[Post written for the CIPR Conversation Friday Roundup]

I adopt the US spelling of socialize here because I'm doing the roundup this week from San Francisco where I'm attending the Dreamforce conference, a conference dedicated to this very theme.

Dreamforce is the annual Salesforce.com conference and with 45,000 registered delegates this year it is now, or so CEO Marc Benioff assures us, the largest corporate tech event of its kind. There is a palpable enthusiasm for the theme, regularly articulated as "awesome" by the American delegates.

[Disclosure: Salesforce.com is paying me to be here.]

Salesforce.com advocates a three-step approach to socializing the enterprise, in no particular order:

1. Develop a social customer profile

2. Develop an employee social network (collaborate, service and engage, connect and sell, automate and extend)

3. Develop a customer social network (social marketing, products and partners, listen and analyze).

The company's approach and capabilities in these regards are second to none in enterprise computing in my opinion, and it's great to see that the act of 'socializing' extends to employees too, not just consumers. However, always wanting more, it will be interesting to keep tabs on the speed with which Salesforce.com turns its attention to 'socializing' other stakeholder groups such as suppliers, the channel and other partners.

From a technical perspective, there is a lot of talk about architecting around social objects. Hugh Macleod defines social objects as the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to someone else (see social objects for beginners). And Salesforce.com's Chief Scientist, JP Rangaswami, has been building some interesting principles for social objects:

  • An object becomes social only when it is shared; it is the sharing that makes the object social, not the object per se.
  • A social object creates value not for itself but for the community in which it is shared.
  • The process by which value is created is by the community interacting with the object, leaving comments, classifications, tags, notes, notations, corrections, observations, links, questions and even answers.
  • If a social object falls in a forest and there’s no one to record and comment on its passage, it doesn’t make a sound.
  • Social objects get cocooned in metadata, the who-what-when-how-much that describes frequency of access, the population doing the accessing, number of edits, when and how carried out and by whom, relative popularity, links, tags and so on.
  • By inspecting the metadata we learn about ourselves and about the organisation(s).

How enterprise computing has had to move on since the 20th Century! And that's a nice segue to my small contribution to proceedings here – organisations cannot 'socialize the enterprise' simply by procuring best practice enterprise computing. They too need to move on in other ways.

Typical organisational structures, cultures, policies and processes were honed in the 20th Century and haven't yet been adapted to the new realities of social media, other major information technology advances and modern approaches to business performance management. Making that transition is incredibly hard work, but as Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, told delegates here this week, there will be those who make the transition over the next three to five years, and the rest simply won't survive.

Best regards, Philip and The Conversation team.


Please note, this Conversation Roundup is written in my own capacity. I am not a spokesperson for the CIPR.

Announcing: The End of Business as Usual

by Brian Solis of BrianSolis.com

Earlier this year, I announced that I was writing another book. I left clues here and there, but I had yet to officially announce the title or the focus of the book. The truth is that I didn’t want to give readers of Engage 2 the impression that I was ready to move on.

So finally, it is with great pleasure that I share with you the name and also the semi-final draft of the book’s cover.

Officially introducing, “The End of Business as Usual.”

It will go live on October 1, 2011 and it’s available for pre-order now at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | 800CEOREAD. More...

Three ways of creating a mobile version of your website

by Matt Ambrose of The Copywriter's Crucible

Do you own a smartphone? I bet, being the sophisticated reader that you are, you do. You only need to do a quick scan of people on trains, in supermarket queues and around the office to know that smartphones are absorbing more and more of people's attention. And there are plenty of stats to prove it.

Recent figures (compiled by Google and the British Retail Consortium) show that mobile search is growing over 200% year-on-year. 27% of the UK population now owns a smartphone (and shockingly, for cash strapped parents, 57% of teenagers). More...

97.3 Million American Mobile Users Access the Internet

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

The mobile web user population in the United States will increase by almost 25 percent this year -- as 97.3 million mobile device users access the internet from their device at least monthly, according to the latest market study by eMarketer.

By 2015, more than three in five mobile device users -- and almost half the total U.S. population -- will be using the mobile internet, eMarketer forecasts.

"The rapidly expanding smartphone and mobile internet user populations raise the stakes for marketers and make the mobile web more of an imperative than ever," More...

If you build it, will they come?

by Rachel Miller (née Allen) of rachmiller.com

This week I was asked to offer some thoughts on recruiters using social media for recruitment based on what I have seen online. What struck me from the conversation I had was the perception some people have that creating social media channels equals success.

Turning to the 'traditional' networks, anyone can create a Twitter account, LinkedIn group or Facebook page. But what happens next? It surprised me that some organisations think that simply creating these channels means that people will flock to you. More...

Facebook ditches Deals and Places; location isn’t a walk in the park

by Danny Whatmough of Wildfire

Facebook seems to be rethinking its approach to location. Following a number of large-scale changes to features on the site last week, it has also announced the closure of two of its relatively young location-based products; Facebook Places and Facebook Deals.


