Tag Archives | Social Networking

Does Social Media Make Us Less Social?

What is greater social impact of social media? Does getting caught up in an online social world somehow detract from real-life interactions? Northeastern University asked Brooke Foucault Welles, assistant professor of communication studies, about the impact of social networks and whether indulging Facebook and Twitter can be as addicting as cigarettes in a recent “3Qs” feature.

As someone with a mild addiction to social media (my wife might call it severe), I was intrigued by Welles answers, particularly on the question about digital technology and social media affecting our interpersonal skills:

Rather than disrupting our social and interpersonal skills, social media appear to magnify our existing social behaviors. If you tend to be socially isolated in the offline world, spending a lot of time online can intensify that.

She adds the opposite is true for social butterflies, that social media can help build those relationships.

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Information Overload

Employee Reaction to Internal Social Media: Meh

Email, Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, text messages, corporate intranets. Information is flowing at employees at a rapid rate through an increasing number of channels.  Now, internal social networks are starting to make inroads in corporate environments as yet another way of keeping employees in the loop. But are the effective?

According to Deloitte’s recent “Core Values and Beliefs” survey, executives believe internal social networks are a success with 45 percent thinking they have positive effect on the workplace culture while only 21 percent of employees shared that view. There’s a similar difference on whether these networks increase management transparency with 38 percent of managers thinking so while on 17 percent of employees believe so.

Why? It goes back to the first sentence of this post. There’s so many ways to get information, many of them push/interruptive, that remembering to login to the corporate social networking site sometimes slips the mind. It also depends on the work environment and people’s preferences for getting information.

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Social Media Strategist or Pest?

Public relations professionals, marketers, journalists and spammers? While social networking platforms have become ubiquitous in the personal and now professional realms, the reality of social media still has some folks associating legitimate work for unsolicited junk being forced upon them.

IT Organizations Should Adopt Social Media

Recently I encountered a bit of hostility on an internal social networking platform when sharing a link to one of the several blog posts on Service Assurance Daily. I was called a “serial pest” for incessantly posting my own agenda, and the comment sparked a bit of discussion in which many agreed my contributions to the group were annoying, without value and unwelcome. The original comment also inspired others to defend my right to post to the group and even generated extremely supportive statements regarding the parameters of my job and the value of the information I shared.

Having been writing publicly for some 20 years, my skin is well beyond thick enough to take such comments and I was not personally offended. I am well aware not every person that sees a Twitter update, LinkedIn post, Google+ share or Facebook status from me finds the information useful or interesting. (There are many that do, fortunately for me.) Still I was a bit surprised in this era of social media and virtual workforces that someone would find it appropriate to suggest another individual didn’t have the same rights to post information to the group. It seemed the equivalent of telling a co-worker providing a status report in the conference room, “Be quiet; no one cares about what you do.”

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Service Assurance Daily Weekly Reading List

Apple’s Big Show: Your iPad Just Became Totally Obsolete

Bloomberg Businessweek covered the much anticipated news from Apple this week regarding the third generation of its iPad tablet PC. While some have argued the latest version of the popular tablet isn’t a game-changer, this report confirms that Apple continues to raise the bar much higher than it seems competitors can reach with their own tablet offerings.

Enterprise IT Likes What It Sees in the New iPad

Network World also covered Apple’s news, but from the perspective of enterprise IT. According to the article, initial reactions to the new tablet were good, with a few exceptions among those who said they’d like a processing boost in the third-generation iPad.

Windows 8 Survey: Half Who Have Tried the OS Wouldn’t Recommend It

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview is getting mixed reviews, at least according to a survey of some 2,900 people that had installed the operating system and responded to a PCWorld survey. Among the new features dividing end users is the new Metro interface, which some hailed as innovative and fun and others criticized as more suitable to a tablet and proof the desktop was an afterthought when designing Windows 8. Could this be the next Windows Vista?

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IT Organizations Should Adopt Social Media

Social media platforms have become the norm for many facets of business, and the idea that social media platforms are for personal or recreational use only is outdated. Still it’s not clear if IT organizations fully understand the value they could offer end users by incorporating social media tools into their day-to-day routine. And it seems they understand less how using such technologies could also benefit the IT organization.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook provide a means of mass communication that could be easily integrated into the IT organizations’ as well as the end users’ daily routines. The stereotypes of IT staff being difficult to deal with or condescending to end users may be fading, but with the implementation of a social media strategy they will become a thing of the past completely. (Jimmy Fallon’s skits as “Nick Burns: Your company’s computer guy” from Saturday Night Live come to mind.)

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Twitter: Could You Quit Anytime?

Often I hear myself explaining to people that I use social media as a primary part of my livelihood, justifying my seemingly always-online presence. A recent study could blow the cover off a bigger issue that even I am not completely ready to admit. This research shows that for many checking e-mail, posting to Twitter and updating Facebook is not just a pastime; it is more like an addiction. An addiction that researchers say could be harder for some to kick than cigarettes and alcohol.

According to an article in The Guardian (the same study was also reported in Medical Daily), a study of 205 people aged between 18 and 85 revealed that it may be more difficult for people to ignore the desire to tweet, post and e-mail than it is to resist the urge to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco. The study tested the willpower of participants and required they report their “desire episodes,” according to The Guardian article.

Other cravings such as sleep or sex could be stronger than the urge to use social media, the study team reported, but people are more likely to give into the desires for social media. That could be because the stronger desires simply aren’t feasible, say, if an individual is at the work place. But study leaders said resisting the lesser desires to give into tobacco or alcohol could be because of perceived long-term consequences.

