Tagged social media

How will social media change gender roles?

This is one of the most positive videos I’ve seen in a long time! When we use social media we leave a trace of stuff we like. If companies started to pick up these traces we would maybe get a more diverse picture of the genders in media. Online we get to decide ourselves what we want to consume, we can also choose to consume things that are necessarily not what our demographic normally like, but online we can be who we want to be.

How many girls would choose to read Cosmopolitan articles online if they had the choice of reading something more interesting? Still quite a lot probably, but if the big volume fashion magazines like Cosmopolitan are exchanged by more different online magazines with more narrow target groups, I’m sure that the group that want to read about dieting and how to please your boyfriend would decrease being replaced by something that corresponds to your taste better.

How are Swedish intranets doing?

While watching videos on intranets (read the last post on intranets here) I also came across this video. It is a presentation of the current state of Swedish intranets made at Stockholm Social Media club by Pierre du Rietz. He mentioned many good points and I will give you the most interesting ones in english.

Current intranet trends:
– More content does not make the intranet better.
– Mostly bigger companies has intranets.
– When an intranet works poorly the employees tend to start up new intranets for their own workgroup. A company with a dysfunctional intranet can this way end up with several intranets that exists parallel but without being connected.
– Not many intranets are available on mobiles at the moment, but it is one of the most requested functions.
– The majority of the intranets used by companies today are old.
– Companies with new intranets tend to be more satisfied with their intranet.
– The person responsible for the intranet normally works part time with this beside other tasks.
– The task of running the intranet is usually given to the younger people at the office because they are expected to have more knowledge of computers and not necessarily to a person with relevant experience.
– Most new intranets can be updated by many different persons, the older ones only by the person in charge of the intranet.
– When a new function is implemented on an intranet it is important to educate the users of how this function works. For example, if a function that worked poorly before has been improved, you need to tell the users that it has been updated. If not it is very unlikely that they will start using it again if they have bad previous experiences.

Suggestions on how to get the most out of your intranet:
– Should the company save all information on their intranet or continuously clean? By whom? Can the users help out with this process? I really like Stack overflows and Quoras system of voting up the most relevant posts. I think this is a good way to let the users keep the information fresh. The person in charge of the intranet can then delete posts that received very few votes or haven’t been viewed in a long time.
– Make sure to check your analytic stats of your intranet. Put the most used functions on the first page to make the experience smoother for the users.
– The search and contact book functions are usually the most used functions in an intranet. These are also two of the functions that the users are least satisfied with. Make sure that the search function knows all keywords they users will type in when they search the intranet, even include misspellings and old titles for information and persons if they have been changed, so that they always can see what they are looking for in the suggested result.
– Create an FAQ with the most regular questions asked by users about the intranet.

How to determine if your intranet is helping your users or wasting their time?
By turning time into money!

time it takes to find information * average salary of company = how much the intranet costs the company

Common problems and solutions:
– The users are afraid to leave comments on the intranet. To start a discussion you need people assigned with this role who will be active on the intranet initiating and participating in discussions to encourage them. Often it is enough to see that there is someone else out there who is using the intranet to make the others dare taking the first step.
– If the users leave comments someone have to be there to answer them, they will stop if they feel like no one cares about their posts. If possible the person who knows most about the subject should answer, and it is also very appreciated to see directors engage in the discussion.
– To make it possible for employees to talk directly to higher managers through the intranet without letting it take up too much of the managers time you can organize live-chat sessions where the manager answers all the employers questions live once a week or month.
– One reason why the users might not give a lot of feedback through the intranet is because the questions posted are too big and takes too long time to answer. A way to increase the activity and lower the barrier to participate in discussions is to break down the questions in smaller parts. A question that only covers a small area is easier to answer directly without having to do to much research first.
– For a big intranet it is better to have one person in charge of each function to make sure that they work properly instead of one person in charge of all the functions. Examples of how to break down the functions could be search, contact book and live chat.
– The intranet can be a good place to discuss and come up with ideas for business development. Different departments can share what works for them, problems they are facing and solutions. Use the intranet to start discussions on how you can change the company, invite everybody to come up with ideas.
– Save the more interesting subjects (like business development) for fridays and share the everyday information in the beginning of the week (like where to pick up your paycheck). Think about the newspapers weekend editions.

In the next post about intranets I will take a look at some of the new intranets available out there! Can’t wait, it will be really interesting. Next I just need a big company to try this out on 🙂

Facebook as company intranet?

