Is This Future Shock?

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Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Data Portability – Data Ownership

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having seen Robert Scoble’s latest post on Facebook’s rant about dataportability problems I thought it might be necessary for me to try and hone my understanding a bit.

I have data on A Social Network (ASN); this might include my name, email address, and a photo of me.

I also show other data on there; the identities of some of my friends, possibly including their contact details. A few RSS streams, some photos of some buddies when we went climbing…

ASN also shows some data about me; my subscriber status, my feedback rate and so on.

Which is mine? Well, my address and email; my assertion about my friends.

Which is my friends? Their email addresses; their photographs possibly .

What belongs to ASN? At a guess, my subscriber status, and possibly the feedback rating that members of the site have co-operated to give me with ASN’s system.

What can I take with me? This is where it gets tricky…

I can/should be able to take my name/identity/email address.

What about my friend’s email address? They might not want me to take it to another site.

What if I can identify them another way? How about their ID? My current OpenID is this blog… If someone wants to assert they are a friend of http://shaidorsai.wordpress.com should that bother me? I freely make my blog available; if I can link to you(your OpenID) – I’m not linking to anything you don’t want used.

Just like with content, if I pass it off as mine, that’s wrong. Linking to things is what holds the internet together – so, I can link to the information that you do make publicly available. That may, or may not, include your email address.

What about those photos my friends took? Well, to be honest, it depends what they want to do with them. Howsabout if I say that I can point a link to them, if publicly available? If the link is on a commercial website, and they don’t want their pictures used there, they can either tell a linker to take them down on a case-by-case basis (unless we believe that most people will ask for permission) – or licence them with Creative Commons.

How will that work with my FOAF? I don’t know – yet – but am starting to play with this.

Would you object to me asserting a relationship to your OpenID? If you did, what do you think I should do, or you could do? Unless you explicitly assert the relationship back, how believable is my claim?

Should a FOAF be CreativeCommons Licenced?

Should I be able to take the ASN data? It depends, is the traditional answer; if they built it, they paid for it, they use it… perhaps I should pay if I want to take it – or maybe I can just point to it, while I reatain a relationship with ASN

Written by SteveEllwood

March 27th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Ownership of Social Networks? or the data we give them?

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Following a couple of interesting tweets on Twitter, I started following Brian Kelly and, as usual had a look to see if his blog was interesting. It is, and I’ve joined in with his Pownce experimenting – you can find me here.

One of his latest posts touched on ownership of social networks asking:

  • Who should own the social networks?
  • Should ownership of social networks be any different from other software services we use in our institutions (including VLEs such as Blackboard, Web 2.0 services such as Flickr or blogging services such as Edublogs Campus)
  • How should a transition to a change of ownership take place?
  • How realistic is the transition strategy?
  • How do you know what this is what the users actually want?
  • How will social networking services be funded under alternative ownership resources? And if the answer is increased taxes, how will you get that past the Daily Mail readership which seem to be influential in informing policy discussions for both the Labour and Conservative parties?

This followed concerns being raised by Frances Bell and Josie Fraser about the ownership of the social networks – particularly Facebook.

As an employee of a *huge* telecom/ICT firm, the idea of any state ownership of social networks seems faintly odd. If we trust private firms to provide the infrastructure that these social networks run over – because, of course, we can always switch to another supplier – why *wouldn’t* you trust private firms to run the social networks?

The social networks – be they Facebook, Orkut, bebo, MySpace or something from ning – are the pipes that we deploy our social graphs across. Pete Johnson gives a good explanation of graph vs. network.

Now, if I can take my graph off that network… [hey, isn’t that beginnning to look like Data Portability – and aren’t Facebook saying they’lll play?] … can I use it somewhere else? Which bits of the data are mine is a different issue.

Well, not yet. But maybe soon. And when that happens, won’t these concerns about who runs the “pipes” be less significant?
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Written by SteveEllwood

January 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Wikis, social networking and Facebook

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Wikis 
I’ve written before about wikis and the intranet, and how I saw advantages in their use.

My colleague Sandy – who has the patience of a saint – sighs, and explains that scalability and control are a bit more of an issue when you have 100k users rather than 30.

I counter with Knowledge Management working better when you have involved Communities of Practice, pointing out that wikis are ideal for those and we go round again.

I was interested to see Abigail Lewis-Bowen’s view at the Intranet Benchmarking Forum which suggests that

“it’s important to provide Wikis and Blogs only after processes for publishing “formal” information channels to the Intranet are well established.  If the right people are publishing to the right place on the Intranet, and there is good editorial workflow and governance, then the Intranet is sturdy enough to add an open, less-structured layer of content.”

