Category: Enterprise 2.0

Workplace Change Agents.

Cool Workspace

Workplace Change Agents is a dedicated team of workplace interior designers and change managers who create the perfect working environment for enterprises and startups that reflect the (desired) corporate culture of the company. They do this by entering the firm for a three-six months analysis period and recommend both improvements in the structure, processes and people needed to be more effective and productive using all the current (and state-of-the-art) technologies and best practices. They don’t just deliver, they participate and make things better in close collaboration with the people and always in respect with the current context.

Triesikstie: virtual war rooms & standup meeting rooms. #oipd

Triesikstie offers an extra service to Google Hangout and/or Skype whereby you can add a virtual room to a conference call. This virtual room can be filled with images, presentations, documents, etc that need discussion. Or these documents can be used as the input for a brainstorm or just to keep track of the daily progress in SCRUM or agile working environment. You can dress up the room and indulge your customers, partners or co-workers in an unique remote virtual collaborative (marketing) experience.

triesikstie virtual meeting room Triesikstie only costs $1 per room per day and offers unlimited user access.

Why business communities fail?

Businesses don’t realize what communities are all about. They don’t understand what the social digital revolution is all about. Business let their marketing and/or IT department experiment, throwing lots of money at it without a clear vision on the benefits for the company.

Business communities fail because they put their business upfront and not the community. Value for the business does not equal value for the user. That’s why even well-build communities don’t gain traction with its users. Too much whistles and bells make communities too difficult to understand. Users will come once, say “waaaw” and “too difficult” and never return. Relevance for the business can only be achieved when they feel like stakeholders in their company whose opinions really matter. Off course, it’s not only about user opinions. It’s the conversation that creates value for both, the users and the company.

The technology is indeed important but it’s only a means to achieve the goal of the community. In fact, it’s so easy to set up an online community but that’s just like seeding a lawn —lots of watering and fertilizing has to happen next. Having a dedicated staff to continuously search ways to inspire and engage other business employees to actively participate in communities can be a tremendous benefit.

So, when a company understands that the focus on communities is not technologically driven but socially driven, perhaps they shouldn’t spend all their money on the technology creating communities happen but more on an acquisition & retention strategy. A community only gets as big as the passionate users who engage in it. Only 5% of the Wikipedia users are responsible for more than 50% of the contributions. All users benefit from it.

Therefore, business should realize that top down implementation isn’t the right way to implement a business community. Just guessing what the community should do, it won’t work. You will have to empower the business employees and all business lines to define your community proposition. When launching a community small and simple with the single intent of letting members tell you how to grow it bigger and better, and not by guessing, you stimulate the conversation in, over and about your business. Unlike most business processes, communities don’t work when people are obliged to participate in them. When you touch the right nerve, users will be willing to give you all the information you need to be more efficient, productive and loved… When you ask them to participate and they see business owners listen to the comments on business products and processes so they get improved, your community will flourish.

So how can you gain traction with your customers? Hold a couple of rules in mind:

1.       The focus of your community is people. People with a voice that want to be heard.

2.       The focus of your business community should be collaboration & co-creation, not only information.

3.       Don’t spend all your money on technology but also on people running the community.
Activation & retention are the two main objectives of these passionate people.

4.       Business owners should listen, participate and use the information to improve business products and processes.

Advertising 2.0

I read an article today in a paper where the tasks of a marketeer are explained. These were the five tasks:

  • Lead generation
  • Increase client loyalty
  • Client happiness
  • Marketing accountability
  • Product & services innovation

Perhaps I am a bit ambitious but there is a solution to it. Here are some steps that respond to the tasks of a marketeer.

