Good Bye Old Design

 

As you might have noticed, the following design is no more:

Old SMartens.eu design

I had spent quite some time creating it from scratch a couple of years ago, so it was kind of hard to just let it go.
Coming to think of it though, I’ve realized that I don’t need any nifty design to attract readers.
I’m not a designer, well not an approved writer either, but content being king, I decided to grab the design I’ve been using for komischer-typ.de since 2009. It’s very basic so the actual content has the reader’s attention.

Speaking of readers, there’s that flag in the upper right corner. Clicking it will direct you to the German Language Version of this Blog.
Topics will remain the same, roughly speaking Social Media within and outside the Enterprise (2.0).

Cheers – and happy International Women’s Day ;-)

 

 

 

 
 

Lee Bryant: Social on the Outside needs Social Business on the Inside

 

If you want to learn something about enterprise 2.0 as well as Social Media outside the firewall, Headshift is the place to be.

In my humble opinion, Lee Bryant encapsulates the most important things you have to know today, to grasp the incredibly interesting and vast topic Social Media. By chance, I also know that “to encapsulate” seems to be one of Lee’s favourite words. That’s probably due to his gift of being able to break down even the most complicated stuff into its most essential parts.

Here’s the video I’m talking about:

Lee encapsulated what the video is about as follows:

The focus of my talk was the idea that hanging shiny social media baubles on the cold, hard external walls of a corporate organisation runs the risk of creating a false brand promise unless this work has strong internal underpinnings in the form of social business structures that can do something about the noise, insights and feedback that outbound communications generate.

Key to achieving this is building bridges between the inside and outside worlds, and recognising that we are all (corporate, as well as human beings) products of our networks, ecosystems and connections. I touched on Christakis’ work on contagion and the influence of social networks and emphasised what an opportunity this embodies for brands with a strong value proposition, such as the poster child of modern customer service Zappos, and how this also creates a building-block, API-style opportunity for others to build on your products or services to create even more value.

If you don’t have 20 minutes to spare, I’d recommend Lee talking about knowledge management (2.0):

This one’s part of a movie called “Us Now”. You can watch “Us Now” at http://watch.usnowfilm.com/.

It’s a great piece of information as well. I actually showed the latter to several people that didn’t have any idea of the topic of enterprise 2.0.

 
 

What Twitter could learn from Facebook when it comes to privacy and noise reduction

 

I’ll start this one with a short excerpt from my recent post Two Twitter Features I’m longing for to reduce the noise:

The fact that Twitter introduced lists is great. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could choose which lists should read the tweet you’re sending out?

A couple of scenarios:

  • I created a list of German speaking Twitterers writing about social media. If I now stumbled across an interesting social media related German link and would like to share it with my followers, it unfortunately doesn’t make much sense to non-German speakers. So I’d like to have the opportunity to share it with this specific German list of my followers.
  • You’ve created a list of real friends, close ones, not the ones from Myspace, and don’t want to share some kind of personal stuff with your whole timeline but just with the folks on your close friends list.

If Twitter had only taken a quick glance at a the privacy options Facebook rolled out roughly half a year ago, the above-named issues would have been solved right away. 

Marshall Kitpatrik from ReadWriteWeb nailed it:

The new Facebook publishing feature lets users share things with just a particular list of their friends. (Or with the public at large if they so choose.) The contexts are un-collapsed. Communication is human again. That’s a very big deal and is the kind of change that could make far more people comfortable sharing far more information about their lives on Facebook. It’s also a feature that no major competitor (namely Twitter) offers.

Facebook may be solving one of the biggest problems in social networking – the unnaturally uncontrollable nature of communication.

As a matter of fact, somebody unfollowed me on Twitter yesterday, telling me that too many of my tweets seemed too extraneous to appear in his timeline, therefore putting me on a list.

So basically, Twitter would just have to copy Facebook’s feature to reduce the noise in our timelines & make communication on Twitter more sophisticated in general. Just by enabling users to choose which lists should see their tweet. I’m not a very skilled coder, but this shouldn’t be rocket-science.

