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Sharepoint

SharePoint was first designed as a tool to help collaborate within an organization, while the initial versions did as required they failed to be the best tool for the job, after several revisions SharePoint has become so important in the successful implementation of web 2.0 within an organization that it is sometimes refereed to as the integrated hub, this is due to a number of reasons.

  • Acts as a server application which allows many different plugins (such as wiki’s, forums, twitter)
  • Acts as an authentication server to access these other plugins thus providing web 2.0 tools within a secure environment
  • Provides an medium to use these tools through.

SharePoint has such an important role in web 2.0 that the US air force has implemented it to act as a base ( integrated hub) for social media applications which has allowed for a peer driven approach to learning, as studies have found learning from peers provides a better experience then learning from staff.

SharePoint 2010 is split into the following six key areas  which are listed in the picture below, these key areas cover most aspects of the SLATES model

SP2010.jpg

SharePoint 2010 really has upped it’s game, and is a serious application to consider for web 2.0 implementation, with it’s integration with active directory and web 2.0 tools, it provides organization level security to web 2.0 tools while still allowing users to experience and participate within the experience.

References:

What is Sharepoint 2010?

Microsoft Sharepoint

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Social Networking in The Corporate World!

Many companies have seen the benefits of social networking through the use of web 2.0 tools, as 90% of these tools are free and offer a huge medium for businesses to promote their products, social networking with the application of web 2.0 tools is defining a new age of promotion and marketing, by allowing companies to activity communicate to their audience and get much needed feedback on their products. Coca-Cola uses  Facebook to promote their product range to it’s customers, this is interesting due to coca-cola’s target audience is teenagers, and a high percentage of the users on Facebook are teenagers, thus allowing coca-cola to reach much of it’s target audience, obviously this has other factors in it as well, such as allowing customers to ask questions related to it’s product range.

Throughout the last few years I’ve been an active member on a number of social networking sites, such as MySpace, MySpace appealed to me when it was first released before you could customize you’re profile, It was the first major social networking site that i had ever used, It had the usual features of a social networking site, the ability to communicate with your friends and family. although after updates to MySpace and the application of customization, i felt that it had become a more complex tool to use, often profiles would take a long time loading, attempting to comment on a friends page was increasingly harder due to media rich profiles, many custom profile websites appeared during this stage of MySpace life, and are still current today.

Allowing a user to customize their profile lead the way for virus’s to be implemented within a profile to catch other users passwords, this is one of the key factors in my decision to stop using this popular social networking site,these same reasons were the reason me and many of my friends moved to Facebook, as it provided a generic easy to use interface which was the same across the board and reduced the chances of getting infected by a virus, although with the development of applications for Facebook,  again i had seen a good social networking tool become something other than what it was needed for, this allowed for custom applications to be written and connected to your Facebook profile which could contain virus’s and misdirect you to fake login pages.

The key factors i believe in successfully using social networking sites and not becoming victims of virus applications are rather simple concepts. user training has always been a huge task within the IT industry, and with the advances in web applications we are seeing a generation of users who have not had the proper training with regard to the internet, applying their bad practices to social networking sites. One policy i live by, If it’s on the internet, don’t trust it, double-check everything, This policy has served me well throughout my years on the internet.

below is an excellent video which details the adoption rate of web 2.0 tools, an excellent video to watch.

Wiki’s in the Corporate enviroment

Wiki’s have introduced a new level of collaboration within the  corporate environment, users are being taught to put  information onto the wiki instead of sending emails with such information, thus creating a central hub for information for a department, or company this has allowed individual users to have a saying the polices and procedures that are developed for a company. It changes the way people do business and how work is completed from the old style of management vs employee’s, wiki’s have helped developed management + employee = successful collaboration, as each person is allowed their own say and can further feel apart of the business by working within a group collaboration tool such as wiki’s.

