you’re not social (enough)

A very well-written article by Christopher Musico appeared in the June 2009 issue of CRM Magazine.  It was called “Service and Social Media: You’re Not Social (Enough)” which was a discussion of the growing use of customer service and social media.  that is to state, how business responds to clients with social media awareness and social media tools – B2C interaction.  A discussion of online community forums offers the two things clients want:

[…] instant gratification and proof that companies are actually using their commentary. “It’s just basics,” he insists. “Saying, ‘Hey, that was a great comment and we’re looking into it’ can work. But you have to get back and show you’re making changes, otherwise you’ll see the community start dying off.”

That last point is key: participation.  Customers and clients want a relationship, a dialog with the company with whom they are dealing.  That puts a human face on it and creates customer satisfaction.

Another focal point of the article was the help center and the way the help center will change as a result of social media.  The help center is the point of contact with which most clients interact with the company/business and because of that there will be changes in the staff and capabilities of the staff:

A portion of the people they currently have in their contact centers are going to have to find new jobs because they can’t do it…. Their brains aren’t wired that way,” he says. “It’s really hard for CSR vets to do two or three chats, maybe work in a couple of emails, and the phones.

While this article mostly dealt with the idea of on-line forums, other aspects of social media interaction were touched upon as well as the need to have a strategy for that interaction.  In fact, regarding that last, the entire June 2009 issue was the Social media issue and there are a lot of articles with interesting and valuable content.

The CRM Magazine / destinationCRM Social Media Maturity Model

And a wonderful video on CRM 2.0.  While the strictly about social media, it is so very well done.

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CRM – corporate reputation management

Just finished reading the article, Corporate reputation in the era of Web 2.0: the case of Primark, which appeared in the Journal of Marketing Management.  This concerned the case of Primark, a British retailer of inexpensive clothing and how their reputation as a good corporate citizen was called into question by a BBC news article which brought forth allegations of sweatshops, child labour and exploitation of illegal immigrants being paid half of the minimum wage.

The first portion of the article presented an overview of monitoring reputation management in the web and provided a matrix with 4 quadrants of monitoring effort with depth of measurement and breadth of monitoring comprising the axes.  There is some discussion of the consumer as critic/reviewer and prosumer (professional consumer), the goal being to present the consumer as being more informed and with more resources for company and product research.  That is quite true and some general examples were cited.

In the case of Primark, the response was to not address the mass-media criticism of the corporation, but to present their case to the web public and let them decide.  Media and communications specialists were divided on the idea of this being the best approach.  Regardless, fans of the company (fans of inexpensive clothing) vigorously defended the company and one is left with the idea that all is now well with Primark’s on-line reputation.  This simplifies the article somewhat, but that is the gist of it.

The idea of the article is good, but that is pretty much it.  A slight quibble here is that one would expect a journal to have editors and those editors would proof the article for errors and such.  Not this one.  There are glaring errors of poor punctuation, dropped prepositions, dropped definite articles, and made-up words.  Difficult to present a publication as professional with that sort of thing.  The real issue is that the article is that after putting forth a number of ideas, there is no real conclusion other than effective on-line reputation management is about community conversation, participation and collaboration.  Wow. What a payoff.

Were one interested in on-line reputation management it may be better to read Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier by David Thompson and Michael Fertik or read web pages directly related such as The Online Reputation Management Guide.  Both would be very good starting points.

But what about Primark?  Did they clean up their act?  An article in the Telegraph suggests that they may have some additional work in that regard.  Seriously.

Briefly, an overview of on-line social management starts with awareness of the objectives, areas of management, tools in the social media arena, and a strategy.

There are a lot of examples on-line about how not to run a business and that customers do take offense when they have been mistreated or taken advantage of in some way.  Invariably, such behavior can be damaging to one’s on-line reputation.   Even before the Internet and the idea of on-line reputation management there were communication issues as seen in the video below.

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the innovator’s solution

Star Trek Klingon phaser Distrupter - Franklin Mint

I have been reading “The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth” by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor.  The crux of the text is how to create and sustain growth via a disruptive technology, that being a new-market product or a low-end product which established companies cannot or will not compete against.  From that point, it’s full throttle on capitalism and sustained growth.  The argument for disruptive technologies, how to identify them and why they work is sound and the copious examples on businesses are quite good and interesting to read.

