Online media and independents drive business software buying

SAP4SME, a diversified social media initiative from SAP to reach the SME market, is generating a variety of interesting content.

At 2pm US Eastern time today SAP is running a webinar: “The Stimulus Package: What Does it Mean for Your Business?” which examines how small to medium enterprise can best tap the US federal stimulus package (see also my earlier note on this).

On the SAP4SME LinkedIn group site there is a survey asking:

“Who do you trust most when making a business software purchasing decision?”

The results are very interesting, with 400-odd respondents, though it may not be a fully representative sample.

SAPsurvey_2907.jpg

The stand-out most influential sources are the online technology media such as ZDNet, and independent bloggers and analysts, considerably ahead of the major analyst firms.

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Chris Anderson on the social filtering of news and media

Chris Anderson, currently most well-known for his provocative book Free, today put forward his views in yet another interview, this time with a cranky reporter from Spiegel, published under the catchy title of ‘Maybe Media Will Be a Hobby Rather than a Job’.

I’m most interested in what he says about how he gets his news, which is precisely the How Influence Drives Content and Publishing theme of the upcoming Future of Influence Summit. It is good to hear this said in someone else’s words, from an information consumers’ perspective. Here is an excerpt from the interview…

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“Influence is the future of media”

After three extremely successful years running the Future of Media Summit, held simultaneously in San Francisco Bay Area and Sydney, it is time to move on. This year the event, run by The Insight Exchange, will be titled Future of Influence Summit. This is because:

INFLUENCE IS THE FUTURE OF MEDIA

We have already begun to discover this through the now-dominant concept of “social media”. In the Future of Media Strategic Framework that was launched for our Future of Media Summit 2006 we described the (symbiotic) relationship between Mainstream Media and Social Media.

Social media is all about human relationships, about how we shape our view of the world based on our peer communication. The extraordinary breadth of information and opinion that we are exposed to today, combined with the ability to converse, means our own opinions are often driven more by peers than traditional sources.

In fact this shift to the social means that media is becoming far more about peer influence than information and reporting.

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Implementing Enterprise 2.0: Free Chapter 11: Social Networks In The Enterprise

Continuing our series of free chapters from Implementing Enterprise 2.0, here is Chapter 11 on Social Networks in the Enterprise. For full details on the report and all the sample chapters go to the Implementing Enterprise 2.0 website.

Section 4 of Implementing Enterprise 2.0 is Creating Business Value From Enterprise 2.0 Tools. It includes chapters on implementing Wikis, Blogs, Social Networks, RSS and syndication, Social Bookmarking, and Microblogging in the enterprise.

Chapter 11 on Social Networks in the Enterprise contains:

* Visual representation of social networks in the enterprise (see also the visualizations for RSS in the enterprise, wikis in the enteprise and social bookmarking in the enterprise)

* Background to social networks and adoption in the enterprise

* Six key domains in which social networks can create business value inside organizations

* Required functionality of social networks for enterprise use

* Issues with implementation, including for internal social network and external social networks

* Two brief case studies of enterprise implementation of social networks

IE2 Sample Chapter 11

You can also just download the pdf of Chapter 11.

Last.FM needs a “serendipity factor” dial

I’ve been listening to Last.FM (and writing about it) since it was launched in 2002. I love it, to the extent of forking out when they finally asked me to start paying a few months ago.

However one of the features I most miss is a “serendipity factor” dial.

A basic concept in information filtering is the degree of serendipity of content selection. Do you want a highly predictable stream, or do you want to be very surprised sometimes?

I vary in how much I want the serendipity dial cranked up.

It would be totally awesome if Last.FM were to introduce a serendipity factor dial.

How about it guys?

SAP webinar on the US stimulus package and how to benefit from it

On July 29 at 2pm ET SAP is running a webinar on the US economic stimulus package and ways to be able to take advantage of it. Full details here and below.

Tap Into a “Hidden” Stimulus for Your Business:

Understand Its impact. Discover another “Hidden Stimulus”

The current $787 billion Stimulus will surely help a lot of small and midsize businesses. For everyone else, however, there’s another even bigger “Stimulus” that isn’t in the news.

On July 29th, a panel of leading business experts will examine both:

• What the current Stimulus means to businesses like yours: find out exactly where the Stimulus will help businesses like yours and where it will not, and more importantly, what you need to do to best leverage the Stimulus package for your own benefits

• How to uncover the “Hidden Stimulus” in your own business: for businesses that don’t build bridges or solar panels, experts will share strategies, tools and examples to help find the other “hidden stimulus”—the one that saves you money year after year by purging inefficient business processes.

Click here to register

[DISCLOSURE:] I am being paid to participate in this webinar. That said, it promises to be extremely interesting :-)

Insights from Social Media Strategies event

Today The Insight Exchange ran its Social Media Strategies event. It was an excellent session, with some great case studies. Below are the rough notes that I took during the event – hopefully a reasonable representation of what we heard.

Aisha Hilary, Communications Specialist, New Media and Brand, SBS

Social media is the use of electronic & internet tools for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with others.