During my internship at Kraft I was introduced to the use of intranets in big companies, what you want to achieve through using one and common problems that companies and their intranets are facing. As I’m spending a lot of time in social media (especially Facebook) intranets feels like a refreshing and maybe more wholesome thing to focus on for a change. An intranet that works well can be like using Facebook when you get the best parts out of it without having to deal with the bad parts – you know what everybody is up to, you know what goals you have in common and you and your friends motivate and inspire each other. A good intranet is also a place where you can find all information you need about the company – to compare it with social media it would be like the perfect way to store your bookmarks. I don’t know if you have the same problem as me but I’m still looking for the perfect way to save links, neither Bookmarks nor Delicious feels like the ultimate solution. It is too hard to find the links later but for now they are the quickest ways to save them while you are browsing other things. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post on how I save my favorite links if you are interested in my solution to this problem. You could almost say that my digital universe (my sites and profiles) is my intranet :p Now back to intranets!

Many intranets today are very old and often create more problems than they solve. Maybe you recognize one or more of these problems: they are confusing to use, there is too much information which makes it impossible to find anything, they are not inspiring, it doesn’t seem like anyone are using them, there is no space for discussion within the intranet or it doesn’t take place in the right space.

There are many good new intranets out there today, but a good product also cost a lot of money. Is it worth the money to try it out or is there another way to see if your company would benefit from having an intranet?

A couple of days ago I watched an interview on YouTube with the market and information director of Helsingborgs Harbour AB, Andreas Eriksson (interview made by Joakim Jardenberg, a swedish social media journalist). When Andrea’s wanted the company to start using an intranet to improve the communication within the company, he choose Facebook as the platform. What do you use an intranet for? Why did they choose Facebook as their intranet? Does it work?

Since the video is in Swedish, but still very interesting, I will share a short summary in English here!

1 What do you use an intranet for?

An intranet is used to spread news to everyone who works in the company. For many people today, Facebook is the place where they first get to know about news. It is very easy to share information through Facebook – just post a link or a short comment – and it is very easy to get an overview on what’s happening. If you compare your life before and after Facebook you would probably agree with me that it through Facebook is easier to keep up with what’s happening in your friends lives. You could see Facebook as an intranet for you and your friends.

2 Why did they choose Facebook as their intranet?

Since the Helsingborg’s Harbour hadn’t used an intranet before the first intranet would be a test to see if their organization would benefit from having one. Since they didn’t want to spend a lot of money on implementing an intranet if it wouldn’t be successful they sat down to think about what minimum of functions they would need and where they could find a platform providing those for an as low cost as possible. This is how they came up with the idea of using Facebook. It is free and met their most important needs such as share and receive information, increase communication and to start discussions.

3 Does it work?

The intranet exists in a closed group on Facebook. Here the employees can share and take part of news, leave comments and bring up things they would like to discuss.

A common problem in forums and comments online is that people tend to post things without thinking because no one knows who they are. Many employees where afraid that this would happen if they started using Facebook as an intranet. One thing that has proven to make people think twice before posting something is if their name and picture will appear next to the post. Facebook already have a built in function for this and therefore the company haven’t experienced many problems like this.

Another common problem with intranets is that the news that are posted are too long so that no one has time to read it. At Facebook you have to communicate your message with one status update or comment. This makes people think about what is the most important point to communicate and only communicate this.

More and more intranets today are implementing better ways to interact and comment within the intranet. At Facebook everybody can interact with each other in a very spontaneous and casual way, even with the boss! This way Facebook can also help flatten hierarchy structures and help bring up topics for discussion that wouldn’t be heard or recognized otherwise.

Another objection that came up for why the company shouldn’t use Facebook as an intranet was that all employers didn’t want to have one or share their profile on Facebook. Many where worried that they would have to give away part of their privacy by doing this. Not even Andreas used Facebook before he implemented it as an intranet, how could he even consider using it for his company? The very least you have to share on Facebook is your name and picture, you choose yourself if you want to share more than this or not. A lot of important news are daily shared through Facebook and the Andreas believe that it is a shame that some people miss this information because they are not on Facebook. Therefore they encouraged people to get accounts, show that they don’t have to give up their privacy and also provide support for those who where new to Facebook to help them set up their accounts.