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Is Your Klout Score Higher Than a 12-Year-Old’s

I broke into hysterical laughter last night and couldn’t stop when I discovered that my son’s Klout score is higher than mine. His score is higher than all of the people I work with that engage in social media on a daily basis. Mind you, I severely restrict his online access and he does not have a Facebook, Tumblr or MySpace account. I did allow him to have an e-mail account and post content on YouTube. He’s not allowed to show his face, name, age, where he goes to school or his residence. My son’s misfortune is that his parents are very tech-savvy, which limits his ability to outsmart us when it comes to technology. Well, at least in the near term.

Despite all the precautions I take, my son has more online influence (according to Klout) than me and most professional social marketers. While my ego took a hit and I questioned Klout’s influence algorithm, I couldn’t help but think about what I could learn from my son. He didn’t understand the humor and irony of the situation. He patiently told me all kinds of things about search engine optimization techniques without actually using the vocabulary or having the awareness that it’s exactly what he was doing. I was amazed and quickly realized that social media is second nature to him and his peers. He reassured me that what he told me was common knowledge amongst his school buddies. While busy adults and professionals devise all kinds of organization and naming schemes to help each other understand social media and its impact better, their kids are busy living it.

It dawned on me that the next generation and future workforce is so social technologically savvy that it will no longer be a debate whether social capabilities should be a part of an enterprise application. It will be a basic requirement. I don’t know of many popular applications for the younger set that lack social capabilities. Even stuffed animals now have online profiles. These kids expect every app they touch to give them the capability to connect, share and promote content and ideas. And why shouldn’t they?

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Marketers Can’t Capitalize on Social Media Potential

Social media promises to help marketers better connect with customers, yet a recent study conducted by IBM proves that despite the opportunities presented by sites such as Twitter and Facebook, marketing executives feel unable to tap the potential.

The 2011 IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study surveyed more than 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and 19 industries and found the top executives recognize that the way they interact with customers is changing and probably changing for the long-term. Yet the same study revealed that many don’t feel adequately prepared or equipped to deal with the change or take advantage of the potential opportunities made possible due to the shift.

“Customers are sharing their experiences widely online, giving them more control and influence over brands. This shift in the balance of power from organizations to their customers requires new marketing approaches, tools and skills in order to stay competitive,” an IBM press release reads. “CMOs are aware of this changing landscape, but are struggling to respond. More than 50% of CMOs think they are underprepared to manage key market forces – from social media to greater customer collaboration and influence – indicating that they will have to make fundamental changes to traditional methods of brand and product marketing.”

For instance, 82% of CMOs polled for the IBM study said they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years. But just 26% admitted to tracking blogs today and 40% indicated they track any online communications, according to the study. And according to a Reuters story on the data, 82% of the CMOs in the study still rely on traditional market research to shape marketing strategies.

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Dealing with Disaster via Social Media

As everyone in the country probably knows by now, Hurricane Irene traveled up the East Coast this past weekend wreaking havoc in many areas, causing several deaths, shutting down power to many locations and producing much physical damage.

For those of us completely unscathed by the natural disaster, watching the footage of less fortunate areas on the news wasn’t nearly as compelling as tracking social media accounts that could provide insight into locations not necessarily covered by national or local news teams. I realize the fact that people spread the word quickly via social networking sites isn’t news, but it was news to me that I was able to more accurately track the weather and more specifically the condition of my friends’ and family’s homes via Facebook, for instance. I hear the same about Twitter, which alerted one colleague to a downed tree in his neighborhood.

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Minority Report

Minority Report: Social Network Study Examines the Spread of Ideas

Ever wonder how some seemingly unpopular premise, say a particular political candidate for instance, suddenly gathers support and becomes popular among the majority? Recent research on how opinion spreads shows that true believers in any idea can influence those around them, turning a minority thought into a majority stance.

This conclusion came from scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who recently discovered that as soon as a belief is held by 10% of any given population, then the belief will spread “like flame” to become majority opinion. The scientists, members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at RPI, used computational and analytical methods to determine the tipping point at which the minority belief becomes majority opinion, according to an article published this week by ScienceDaily.

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Jobvite social recruiting pans

Looking for Work? Update Your Social Networking Accounts

If you often post pictures of yourself in compromising yet hilarious situations on Facebook and you happen to be looking for work, then you might want to overhaul your page. Recent research shows that nearly 90% of recruiting and hiring professionals will be tapping social networking sites in their searches for new job candidates.

Jobvite, a recruiting platform for the social Web, recently announced the results of its annual Social Recruiting Survey, which was conducted in June and polled some 800 U.S.-based human resources and recruitment professionals regarding their use of social networking technologies in recruiting activities. The results showed that 89% plan to recruit through social media this year, and nearly two-thirds (64%) have expanded their use of social networking sites to two or more networks.

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The Power, Speed and Celebrity of Social Media

Immediately following the not guilty verdict on several counts of murder in relation to the death of Caylee Anthony handed down by the Florida jury to the toddler’s mother Casey Anthony, the social media realm exploded in what could best be described as shock and awe.

After the public became familiar with the Anthony family and the plight of the lost little girl who as it turned out was never lost at all, it appeared Casey Anthony could not get a fair trial. From television coverage to publications running images of the big brown-eyed little girl weekly and in some cases daily, the country had come to the conclusion that her mother was definitely a liar and at the very least unfit to care for a child. What mother doesn’t report a child missing for some 31 days? That’s why the verdict seemed a mistake to many and a horrible display of injustice to others. Still others commented on sites such as Twitter and Facebook that this case was a good example of the U.S. justice system working: the prosecution simply didn’t offer enough evidence. But despite differing opinions on the guilt of Casey Anthony, the news spread faster than it did when O.J. Simpson was also infamously found not guilty of murder.

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