Basically, if your intranet functions OK, go for it; require authenticated log-in, provide good how-tos and link the formal stuff to the “under-Web” [lovely coining by Paul Miller in his Trends for 2008]

Social Networking

Still lots of interest at work in:

  •  what this is (yes, I know you know, dear reader, but I’m still working it out; so have patience).
  • what can we get from this – and an interesting term I hadn’t heard before – Social Capital. I mean, I now know it’s been around for years, with the first cite being around 110 *years* ago.
  • how we can facilitate it – what tools, what processes?

I think it’s partly culture, partly tools,  and partly process.

As part of my Personal Development Plan(PDP), I’d decided this was a key area to understand and try and utilise. My company’s culture encourages us to drive robust PDPs. I’d found a range of tools – each new one pointed to by posting on previous tool, and learned from them. The process is the bit that is currently blocking wider acceptance of this; how do you measure the value. As long as nobody starts talking about a business model  I’ll be happy.

Facebook

I’ve had Facebook for a while, but following the irritation I – and a number of other friends – had been feeling with Vampires, “funny” videos, LOLcatz I removed FunWall and SuperWall. I update my status via Twitter  – and so do many others, and am currently using Twitter more – but I still use Facebook.

It’s still a nice application for seeing what your friends/colleagues are doing and provides a way of managing the various contacts – true, I want to be able to escape from the walled garden – but that looks like it’s coming.

I’ve been able to build

  • online relationships with the people I’ve “friended”
  • knowledge of Web2.0
  • understanding of some of the tools
  • links with people I’d never have heard of…

 JP Rangaswami says

“The information that flows through a social network exists in three dimensions. One dimension is time, past, present and future. A second dimension is number, one to many. A third is movement, static to dynamic. When I share my contact details with another person, I am providing static, present, one-to-one information.  When I share what I am intending to do with a whole community, I am providing dynamic, future, one-to-many information.

The motivation to provide information is, at least in part, driven by an expected value of the information coming out of Facebook. And one other thing: the comfort level of providing, to a community, what is essentially private information.

Generation M and their successors are comfortable with sharing their past actions, current state and their future intentions with the community they belong to; they’re comfortable with sharing changes to states and intentions as well. They do this because they believe new value will emerge from that sharing. Collaborative, communal value, shared value.”

I think that’s fair – and I look forward to how we’re going to use “Facebook for the Enterprise” to leverage the social capital we’re looking for.

Written by SteveEllwood

January 18th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Trust, OpenID, VRM, Data Portability and how does it hang together?

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… or who am I, anyway? Do *you* trust me?

I’m a moderately keen Facebook user. I have a number of friends, and am in a few groups – although I avoid all zombie battles and the like.

I’m a member of a number of web forums, and a newsgroup user.

I also blog in a couple of places, Twitter, and use some other Web2.0/blogging tools. I use last.fm intermittently.

I don’t think any of my online contacts know all the places I am, and I have differing reputations/standing in all of them.

None of the DVD/bookshops I use know enough about me to target me precisely – except Amazon – and while they provided the infrastructure to learn about my *purchases*, I provided large amounts of rating information to them – and told them which of my purchases (for others) not to use for recommendations.

I became interested in VRM following some posts by JP, whose other posts on ownership of information have exercised me a bit.

I’d also heard about a bit about OpenID but thought that would be a bit taxing to understand for a neophyte like me – when I suddenly discovered that I could use this blog as an OpenID… it now makes commenting on other folks blogs a bit easier, and helped sort out my QDOS application [FWIW, I have a shamefully low QDOS of 1100].

Once again, JP in a series of tweets including here, here and here started discussing communal ownership of information and its relation to identity.

I can use my identity here to let me comment on folk’s blogs. I’m an unknown blogger, and so not trusted as an authority.

One of the forums I frequent, I’ve been a member since near inception; I posted a lot; I’ve accrued karma/reputation points; I know some of the moderators; I organised group buys (basically taking on the hassle of ordering scores of items worth hundreds/thousands of dollars for members). I’m *trusted* there.

Now, does my reputation there belong to me, or to the community who accorded me the reputation?

In fact, some of it does seem to belong to me, as I posted on another related forum (to do with bushcraft, if you must know) and I was challenged about something. Another poster (who I didn’t think I knew) said something like “Nah, he’s alright. I know him from x, and he’s been about for years and knows a lot about this.” He “knew” me because he recognised my nickname and location. He used differing nicknames, so I couldn’t have vouched for him. If I’d logged in with my OpenID, it would be more obvious.