Other issues that where discussed where the risk of secret information about the company leaking out, since the closed group exists on Facebook it is very easy to copy and paste a link from the group to your own Facebook wall where all your friends can see it. Anders says that they are aware of this risk, but this far it hasn’t been an issue and they are also open to become more transparent – if they are ready to share a piece of information with their employees they should also be able to share it with the public.

What I like about the concept of using Facebook as an intranet is that they are using a platform that provides them with the minimum number of functions they need for free. Instead of investing a lot of time and money implementing a dedicated platform they where able to start experimenting and learn more about how they could use an intranet in best possible way for their company immediately. I like how this do-it-yourself and learn-by-doing way of acting can be used by a corporate company and deliver good results. Andreas is very happy of the way he sees the intranet being used. Facebook as an intranet is successful because the employees are already used to share and find information there, they can easily start discussions and it is easy to stay up to date without being overwhelmed with content.

I have been interested in how social media changes our relationships and how we take part of information for a long time. Intranets have for a long time earned a reputation of being boring and dysfunctional. The last years increased use of social media have showed us what we can achieve if we manage to connect a group of people online and it is interesting to see how this has spilled over on the world of intranets. The following weeks I will take a closer look at how intranets work and hopefully find some interesting new products to share with you. Stay put.

What to judge in a social media awards?

I’m going to do something really fun tonight! Party for my brain! I’m going to look at all the submissions for the Bees Awards! The first Social Media awards. Because I received a nominee in the awards last year I got to be in the jury this year! I’t going to be very interesting to see what is happening in social media right now and I hope to get a lot of inspiration.

But what what should I look for when I judge the entries?

Social medias are nothing but tools! A tool that helps the user do something and is useful is a good application of social media.

I’m gonna have so much fun tonight!

Hyper Island team endorsed by Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie!

I just received a picture endorsement by the Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie: http://www.freelancer.com/info/management.php

Hyper Island also moved from rank 35 to 8 of 1700 teams in one day!!! It is possible to win this competition!

By sending us a photo endorsement he also helped us with two of the tasks on the list :p See the whole list hear, but first you have to join the HyperIsland team: http://scavenger.freelancer.com/

Read all about the competition here: http://theriverstream.com/hyper-island-vs-reddit/

To discuss how to solve tasks and organize who’s doing what, ask to join the secret Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/247581251998847/

If we win we will use the money to clean up after ourselves in Africa, India and South America where we dump our electronic garbage by learning the people there how to recycle and build new computers. Read more in my previous post: http://theriverstream.com/hyper-island-vs-reddit/

I would also like to initiate an attempt to solve task number 68: Get your team name trending on Twitter. We don’t care how you do it, as long as its legal!
We will do it thursday march 15, 4pm CET and 11am EDT
Post anything with the #hyperisland tag or retweet this tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/therivertweet/status/180054349609844737

We can win this and beat Reddit! The more

Hyper Island vs. Reddit

Freelancer is throwing a competition, a scavenger hunt, where the winning team get´s 25,000 dollars. To win you need a big network all over the world that can collaborate to solve the task. Does that sound like Hyper Island could do?

Reddit has created a team and are probably going to beat all small teams created by Facebook friends. We definitely want to proof that a real network is better than Reddit, don’t we?

What will we do with the price money? Give to a charity organization chosen by the memebers of the Hyper Island team!

How you can help us:

1. Please go to:
http://scavenger.freelancer.com/

2. Click on the Registration button. You don’t need a Freelancer account, you can register with Facebook connect.

3. Next you need to join the team called HyperIsland with team captain called Hpr Isld.

4. Wait until we have confirmed you as a member. In the meantime you can start solving the tasks and discuss in our google doc and Facebook group. If you don’t know what to do please ask me: emilia.astrom@hyperisland.se

Google doc to organize the tasks:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmZSOFo9rX9rdHlUU2lXeWpGRHVkeXpjWi11VkJxNkE#gid=0

Our secret Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/247581251998847/

To be able to join the Facebook group you need to be friends with me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/emiliaastrom.advertising

5. Once you are a confirmed member you can upload your solutions on the site. You must show the Hyper Island logo in all videos and photos, download here:

hi_logo_freelancer_scavenger_hunt.pdf
http://theriverstream.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hi_logo_freelancer_scavenger_hunt.jpg

Please help us beat Reddit!

Who’s going to SXSW?

Not me but I wish I was going.

