Is Email the Darth Vader of Modern Business Communications?

In a world where instant communications and engagement is rapidly becoming the norm, email is taking on all the traits of a dark lord in the making.

Email started out as a powerful and useful tool that brought speed and (for the most part) brevity to industrial and corporate communications. However, it is rapidly transforming into the disgruntled jedi of communications.

Email is a dark art of the new wee. A 1.0 workplace solution. A habitual norm. Administratively heavy, it sucks previous time and resources from your everyday.

and yet… for all its operational inefficiencies it still seems to work for the majority.

Mobility has ensured access to the dark lord of ICT communications. Smartphones have ensured access to webmail a standard… in effect minimising the mobile digital divide, by giving cross-generational comfort on these new platforms and devices.

In this form, email is the connector. The access point for new media platforms and devices.

Convergence can only occur where comfort resides.

For the first decade of ‘social’ it has been email, but what’s next…? 

What’s able to fill the void? Is SMS or IM enough? or is non-regulation the biggest obstacle here…?

Non-regulation, poor regulation and the non-specific zones of the internet environment are our biggest foes.

Not just for business, but for governments and citizens as well.

There are no robust legal structures in place that currently nurture nor protect the individual online, let alone small business.

In over a decade there has been very little movement towards reform as monetising the internet remains the priority.

LinkedIn – the largest professional network where people have been putting their personal information for free for the last decade is now owned by a multinational corporation in Microsoft.

I find it strange that no one is questioning the personal cost of such a merger… perhaps for the majority of us, we’re not switching on to the reality of the evolution of the social networking platform that profiled, connected and enabled market transfers in human terms…. at what cost are we willing to earn a buck?

Let’s hope someday in the not too distant future we all start thinking about and directly addressing the cost of how we ‘settle’ the wild west of the internet.

What are we really willing to relinquish in order to earn a buck?

If so, what is the true cost to the individual, team or organisation… society?

Sadly, it’s a question very few are willing to articulate, let alone address with a view to answering

Why?

Because in order to do so, we’d have to acknowledge and address not only email as the Dark Lord of the internet, but the deeper, now embedded commercial practices of digital decadence and the new norm of dumbing down and relaxing acceptable standards of entertainment, operations and performance.

Let’s stop being happy with average and strive for great and the impossible again.

 

 

Snap gains sight, as it farewells chat

Snapchat launches Spectacles – its video and audio recording wearable for funsters

and parents…

While the yet to be discussed personal security implications of Spectacles is yet to be  acknowledged, let alone realised by the majority, they hint towards a very near future of integrated wearables.

Much in the same vein as mobile phones effortlessly transformed into smartphones and an extension of mankind, are Spectacles the next step in new media?

#WatchThisSpace

In other SnapChat news, SnapChat is no longer and Snap Inc. it is.

‘When we were just getting started it made sense to name our company Snapchat Inc., because Snapchat was our only product! Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product – but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand’ said Snapchat founder (and Miranda Kerr’s finance), Evan Spiegel.

‘Changing our name also has another benefit: when you search for our products it will be easier to find relevant product information rather than boring company information or financial analysis. You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd 🙂

Given the recent intro of Spectacles, it seems not only a timely re-brand, but a prelude to a product range of integrated wearables.

Snap Inc.’s approach, also highlights the importance of search in locating company products, no matter what the size, shape or form of your company.

Twitter changes explained

Since the return of founder Jack Dorsey as CEO in 2015, Twitter has reclaimed its engineering roots.

Not surprisingly, platform change has been afoot.

Over the past couple of months, Twitter has:

  • added the feature ‘poll your community’ – a nifty little tool enabling you to write a research poll (from the comfort of your twitter app) and send it out into the Twitterverse for feedback – something this user has done on several occasions with variant degrees of success.
  • Introduced .GIF search courtesy of partners at GIPHY and Riffsy
  • integrated Periscope into tweets so that you can enjoy live broadcasts.

In the coming months, more changes are rolling out all thanks to the fact, Twitter have redefined the 140 characters limit.

A little history here might be helpful…

The 140 character limit of tweets exists, because in 2006 when Biz, Jack & Co. were building the platform, SMS messages were limited to 140 characters.