The problems arise when the text strays from the core of the argument and business examples.  A lot of repetition building a case which has already been built.  And a lot of that case is consuming, not sustaining (except growth), not sustainable.  One will not find the word, renewable, used here because everything is about disruption and growth.  That quibble aside, a good editor could have pared the volume down by a third and a smart editor would have rejected all of the charts as useless because they are so fantastically bad.  A smart editor would have read Edward Tufte and put something together which supported the arguments of the authors rather than irritating the reader with nonsensical chicken-scratching.  Yes, they are that bad.

A better and more interesting book would be disruptive technology in business (with examples) and the social and economic impact that DT has had over time.  A perfect example of such is the pill.   Other examples abound: plastics and the environment, medicine and war survival, smartphones and education, surveillance technology and politics.

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cut the rope – splicd social game

From Mashable comes an article on 12 Fun Hacks for getting the More Out of YouTube.  All well and good.  Picking one of the more interesting ones, Splicd, it was possible to trim off the header and tail of a video for the very popular iPhone game, Cut the Rope.   This appears to work quite well although the embed code is a little loose and one needs to work with it a bit to get the embed looking good.   Worth mentioning is TubeChop which produces a similar result. but with a visual editor as opposed to Splicd’s method of filling in a form with the start and stop times.

Why Cut the Rope?  No reason is particular, but it was listed as one of the 6 Emerging Social Games Taking the Web by Storm and while the games mentioned in the article may be taking aspects of the gaming world by storm, the web is a different case.  In this case, Cut the Rope is not really a social game at all.  Inside Social Games reviewed the game, but failed to delve into how the innovative aspects of this game convergence with social platforms.  Perhaps that takes place in the comments section of that article and others (some comments on the Mashable article questioned the social aspect as well).  That may not matter too much for in the end it is an enjoyable game built on the increasingly popular physics engines such as Box2D.

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It’s such a great name that it can only be bad news for social media junkies and it is bad news.  Fresh from the blog { codebutler } last month, firesheep has garnered a lot of attention.  Basically, the Firesheep Firefox extension allows one to capture cookies on any open/free Wi-Fi network and then used the credentials in the captured cookie to do whatever one wishes to do with that account.  The author of firesheep has a very good explanation of how it all works.  This week, after a heating up period, the author responded to some of his favourite comments.

Sites such as Mashable and Ars Technica have addressed the topic as well as the sites listed below.  No doubt, they will not be the last to do so.  A search on Google will bring up many links with additional information.

Dark days may be looming for coffee drinkers using free Wi-Fi while being social.  What to do?  That is still up in the air.

Related Articles

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evernote hits 5M -1 user mark

The blog at Evernote reports that they have hit the 5 million user mark.

Having used the web app and the iPhone app and then stopped using them altogether because they did not enhance productivity in any way, I cannot not recommend Evernote enough.  The number 5 million just means 5 million registered users, not 5 million real users.  Were that an accurate number it would be 4,999,999 real users.

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creative commons flickr search

It is possible to do an advanced search in Flickr for photographs which have a Creative Commons license, but there is not a lot of flexibility in the search.  However, one tool which works quite well and does have flexibility and granularity is Comp Fight.  With it, one can find a CC licensed image of a particular subject in no time at all.  Puffins come to mind.  There are other CC search tools but Comp Fight works well and it is fast.


Related Articles

* Using Creative Commons Images from Flickr (
* 7 Image Search Tools That Will Change Your Life | Brain Pickings (
* How To Search & Credit Properly-Licensed Photos On Flickr [Firefox] (

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copyright and you

An excellent article from MacWorld on photographic copyright and image sharing.   There is some valuable information on the importance of understanding the Terms of Service as it pertains to an individual’s photographic work.  In some cases the TOS is a broad waiver of copyright for any work posted on-line.  There are strong indications that everyone involved in social media needs to have an understanding of copyright and how it pertains to them.

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