The Evolving Opportunities Of Social Media


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The Evolving Opportunities Of Social Media

  1. 1. TOP STORY Riding the Web 2.0 Wave Without Web 2.0, Kate Nash would not be the shooting star she is today. Instead of gig- ging relentlessly for several years to achieve the critical mass of fans required to convince a label of her merit, she started her career on MySpace. And this is only one of the most recent examples that show how the latest iteration of the internet – based on a new model Dr. Stephanie Altemoeller, of social interaction – changes both our lives and the way we do business. Web 2.0 Practice Leader has initiated the age of participation, creating new opportunities for PR and corporate communications. And companies like IBM and Panasonic are already taking advantage of these possibilities. Content Content _ Interview with Senior Partner Joachim Klewes and European Practice Leader _ The reason behind: Waves of social interaction l read more Change & Transformation, Partner Ralf Langen. l read more _ The Age of Participation: PR and Web 2.0 l read more _ There is more to dialogue than just engaging: In times of change. _ Panasonic Brings Lumix Digital Cameras to Light with Talk it; then walk it! l read more Online Photo Competition l read more _ Collective learning via social software l read more _ The next generation of the Web – insights from IBM l read more _ Web 2.0 Tools in Change Management l read more CONTACT: Pleon GmbH Dr. Stephanie Altemoeller Bahnstrasse 2 D-40212 Duesseldorf Tel.: +49.211.9541-21241/11 Fax: +49.211.9541-2200
  2. 2. TOP STORY The reason behind: Waves of social interaction Consumer Generated Media, User Generated Content, Web 2.0, citizen journalism – none of this would exist without the primordial drive of human beings to inter- act with each other; it is important to remember that all the technology, which is integral to the CGM phenomenon, does nothing but enable this urge. No amount of smart technology can force ten of thousands of simple bulletin board- people to interact if they are not interested; style communities where people would talk you can lead the horse to water, but you of … just about anything, from politics to can’t make it drink. This is true when com- public transportation to sex (would you panies are wondering whether they should doubt it?). The user interface was crude and “build a community” around a new product not very forgiving for the casual browser. or service: sure, given enough resources All kinds of information could be exchanged, you can build any community, but unless provided it was text only. Conversation their raison d’être is endogenous; they will threading had to be hacked together almost always remain on life-support, only too by hand; many, many reasons why it could ready to wither into oblivion the minute the never fly, yet millions of people jumped at plug is pulled. So, it is useful to look back at the opportunity. the previous waves of Internet-based social interaction. Of course, this was the only game in town, – but thirty years later, with plenty of sexier opportunities for social interaction, Usenet and NewsGroups are still going strong. Ho- wever, the platform limitations did influence the type of social exchange supported: the main limitation being the text-only nature of the tools available. One can safely say this first wave of social interaction was centred around the SHARING OF INFORMATION. Information is anything that fits in text form: a paper, a manual, an article, minutes from a scientific seminar and of course, free-form thoughts, stories, etc. Another very good reason to stick to bare First Step – Usenet bones text-only was that this information In the eighties someone decreed email as the had to travel. In the eighties, geeks who killer app for the Internet; but even leaving had a 56k modem thought they owned the email alone for a moment, the eighties saw world, but this meant a transfer speed at2/11 the rise and establishment of the Usenet: least 40 times slower than today’s puniest
  3. 3. TOP STORY ADSL. This is also the reason for unleashing away their knowledge for free is an es- creativity in coining bandwith-saving acro- sential step to understanding what makes nyms like LOL and BFF who remained in use communities tick. and are also popular with people who at the time wore diapers. But there is no denying Communities are essentially “gift cultures”, that the unfriendliness of the platform where the status of each member is not made it fit mostly for hardcore geeks willing determined by what each member owns, to put up with technical challenges and user but by what he/she gives away. The more interface quirks. knowledge you give away, the more street creeds accumulated. The giver is anoin- The rise of special interest ted as the “expert”, the “guru”, the “alpha One day in 1989 Tim Berners-Lee, a re- male”. Peer respect is very important in searcher working at the CERN in Geneva, gift cultures. It is also a very effective invented the World Wide Web, dramatically driving force – see as an example the