Where do we go from here

With the changing face of media it seems there are opportunities for us all in this brave new world of social web media. Rhys Blakely of The Times Online did a piece last year on the ‘bloggerati’  quoting the 50 best global blogs showing the power of blogging across a wide range of industries. I particularly liked the fake ‘Secret Diary of Steve Jobs’ blog and even Steve likes it apparently, oh he does have an ego. My business Co-Founder Simon Oxley and I meet Six Apart at CEBIT last week and they are seeing strong product growth of their company blogging platform, perhaps we are all going to be blogging soon?  Lets not talk, lets blog! Technorati monitors the Blogosphere which is currently at 70million blogs worldwide and seems set to grow. Can anyone hear me, hello?

technorati70mblogs.png

But is there a place for Blogging within firms and organisations, so we can blog at home and work? Some of the IT superpowers including Big Blue and the monster from Redmond seem to think so, with 1000’s of active internal bloggers. It’s all new to me!  No more one to one meetings, it’s all in the the blog diary. Anyway if marketing and technology Innovation isn’t your thing read no more, however, if you are a bit interested in these read on. All things being equal and if we both get on I intend to post regular(ish). If you don’t know me more details are over to the right. Thanks you for reading (if you’ve reached the end).

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8 Responses to “Where do we go from here”

  1. Simon Oxley Says:

    That makes it 70,000,001 😉

  2. John Baxter Says:

    Hey Nick,

    Looks like your getting upto some interesting things. Drop me a mail with some more detail. Have a few thoughts that might interest you around Enterprise 2.0 and some very useful contacts that I’m sure would be interested.

    Cheers
    John

  3. Claudia Says:

    Hola Nick,
    Good stuff here and very happy to see that you’re on an exciting path. It’s all about 2.0 from where I sit, literally here in Cali. Your venture is great timing since blogs have been transforming our interpretations and interactions with social media. With our current climate here in the US, the talk is all about ‘change’ — but what does that mean, what does it look like, and for that matter, what do we change, there’s so much! I ponder how social media will play out in all of this. Looking forward to hearing more on your venture. See you out west!
    Claudia

  4. Jenny Ambrozek Says:

    Nick, congratulations on wading into the conversations and fuelling them with your thoughtfulness. I look forward to following your pursuits.
    Jenny

  5. Nick Barker Says:

    Thanks for all of the comments

    On Claudia’s point, I believe change is caused by adaptation which is forced by evolution. I have been thinking alot about business evolution since reading ‘The Origin of Wealth’ earlier this year which is a very good book that deconstructs Economics. Eric Beinhocker questions the outdated Neo classical view of Economics and calls for a move to complexity Economics. I and many others believe with the current global problems Economics is defiantly a much needed place to start change.

    The challenge it seems is that change is often resisted from a position of fear from taking risks and possibility of loss. However if we don’t change our economies, we as a species will not evolve, in the same way that if our firms do not evolve to become more entrepreneurial and innovative they will no longer exist. One only has to look at histories of the NYSE and FTSE to find that the vast majority of firms which were listed no longer exist, just as 95% of all species no long exist. These business and economic challenges have always been in the wings, however the growing pressure from external economic factors are forcing the necessity to change.

    Interestingly Social media in business is bringing existing management approaches into focus. One of the challenges we have discovered on our start-up journey is that introducing social media requires a shift change in openness, trust and freedom. I have heard the new management approach to enable innovation being called Management2.0 (‘Will Enterprise 2.0 Drive Management Innovation’ by Jon Husband) with a style of managing which is much more enabling and collaborative.

    All the unconstrained innovation which has been occurring on the web for the last few years has the potential to bring adaptation and change not only how we socially communicate but also to how we work together. As with all evolution the tag’s of 2.0 (i.e. Web2.0 and the business counterpart of Enterprise2.0) may well evolve but right now it is helping to bring change. Jon Husband’s post refers to a key excerpt from Gary Hamel’s (remember him!) book The Future of Management:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    This may not be a detailed design spec for a 21st-century management system, but I doubt it’s far off. Argue with me if you like, but I’m willing to bet that Management 2.0 is going to look a lot like Web 2.0.

    Most of us grew up in a “post-industrial” society. We are now on the verge of a post-managerial society, perhaps even a post-organizational society.