 

In the WebNu, you always have to take 5 steps:

  1. Establish your brand (be findable)
  2. Demonstrate your brand (be exiting)
  3. Challenge with your brand (create connections)
  4. Offer relevance to the customer (turn connections into relationships)
  5. Offer products & services in a relevant context (sales)

You can not expect from a customer that he stays his lifetime exclusively with your brand but your brand can have the best offer (product or service) at a certain time. If you are not connected to this customer and you don’t have a meaningful relationship with him, you can’t make that offer. Marketing’s responsibility is larger than just advertising. It should be lifecycle information management of your customer base. This insight, well used, creates opportunities for business innovation and transformation.

 

While saying this in the WebNu, a company needs to prepare itself and make the shift using enterprise 2.0 tools and an advertising 2.0 spirit to gain a competitive advantage. Integration of your business is crucial and should be built from a customer obsessed perspective; the empowered customer.

WebNu in Plain English (Web2.0 & Enterprise2.0)

Since quite some time, I’m a huge fan of Lee and Sachi Lefever of Common Craft Productions who uses a simple format and real-world stories to explain web 2.0 in plain English. Here is a wrap-up and must-see of their best videos (imho) that explain things you need to know about Web2.0.This is their most recent creation. A video for people who wonder why blogs are such a big deal; Blogs in Plain English.

Now we’re all reporters and producers of content, we’ll need a way to manage it all. The power of RSS readers is huge and the only way not to lose time when following all kind of online sources. It’s a must have for everyone who is online and lives like that. I’m a fan and user of Netvibes. But here’s the intro: RSS in Plain English.

Another manner to organize your online content is bookmarking. Bookmarking is useful except when you don’t classify them immediately and don’t use clear tags. For both work and pleasure fun, I use del.icio.us. People need to know about the power of social bookmarking and how it makes web pages easy to remember, organize and share; Social Bookmarking in Plain English.

From social bookmarking to social networking now. Social Networking wins at popularity and gets more and more attention. Facebook, Myspace, Netlog, etc. are companies who enable people to make and maintain friendships. Common Craft made this video for people who wonder why social networking sites are so popular. They believe that it solves a real world problem. And I agree. So, here’s Social Networking in Plain English.

There are also some cool business networks. I use LinkedIn & Plaxo every day. And to finish this series, let’s enterprise 2.0 a bit… (awful term isn’t it J) Working together can be made much easier. Collaborating on a shared platform as on for instance wiki’s is much more efficient than you might think. Wiki web sites are easy to use, but hard to describe. Common Craft uses the practical example of planning a camping trip to explain; Wiki’s in Plain English.

A big Yéééééééh for Common Craft Productions!

The medium wás the message, WebNu is about the conversation.

I remember well. My teacher media, Erik Meganck, told me in 5th grade all about Marshal McLuhan and how his famous quote “the medium is the message” did evoke a big discussion in our classroom. He didn’t however tell us much about the “global village”, and that’s something that, even today, I regret. But one thing’s for sure; I found his lessons (among) the best I’ve ever had.

But back to the famous quote of McLuhan: “The medium is the message.”
I believe it’s not about what you are trying to communicate but how it’s communicated. His statement was made when mass communication media was just taken over by commerce. There was no conversation possible what-so-ever. The message was send to everyone in the hope someone picked it up, tried it and, in the best practices, told a friend to do also. Only messages that were very good reached a form of storytelling. Advertising evolved form information to seductive infotainment.

Times have changed. The conversation is the most important driver of web 2.0. Comments on blogs, messages on profiles in social networks, etc. have no other purpose than to share thoughts on a post, personal interests or a particular theme that the writer covers. Enterprises that spent millions at advertising should embrace this principle. They need to see their consumers as customers who co-create. Customers nowadays are empowered and could make or break your brand or product. A customer is someone who is a producer, user, participant, member & critic at the same time. Targeting a customer with even the simplest message isn’t so easy anymore. But there is a solution for this. That needs a shift in the enterprises’ mindset. Start a conversation with your (potential) customers?