SXSW is a festival in Austin, Texas, held in March every year. Over one week you have the chance to experience the latest in Interactive, Film and Music. I love music festivals, don’t have enough patience to attend a film festival, but what I’m most excited about is the interactive part. During the festival you have the chance to listen to lectures, attend workshops see loads of new technology and meet people working with interactivity and technology.

The original goal of the SXSW was to create a place for creative people to meet to exchange ideas and develop their careers. When the festival first started in 1987 as a music festival. As placed in the middle of the country, Austin found themselves isolated from the rest of the industry. SXSW was a way to bring the music business to Austin, and since the city already had a reputation of being a source of creative bands people from the music industry all around the worls was interested to come to Texas. Austin also has a significant industry of film and high-tech companies and in 1994 SXSW added interactivity and film to the festival program.

I would like to go to learn new things, get inspired and meet new people with the same interests. Apparently the party is good too, there are a lot of events going on during the week. To go will be one of my targets for next year.

How did social media change movie making?

Found a really interesting article on movie making today in my friend Matildas twitter feed. It is an interview in Mashable with the indie movie maker Edwards Burns.

The areas that caught my interest are the how the casting, distribution and marketing are done today. We have already seen this development in a lot of other markets too but what interests me is how this way of making films exists simultaneously with the old fashion big budget way. It is the same in all old markets – you have the traditional way and the cutting edge digital way and it is interesting to compare both.

With the help of YouTube, actors today have a very simple channel to show their work and present themselves to filmmakers. This way of applying for a job has for a long time also been popular in many other industries, for example people working with service or like me in advertising. Of corse this increases the competition between actors but as we have seen during the past years anyone have a chance of becoming a star on YouTube.

While I was working at MTG with their online streaming service Viaplay we spent a lot of time thinking about how to handle the customers expectations of having movies recently released on cinemas and iTunes also available through Viaplay. Today the path for the release of a new film is to first be available on cinemas, second for renting and buying and third the movie will be available through television. Since Viaplay is primarily a television channel and secondary a rental store we had to wait for a long time before we could provide new movies. After years of illegal downloading people have gotten used to having new movies available at home at the same time as they go up on cinema and we spent a lot of time thinking about how to communicate this to the users.

When Burns latest film Newlyweds was released the initial distribution channels where primarily digital for home watching (iTunes, VOD and Vudu) and it only went up in a few small movie theaters. By skipping the traditional pattern for releasing a film he not only avoided the big marketing costs that are needed to ensure a big number of visitors at the cinemas, but also prevented the fans from downloading the movie illegal in lack of legal options. Indie producers can choose how they want to release their material and I think that the bigger production companies will change their behavior too in the near future.

Of course it helps to already be famous to be able to throw a successful marketing campaign on Twitter, like the one Conan O’Brien managed to pull off after being banned from television. But by engaging in the conversation with the movie fans online by listening and giving them relevant reasons to talk about your movie anyone can succeed in marketing their movie. People interested in movies are often very interested in the production of the movies and they love to be the first ones to know about a good indie production. To connect with the heavy fans is crucial since these are the ones that can help you to spread your content to the others. Burns managed to connect with 5000 fans on Twitter, and by giving them insights into the production, engage in conversations with them and ask them to contribute with content he managed to build a buzz that made his film Newlyweds reach the top six in iTunes when it was released.

I guess what we are waiting for now is to see movies released on YouTube where we can watch them together with our friends in Google+ Hangout. Think we are there soon!

I really admire people who can change the behavior of a traditional existing market and adapt to the new opportunities that the digital landscape offer. It is easy to follow an already existing path but to create a new one takes a lot of curiosity and guts. The web is still changing a lot and it is important to remember that everyday we have a chance of shaping it and the way we use it.

To choose to shoot a film with a certain camera is a marketing trick that has proven to be very effective to catch the attention of the movie nerds.

What is the point of Google +?

It’s a way to filter content.

Think about it, Google supplies content. But there is so much content out there so that it becomes useless, because you don’t know how to pick what to focus on.

Online we are since the beginning of Facebook used to let our friends decide what we will become exposed to. This is something that Google + can help you with.

How will they get more people to sign up for Google + so that they can own a little bit more of the world and earn a little bit more money?

Through games they also provide people with the opportunity to play games and meet new people through the games. The games makes people use Google + more.

What for?

Just competition between Facebook and Google or what do you think?