It’s not niche any more – there are 5.1 million Australians on social networks, 7 million sharing photos, 3.6 million sharing video, 4.5 million reading blogs and 1.5 million with their own blogs.

So why engage? To each out and connect to customers and audience, building awareness, providing unique and relevant content, and building loyalty.

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Launch of Social Media Strategy Framework

Today we launch our Social Media Strategy Framework. This provides guidance and a frame on how organizations can approach engaging with social media, following in the tradition of our highly popular frameworks such as Web 2.0 Framework, Future of the Media Lifecycle, and Influence Landscape.

SMSframework_500w.jpg

Click on the image to download pdf

[UPDATE:] The image and file above is of the updated Beta version 2 of the Social Media Strategy diagram – see here for a brief explanation. Click here to download the Beta version 1 diagram.

[UPDATE 2:]

The Social Media Strategy Framework has being translated into:

Social Media Strategy Framework in Chinese – ????????

Social Media Strategy Framework in Dutch – Sociale Media Strategie Kader

Social Media Strategy Framework in French – Plan Stratégique des médias sociaux

Social Media Strategy Framework in German – Social Media strategische Rahmenrichtlinien

Social Media Strategy Framework in Italian – Schema della strategia relativa ai mezzi di comunicazione sociale

Social Media Strategy Framework in Japanese – ?????????????

Social Media Strategy Framework in Korean – ????? ?? ?????

Social Media Strategy Framework in Portuguese – Modelo Estratégico dos Meios de Comunicação Social

Social Media Strategy Framework in Russian – ????????? ????????? ? ?????????? ?????

Social Media Strategy Framework in Spanish – Encuadre de Estrategia de Medios Sociales

Social Media Strategy Framework in Turkish – Sosyal Medya Strateji Çerçevesi

This is a Beta version, pulled together to release before The Insight Exchange’s Social Media Strategy event today. I can already see some improvements to be made, but I would love to get your thoughts on what’s wrong (and right) for this to be taken into account for the next version.

The Framework begins with LEARN, follows two streams of ENGAGEMENT and STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT, and comes together in the ongoing imperative to DEVELOP CAPABILITIES.

The five key points for each element are also written below.

LEARN

Use social media yourself

Study relevant case studies

Educate senior executives

Hear from practitioners

Explore the latest trends

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Where do you want to play? Where the economy used to be or where the economy is going?

Today asset manager James Altucher writes in Wall Street Journal that The Internet is Dead (As An Investment). There has already been a solid response, most notably from venture capital investor Fred Wilson, writing The Internet is Alive and Well (As An Investment), as well as posts from HipMojo, Stephen Arnold, and Elias Bizannes.

The nub of Altucher’s argument?

1. “Internet companies now should be treated, at best, like utility companies” such as electricity.

2. “Nobody can figure out a business model.”

Given a six-month timeframe, which Altucher seems to be taking, these arguments could be valid. However moving beyond that, it is delusional to think that the Internet will not:

a) continue to transform existing industries, as it has for more than a decade;

b) create value both in current forms and new ways.

There is no question that most investors would prefer to invest where there are clearly understood, long-established business models. However just because business models are rapidly evolving and changing in a new space doesn’t mean that there won’t be massive value creation. In fact, given that an increasing proportion of economic activity is shifting into ‘virtual’ activities, we have every reason to believe that that’s where a large proportion of long-term economic growth will be centered.

It will be a hairy ride for those on board, no question about it. In return I expect we will get what in economic jargon is known as ‘supernormal returns’. Either way, I know where I’d prefer to play.

The overlap between tech and porn: an overlooked element in search optimization

If you search for “multiplayer sex game” (and a number of variations on these words) on Google, this blog comes up #1.

In April 2006 I wrote a blog post Massively multi-player sex games, which discussed the launch of Naughty America: The Game, an MMORPG involving sex. As far as I can tell my predictions of great success for the game were wrong, though other similar players such as Red Light Center, which is essentially SecondLife involving graphic sex, powered by Utherverse, seems to be doing very well.

Partly due to my blog’s prominence, and I gather due to some links from Chinese websites, this blog post, three years later, is still deemed by Google to the most authoritative source on the topic, and the post consistently gets more traffic than many of my other long-term hits such as our Web 2.0 Framework and Extinction Timeline (though most of those visitors to these latter posts tend to stay and browse a lot longer).

For a long time I thought this was nuisance traffic. If someone is searching for multiplayer sex games, they are unlikely to be the audience I want for my blog. A couple of years ago when I was speaking on a panel I used the story to make the point that not all visitors to a blog are equally desirable.

However I then noticed that a significant proportion of visitors – in fact close to 20% – were staying to read more of my blog, sometimes spending over 10 minutes browsing around. It turned out that (some of) the sex game-seeking visitors were not single-minded, but could be distracted by insights into strategy and technology.

Further light on this has now been shed by Sam Niccolls of SEOMoz in a post on TechCrunch Upskirt: Why Michael Arrington Blogs about Porn.

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Image source: SEOMoz

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