A conversation can mean a lot of things but in fact, it’s dead simple: Connecting with people creates empty relationships, conversations between people creates meaningful relationships. Communities are built this way. In a commercial point-of-view, these relationships are underdeveloped, not fully exploited. Enterprises have a lot of connections but they should turn them in relations. A good conversation is not easy to create. It just happens, like all good things in life. When the quality of your message is good, it will be noticed. It will engage people to comment and help you forward with constructive criticism. Therefore offer your customers an experience. The user experience will reflect on your brand and/or products. Both positive as negative is possible. But your engagement will give you an advantage in cases of doubt.

Starting a conversation needs engagement from your part. But the conversation will soon become your legitimation of trustworthiness. It’s all about the conversation. So start today.

Do you think I’m right?

Inspirational source

WebNu is not only about technology.

The values of WebNu are values that describe the era we live in. It’s not only the technology. The WebNu values are indispensable and you have to adopt them. Although that’s what I think.

The WebNu values (as described below) are not exhaustive:
Live in & by the community;
It’s all about identity (who am I in what context), co-creation (enrich ideas and concepts through interacting with your communities through your own ecosystem), collaboration (work together, efficient and fast), live the open source (be transparent, fair, open and empower people to add value to your product, platform or application) and sustainability.

It’s important to see how this reflects on the value propositions organizations make. They should engage in finding it more important to have a value proposition for its employees & customers than for their products. I don’t say the product -an sich- isn’t important, I just say it comes second.

Mindshare is more important than market share!

The capacity to consume is brought by the capacity of information. Local knowledge should be noticed, discussed and approved before it can be implemented and have an impact on your organization. People always had, have and will have the aspiration to connect. Take advantage and create a tool to enable them to collaborate openly. See who works and who doesn’t. Turn your organization into a flexible company where your human capital can prove itself and work gets done more effectively.

My inspirational source

How to use web 2.0 – The network effect.

David E. Gumpert tells us in BusinessWeek that there are three keys to succesfully exploiting web 2.0:
1. Create a community to define the business goals.
2. Don’t give up old marketing techniques.
3. Listen & reply when people tell you something.

I think he’s not quite the expert BusinessWeek want us to believe he is…

It’s not a good idea to let the community define your business goals. Business goals should be set by the business owner. The community has an added value but it’s up to the business owner to use the community for its best purposes. This can be done by a tailored Customer Relationship Management program. After the business owner has set his business goals, he should wisely choose which media to use for his marketing. Traditional marketing is not money trown away but internet marketing has a lot of advantages. The two most important advantages are in its nature: Interaction with the customer (through feedback) & measurable results (ROI)

What was formerly known as word-to-mouth is still important and the viral network effect online makes it go faster than anything else (p.e. Mentos & Iphone in a blender) The network effect has everything to do with connecting & collaborating in your own personalized, both online and offline, ecosystem of interest & communication.

Ecosystem CRM

While communication is all around, using web 2.0 applications can ease your online life but it can also make it harder. You have to choose which means you use. To much of everything makes is just unmanageable.

What we do is what we are

Share your pictures on Flickr. Twitter your life in real time. Participate in social networks like Facebook, Netlog or MySpace. Manage your professional contacts in LinkedIn or Xing. Communities get created through sharing of interests and interaction. The value for members is defined by the tasks a website has to offer.

Spectrum of the community

The value for business is stipulated by the involvement of individuals in their community.

My inspirational source

The web is now: WebNu!

First there was web 1.0. Than there was web 2.0 and now people all over the world are speculating about the who and the what of web 3.0, 4.0 and even 5.0. The discussion of what is what and how it became that way is not relevant.

web10vsweb20

I think the web is becoming more and more mature everyday. But thinking in terms of versions isn’t a good idea. The web is instantly satisfying. You don’t have to be a whizzkid to know your way around and to ease your online life. If you use the correct keywords, you find whatever you are searching for. All information is just one click away.

The web is now.
I call it: WebNu!

And I will try to explain my vision in inspirational posts.
I hope you will enjoy reading it. Let me know what you think.