Just when you think you have all the answers, something crops up that challenges your beliefs on how Social Business works and will work in the future. Whether it’s new platforms/tools, new regulation, organizational changes, even world events — the Social Business world does not stand still and learning in this space is highly iterative. At Dachis Group and for our Social Business Council members, we face this reality day in and day out. The good news on Social Business is there are ample opportunities to increase and share your learning. To that end, I’m going to be moderating a panel discussion on Social Business at the upcoming Social Media Club Austin meeting next week. (Tuesday, 8/16 from 6pm – 8pm CT). I hope you can join us if you’re local, and if you’re not, I’m sure the tweet stream will be buzzing. The twitter hashtag for Social Media Austin events is #SMCA.
We’ll have a great panel of vendors (who just happen to have great “user” experience as well) relating their own journeys on transforming their clients, as well as their own companies, to become fully-functioning Social Businesses. There is a lot of collective wisdom represented on this panel of experts, so I hope you’ll join us in the conversation. This will be my speaking debut to our awesome local Social Media Club chapter (most active club in the world, outside of San Francisco I hear). I’m looking forward to mashing up my knowledge of the internal enterprise social space with the external expertise resident in this town, as well as meeting lots of new social enthusiasts.
On the panel we will have Jive’s Deirdre Walsh, who is somewhat of a hometown hero of mine as she led National Instruments‘ social strategy prior to joining Jive as Social Media Manager. Then, we have the amazing Kat Mandelstein who has been a terrific champion for Social Business at IBM and one smart cookie on all things social. Kat is also on the international board for the SMC and has done a great job supporting the Austin SMC chapter as Vice President. The other two panelists are Will Staney of VMware (which recently acquired Socialcast) and Jean-Claude Monney of Microsoft. I have not yet met Will or Jean-Claude, but have heard great things about them, so I look forward to hearing their insights. Will has an impressive background in introducing social media and adoption of social technology at VMWare with a solid foundation in community management and new media strategy. Jean-Claude leads Microsoft’s technical strategy in the Discrete Manufacturing industry, chairs the Microsoft High Tech Customer Advisory Board and represents Microsoft as the chair of the OAGi High Tech Council, a global B2B standards organization.
In preparation for the panel, we’re soliciting your questions ahead of time so we can get them into the session. Don’t be shy. Let us fashion the panel to suit your interests.
There was something about SXSW that reminded me of trick-or-treating. It’s an amazing opportunity to travel around in groups (in various costumes) and collect delicious bite-sized morsels of innovation. But it reminded me of something my (once) 3-year old son said after he flopped into bed after his first Halloween night, “Let’s do that again tomorrow!”
SXSW is a once-a-year phenomenon, but a great harbinger of trends. Much of the conversation is about web-related design and measurement, politics, the social media revolution, and every-possible-thing-that-could-ever-be-possibly-said about Twitter. In the mix of fun and frolic, there were a couple gems that I picked out that would bring value to the enterprise.
The complete visualization can be seen in a series of one-minute videos on the Pepsicozeitgeist YouTube page.
For enterprises, it’s easy to see how this live-pulse tracking visualization could be used during a large Enterprise event such as Oracle’s OpenWorld or SAP’s Sapphire and ASUG events (providing, of course, everyone was a faithful Twitter user). But even beyond live events, the visualization could be customized to monitor conversations among key customers and fed to field sales forces. The location-based data could provide some very interesting G2 for key accounts. HR and internal communications groups could use the visualizer to monitor employee sentiment, as well. The uses go on and on. Worthy of some exploration.
Another impressive tool was Apture. I ran into CEO Tristan Harris at one of the sessions. Harris himself impressed me because he pitched me while waiting in line from his iPhone. He had his demo-to-go all queued up (presumably, in case he ran into, say, a reporter). In the blogger’s lounge, I signed up. I had a little trouble signing onto the demo with Apture because I don’t manage my own blog server files, but it seemed easy enough to install once you got past that hurdle. Apture is a free blogging tool that lets you instantly find any type of media and link them in-place. It’s used by the Washington Post, BBC News, and since SXSW, The New York Times. I see an enormous potential for this product inside the enterprise… again, providing we can get the Enterprise onto collaborative 2.0 platforms.
I also really appreciated a discussion I had with Marketing Manager, Yvonne Beyer, at iStockphoto. Here’s a tip for iStockphoto fans: CopySpace (TM). Check it out under Advanced Search. It enables you to “grid” your search by the area where you need room for copy on an image. GREAT tool for those large image slides. Not sure everyone is using iStockphoto in the enterprise, but you should definitely add this to your DIY toolkit. Some quick stats on iStockphoto include the company adds 40,000 new images and other media products a week that are vetted by 100 inspectors around the world. It has paid over $1.1M in royalties to artists, and many members of their community are making more than six figures with iStockphoto. Not really a pure enterprise product, but a great service for business folks who want to create their own visuals coupled with a strong business model that depends on community.
Even though SXSW is in Austin, I’m debating on going next year. There really wasn’t a lot of good enterprise content to be found. My plan is to liven up the Enterprise 2.0 conference (June, Boston), so we have a pseudo-sxsw of our own. I made a recommendation to the Advisory Board that we actively solicit sponsors for more parties and fun venues. Zoho sponsored a cruise a few years ago that was a lot of fun, for instance. Even though the sessions are always great, the best reason to attend events is to network in the traditional sense– meet and greet and share war stories face to face.
Hope to see you in Boston. Pack a lampshade.
UPDATE: Yvonne Beyer pinged me with a staggering correction: iStock pays out around 1.1 million in royalites a WEEK. She also added Lise Gagne from Montreal is one of the iStock contributors disclosing she makes 6 figures with well over 830,000 downloads to date. www.istockphoto.com/lisegagne