I’d like to take my data with me and share it with whom I want. Is Data Portability the answer? Well, yes. For some of it, and seeing @jowyang’s post encourages me to believe there’ll be some movement.

And no, not unless we sort out which data is mine. The karma others gave me in a bushcraft group? My technorati rating (as if!). Even if it was mine, how we going to transfer that?

I’m going to watch the debate with interest – and learn more, I hope.

Written by SteveEllwood

January 11th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Lots of Web 2.0 bits

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Since I started using Facebook regularly, the most interesting things I’ve found are:

  • blog posts written by others, that lead me to find out more about what’s happening in the internet area (OK, I’m failing to avoid saying Web 2.0)
  • bits in people status feeds that make me think “I wonder what that is?”

Some of the things I’ve found recently (yes, I know they’re all probably old hat)

Twitter – letting folk know your presence/activity

Jaiku – another presence/group/blogging monitoring thing, with the ability to add “channels”

Spinvox – does voice to text stuff, but lets you update Facebook/twitter/Jaiku by phone, which is fun

Tumblr – which allows you to rapidly add links, quotes, text, photos to a stream – and you can add channels, too. I use it for grabbing links, which I RSS to my blog

Tabblo – a photo/text/story/printing site – lets you *easily* bring photos in from Flickr and fairly easily from Picasa; let’s you produce interesting photo displays that you can print as PDF; locally; for free …

Picknik – which lets you edit *online* phots on your PC, Picasa, Facebook, Flickr. Very nice.

Pandora – recommends – and plays – music for you based on characteristics of music that you’ve indicated you like. Lots of fun, and works differently to last.fm which I also use

I think I’ll probably edit this as I recall/use more bits ‘n bobs.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 27th, 2007 at 10:30 am

How should corporates engage with Facebook?

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Facebook has now started a wide range Business Services, and a number of businesses are establishing Facebook Pages.

One I know relatively well, was a firm called Plusnet ( a wholly owned subsidiary of BT) , who set up their pages at Facebook on November 9 – (the link won’t work unless you’re a Facebook member, but the closed model isn’t the point of this posting).

They’ve decided to set up an official presence there, in addition to their engagement with an “unofficial” PlusNet group. How’s it working? Difficult to say, they have attracted about 100 odd fans in the couple of weeks since the group has been formed. How are they going to interact with people with issues? Well, on their user forums, they do actively engage with their customers. I hope they’ll do so in Facebook, too.

Why do I think it is important?

Well, in a Web 2.0 world, the way companies do business, largely through their marketing, is changing, and we have to step up to it.

In 2001, Idris Mootee discussed a new 4P’s in High Intensity Marketing. This was pre-Web2.0. He talked about

the “New 4Ps” model to supplement the traditional marketing 4Ps. They are Personalization, Participation, Peer-to-Peer and Predictive Modeling. …

The first “P” is the simple idea of “Personalization” which now takes on a whole new meaning … I was focusing on customization of products and services through the Internet.

The second “P” is the concept of “Participation”, it is to allow customer to participate in what the brand should stand for; what should be the product directions and even which ads to run. This concept is laying the foundation for disruptive change that we have yet to see the full impact. Looking back I was grossly underestimating the degree of democratization brought about by this idea. By enabling each of us to create and publish our own stories, the power of deciding what we read; listen and watch has spread from a handful of media companies to anyone with a camera, a connection and a computer.

The third “P” is “Peer-to-Peer””interruptive” which refers to customer networks and communities where advocacy happens. The historical problem with marketing is that it is in nature, trying to impose their brand on the customer. This is most apparent in TV ad, which pushes out its own idea of what brand is without engaging the customers. These “passive customer base” will ultimately be replaced by the “active customer communities”. Brand engagement happens within those conversations.

The last “P” is “Predictive Modeling” which refers to neural networks algorithms that are being successfully applied in marketing problems (both a regression as well as a classification problem).

His recentish post about this highlights changes

strategic marketing theory, concepts and practices. In this “experience economy”, strategic marketing now plays a different role. It is now “conversation-driven”, “social network-powered”’, “technology-enabled” and “information-intensive”.

Miss the conversations about you on Facebook… miss the pressure points you need to hit.
Don’t engage with your customers where they want to enage with you, they may not stay your customers.