me- changing the way ordinary blokes could teoric rise of phenomena like the Open experience the Internet. This meant new Source Software movement. So the cen- levels of interface control and sophisti- tral focus of forum-supported communi- cation and the (relative) ease with which ties became the SHARING OF EXPERIENCE. almost anybody could put up a site dedica- Newbies would ask for help, more expert ted to anything. It is perhaps not surprising users would trade their secrets, recurring that bikers put up sites about motorcycles, queries found their way in FAQs or do- or that gadget freaks made sites about cuments for general use, which became tech toys, photographers created photo- precious resources where fellow uses told graphy sites and so on. you how to do things, whether it was engine tweaking, software development, These special-interest sites soon made hardware tips & tricks, alerting you of pit- their appearance areas where site visi- falls or bugs and suggesting workarounds. tors could discuss their topics of interest with other visitors. Aptly, this area in the In general, a lively forum is an indispensa- site was dubbed “discussion forum” short- ble companion to the official website and handed in “forum”. The forum of a heal- the next best thing to having a friend who thy community becomes very quickly the happens to be an expert in just what you most interesting and lively area of the site. are attempting to do. But still, setting up Having the full power of HTML to play a half-decent website was easy but not with, a forum sported a sexier interface really idiot-proof. A forum was easy to and supported a much richer assortment use, but still rather difficult to set up and of content, attracting a wider audience of maintain,not to mention the underlying people, far beyond the hardcore geeks that hardware, software and bandwidth: all in previously populated the Internet. all, a rather expensive proposition. The new phase started a couple of years ago, when The growth of such aggregations meant people started noticing the rapid growth of new users had a place to go and ask for traffic to places such as MySpace or You-3/11 help. Understanding why expert users give Tube and other CGM properties, coupled
  4. 4. TOP STORY with the ever increasing command Google rather boring and dull and featureless, and demonstrated in finely targeting adverti- not a major motion picture; but not all the sing to just about any content, turning it time – the secret lies in this. Nobody wants into a potential revenue stream. These two to watch the whole life of the average Joe circumstances created the background in to find the five interesting minutes worth which somebody started to offer free of watching, and every Joe can write a witty charge idiot-proof technology platforms post in a lifetime, every Joe can take one to consumers in return for their content. unusual picture and claim their fifteen mi- nutes of fame thanks to technology which Just think how complicated it was to share gives us an array of tools (search, social pictures on the web until things like Flickr tagging, XML and aggregators) making it or Zoomr came about, not to mention full relatively easy to spot the interesting stuff motion video. Now a computer is no longer and discard the rest. Every one of us has necessary; One can just shoot a pic on a cell the potential to be the next Matt Harding, phone and instantly upload it to a favou- so it is not Joe individually; it’s the collec- rite photo sharing service. Setting up a site tion of those interesting bits from the 71 with proper discussion facilities becomes million Joes that makes CGM interesting. the affair of a minute and costs nothing – overnight 71 million blogs where born and, Where wave One traded in Information, as the Technorati splash page says, some wave Two traded in Support and wave of them GOT to be good! Three trades in Attention; these are the only accepted currencies on CGM, and All of this makes sharing easy, free and quick, anyone wishing to participate must accept taking it to the next level, which is SHARING this rule. YOUR LIFE. Of course, most of our lives are Author: Gianni Catalfamo The Age of Participation: PR and Web 2.0 Web 2.0 has become a common buzzword widely known beyond the boundaries of the virtual world. Yet what are the essential technologies and features buried beneath all the hype around this metaphor? And how can PR agencies and companies utilize and benefit from the techniques of Web 2.0? What Web 2.0 means PR-stunt by web guru Tim O’Reilly, who The term “Web 2.0” continues to be a sy- coined the term in 2004, undoubtedly nonym for innovation, yet it has also star- has two basic principles: broadband con- ted to stand for an array of almost arbitrary nections and user generated content. The definitions and accompanying buzzwords. development of Web 2.0 software like4/11 However, what more or less started as a YouTube, Flickr or Myspace has enabled
