Microsharing and Twitter

October 26, 2008

Twitter is an internet tool that is increasingly used for ‘Microsharing’.

twitter_logo_s

Microsharing according to Social Media Agency ‘Pistachio’:

What is microsharing?

Let’s start with the best-known microsharing application, Twitter. Twitter is a collection of remarks. It’s what a group of people–a very dynamic group of people who are connected and becoming more closely connected everyday–find remarkable. The connections between people, the ambient intimacy.

Microsharing reduces the emotional and intellectual distance between people and helps them become more engaged, connected, effective and collaborative.

Microsharing is hard to understand at first, and frequently seems trivial and foolish, but it generates tremendous value and opportunity for participants who really get it and who push to discover its hidden potential.’

For me, the key benefit of this tool is indeed the ‘reduction of emotional and intellectual distance’ on internet platforms. It is very easy to:

  • find people with whom you want to exchange ideas, and
  • actually start conversations online.

It seems to be more easy starting an online conversation compared to e.g.:

  • commenting on a blog post from someone else, or
  • by commenting on a forum.

Therefore, the trend I am seeing in 2008 is to increasingly incorporate Twitter-like functionality in forum and blogging software platforms (e.g. WordPress.com)

Business benefits

Twitter is a great example of a platform that facilitates ‘organizing without organizations’ (Clay Shirky: ‘Here comes everybody’).

With the emergence of Social Media tools such as Twitter, the costs for people to organize themselves in (ad-hoc) groups is greatly reduced. Therefore, business problems that until now were not addressed can now be tackled.

This also means that Twitter (or Twitter-like tools) will enable cross-unit information sharing within large organizations in a very cost-effective manner. Within large organizations. special attention must be placed to issues such as information security, reliability, compliance, integration with other enterprise communication platforms (e.g. Microsoft Exchange, back office tools etc).

For the enterprise, several Twitter-like tools are emerging that take these specific requirements into account: www.yammer.com, ESME and others.

Enhancing my own blog ‘Web 2.0 and Management’

Using both my blog and Twitter, starting online conversations about specific topics is more easy:

  • post on my blog (or comment on a blog from another user); and
  • ‘tweet’  links to my blog post or comments on Twitter.

I have also added the twitter stream to my blog (right lower side of the blog)

Good post: ‘9 Benefits of Twitter for Bloggers

How to start with Twitter

Here is how I have started using Twitter:

  • Create an account at twitter.com
  • Use twitter search for some interesting topics and people to ‘follow’
  • The best way to start with Twitter is to also have a blog (e.g. on WordPress.com). This is your ‘home base’ on which you post topics of you special interests.
  • Post references to your blog posts on Twitter (‘tweet’ it) to elicit conversations about the blog post.
  • Start ‘following’  people that have a blog with a shared interest. Increasingly, blog authors indicate their Twitter name on their blog.

Some people on the internet from which I have learned a lot about Twitter are:

  • Chris Brogan: one of the real ‘gurus’ on Social Media. He really known how to combine tools such as blogs and twitter to grow his ‘audience’, and deliver real value to them!
  • Darren Rowse (‘Problogger’): very experienced blogger, has lots of advice on how to start a blog
  • Davied van Berlo (Dutch): ‘evangelist’ on Web 2.0 for Dutch government agencies

Some blog posts on ‘How to start with Twitter: Guide to Twitter for Business

Useful Twitter tools

Twitter is not only an internet tool, but a platform. A whole ‘cottage industry’ has grown around the Twitter platform, providing additional functionality. Some of these Twitter applications that I find very helpful are:

Statistics:

  • twinfluence : ‘twInfluence is a simple tool using the Twitter API to to measure the combined influence of twitterers and their followers’
  • tweetstats : ‘Graph your Twitter Stats including, Tweets per hour, Tweets per month, Tweet timeline, Reply statistics’

Search:

  • Twitter search : Fulltext search on all public tweets (e.g. search on @jeroendemiranda to find tweets addressed to me by other twitterers)

Adobe AIR applications:

These tools are alternative user interfaces for Twitter (i.e. instead of using you browser). You must install Adobe AIR software as a prerequisite:

  • Tweetdeck : ‘It aims to evolve the existing functionality of Twitter by taking an abundance of information i.e twitter feeds, and breaking it down into more manageable bite sized pieces.’
  • Twellow : This is a directory with Twitter users.

Other sources for information

If you want to follow reactions, tune in to my twitter feed at twitter.com/jeroendemiranda

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Organization Effectiveness Simulator by Booz Company

October 25, 2008

Recently I have used the ‘Organization Effectiveness Simulator’ offered by Booz Company.

Purpose of using this simulator is to determine where the client organization is positioned, with regards to implementing a Change Strategy.

I highly recommend this simulator for the following reasons:

– it helps you to quickly establish the current status of your organization;

– it enables you to have focused internal discussion by your management team, on which kind of measures will help best in implementing a Change Strategy;

– results of this ‘management game’ can be used to align more internal stakeholders to the agreed actions plans

The background of this tool is described in an article in the Harvard Business Review of June 2008: ‘The Secret to Successful Strategy Execution’ by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elizabeth Powers.

One of the main messages of this article is:

‘(…)we’ve identified four fundamental building blocks executives can use to influence those actions

  • clarifying decision rights,
  • designing information flows,
  • aligning motivators,
  • and making changes to structure.’

(…) In fact, our research shows that actions having to do with decision rights and information are far more important—about twice as effective—as improvements made to the other two building blocks’

 

How does the simulator work:

First step:

As a management team, you answer some 18 questions to determine the kind of organization you are right now. Examples are:

  • ‘The Passive Aggressive Organization’
  • ‘The Over Managed Organization’
  • ‘The Outgrown Organization’
  • ‘ The Fits and Starts Organization’
  • ‘The Just-in-time Organization’
  • ‘The Military Precision Organization’
  • ‘The Resilient Organization’

Second step:

Based on one of these organizational types, you are then offered some 28 possible strategic actions, from which you can choose 5.

Actions such as:

  • ‘Clarify Key processes’
  • ‘Create Centers of Excellence’
  • ‘Delegate more decision making’
  • ‘Introduce a knowledge management system’

And so on.

Based on a large database of Booz Company (with results of interviews and business results of a large number of interviewed companies); the simulator gives you then a clear indication whether the actions that you have chosen are effective (compared to best practice actions).

Especially the discussion around choosing the right actions are very helpful in defining your own strategic action planning!

We found that indeed, actions that clarify decision rights and actions that improve information flows are most effective in implementing the Change strategy.