Posts Tagged ‘Social networking’


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 1

In New Media on November 19, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , ,

Technology innovation is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. They are complex systems that are incremental and in recent times, rapidity emerging. At this point in time, many IT developments are fragmented and there is very little unity or consolidation across domains. Playing a central role in defining technology in the future, more specifically web platform technology, is how content is managed and consumed. Social networking platforms are attempting to redefine the flow of media on the Internet by leveraging user’s profiles to competitively deliver content to the consumer (Levitz, 2006).

The online social networking revolution impacts society’s day-to-day activities. Redirecting social interactions to online has consequently altered our perceptions of media, as online social networks largely influence access to content, filtration of content, consumption of content, how it is formatted, and fundamentally where is it obtained. The information age is one that “embodies and symbolises the huge advance on our horizons of experience, attainment, and understanding” which collectively can deliver media from a networked source of information repository –i.e. the Internet (Adams, 1997, pg.947). The ability to enhance the process of retrieving and consuming information is complex but necessary. It requires networks of information to be leveraged. New media entails more than simply browsing content; users play participative roles in the content distribution. Passive browsing no longer exists, as profiling, metadata, crowd sourcing, and links are collectively mapped. Therefore, it is these participative activities that will drive distribution and production of relative content, reshaping the media industry forever.


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.


You’re fired! The risk of social media.

In Enterprise2.0,Social Media on August 19, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , ,

What are the legal risk for organisational stakeholders? There are all sorts of risk to organisations and it’s employees. Many traditional organisation would rather ignore social media then embrace it due to these associated risks. But does ignoring social media reduce all risks? 

Firstly, lets look at a few risk involved, then look at who’s at risk and some ways to manage risk.

— Confidential information (accounts manager contacts)
— Disclosure by employees (recommended a person via social media and gave key organisational business relationships by publicly letting people know about the two companies working together).
— Copyright infringement (don’t own the copyright material but post it on the Internet).
— Privacy Act (disclosure of improperly sanitised “sensitive information”.
— Discrimination  (acceptance of friend requests of some employee’s but not others)
— Misleading and deceptive conduct – the website is wrong or misleading to the public or business.
— Employers vicariously liable for authorised conduct.

(It is important to note that risk significance will depend on the context)

If you’re an individual reading this for personal reference, the best advice is to use common sense. Acknowledge that there is a risk in posting information, and use personal judgement to whether or not this could have legal implications. Yes, this is not the most helpful advice but the reality is that there are few standards or common law for social media. Therefore, the best precaution an individual can make is being knowledgeable of the risks in order to manage your participation and content you might post online.

From a organisational point-of-view, the best ways to manage risks related to social media is policy. Social media policy is fundamental to successfully manage the risk associated with social media.

So if there are risk involved why use it? Consider what is at risk vs what can be gained. Depending on the context, risk will vary. Organisational structures, culture, regulations,  and information sensitivity will be different depending on the organisation. The methods of reducing risk is policies and providing education to staff. These exercisers are not only necessary for the organisation but also necessary for the employees to be save and confident in the internal and external use of social media. An organisation refusing to adopt Enterprise 2.0 tools still puts there employees at risk and liable while externally (outside of work) conducting social media activities. Therefore, it is the organisations obligation to ensure their employees and their organisation are protected through education seminars and updated policies.

The blur between work and play is evident and social media is now a part of everyday society.  These tools can be used for great benefit to networking, marketing, and PR activities. But the implications of this are that organisation and their employees need to be aware of the risks involved. Risk are present when an organisations ignores social media just as much as when an organisation implements them. Take precautions for the employee and organisation so that all parties can have confidence when conducting activities online.