  5. 5. TOP STORY even amateur internet aficionados to pre- More and more users base their buying sent their self-created multimedia content decisions on virtual word-of-mouth re- to the global web community. commendations. The internet is the force behind the integration of formerly deta- ched and self-contained communication channels (TV, radio, print) and an increa- sing number of net users actively engage in the further development of this interactive communication platform – by uploading videos, rating products and joining com- munities. Or by launching start-ups which will eventually be bought by Google. Many companies also benefit from the opportunities provided by Web 2.0 tech- Web 2.0 also transports a new perception nologies. The “participatory web” offers of the internet accompanied and triggered unique chances to engage in direct com- by a generational change as it has evolved munication with target groups and indivi- from a simple digital data-storage me- dual customers. The changing role of the dium into an easily accessible virtual public user from a passive consumer to an active sphere which invites and relies on active “prosumer” also requires that companies participation. To the current generation meet the challenges of the “age of partici- of teenagers, the internet has never been pation”. Additionally, companies should push anything else but a “participatory web”. systematic monitoring of the World Wide Web to the top of their agenda and con- Web 2.0: More than a trend stantly be on the virtual lookout for trends, According to a study by the management innovations, the company’s image in blogs consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, more and communities, and potential communi- than 12 Million Germans already use blogs, cation crises. wikis, social communities and other dyna- mic Web 2.0 features – and the upward Viral Marketing: trend continues. Given the persistent sa- Web 2.0 for companies lience of the World Wide Web, the pe- Viral marketing is a prime example of the netration of Web 2.0 sites and services multi-faceted possibilities of online-com- is consistently at a high level throughout munications. Viral marketing strategies use Europe, as evident in the 2007 NetObser- social networks and communities to raise ver study. In Spain and in the UK, the usage brand awareness and to instigate positive of certain Web 2.0 technologies is even far word-of-mouth campaigns. One common more widespread than in Germany. Another element is viral advertising: companies very vivid example: 20% of all Norwegians produce short videos – funny and/or tech- have a profile on Facebook, currently the nologically sophisticated – which they fastest-growing social community with upload to popular online video platforms5/11 tens of millions of users worldwide. such as YouTube. Their hope is to ride the
  6. 6. TOP STORY two point zero wave by utilizing the un- state of flux. A single blog entry may scar- canny speed of distribution inherent to cely create a stir – but a large number of online communities. Several companies interlinked blogs which convey the same have triggered highly successful viral mar- story or report on the same incident can keting campaigns: Sixt recently launched a certainly have a measurable impact. Occa- video-campaign featuring German crooner sionally, even single blog entries can wreak Matthias Reim which spread beyond the havoc: When the popular technology blog internet and proceeded to get media (and podcast) Engadget reported that the coverage from newspapers and television delivery of the iPhone would be postponed, outlets. An animated spot which placed the Apple’s stock plummeted. It did not matter Toyota Tacoma within the popular online- that the report proved to be false – traditi- game “World of Warcraft” got one million onal media outlets had already weaved the views on YouTube – within 48 hours. story into their news coverage without any fact-checking. However, a complete reliance on videos or games increases the risk that the blogos- This type of damage can happen to any phere will focus on these and end up ne- company. Not surprisingly, blog- and com- glecting or simply ignoring the company munity-monitoring has been at the top of and its product. Companies should there- the agenda for many agencies in 2007. fore embed viral marketing strategies into And only agencies which have identified a communication mix and support their the current and future needs of their cus- consumer communications with additional tomers and thus have established the Web 2.0 features. relevant expert knowledge can meet the growing demand of the market. Blogs: From Online-Diaries to Newspaper Substitutes Collective Intelligence: Aside from online videos, weblogs (or Virtual Knowledge Management blogs) are the most well-known feature of Web 2.0 also gives companies the oppor- Web 2.0. What started as virtual diaries by tunity to tap into the collective intelligence internet pioneers has become a mass trend. of their employees by implementing an ar- Today more than 70 million weblogs exist chitecture of participation – expanding and – techblogs, music blogs, corporate blogs, developing its internal business knowledge. photoblogs, and purely personal blogs – Social software like wikis, tags, blogs, RSS