Archive for the ‘Enterprise 2.0’ Category

Ways companies have gained consumer attention with web 2.0 tools [and competitions]

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Ebay – mobile shopping

Ebay lately released a competition to push some of its consumers to start using mobile devices to make purchases. They used web 2.0 technologies such as twitter and facebook as well as their website to advertise this competition. [1]

Users were asked to register their interest on a Wednesday (with a limited space of 5,000 registrations), then on the following Friday make a purchase between midday and 1pm. They would then be refunded 50% (up to $50) of the purchase. [1]

A recent study done by AT&T found that 15% of consumers already use their mobile devices for online shopping. However the study also found that this number does not look to be increasing anytime soon due to worries many consumers have with security and frustrations with small screen sizes. [2]

With this in mind you think that the response to this competition would be limited, but it seems not! The 5,000 spots filled within 3 hours, even with major server issues. Now the question on everyone’s mind (well at least mine anyway) is “how many of those followed through with the purchase?”.  [3]

A recent study has seen their mobile sales increase dramatically earlier this year with over 100% more sales on mobile devices, I find this interesting considering the results from AT&T. This number ‘should’ increase even more with the huge interest in this competition. [4]

Air New Zealand – More choice

Another company that has recently caught my attention while ‘facebooking’ is Air New Zealand with their new choice campaign. The campaign was to make people aware of their new fight options. With these options you can now simply book a seat, a seat and baggage, with or without a meal and with or without entertainment. They see this similar to purchasing an ice cream, so they have used “Flight Parlour” as their theme. [5]

Using facebook as the means of communication to its consumers, they were giving away 50 $1 tickets in selected Australian capital cities. To get your hands on a ticket you had to watch their facebook feed to be alerted of a code word and the location of their van which was selling ice cream (with plenty of choice of flavours and toppings). Once there, you purchase an ice cream and tell them the code word and if you were one of the first 50 to do so you got $1 return flights to New Zealand. [5]

Not only did this draw a massive crowd around the van in each city, but the company now also has over 11,000 ‘likes’. The have also made 200 people happy who will be talking about it for a long time. Best of all it has now achieved its goal in creating awareness of their new flight options. [5]


Both of the above examples of ways companies have used web 2.0 tools to gain their consumers attention has worked extremely well. Both have had a massive response which I’m sure has increased their sales significantly. Now that they have a large number of people following and “liking” their profiles, it will be interesting to see what they will do next. It is a huge asset to have direct communication to their consumers so I would not be surprised if we see some more advertisements coming our way.







Companies and social networks, do they mix?

September 20, 2010 1 comment

Social networking in businesses

Social networking tools have become very popular over the past few years. Facebook and Twitter have absolutely boomed and transformed the meaning of having a social life. They have become the means of quickly getting in contact with your friends and staying updated on what is happening to the people around you. This method of exchanging information has allowed for news to spread extremely rapidly.

With this in mind, why wouldn’t an organisation want this as a means of workers to communicate, stay up-to-date with projects that are happening around them and increase the overall productivity of the company?

The issues with allowing employees to use social media tools like facebook and twitter is that more often than not it will be used for socialising, not work. Using these applications during work will ultimately distract the user and therefore reduce their productivity.

Yammer has the answer to this! “Yammer is a simple real-time communication tool for organizations. Yammer was created by people who wanted a better way to connect and share with people at work.”[1]

Yammer has been used successfully by a variety of companies as a corporate social network and a knowledge-sharing tool. With microblogging, user profiling and collaboration tools inbuilt, this is a truly a fantastic application for companies to use.[1]

One of the companies using Yammer is Suncorp. With over 15,000 employees, Suncorp has an asset of a tremendous amount of knowledge and Yammer has started to help harness this. With a user base of over 1,700 users the company has over 10% of its employees using this tool, and the results are really showing. [2]

Suncorp has seen an increase in informal knowledge flow across the departments with the microblogging tool. Yammer has allowed for instant connections between people with needed expertise, allowing for easy collaboration on topics and projects. [2]

Yammer has also allowed for alignment between the executives and employees through the use of the broadcast message. This means the upper management has instant access to knowledge allowing them to request ideas and thoughts on decisions being made. [2]

Personal experience with social networks

I am always on facebook to check out what is happening in the world around me. I believe that social networks for private life are brilliant tools to keep in contacts with friends and family in one spot. As for within a business, I believe they are fantastic tools for knowledge sharing and cross department connections if they are for business use only. Once you introduce personal life into the mix, I think productivity will be lost.



Online maps, wiki style!