To conclude, I’ve put together a how-to-video of the above-mentioned Facebook feature for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet :

 
 

Two Twitter Features I’m longing for to reduce the noise

 

There are plenty of ways to use Twitter. Some use it in the “old-fashioned” way to stay in touch with their peers by telling each other what they’re doing. Some use it for marketing purposes, others try to be funny or something.

As I’m primarily using it as a source of information, as well as a platform to spread some (hopefully) valuable information, I’d really like to see some Twitter features that actually reduce the noise that is out there. If I’m looking for information, I select Twitterers because of the subjects they’re writing about / interested in. Thus, I don’t really want to know that a guy who tweets about enterprise 2.0 has just caught a bus in time. And I guess some of my followers don’t want to read some of my tweets as well because they just don’t have any value for them. There are two kinds of information I’m referring to in particular:

Tweets in a language my followers don’t understand

They might be helpful for my fellow Krauts, but don’t make any sense to followers who don’t speak any German. So instead of forcing them to learn this incredibly complicated language, I’ve had the idea that it’d be great if Twitter introduced language hashtags as a feature. And I guess it’s not just for German, but for a lot of people that don’t want to nag their mostly English speaking followers with Polish, Turkish or Spanish tweets, just to name a few.

An idea to solve this problem could look as follows:

#de Moin, dieser Tweet ist deutschsprachig und wieso sollten Leute ihn lesen, wenn sie kein Deutsch können?!

In this case, the #de-hashtag would indicate a German tweet. If Twitter now allowed its users to select the languages they actually understand, their timelines could be purged from “foreign” tweets that don’t make any sense to them, indicated by the specific hashtag. This would reduce the noise for Twitterers who don’t understand the language of multilingual users they follow. Other than that, it could also make a 2nd Twitter account superfluous.

Nicole Simon for example, a renowned German Social Media lady uses an English (main) account and a 2nd one for her German tweets. I also gave this solution a try by creating a German account apart from my main Twitter account SMartens83, but it really got tedious. I consequently started tweeting in English and German on my main account again, which does create noise for many of my non-German followers, but is much handier for me at the end of the day, I’m afraid.

Tweeting to specific lists

The fact that Twitter introduced lists is great. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could choose which lists should read the tweet you’re sending out?

A couple of scenarios:

  • I created a list of German speaking Twitterers writing about social media. If I now stumbled across an interesting social media related German link and would like to share it with my followers, it unfortunately doesn’t make much sense to non-German speakers. So I’d like to have the opportunity to share it with this specific German list of my followers.
  • You’ve created a list of real friends, close ones, not the ones from Myspace, and don’t want to share some kind of personal stuff with your whole timeline but just with the folks on your close friends list

These are the features that come to my mind when it comes to reducing the noise I create for my followers. If you have any other ideas or any workarounds to make these ideas a reality without a new Twitter feature, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch on Twitter. But please don’t DM me in Swahili ;-)

 
 

Happy New Year – I guess it is time for me to get social again

 

I obviously haven’t spend much time blogging recently and my presence on the social web has diminished dramatically since August.
Well, sometimes you just don’t have to say anything – let alone something use- or even thoughtful – and I’m afraid this was the case for me in the last four months, which was a kind of weird phase of my life – to use a euphemism.

Anyway, I’m trying to change this next year (wow, that’s tomorrow, right?!) apart from some other New Years Resolutions.
I know, it’s kind of lame to exploit New Years Eve to make radical changes in one’s life – in most cases we could actually do this everyday.

Rabbi Hillel makes a good point here in saying the following (thx Rabege):

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?

Nice quote – but hard to take it to heart in each and every moment (as with most quotes out there), especially if you can think of thousand of moments were you didn’t act like this at all. But I guess it’s time to forget these moments – living in the past, wondering why this and that happened, just makes things worse. So does torturing oneself for not living up to one’s own expectations and ideals.

Well, this weird private post will be followed by the usual Social Media stuff next year to be sure. Maybe some posts will even be worth reading.

Cheers and Happy New Years!