Places was the Foursquare-like product that allowed users to ‘check-in’ to locations and was launched with a great fanfare last year. It always had a slightly uncomfortable position on the site and, as with Foursquare, seemed to lack a clear raison d’etre. More...

Efficiency as a marketing asset

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Yesterday, my wife Yukari Watanabe Scott and I dropped our daughter off for her freshman year at Columbia University in New York City.

We arrived in the city a few days early because of the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene. We "camped" in a hotel room as the storm approached and then passed by, venturing out a few times when it was safe. It was a fun bonding weekend for the three of us prior to the start of our daughter's university career (and our life as empty nesters).

I was considering the logistical nightmare faced by Columbia University. More...

Who are your internal communications for?

by Simon Wakeman of Medway Council

An article by Thomas J. DeLong in Harvard Business Review caught my eye about the “ignored majority” of employees in companies.

The diagram shows a categorisation of employees by how they are meeting the organizational performance goals (on the y-axis) and how they are meeting their own personal standards of expectations at work (on the x-axis). It leads to a model where there are people in all four corners, with the majority in the middle.


The general argument in the piece was that leaders in organisations spend too much time concentrating on those in the four corners of the model, at the expense of the largest number of employees who actually fall into the central “stalwart” More...

Americans Viewed 5.3 Billion Video Ads in July 2011

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

comScore released data showing that 180 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in July 2011 -- for an average of 18.5 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience engaged in a record 6.9 billion viewing sessions.

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in July -- with 158.1 million unique viewers, while VEVO ranked second with 62.1 million. Facebook.com was ranked third with 51.4 million viewers, followed by Microsoft Sites with 49.5 million and Viacom Digital with 47.3 million. More...

Managing Online Social Predators and Bullies

by Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks

Online social predators and community bullies pervade the internet. You know the type -- out there in the social sphere trying to create chaos and breed discontent. They are the dissatisfied customer, the slighted consumer, the angry applicant who didn't get the job, kids who think social vandalism is fun. Perhaps they got bumped off a flight, your software crashed their system or they got rejected from a club or college. These nay-saying crusaders are everywhere, and they show up again and again in online communities. More...

FIR Interview upcoming on Altimeter Group's Social Business Readiness survey

by Neville Hobson of NevilleHobson.com

Your FIR co-hosts are planning an interview for next week with Altimeter Group‘s Jeremiah Owyang about the release of a new study, "Social Business Readiness," released today – the presentation is embedded below.

In preparation for the interview, we’re sharing some of the study’s highlights in this post. Let us know in comments here or in the FIR Friendfeed room if there are any questions you’d like us to ask Jeremiah.

Social Readiness: How Advanced Companies Prepare View more documents from Jeremiah Owyang Companies are at various stages of integrating social media into their business processes. More...

FIR Interview: Dell Chief Blogger Lionel Menchaca

by Neville Hobson of NevilleHobson.com

We first spoke with Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, in an FIR interview on January 12, 2007, not too long after Dell’s first blog was launched.

We spoke with Lionel again to find out how the blog and the company’s overall social media approach has evolved in the intervening 4½ years. The interview was conducted using a Google+ Hangout. An audio version is available.

Get this podcast:

Download the MP4 (video) file (106Mb, 37:51)
Download the MP3 (audio) file More...

What's the R.O.I.? A Framework for Social Analytics

by Brian Solis of BrianSolis.com

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
- Albert Einstein

Say hello to my little friends, R.O. & I.

Yes. Those three letters have become the bane of an entire new media industry. However, avoidance is not the answer.

While the question of “what’s the R.O.I. of social media” is difficult to answer, it is necessary as it forces us to dig deeper. The result is maturity.

This conversation is important as you are expected to answer it not just today, but and also over time. More...

The State of Ethics in Public Relations

by Keith Trivitt of Public Relations Society of America

To commemorate PRSA Ethics Month, PRSA is publishing a monthlong series of posts on important ethics issues facing the public relations profession. PRSA will host a Tweet chat at 3 p.m. EDT Sept. 6 to discuss the state of ethics in PR.

Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, YouTube and other new technologies have taken the communication industry by storm in the past five years, rapidly revolutionizing the way that public relations, advertising and marketing professionals communicate with their publics. More...

Influence: Socializing the Enterprise – my presentation at Dreamforce 2011

by Philip Sheldrake of Meanwhile

Salesforce.com's CEO Marc Benioff is excited that there are 45,000 delegates registed for this week's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. It sure is one helluva a show (and I particularly appreciated the Metallica and Will.i.am gig last night!)

The theme for this year's conference is the socialization of the enterprise and the reason for my invitation to present to the Executive Summit yesterday and delegates at large today. [Disclosure: Salesforce.com is paying me to be here.]

Dreamforce 2011 presentation – More...