and this collection grows at a daily rate of feeds and intranet platforms are valuable 12,000. Some of the more popular blogs resources in the process of indexing know- have far more visits than the websites of ledge by linking people. The accumulated newspapers. It is then not surprising that expertise is not stored on a local server – the for some people blogs have become a sub- network now is the server, and net-based stitute for a daily newspaper. applications allow users to share and access knowledge and information on the move. Thanks to the interconnectedness of web- The early adaptation of Web 2.0 techno- logs, every blogger is part of a huge and logies also promises to be a deciding com-6/11 growing community which is in a constant petitive advantage, according to a 2007
  7. 7. TOP STORY study conducted by the German software of Web 2.0 have changed the premise and trade association Bitkom, which concludes the scope of communications within the that the embrace of Web 2.0 software by World Wide Web. It has given net users business companies will lead to a come- and consumers a powerful and indepen- back of corporate knowledge manage- dent voice which continues to have a ment. Harvard Business School professor lasting effect on how companies conduct Andrew McAffee consequently coined the their business. It will be the task of agen- umbrella term “Enterprise 2.0” to account cies to help its customers prepare to meet for the emergence of Web 2.0 technolo- the challenges posed by the “participatory gies within corporate intranets. web” and guide them safely through the ever-changing and dynamic virtual space The Task: Providing Guidance which determines Web 2.0. in a Virtual World Authors: The interactive technologies and features Adrian Rosenthal, Igor Schwarzmann, Frank Lehmann Panasonic Brings Lumix Digital Cameras to Light with Online Photo Competition Web 2.0 offers corporate advertisers numerous options for reaching specific target groups. One example is “engagement marketing”, which uses tools such as user-gene- rated content, competitions, and user voting. Panasonic Germany has successfully used this advertising strategy online to boost the image of its Lumix digital cameras. Online photo competition increases consumers via their interests, to encourage brand awareness them to engage, and thus increase their in- “Engagement marketing” refers to dialogue- volvement and identification with the brand based advertising strategies that motivate or product. users to engage with a topic related to the advertised product. Initially, the product At the same time, advertisers can occupy itself is in the background. In the foreground product-related topics or trends, position is the added value for the consumer, above themselves as experts, and so build up and beyond the actual advertising message. brand awareness and brand image. Also, interactions such as discussion forums, This can be achieved through specially- uploads or competitions can provide va- written, topic-related features that embed luable data about the target group. This the product in a comprehensive offering of can later be used for further dialogue- content: uploads and downloads, forums, based marketing measures. The Panasonic blogs, competitions, background informa- Germany team in Hamburg is responsible7/11 tion, tips and services. The goal is to reach for the sales and marketing in Germany of
  8. 8. TOP STORY high-quality consumer electronics and pro- and lighting (including backlighting). A fessional business systems. The electronic special judging panel, made up of repre- experts’ marketing goal was to increase sentatives from the T-Online portal and brand awareness for their Lumix digital Panasonic, and chaired by the chief editors cameras, to anchor the Panasonic brand of National Geographic Germany, nomina- in the target group’s ‘relevant set’, and ted the winners of the individual categories to expand the existing address database. at the end of October. The winners were In 2007 for the third successful year, announced online on 29 October 2007. In Panasonic used an engagement marke- January 2008, the winners will appear in ting concept based on their target group’s National Geographic Magazine. enthusiasm for photography. Partners in- cluded InteractiveMedia,, and The second piece allowed for a peer- National Geographic.InteractiveMedia, a to-peer interaction in which users could leading online marketer of digital advertising judge the art of other users. Photography in Germany and Europe, developed an en- hobbyists could submit entries for the gagement marketing concept for Panasonic “Users’ Prize”, which was adjudicated by re- in the form of a cross-media digital photo gistered T-Online users. The main prize in competitionthat focused on three areas. each category was a trip for two to South Africa. For eight weeks, the public could allot First, the competition targeted hobby pho- points and vote for their favourite pictures tographers who could enter their best digital in a special vote organised by the T-Online photos in the categories “People and Emo- photo