Dresdner Kleinwort’s is one example of such a change in practice,  they deployed a 3rd party wiki application to a few different departments to see if it would enhance their productivity, after seeing the initial success they implemented their own custom wiki, they successfully changed the way they collaborate from one to one emails to group wiki, the head of eCommerce Alex Thill has cut down his email by 75% by using tools such as wiki’s,  increasing productivity by allowing all users of a department to have access to a central updatability system of information allows the department to become more productive as they do not have to rely on waiting for an email from a partial user on a design change.

other implementations of wiki’s have come out of users building their own wiki for a small group of users, and then word of mouth has caught on about the wiki which has lead to a interest in using it, using an approach like this can help users gain independent interest in the use of it, instead of being commanded to use it from their boss, using this method can sometimes help prevent failed adoption.

obviously wiki’s can be used in our daily lives for a number of reasons, heres an excellent video explaining some of the uses for wiki’s within education.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-8OOrBi0o

I personally find Wiki’s to be very useful, as mentioned in a previous blog post, i’ve setup a wiki for a group project at university, as a way to enhance and better establish a collective workspace for our teams ideas, I’ve used wiki’s since they have first been around, www.wikipedia.com is obviously the most well known use of the wiki technology, which has allowed millions of users to find out information on key topics within seconds. as Wikipedia is a community focused service, the information contained within each entry is verified by multiple people, and can in some instances be more reliable then information from a text book ( although many academic institutes deny this).  I have  also started a Wiki for my uni experience, attempting to store all my notes from university subjects within it, to use as a reference when needed.

Resources

Here are some of the resources that i’ve found interesting

Wiki List

Wikis go Viral

Corporate blogging

Blogging and Micro Blogging through tools such as twitter can prove to be key factors in success for a company, whether to use as a marketing tool, or an update tool to provide customers with the latest updates. With the craze of the web, corporations have seen the benefits of Blogging  as a medium to increase public awareness and provide a medium to receive feedback on their products/services, Channel Ten uses micro blogging to provide it’s followers with reminders of TV show times and provide a summary on what will happen within a show, Channel Ten primary use Blogging services such as twitter for external communication with its customers in the aim to increase tv ratings which generates them more income.

Obviously in the case of Channel ten the benefits of using blogging as a medium for external communication relates directly to increasing tv ratings for it’s shows which in turn generates more income for the channel.

As mentioned above TV channels use micro blogging as a medium to provide it’s followers with updated information related to shows, the weather is an important factor in news and using twitter to provide fast updates to weather conditions is a great service, the benefits of using twitter to provide real time updates, can prove to be a key factor in survival as in today’s world less people are listening to the radio/tv, so having them following a weather channels tweets can help them to hear storm warnings.

heres an interesting video which showcases some excellent examples of small business using services such as twitter to increase their image to the public

Google uses Blogging for both internal and external communication, they have mentioned that the implementation of the internal blog has been a successful development within the company, employees have used this service to keep up to date notes on projects, to push around idea’s, in Google’s case the use of blogging within their internal team has lead to a lot of creative idea’s, Google also uses Blogging as a platform to let it’s followers know what they are working on, what their projects are and their goals and to allow feedback.

There are obviously benefits for both internal and external blogging within a company, but the question is, what are the negatives?

Well it’s an excellent question, the negatives can be quite huge, as Blog’s and other web 2.0 tools provide the perfect delivery platform to discredit and inflict sustainable cost to a company, All it can take is one bad blog entry about a company from an employee and they could lose millions from their stock, or sensitive information can be leaked to the public in an instant, just as fast as I am writing this, an employee could be using a blog as a platform to harm their company. another aspect to this is the fact that in the example of Channel 10, now they need to keep and maintain their level of exposure through twitter, if they fail to post tweets on a regular basis their followers might get annoyed and leave.

Blogging and micro blogging is a business risk, if you don’t reach you’re target audience you might f ind yourself loosing more customers than you gained as your popularity on these blogging platforms is an important factor in your success in Blogging.

some of the resources i’ve found useful are 4 corporate blogging strategies

Classic Internet

Is the Internet Dead as i knew it?

The answer is, Yes.

The internet has come a far way since when i first used it back on Netscape explorer.  back then, most web pages were static, they did not provide a dynamic back end to them and e commerce was no where to be seen.