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I have always loved Google maps and hated it at the same time. I believe that Google maps is the best thing that Google has brought out since its search engine.  However, the maps are starting to get old and out-dated.

After doing some recent research on Wikis, the concept of open collaboration on a map started to interest me. After a bit of looking around I found a few more up-to-date maps like nearmap – This is a fantastic site to look back over the past satellite pictures that they have taken. It also includes a really interesting tool, “Top finds” This is where the community shares interesting images they have found on the maps. These maps are more recent than Google maps, however this is still entirely controlled by the organisation.

I eventually came across Open Street Map – Its blurb is as follows:

OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the whole world. It is made by people like you. OpenStreetMap allows you to view, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth.

I think this is a fantastic idea, look at how far wikipedia has come! I have found some very detailed maps of places. One good example is Dreamworld. Who needs a park map when you have open street maps!?!?!

What businesses and employees really think about wikis

September 18, 2010 1 comment

Enterprise Wikis

Following my previous blog, I personally think Wikipedia is a favourable starting source for quick facts or a starting point for research. So, with this in mind I have had a look at wikipedia’s definition of an Enterprise Wiki. It states that it is a Wiki commonly used within a business to enhance knowledge sharing. It also points out that in some cases it has completely replaced a businesses content management system and is also used for project management and marketing to is consumers. [1]

A great example of a company using a Wiki for project management is Pixar. When filming one of their popular movies, Wall-e, they used a Wiki to manage the whole project. Obviously it worked extremely well, as the movie was very successful. [2]

When it was decided that Pixar would implement they found themselves in a situation that many businesses find themselves in this days. The employees had already started to use Wikis for their daily tasks. [2]

Many [out of touch] managers believe that employees would be resistant to the change when implementing an enterprise Wiki. However, as many of them find out very quickly, the employees are fair from that, and would happily see it implemented.

In 2008 ChangeWave Research reported that only 24% of companies are using web 2.0 applications within their companies and another 8% were planning to use them in 2009. 20% of these companies saw Wikis as beneficial tools to their company. A total of 39% of the companies reported they their organisation is very or somewhat willing to use web 2.0 tools. [3]

I find these to be very interesting facts. I am wondering how many of the respondents actually asked their employees these questions. In many cases they may actually find that the employees are using these tools anyway, if the business likes it or not. [4]

Personal experience with Wikis

My personal experience with Wikis has overall been fairly positive. I use to help maintain the Wiki for a game I use to play and found it a fantastic source of information.

When I first started I found it a little confusing when trying to edit it. This is because I am used to programming in HTML and PHP, and found the syntax in Wikis extremely different. However once you get the hang of it, I believe it is fairly intuitive and easy to use.





Categories: Enterprise 2.0 Tags: , , ,

Oh come on! Wikipedia isn’t that inaccurate!

September 17, 2010 1 comment

When looking for quick facts on a topic we all go to Google to find answers, and more commonly than not we click on the Wikipedia link. Wikipedia has become one of the top ranked in Google results, and for a simple reason. As it is an encyclopaedia maintained by [ultimately] everyone it is one of the most accurate, up-to-date and in-depth encyclopaedia available. According to a study carried out in 2005 by “Nature”, a journal of science, Wikipedia is just as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica with only a slightly higher error rate. [1]

Since this study in 2005, Wikipedia’s article rate has exploded and the information gathered has increased exponentially, because of this you could question whether this has made it’s articles accuracy decline. According to a study carried out by Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University this is not the case. He found that Wikipedia was just as accurate as well-known journal articles, however it’s writing style was a little harder to read. I would assume this would be because so many people put their 2 cents in on a topic, adding to an existing part that was written a different way. [2]

With this in mind I really don’t understand why many university lectures will not take wikipedia as a reference. In some cases they have state that they will fail you if they find wikipedia on your reference list. Yes, I have to agree it isn’t the best reputable source, however it is a fantastic place to start.



Business and corporate blogging is not only about product and service awareness

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

As we all know, blogs are used by people everyday to document their life, share their stories and experiences as well as their interests. Commonly this is not to make a personal gain, simply to tell the world their stories. However there does come a time that this blog can add credibility to your words of wisdom.

Businesses usually use blogs and micro blogs to simply market their company and product/services. This is generally done by an anonymous user (generally from PR) representing the business. However Adobe/Macromedia have tackled this from a different perspective and have been rewarded for it.

Eric Anderson, an employee of Adobe had previously worked for Allaire Corp, which has ultimately been taken over by Adobe. At Allaire Corp Eric used to blog to quickly disperse information to its customers. Using this, he published technical information to the customers and also used it to gather feedback.