If you want to be 1st for Customer Service, you need to be hearing what your customers are telling you.

After all, how do you want to hit the headlines in a Web 2.0 world?
“They talk to me from Facebook” or “I complained via YouTube

Most big corporations have a High Level/Executive Complaints team; maybe they could actively pursue service improvement opportunities that are made in similar public spaces. After all, why haven’t the normal routes worked?

The Cluetrain Manifesto has a few thoughts about how people might interact

  • We like this new marketplace much better. In fact, we are creating it.
  • You’re invited, but it’s our world. Take your shoes off at the door. If you want to barter with us, get down off that camel!
  • If you want us to talk to you, tell us something. Make it something interesting for a change.
  • We’ve got some ideas for you too: some new tools we need, some better service. Stuff we’d be willing to pay for. Got a minute?
  • You’re too busy “doing business” to answer our email? Oh gosh, sorry, gee, we’ll come back later. Maybe.
  • You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.
  • Your product broke. Why? We’d like to ask the guy who made it. Your corporate strategy makes no sense. We’d like to have a chat with your CEO. What do you mean she’s not in?

Written by SteveEllwood

November 23rd, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Facebook

Tagged with , , ,

Facebook keeps on rolling…

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Stowe Boyd, a key blogger on social networking inter alia is suggesting that corporate blogs may wind down in favour of Facebook Business pages?

Is he right? He’s actually experimenting

“So I think I will try an experiment. I will retire /Messengers — maybe permanently — and set up shop on Facebook. The existing content at /Messengers will be migrated to /Message, and some bits of it might be repurposed for the new page at Facebook for Stowe Boyd And The /Messengers. Go take a look.

… but I am interested to see if my biz presence fans out through fans. Fan me!”

I’m still working on how we could usefully interact with our customers on Facebook; looks likely some other folk will be thinking about that, too.

Some commenters think *less* companies are going to allow Facebook interaction.

I think they are wrong.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 15th, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Facebook

How do business users use Facebook?

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I was glancing at the Facebook news (thanks, Google Alerts ) and saw an interesting piece on facereviews (looks at facebook applications) on how a senior product manager uses Facebook.

It was all about using the networking capability of Facebook itself (rather than the applications), and suggested a rather more positive view of Facebook than LinkedIn.

“Business users need to remember that business is all about people and your relationships with those people. Keeping connected to those people in your network is important for a multitude of reasons.

…talks about how she keeps in touch with her network of work, career and business connections worldwide… She keeps connected to her peers … via Facebook.

She shared why she prefers facebook to Linked In from a business perspective and how the Facebook experience is much richer and more personal with those business contacts. She also talks about how Facebook really makes communicating easy and much more personal than Linked In (too stark & regimented)”

I’m a moderately interested user of Facebook, and have a nascent network on LinkedIn. Currently, I’m certainly learning more and getting more interest from Facebook. I think I share Jennifer’s view.

I’m thinking more now about how a corporate entity can use Facebook to build relationships within the group – and with its customers. Now doubt I’ll post more later.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 14th, 2007 at 9:57 am

Posted in Facebook

Is Facebook a symptom or a cure?

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In a thoughtful post at Inside Out Richard asked if

“‘… there seems only one cause behind all forms of misery: bigness’ (i.e. as the organisations around us get bigger, we feel smaller, alienated, lose autonomy and control and become institutionalised – we become, ‘… dominated by gigantic, impersonal, bureaucratic, standardised entities’).

I wonder whether the phenomenal popularity of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are another manifestation of this malaise, or part of the solution?”

I’m firmly of the view that Facebook is part of the solution. It allows groupings to form outside the normal hierarchical or organisational boundaries, and lets people learn from each other – and perhaps more importantly from each others contacts very easily.

I can follow Inside Out easily from Facebook, along with multiple other aspects; yes, I know *I* could use an RSS feed, but Facebook is somehow both easier and more welcoming.

Although, as was pointed out to me quite firmly by another colleague, providing links to Facebook content without considering that not everyone is a member and “with time to waste” could be considered rude.

So far?I think it has the potential to be a cure.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 2nd, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Facebook

Another time, another place?

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Another time, another place – not just a saying, it’s also a film made near my home.
Well, another place to blog anyway.

Why? because it links into Facebook, and this might make it easier than my current way of importing my existing external WP blog into Facebook as notes.

I’m beginning to build connections and understanding through Facebook and getting a glimmer of how it can be useful, as I see connections building between friends and colleagues.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 1st, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Posted in blogging,Facebook