I never thought the internet would develop as far as it has, back then, my personal view was hardly anyone would be interested in the internet, i found it only useful for people in the Information Technology sector, no every day home user would be interested by it,

Obviously i was far from right, no longer do we simply use the internet to view a static site, everything has become integrated in such a way that we no longer use the internet in the old sense of the matter, nowdays we use the services which are hosted on the internet, we check out the news channels twitter to view the latest news updates, we use facebook to connect with our friends, i wonder when the internet was first developed if anyone saw the potential of the web.

checkout this interesting video on the changes in the web 

It’ll be interesting to see how the internet develops and is used in another 10 years from now, obviously the internet has become a huge marketing tool for business’s and media, as it can reach everyone in real time across any location.

It’s obvious now how important web 2.0 tools for personal use and the enterprise, everyone reading this would most likely use more then 2 web 2.0 tools a day.

Heres an interesting article

Legal Issues?

After searching the web for various case studies on legal issues relating to organizations and their social networking policies, I came across several documents about the military, now everyone would remember watching the news reports about soldiers leaking information onto sites such as Facebook,twitter,blogs  etc. The Military has always had issues with SNS

Obviously leaking military information is on a scale of its own,  the effect it could have on the military and its operations throughout the world, potentially millions of lives could be at risk depending on the type of information leaked, there is no other sector in the world that could be damaged as much as the military could if documents were leaked. you simply cannot compare leaking military secrets with say leaking some confidential document from an insurance company.

As such, the Military has strict laws governing the use and distribution of information information in the Military is ranked as either Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret and leaking any of these classified documents will result in you being imprisoned

The military has used several methods to stop classified documents being leaked via social media sites such as Facebook/MySpace and twitter, in 2009 the military ordered a military wide ban on social network sites in an effort to stop classified information being leaked.

Due to the nature of social networking sites, no longer can the military simply request the classified documents back, as many of the social networking sites are hosted outside their jurisdiction, in another country.

An example of this is WikiLeaks, Wikileaks holds hundreds of classified military documents that they obtained, since then has had an ongoing battle with the military as the military attempts to get them to remove the information.

Earlier this year in February, The Pentagon released its new Social Media Policy which reinstated the use of social media sites within its military. July this year an intelligence analyst with the United States Army in Baghdad was charged with leaking this video.

leaking this sort of information damages the public image of the military and also shows misconduct of its solders. obviously in cases such as these the misconduct of the solders was directly related to their job an as such would warrant their discharge from the military and imprisonment.

there is no perfect method for handling how employee’s access SNS, in many cases it has shown that their productivity has increased, whereas in other cases it has shown that they have used this to  distribute classified information.

Obviously within the armed forces the ability to use SNS to connect with family and friends is of high importance, not just for the solders, but also the mission, as mentioned earlier, using SNS can increase productivity in an office environment, the same can be said for solders, and will in my opinion allow the solders to be more focused on their mission.

But it also makes leaking information far to easy.

Email outdated

Lately I’ve been working on a group project which requires alot of collaboration, we have been using email to collaboration, after looking back through my email history i’ve noticed that the original email has had 60 replies.

Since studying Enterprise 2.0, I’ve used various web 2.0 technologies and learnt the benefits and uses of them, So i decided to setup a Wiki for the group project, as document version has been hard to maintain using email and believe it’ll be easier to maintain the project with using a Wiki.

The reason i’ve chosen to use a wiki setup instead of some other tool like Google Wave, is Wiki still provides a proper topic structure to easily find information. There are plenty of different Wiki Packages you can use, but i used DokuWiki Checkout the below video on Wiki’s.

As a carry on from my previous Blog, after reading a case study on VistaPrint, they successfully implemented a wiki system and managed to make the staff change their thinking away from traditional email towards a new system.

The key issues relating to implementing a web 2.0 technology in the enterprise

  • Time and Cost involved with training staff in the system
  • Convincing staff to use the new system as
  • Ensuring the product meets the needs of the company
  • Usability and ease of use
  • Security of the product, if it gets hacked who is liable
  • Reliability, is there going to be downtime from the provider?
  • The benefits are apparent

  • Document Control
  • Central Information Base
  • Increase Communication between users
  • Enterprise 2.0 at play

    When dealing with technology, there is always risks and benefits of using it, careful consideration has to be made when deciding to implement an update or a new application as the implications that it causes could be far worse then the benefits of the application.

