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Social Networking the Next Stage

For about a year or so, every time you watch the news you hear something about the effect that twitter is having on the world or how facebook is being used to break stories. This is great but what will happen next?

Already I have heard of people getting tired and bored with social networking.

This is how it should be, through history new inventions, ways of communication, and technologies have come and seemingly disappeared. Much of it, however, still exists, but because it is entrenched in every day familiarity we fail to notice it.

How many of us still marvel at the copper wire technology that carries our voice to a another person using a simple telephone? Yet how would we survive without this truly remarkable innovation. We take it for granted.

The next stage for social networking is normalization and integration into everyday lives and situations, whether at work, home, or wherever.

No longer will it be an organisation having a single twitter or facebook account (or whatever the next incarnation is). When years ago, organisations used to have a single telephone in the building  and now have at least one on every desk (I have three on my desk at work plus my personal mobile phone); so, I believe, the next step will be each member of staff should be using these networks as communication tools just the same as the copper wire telephone we now have.

Should it be mundane?… Yes

Invisable and unremarkable?… Yes

Even routine?… Again YES absolutely.

It is only when innovation, including social networking, becomes so routine and integrated in our business systems so we don’t notice we are using it that it will be of full benefit.

Never stop innovating, but don’t just gloat in the glory of the newest “shiny thing” work to make it part of ordinary everyday lives where we will say “how did we ever live without it?”.

The moment an innovative product becomes so routine it is not noticed or acknowledged is the moment it is truly successful.

Paul S Allen

IRGO unConference Report

Report on the inaugural Internet Research Group of Otago (IRGO) unConference 23 and 24 November 2009.

The three questions posed in the lead up to this unconference were listed on http://irgo.otago.ac.nz/

Centre for Innovation, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

  1. what might be possible for the future internet of the region?
  2. what will citizens want from the internet in the future (two, five, ten years ahead)?
  3. what potential internet problems or issues will we have to navigate in the immediate future?

These questions were addressed by all of the panel discussions throughout the two days.

This forum was successful in its approach to address these questions but raised more questions than answers, which will require an ongoing collaborative approach to develop new thinking and strategies to address the issues raised.

These are my bullet points from the Internet Research Group of Otago (IRGO) unConference this week.

Work

  • Mobility of work, the Internet is everywhere with, generally, high accessibility.
  • Technology is available to enable an “office anywhere” approach.
  • Issues could include
    • A reduction in the control of the worker and the worker’s environment.
    • Appropriateness of this approach to industry type.
    • Speed and quality of broadband.
    • Productivity may be affected (positively and negatively).
    • Acceptance of this approach is required by business community.
    • Social interactive nature of the work place is potentially missing.
    • Concept of the “digital nomad”

Content

  • Quantity vs quality
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Copyright vs Creative Commons
  • Who has access to content and what rights do users have.
  • Moderation of content vs self-regulation.
  • Is it quality or just share-able

Social Media (reasons for…)

  • Change management discourse.
  • Community generated content.
  • Client feedback
  • Crowd sourcing of publicity/marketing/information
  • Collaboration
  • Brokering services
  • New client/peer interaction model
  • Networking online and face to face

New Revenue Models

  • Traditional sales diminishing online.
  • Value of digital content is “nil” as it can be an unlimited supply.
  • Move to pay for service rather than pay for content model.

Ethics

  • Freedom of speech vs control of content
  • What is the definition of harm?
  • Posting of anonymous content, including offensive, harmful or untrue content and comments.
  • Who or what jurisdiction has control of what is “allowed” on the Internet.

Issues of Accessibility

  • Quality of broadband in New Zealand is poor.
  • Availability of Wifi or wireless ISP.
  • Business exposure to the Internet.
  • Acceptance of business that there is value in use of Internet.

Archiving

  • Permanence and durable accessibility of data is an issue in long-term electronic storage.
  • Technology changes will always need to be backwardly compatible. (Floppy disks used to be used as back up but who has a drive to access data now)
  • Usability of back-up systems is vital
  • The need for offsite and multiple storage options required for back up.
  • Standardisation and meaningful file systems required
  • What data is required to be backed up?
  • What is worth keeping?
  • The archivist has a vital role
  • How to back up institutional knowledge.

The Future

  • Much more development in telecommunication and automation using connective technologies.
  • Dependent on quality and reliability of telecommunication networks whether wired/fibre or wireless.
  • Cost to implement is an issue.

In conclusion I would congratulate IRGO in this its first unConference and look forward to the ongoing information that will be developed as a result of this forum.

Please visit http://irgo.otago.ac.nz/ for more information.

Paul S Allen aka paulusthebrit

http://twitter.com/paulusthebrit

http://thewaterside.tumblr.com

Things to remember about social networking sites.

The advance of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, MySpace and the like have become very popular ways to keep in contact with the world, but there are a few things that are worth remembering.

Be careful what you talk about, no mater how private you think your conversation is the internet is a public forum. Once you have posted a comment other people can copy, forward and publish it anywhere all with reference to you.

Remember…

  • It is public
  • Once posted it will always be there, (you may delete it but others may still have copies)
  • Do not post anything that you would not want your boss, spouse, partner, friends, mother, father children, pastor or spiritual leader to see.
  • There are dangerous people out there, unfortunately,  so be careful with photos and personal information.
  • It is not a numbers game, quality beats quantity.
  • There have been people who have lost their jobs as a result of material posted on social networking sites.
  • Potential employers are starting to check applicants sites to asses the character of potential new staff.
  • Do not post anything you may regret tomorrow.

One more thing, ask yourself this when accepting a follower, fan or friend; Would you invite this person into you house alone or would it be acceptable or appropriate to bring this person into your home? If the answer is no, don’t invite them into your network.

It is OK to be selective, you don’t have to accept everyone, and do not be offended if people don’t accept your requests or invitations, there could be good reasons.

Enjoy the opportunities that come from social networking but take care out there.

Paul Allen

New to the Crowd

Paul AllenNew to the Crowd

Just imagine the scene, you enter a room full of people you don’t know, in a place you’ve never been to before.

How do you feel? Nervous? Anxious? Do you just want to hide in a corner or worse, leave?
This is the situation every time we hold an event or for that matter a church service, at our Church services we will have visitors who may not know anybody.  These visitors have come into an unknown building to meet unknown people in a church where they may know nothing of the culture or the way we do things.

Think of the first time you walked into a church  what did you notice, who spoke to you, what made you feel welcome?

For us to grow as a church we need to make our visitors welcome. We need to be focused on developing and maintaining a friendly and outgoing environment.Now what I mean is not a false smile and a handshake, but a genuine interest in the people who do come.

I am not naturally an outgoing person; I struggle in crowds of strangers sometimes, so what tips have I got that have helped me.

1. Smile and look at people, making eye contact says that I have noticed you.
2. Give a good firm confident handshake.
3. Ask questions about the visitor. If it is difficult to spontaneously think of what to ask, come up with a list of five open questions before the event or service that you could ask people.
4. Listen generously. Be interested in what the other person has to say, honour them by listening.
5. Be confident.
6. Practice.

Why not give it a go, find a visitor or someone you don’t know and try it.
Try it this Sunday at church, or at work, at a business conference, at the sports club etc.
You might enjoy it, you might make new friends, win new contracts

Paul

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