department. A supporting newslet- tions”, “Nature and Animals”, and “Architec- ter kept registered T-Online users updated ture & Technology”. The competition ran each week on the current status of the vote, on, Germany’s most-visited and notified them of upcoming events. The portal, for ten weeks (20 August to 29 eight winners of the weekly users’ vote then October 2007). In tandem, the competi- went head-to-head in a final playoff. There tion was integrated into a specially-written was something in it for voters, too: those feature at, which casting votes for their favourite photos also offered a range of tips and tricks for digi- opted into a further drawing to win attrac- tal photography, daily photo shows with tive prizes. the best pictures, and a photo simulator. The photo simulator allowed users to prac- Finally, a comprehensive online media pa-8/11 tice getting the right picture composition ckage with attention-grabbing forms of
  9. 9. TOP STORY advertising was published on www.t-online. ideal marketing strategy for our product line de/lumix to strengthen the long-term per- of Lumix cameras. We attribute the measu- ception of the Lumix product range. rable success to four factors: being authen- tic, being relevant, involving the consumers, The photo competition was a successand and co-operating with optimal partners,” put the high-quality Lumix series of digi- explains Thomas Dobberstein, Manager Di- tal cameras in the right light. For the digi- gital Communication at Panasonic Germany. tal photo competition 2007, over 20,300 “Also key to the concept’s success was the photos were uploaded onto the T-Online high consumer activation, achieved through portal, generating over 25 million page im- opportunities for interaction and dialo- pressions and several thousand subscriptions gue, user-generated content with added to the Lumix newsletter. “The cross-media value, and targetgroup-specific topics and digital photo concept on, de- forums.” veloped jointly with InteractiveMedia, is the Author: Daniela Jasenko The next generation of the Web – insights from IBM Since the very beginning, IBM has been pioneering new technologies and most cer- tainly new web technologies. Ellis Zijlstra from IBM Corporate Communications talks to Pleon about experiences, trends and future plans of IBMs Internet strategy. Web 2.0 is a frequently used buzz word. IBM employees for example own an How does IBM as a company make use avatar and use Second Life on a regu- of the technology? lar basis. What are they doing there Ellis Zijlstra: Web 2.0 is an attitude not a and what advantages does the virtual technology. It is about enabling and en- world offer here at IBM? couraging participation through open ap- EZ: People sometimes mistake gaming and plications and services. Within IBM, Web virtual worlds for mere child‘s play. The rea- 2.0 technologies have become part of the lity is, with increased realism and immersive way we operate. We use wiki’s, blogs, RSS, technologies, the possibilities are endless for podcasts, movie libraries where people can other fields: science; engineering; health- upload and share movies, and we even have care; business; financial markets, education, a Bluepedia, the IBM internal version of the and government. Wikipedia. Sharing information and working with communities have become essential Within IBM, we have a very active user group for the way we do business. of virtual worlds; the Virtual Universe Com- munity. This community is experimenting to IBM has been exploring 3D net techno- get insight into the technical and business9/11 logy for a while now. More than 4000 possibilities of virtual worlds. Working with a
  10. 10. TOP STORY broad community, and bringing to the table others. The 3D virtual worlds take co-cre- IBM‘s decades of experience in supercom- ation to a higher level. Your virtual persona puting, visualization and its work with the interacts with other virtual personas, which three major game platforms (Microsoft‘s speeds up the creation process. The tech- XBOX 360, Nintendo‘s Wii and Sony‘s Play- niques related to 3D virtual worlds make it station 3), IBM aims to help drive and deve- possible to interact realtime and, therefore, lop the 3D next generation Internet. design faster and at lower cost. In addition to helping other companies apply virtual worlds to their business problems, In November 2006, IBM allocated ten IBM‘s vision is to allow virtual persona to million dollars for expanding its own cross over from one world to another, like virtual presence as well as for develo- moving between pages on the Internet wi- ping its own 3D intranet. How far have thout losing any consistency, enabling all these projects proceeded? What ad- sorts of new applications of this technology vantages does IBM expect? EZ: In the summer of 2006, we did the What does IBM consider the most stri- largest on-line brainstorming session ever. king advantages of using 3D-worlds as InnovationJam brought together more than a communication tool? 150,000 people from 104 countries, inclu- EZ: We see three striking advantages; the ding IBM employees, family