    This same principal applies to web 2.0 tools in the enterprise, one huge risk that comes into play when implementing a web 2.0 tool into an enterprise is Security.

    If you’re users are using Google doc’s instead of Word etc, then backing up documents becomes more challenging, there is also the aspect of reliability, back in 2008 google had issues that affected gmail users. I remember not being able to access my email for over a 5 hour period. As a system administrator if i had migrated my staff to Google Apps, then the company i work for would potentially loose income due to not being able to access email.

    There is also the aspect of security, if the Google apps account gets hacked then the company could have important documents leaked to the public which could damage the company public image.

    Another added risk is adoption, after implementing an enterprise tool like Wiki, training users into using the new technology instead of their foundational email can be quite hard, and will often lead to users reverting back to the system they know and love. Email.

    There are plenty of benefits as well, implementing a wiki can help improve teamwork within an organization by using it as a tool to store information and collaborate on projects which can increase productivity of the business as version control as maintained within one central place. instead of working in a central place and time zone, with the implementation of web 2.0 tools such a wiki’s integrated with sharepoint, it allows employee’s to work from any location in any time zone to complete work and collaborate with other staff, this can greatly improve productivity as companies can hire staff from other locations at cheaper rates.

    Web 2.0 has its place in an Enterprise and with with the right application of technology for the right use, it can be very beneficial in connecting staff together to improve team relations and collaboration which increases productivity and helps the enterprise manage their environment.

    If implemented in a rush without proper consideration and discussion web 2.0 tools can provide little or no benefit to the enterprise as they fail to get adopted. Google Wave is an excellent use of web 2.0 technology, as it integrates many different aspects of social networking and email together, although due to the general public not knowing about the technology, it has failed to be adopted by the general public, this is a key example of how a great web 2.0 tool for collaboration failed to be used due to the general public not understanding how to use it.

    The below gives a good explanation of the benefits of a collaboration tool vs traditional email

    Web 2.0 Tools

    I dont believe twitter really is very useful to the workplace, as its limited tweet sizes provide little room for you to update anything other then you’re mood/status, the workplace really needs a tool which is collaborative, late last year i was reading about Google Wave It’s an exciting technology.

    which allows for real time communcation through intergrating emails,wikis,IM, it’s the first of its kind to provide the collaborative power that it holds, it would be great for the work place which has alot of collaborative work, although due to Google Wave not being adopted by many users ( most likey due to the inital confusion of how to use google wave) Google has decided to end support for the Technology at the end of the year.

    Obviously it will be a shame to see this tool not being used as widely as other tools such as twitter/facebook
    but it is a great example of an excellent collaborative tool, but like anything it needs a userbase to survive.

    Web 2.0 Tools

    KnowEm is a great tool to checkout whether you’re user-name has been taken on different social network sites, I’ve often wanted a tool that would do this, as manually going through hundreds of sites checking to see if you can sign up with you’re username can be painful, although to actually signup to all of the listed networks through

    KnowEm you have to pay a one time fee. but if you’re just after a tool that allows you to add different social networks onto you’re profile to use to further increase you’re appearance on the web then it’s a great tool.

    It’s a great example of a web 2.0 tool that can increase you’re productivity as you do not have to manually check hundards of sites for you’re username now that you can do it through one website. you can view my KnowEm profile here

    Linkedin in my opinion is one of the most important web 2.0 tools i’ve come across so far, it’s the myspace/facebook for professionals looking to get their online resume out there into the public, it allows users to search for jobs that are relevant to them, and employers to search for relevant employee’s, It’s certainly one of the most important online profiles i will keep updated.

    web 2.0 tools such as facebook increase my productivity as i can communicate with friends almost instantly instead of having to wait for a conventional email which people normally only check once a day. obviously replacing traditional email in the work place with a web 2.0 system such as facebook/twitter would increase productivity as important information would be received within seconds. not minutes or hours depending on you’re email settings.