness• IF: present/persistent even when we are not• AND: we wish to selectively present ourselves• THEN: we tend to stifle what information goes out in the first place• How can companies do this? – Monitor + embrace the chatter8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 79
  80. 80. boyd & Public Appearance8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 80
  81. 81. boyd & Public Appearance• How do we keep folks out?• Can we keep folks out?• Do we want to keep folks out? 1. Create a public Internet identity 2. Say NO! to Facebook’s public search option 3. Expect unexpected audiences 4. Write blog comments as though you’re writing your own blog 5. Treat video and audio just like text8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 81
  82. 82. Are we all media?• Let’s think about what a professional is: – According to Wilson, “A professional is someone who receives important occupational rewards from a reference group whose membership is limited to people who have undergone specialized formal education and have accepted a group- defined code of proper conduct.”8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 82
  83. 83. Are we all media?• Is there such a thing as professional media? – Training – Code of conduct (and reward)• Okay, but what do they REALLY do that we can’t?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 83
  84. 84. Are we all media?• Okay, but what do they REALLY do that we can’t? – Start-up capital – Production expertise – “in the know” – Professionalism – Others?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 84
  85. 85. Are we all media?• Okay, but what do they REALLY do that we can’t? – Start-up capital – Production expertise – “in the know” – Professionalism – Others?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 85
  86. 86. Are we all media?• Consider the scribes – 1400s, elite class (usually clerics) were tasked with recording all of humanity – Challenged by Gutenberg and his movable type • Ex.: The 93 aches of Luther – Technology didn’t cause the thoughts… – …but allowed for the spread of information about them8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 86
  87. 87. Publish, then Filter• We see social media leading to a “mass amateurization of information”• A good thing?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 87
  88. 88. Publish, then Filter• One to many, or many to many?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 88
  89. 89. Publish, then Filter• Users, not audiences8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 89
  90. 90. Publish, then Filter• Network of users = network of weak ties…• …each publishing unique information…• …so do all of us know more than some of us?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 90
  91. 91. Topics for this week• What is a weak tie, and how can they be strong?• Are we all media?• How do we handle the Cognitive Surplus?• What is meant by “The Medium is the Massage”?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 91
  92. 92. Cognitive Surplus• 1700s London: Work hard, play hard8/23/2012 92 (c) ND Bowman, 2011
  93. 93. Cognitive Surplus• Fast forward to today, we see a 100% drop in the average work week – 1850: 80 hrs – 1950: 40 hrs8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 93
  94. 94. Cognitive Surplus• …and the increase in television viewing led to a decrease in social capital – how?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 94
  95. 95. Cognitive Surplus• Big media grew to occupy a big space in our lives…• …but legacy media is starting to fade; shifting to online marketing (~15- 25% total)• Did old media make the “milkshake mistake”?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 95
  96. 96. Cognitive Surplus• Old media; spilled milkshakes• Let’s think: – Where and how do companies traditionally market their goods?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 96
  97. 97. Cognitive Surplus• Old media; spilled milkshakes• Does impression advertising still work when audiences are smaller?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 97
  98. 98. 8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 98
  99. 99. COM693K: “Social Media in the Workplace” THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 99
  100. 100. Medium is the Massage• And what does the medium itself say about the way we communicate with each other?8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 100
  101. 101. Medium is the Massage• The channel we choose to communicate through has an inherent meaning• “It’s not what you said, but it’s how you said it!”8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 101
  102. 102. Take-Away Messages• What is technology? – We are technology, we integrate tools into our (communicative) lives to make it all more functional• What is social media? – Networked platforms that connect us to the rest of us• Why Web2.0? – Today’s media is marked by “creation and collaboration”• Which medium is “best”? – There are as many OSM channels as there are functions to use them; divide and conquer8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 102
  103. 103. Take-Away Messages• What is a weak tie, and how can they be strong? – The ties that bridge groups, and they are key to spreading information and influence• Are we all media? – YES. We are the cause of and solution to information literacy• How do we handle the Cognitive Surplus? – By staying occupied, connected and going where the action is• What is meant by “The Medium is the Massage”? – How we say something says just as much as what we say; media can influence content, so understand and harness this8/23/2012 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 103