Posts Tagged ‘Linkedin’


New media consumption – Part 4

In New Media on January 7, 2011 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Social networks, media, user profile, and user data are key elements of the social web in creating ties between objects and resources on the Internet. The challenges of providing relational content distribution to enhance media consumption are privacy and fragmentation. Privacy is major issue concerning sharing and tracking personal information for relational and contextual distribution of media. Fundamentally, users evaluate the risks and opportunity on social networks. Although, there are complex relations between opportunity and risk, online activities require critical judgment, trust, social values, and expectations all of which shape social networking privacy behavior (Livingstone, 2008, p.379). The risk of having personal information stored on the Internet verses the opportunity to have relational content distribution. The pressure for the latter option is the product of the information revolution, facilitated by the Internet. Currently, if content is pushed to a user that has a weak relation, it is considered spam, yet if content is pushed to the user that is highly relevant, this could constitute a breach of privacy. The full implications of profiling users and their activities have not yet been fully realised. Nevertheless, the public has little control over these activities that plague the online social networks.


More and more responsibility and onus on privacy is deflected to users. Although there is a tendency for users to be less concerned with privacy issues as relational media distribution has higher value than the perceived privacy risk. The volume of information requires more effective models of information retrieval. Successive and dictionary searchers are no longer effective methods of retrieval with the vast composition of media online. The adoption of the social web will support the distribution of niche, contextual information and media. Supporting this initiative presents unprecedented value to the consumer as it will enhance the attainment of “experience, attainment, and understanding” in the digital environment (Adams, 1997, pg.947). Ultimately, the social web leveraging personal information enables more proficient filtering, which is necessary for improved web services.


New media has a shorter lifecycle and rapid production. Accessibility to relevant content is high priority and will enhance a user’s experience.  Evens et al (2010) says media including digital television require new strategies that apply interactivity, and the long tail-based business model to tailor content specific to the user. The increased impact of niche content is consequently reducing the impact of blockbusters (mainstream) media. This is facilitated by the Internet and “by applying the long tail principle, the provision of digital niche content aims to suit all tastes, including minority interests” (p.1009).  Although there is more verity of media, the methods of distributing are still evolving. The recognition that tailed content across the long-tail can be facilitated by the social web has yet to be explored or applied entirely. A barrier to distributing media is the fragmentation of Internet resources. Media and data are fragmented over the web with very little unity in structure.  The massive migration of users to social networks leads people to believe that innovation in media distribution will come from these platforms. Utilizing the semantic web and metadata “descriptive” methodologies, will be the key to link personal profiles and network ties, facilitating the retrieval of relevant media.

Facebook has the third largest population in the world. The platform provides a standardised experience (network connections, and data structures) that will enhance the delivery of content, based on complex contextual reasoning using individual’s personal information and data. The 2010 partnership of Bing and Facebook could be revolutionary to the social web ideology, by reorganizing the distribution and consequently the consumption of new media.  Other social networks such as Linkedin can mirror this activity in the future to provide media that is more specific to their platform genre. For business professionals, leveraging their personal Linkedin profile to retrieve contextual industry and business media has profound value. Nevertheless, the professional networks continually scrutinize the privacy of sensitive information as these issues potentially have serious adverse financial and social impacts.




New Media Talk, Part 2 – Social Consumption

In New Media on November 25, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It is clear that the online social networks have a profound influence on the social and information retrieval activities. Content distributed on social network platforms is a unique model that challenges mainstream and traditional networks of communication.  Computer-mediated-communication (CMC) creates new methods of connectivity between individuals and groups. These networks have varied range between users, are centrally focused on individuals, and assign implicit online community roles. The social network facilitates the flow of information through direct and indirect ties and as a result defines how people acquire resources and information (Garton, 1997).  CMC plays a central role as an inter-mediator of information. Contemporary social networking platforms have rapidly grown because of their ability to effectively link individuals and groups of networks with one another –i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube. The efficiency of CMC enables users to be connected to a number of different networks defined by different relationships and different communication medium. These relationships or ties, identify new networks, thus CMC creates networks that aggregate shared resources and information (Craven & Wellman, 1973, p.g59). The increase of acquired users on social networking platforms fabricates more networks and groups of networks that therefore have increasingly prominent impacts on the acquisition of information and media content.

The ability to produce and reproduce content is also a factor that dramatically alters perceptions of new media. The format, the audience, and the volume through CMC channels are redefining media’s intention and application. The vast amount of content online is pressuring the efficiency of media distribution channels, substantiated by user expectations for the web to affiliate content with context. Social networks play a significant role in facilitating context. They do this by evaluating ties between people, groups, and pages. Social networks are described as entities in a network called ‘nodes’ and the connection between them called ‘ties’, representing a matrices that allows filtering content specific to an individual (Downes, 2005, p.416).  Haythornthwaite (2001) argues that there is a tendency for social networks to enhance the distribution of media but stronger ties within these networks remains centred on pre-existing local networks or affiliations; niche networks are often weaker ties in the network.  Conversely, Downes (2005) presents the studies of “six-degrees” network measurement (Milgram, 1967) revealing that there are only six steps in a network between every person in the United States (p.417). More so then ever, this network phenomenon is accurate but also applicable on a global scale using CMC networks ties which are both easy to create and effectively measurable.  Although this conclusion is justified, the effects of the “long tail”– many small elements of information that make up an equal or larger proportion of the Internet –require networks and ties to define relationships to niche content specific to the user. The accuracy of distributing niche content to specific individuals is highly valued during information retrieval process because of the volume of content that is available. Nevertheless, this retrieval process requires complex relational ties that leverage social network data.