After Allaire Corp merged with  [Macromedia, then] Adobe, Eric started to work on “Flex”, an application development solution for multimedia Internet applications. He, of course, started a blog for this project. Through this blog he has encouraged 30-50 people to blog about Flex, therefore expanding the exposure of the product.

This was not the only benefit of Eric’s (and other adobe employees) work. There was also another perk that came along with it. Eric found that when attending conferences he finds that he is well known by many of the customers, through them reading his blog. This not only helped them understand his work, however it gave him instant technical credibility. This may possibly be why Adobe pays its employees to blog.

It has become clear to Eric that his blogs traffic is generated ultimately from his technical content of Adobe Flex rather than his personal blogs. He has classified it as “content that people need”, and therefore they will be searching for it. He stated that publishing “needed” information is what made his blog successful.

This re-enforces my discussion made how blog dynamics works. Realistically a blog to a reader is simply a source of information on something they need to know. However some blogs do have a strong two-way connection between the publisher and the reader, for example a pregnancy blog, where the reader ultimately connects with the publisher.

Eric has found that there has been high traffic to blogs he has written discussing Adobe’s competitors and competing technologies as this is what people are interested in, “why are you better?”. Another way he has found to gain a mass of traffic to his blog is the discussion of the product’s future direction. This in due course generates awareness of, and “talk” about the product, which is what he realistically is aiming for.

A pitfall in publishing information about future directions is the potential risk of competitors leaching valuable information on the product from Eric through commenting on his blog. Eric has pointed out that he has commonly been sceptical of some of the comments made on his blog as he has no way to validate the identity of the person.

This goes to show that a company blog can do more than promote its products and services, it can promote its employees as well. Although this can be looked at as a possibility for the employee to be poached by a competitor, as long as the company keeps the employee happy, why would they need to worry about it?

Report on adobe and eric –

Do you know how are we meant to keep up?

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I have always been fascinated by these “did you know” videos that are going around. However now they are really starting to open my eyes to what technology is doing to our lives, and how it is effecting companies and everyday life. Below are a couple of the ones that  have really made me think “how in the world are we meant to keep up with all this”?

This first one outlines how human capital is being effected by technology.

It outlines that the average worker will spend 10 years of their working life dealing with emails, costing organisations $25,000 a year for a senior manager to deal with these. This figure is significantly blown out by spam emails, which represent 70% of the total amount.

Looking back at my post on the benefits of web 2.0 within businesses, if we take Dresdner Klienwort’s as an example, enterprise 2.0 systems can reduce tasks that usually take weeks using email, down to a quick glance and a couple of seconds. This, with better spam management would greatly reduce the cost to the business.

It also states that in 2005 there was technology that could help predict when and why an employee will leave their job. This is rather interesting, I wonder how this would work. Would it physically tap into the employees mind :S or would it be done using behavioural observations? Either way, wouldn’t you feel violated being an employee put under the microscope in this way? I for one would quit if they even thought of it, how hard is it to ask?

The next one, as many of us would have already seen, really shows how technology is very quickly out doing us.

This video estimates that 4 exabytes (wow!) of unique information will be generated in that year. That was in 2009, it would be interesting to see how much information was actually generated and how much they predict for this year!

It goes on to state that technical information is doubling every 2 years, thinking about … it is! And something even closer to home for me (and many people) is the fact that what a student learnt in the first year of study is outdated by their third year of study. This is definitely apparent to me, to the extent that I am redoing one of my subjects from my first year as what I had learnt is now obsolete!

Before seeing this video I thought I had pretty fast internet, however it states that a fiber optic cable has been created and tested to send 14 trillion bits of data per second down a single strand of fiber ….. a single strand! Imagine having that coming straight to your house, lol! With the capability to handle 210 million phone calls a second, and tripling every six months, this is truly the technology of the future.

The fact that really scares me in this video is: “Predictions are that by 2049, a $1000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species”. Seriously …. wow! It is very apparent that a computer will soon, if not already, be able to exceed the computational capabilities of a single person, however the entire species in only 39 years ……….. insane! And to think it will only cost $1,000?!?!?! What does $1,000 get you these days? A core 2 duo with 4gb of ram?

Technology in the past and even now is rather amazing, however the rate it is being developed I think it is becoming dangerous. Have all these movies predicting that computers will take over the world actually come true? I guess only time will tell, but in the mean time I guess we have to work out how to keep up with it!

Categories: Enterprise 2.0