members, uni- visual aspect, the social factor and co- versities, business partners and clients from creation. Visual: The lifelike graphics can be 67 companies. Over two 72-hour sessi- beneficial in so many ways, from diagnosing ons, participants posted more than 46,000 diseases to analyzing hotspots that occur in ideas. The result was 10 ideas which we server rooms or data centers. We‘ll be able wanted to explore further and invest in, and to use visualization technology to walk on one of them was the 3D Internet: partne- the bottom of the ocean to investigate a ring with others to take the best of virtual broken pipeline, visualize a huge 3D DNA worlds and gaming environments to build protein structure for collaborative research a seamless, standards-based 3D Internet. or even to walk through someone‘s brain to This is the next platform for global com- look at structures. merce and day-to-day business operations. Social: Within the 3D world, you can see From that day, IBM has been experimenting who is in a virtual store, for example. Soon, on extending virtual worlds for business in teenagers will be linking with their friends in three key areas: virtual commerce and wor- a 3D world that more accurately represents king with clients to apply virtual worlds to real life. Instead of simply text chatting with their business problems; driving new kinds a friend online, they will be able to meet up in of collaboration and education; and experi- a music store, browse the shelves and meet mentations on pushing the limits with a broad other people with similar interests. Likewise, community on what might be possible in you can easily have meetings, conferences virtual worlds. IBM is currently working with and learning sessions in a 3D environment. dozens of clients, like Sears and Circuit City, Co-creation: The Web 2.0 technique already to experiment and help them understand10/11 allows you to design and create things with and apply virtual worlds to their business.
  11. 11. TOP STORY The other aim of IBM is to collaborate with doctors a top requirement. The Anatomic a community in an open source fashion to Symbolic Mapper Engine of IBM Research develop the 3D Internet; a platform for allows doctors to click on, for example, the „serious“ business. This is why we recen- spine of a 3D avatar of the human body tly announced the intent to develop new and instantly see the medical history and all technologies and methodologies based on available information. It allows healthcare open standards that will help advance the professionals to navigate through a virtual future of 3D virtual worlds together with map of the body. Linden Labs. You can think of technologies like Universal Avatars, Security-rich Trans- Let’s have a look into the future: What actions, Platform stability, integration with role will 3D environments play in 2015? existing Web and business processes, and EZ: The popular on-line immersive de- open standards for interoperability with the stinations, such as Second Life and the current Web. World of Warcraft, will evolve into the 3D Internet, much like the early work by the We have experienced how the Web likes of Darpa, AOL and Prodigy evolved into changed business models with the in- the World Wide Web. troduction of e-commerce. What new business opportunities will 3D Internet Much of the early cutting edge experimen- bring? tation takes place behind companies’ own EZ: The early evolution of Virtual Worlds is firewalls, where confidential and secure closely mimicking the evolution of the Web. business can be conducted. As tools be- At first, people just published Web pages come available, these companies will build with information. Then came commerce, 3D Intranets. or e-commerce. We see the same with vir- tual worlds. This goes beyond just holding In 2015, we will have a 3D Internet and it a meeting or putting up some brand logos, will have a place in our lives, just like the In- which is the equivalent of putting up an ternet has nowadays. You will walk the ais- informational Web page. We see opportu- les of virtual supermarkets, bookstores and nities for virtual commerce and virtual busi- DVD shops, where you‘ll encounter experts ness, and applications beyond commerce, you‘d rarely find in your local store. The 3D such as SIM hospitals, telemedicine, virtual Internet will enable new kinds of interactive learning, and many, many more. And ideas education, remote medicine and consumer and innovations that people haven‘t even experiences. It will transform how we in- thought of yet. teract with our friends and family, doctors, teachers, and others. One example is the 3D Avatar helping doc- tors to visualize patient records and improve The 3D Internet is one that is open, immer- care. Providing patients with highly effective sive and makes new classes of applications treatments often requires the integration of possible in commerce, government, health- huge amounts of information in the best care, education and others that are yet to possible way. These large amounts of infor- be imagined.11/11 mation make medical decision support for Author: Stephanie Altemoeller