Strong ties are of great relevance to social networks and the distribution of media on social networking platforms. Marsden and Campbell (1984) distinguish the combination of factors that distinguish ties in a network: frequency of contact, duration of association, intimacy of the tie, provision of reciprocal services, and kinship (p484).  Currently, this measurement of ties attempts to link the “social web” with content. Google, the biggest search engine on the web, bases its model on content-centric consumption. The shortfall of this model is that it neglects to meet the complex information retrieval process necessary to retrieve content in the long tail of the web. The social web on the other hand, adds user’s personal information as a variable in the search. The social web has supporters includes Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Facebook. Their partnership in October 2010 will enable Bing searchers to leverage Facebook profile ties to influence content retrieval; known as the user-centric model of content consumption (Oreskovic, 2010).

Browsing the web is not longer passive, user have participative roles on a websites; “individuals are now more apt to have their behaviours, likes, and dislikes automatically integrated in proprietarily databases” (Elmer, 2002, p.86).  The exploitation of this user data will significantly influence content that is distributed to the user and although the relational model is only in its early stages of implementation, the shear volume of activity that is recorded by social networking sites, generate opportunities to customise searchable content and media. The current social networking platforms are maturing rapidly as user acquisition is very high. Nevertheless, methods of transferring content are still primal as they are submissive in the online environment. Presently, social networks only marginally influence content distribution – i.e. Friend-of-a-Friend (FoaF), advertising, and recommendations.


Social Social Social… work?

In Social Networks on September 19, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , ,

Often individuals in society use their networks to advance their knowledge of happenings and events. This social networking paradigm is embedded into our society but the playing field has evolved and online social networking platforms are here to stay. What can be curtain is that we are greatly influenced by these social circles -increasingly the scopes of our networks are expanding. There are abundance of social networking platforms available that offer different purposes, and have emergent cultures, and social norms. The influence that social networking have on business activities is full of uncertainties.  Resistance to the adoption of networks is anti-productive in a business setting because networks are powerful resource that fuel business growth and opportunity. There’s a conception that many popular platforms are for individual networking development. This is somewhat true. Many of the popular social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, twitter and even LinkedIn are individually focused. However, increasingly attention has been on how businesses can tap into these resources. We discuss this by separating each type of network.

The first point that has to be acknowledged is that social networking platforms can be anti-productive unless they deliver of the business objectives. Networking is apart of business operations though it is only now, as the web 2.0 matures, we can see the online social networks being transferred into the business activities. There are three methods of leveraging social networking around business activities, external networks, internal networks and mash-ups.

External networks

The nature of the work often highlights what type of online social networking should be conducted. Sales and consulting do leverage external social networking.  For those who require research and client sourcing, Linkedin can be helpful when developing a contact list. The ease of finding specific company employees and their position can encourage obtrusive behaviour because  information is easily sourced by people external to the organisation. This concerns many professional who have a Linkedin account or have considered activating one. This is a negative impact of this open network for business professionals but individuals who provide employee status also have the promise of network opportunities. So this really depends on what type of returns an individual would like form an external social networking platform and if it will bring benefits at an individual level and/or a corporate level.

The risk of social networking being obtrusive and jeopardising the privacy of professionals could be on the increase. But it won’t go away so it’s no good ignoring it. Gist is a new social networking platform with all your social networks information centralised and allows people to network over status feeds, news and updates. However, forget about privacy, Gist sources information about people in your contact list and connects you with their social networking profiles and recent blogs without requiring any permissions. Gist also allows people to contribute to external profiles, so if you’re not so popular this could be a problem as some data relies on “crowd sourcing” to keep profiles up-to-date.  Gist is available on as a plugin for Gmail, Outlook and mobile devices.

Internal networks

A more walled garden approach, internal networks have been very popular for larger enterprises and have utilised the internal social networking to improve communication information flow within the organisation. Beehive has been introduced with success at IBM. They have experienced greater collaboration and improved team dynamics because of the extra socialising that is taking place between employees.

“You cannot create a culture of innovation without creating a culture of collaboration – and at its core is creating a culture of trust with people you may never have met,” says Liam Cleaver, Program Director, IBM Jam Program Office (Office of the CIO).

The research that IBM has surrounding social networking using Beehive as a research method has received interest from the business community. The buzz (created by IBM) is very much a clever marketing and PR exercise with a truth that social networking is the way of the future. Why? Well, the study of this adoption is highlighted in the IBM research model. The outcomes of an effective social media platform are predictable because there are similarities to popular external social networking. Fostering employee networks to provide synergy throughout the organisation is recognized as a valuable resource and if structured skillfully can be utilized extremely successfully for organisational social cohesiveness.

Mixed networks

Other ways that social networks are incorporated into the workspace is using plugins for Outlook. As outlook is a widely used email client for business application and there have been developments to improve the outlook inbox environment. Outlook compared to the web2.0 email clients available is very outdated but using these new pluggins can be an effective and inexpenses means of introducing social networking. Xobniand new to the outlook client mesh-in are two plugins that incorporate the social with the business whist helping organize the fragment of emails. This method is a simply low risk alternative to introducing a fully integrated system. As is it a mesh-up it allows external networks to be visible but because it is located in outlook it mixes a very common business tool with some very common social networks. My two cents, is that this type of integration of social networking would be anti-productive. Email clients don’t necessarily have to house the social network. It’s also not good for employee productivity to be spending more time in an email client. Exchanging email and social networking have loose ties and we will probable see more mash-ups of email clients and social networking. However, I have used Xobni and although on occasions it can be useful for periodically organising emails but the social aspect of it is quite limited. Plus when I am in my email client, I am emailing and not socially engaged. Yet it is highly likely that two will not remain separate.