    Before you object, let me assure you that this doesn’t imply a future without managers. Just as the coming of the knowledge economy didn’t wipe out heavy industry, so the dawning of a post-managerial society won’t produce a world free of executives and administrators. Yet it does herald a future in which the work of managing will be performed less and less by “managers”. To be sure, activities will still need to be coordinated, individual efforts aligned, objectives decided upon, knowledge disseminated, and resources allocated, but increasingly this work will be distributed out to the periphery.

    While Management 2.0 won’t completely supplant Management 1.0, the two versions aren’t entirely compatible. There are going to be conflicts. Indeed, I think the most bruising contests in the new millenium won’t be fought along the lines that separate one competitor or business ecosystem from another, but will be fought along the lines that separate those who wish to preserve the privileges and power of the bureaucratic class from those who hope to build less structured and less tightly managed organizations. Richard Florida sees the same battle shaping up. In The Rise of the Creative Class, he puts it bluntly: “The biggest issue at stake in this emerging age is the ongoing tension between creativity and organization.” This is, perhaps, the most critical and intractable management trade-off of all, and therefore, the one most worthy of inspired innovation.

    It will take more than advances in technology to issue in the post-managerial age. As I noted earlier, management and organizational innovation often lags far behind technological innovation. Right now, your company has 21st-century Internet-enabled business processes, mid-20th-century management processes, all built atop 19th-century management principles.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Perhaps then one of the questions is what can we do as individuals to help bring about such far reaching changes? They say everyone is only six apart and through our growing social networks; consciousness and communication technologies each one of us can influence the future as a whole.

    I hope that goes someway to answering your question Claudia.

    See you soon

    Nick

  6. Anna Says:

    To blog or not to blog is one of the questions we have been discussing in this week’s roundtable discussion at Catalyst. One of our interns, Damola Timeyin, very kindly agreed to lead this week’s discussion on the topic of “Web 2.0 and how we can `catalyze’ our web presence”. It sparked a wide ranging discussion and even a number of tasks, spin out discussions and decisions that Catalyst as a company needs to make to leverage the most out of Web 2.0. We need to find a way to do this effectively, with the limited resources of a start up. Therefore, will doing this well achieve worthwhile results for the company that will justify poaching the resources that have been allocated elsewhere. Is it a good business decision?

    Catalyst has found that the blogs attract a good proportion of our traffic. One of the more basic questions we are now faced with after the launch of http://www.socialinvestments.com is how wide we should reach? Should we target only those within our industry or sector and therefore concentrate our Web 2.0 on social business and social entrepreneurs networking sites, or do we spread the net wider, as far-a-field as Facebook? Who are we targeting on the different social networking sites? Can we do double up on content or do we need to write target specific content? All this is very time and resource consuming.

    How engaged do we want people to be with our sites? Are we going to go beyond allowing comments on blogs?

    It’s a whole new, hyper-connected, hyper-commenting world out there. Now Catalyst needs to decide how boldly to go forward.

    The outcome of the discussion was that we should work on our Web 2.0 footprint. So, here comes the jargon: we are considering hosting a webcarnival, podcasts, create a company avatar and using twitter (at least two of these were new to me during the roundtable discussion). The drawback of this is that we need to ascertain if there are enough people out there who want to network with Catalyst. Let’s innovate, become early adopters but steer clear of an “E-Lonesome George” tag.

  7. Nick Barker Says:

    Thanks for the comment Anna. I have found blogging takes time and it does not provide immediate returns or opportunities. It’s good to here that Catalyst’s blog has attracted a lot of traffic, so it must be of interest to the visitors and use to Catalyst as a communications channel.

    My research has shown to be the most effective the best approach is to focus blogging in niche markets, unless you are a huge corporation, but that said they even target niches. Now Facebook is another good point, as you know Viisys is focused on Enterprise2.0 (Web2.0 for business) and we have discovered a number of Enterprise2.0 groups on Facebook and other places, the difficulty is that the conversations are un-central, lack rich content and the number of groups proliferate. As you say the situation becomes very time consuming to be involved across them all.

    As well as comments Catalyst could consider a discussion forum, which is akin to ‘social networking’ with members and groups. However this will take investment to set-up but it maybe a worthwhile cost considering the topical marketplace you are in. But as they say ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. Catalyst could take it even further and create a central place that includes podcasts, etc to be used as an information resource and community. Now there’s an idea 🙂

  8. Anna Says:

    Nick,

    As always a considered and valuable response to our questions. I have shared your thoughts with the rest of the Catalyst team and we already have this discussion slotted into the agenda of the team meeting for this week. So for further developements keep an eye on our two websites with their respective blogs. http://www.catfund.com and http://www.socialinvestments.com

    Anna

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