It was a known standard.

Throughout the last decade the 140 standard has been exactly that – an acceptable and much loved limit to engaging on Twitter.

As an avid user of the platform for the past six years, both personally and professionally, I’ve always found Twitter as a great way to #connect, #Engage and #Participate with community members.

Professionally, I’ve been an avid user of Twitter to mentor both my undergrad and postgrad students.

It was a great way to maintain a dialogue with keen students throughout the semester while avoiding the essay-esque emails of panic around assessment and exam time.

It was a great way of teaching media and communications students how to edit and sub-edit without losing impact and intent.

It was a great research tool, news gathering tool – it was a great tool for educating communications student how to, research, engage and communicate with community.

Here’s what will and will not be considered a character in a tweet:

  • @ – twitterhandles will not be counted as characters. This is great news if your twitter handle is loooooong, now people might start tweeting you 🙂
  • Media attachments (URLs, photos, GIFs, polls) will not take up valuable character spacing, so you now have more room to say what you want to say.
  • the .@ convention has gone – THANK GOODNESS! This convention was just plain ugly! Instead, the power of the Retweet returns for both you and your community members. If you start a tweet with a @username then your tweet will be broadcast to all your followers.
  • RT – and if you want to broadcast a tweet more broadly, then you now are able to retweet your own tweets.

Twitter_May24

 

 

 

Sampling Jelly

Each week I test something new.

For the last month or so, I’ve been playing around with Jelly.

Not the ‘crystals and hot water time to freeze’ type, but Biz Stone’s 2016 version of search.

As with all new platforms and apps, I started off with the basics:

Who is Biz Stone?

Who is Tiffanny Junee?

Not that I put myself in Biz’s global communications lead, but I was interested to see if the big boys were searched the same way as the little guys 🙂

To my surprise, they were.

The reply, inboxed to me when ready, was an information map – try Wikipedia.

I found this initially jarring. Then I danced a little jig.

Finally, a content and information search solution for this century.

Something to cut through and make sense of the tyrannasaurous-sized bytes.

I’m really excited to see how Jelly evolves

Given that it is in closed Beta, I’ll start asking the important questions, as soon as I work out what they are…

 

How2 Social Sports

How2 Social’s vision is to empower athletes, coaches and administrators through education about how to create knowledge and value on new social and digital media.

The How2Social Sports program empowers professional athletes, teams and organisations to harness the power of the internet communications technologies to build brand value.

The program is born out of ongoing social media in sports studies that began at the University of Sydney in 2010 in the form of my Master’s thesis, To Tweet or Not To Tweet: Social Media as Strategic Communicatios in Australian Rugby Union.

TToNTT - Social Sports Research.jpg

Professional athletes, coaches (and to a lesser extent administrators)  have a limited time to maximise the earn from their sporting efforts.

The ability to build capital (social and economic) should be a financial imperative, sought by forward-thinking player managers and community leaders.

In Australia, social leadership is light on the ground, with few sporting organisations moving towards the future standard of being social businesses.

So what’s stopping us?

  • A true understanding of how new social media enables business and creates time and capital for the business, the leader and the employee, is lacking.
  • Social Media is fluid and requires a rethink of all ingrained communications practices across EVERY touchpoint of the business.
  • Change is hard and noone likes change.
  • Social Media has its on language, practices and protocols and business simply doesn’t understand it as well as what they do traditional media. So knowing where to start is really hard.
  • Professional sporting organisations and governing bodies are conservative organisations and their rigid structures don’t have the requisite flexibility, skill sets and intention to remould ingrained practice without significant key stakeholder buy-in and as with any change management program – change takes time.
  • In order for forward thinking leaders to learn How2 Social (aka the art of being public), but due to the voracity of the tribe and constant media attention, they need to do so privately (and continuously) – their jobs (rightly or wrongly) depend on it!

The How2 Social Sports Program

Designed for professional athletes, coaches and administrators, the How2Social Sports program is a multi-platform social learning solution that scaffolds (supports) and mentors the individual (athlete, coach,administrator) along their social media journey.

For more information: 

http://www.how2social.com

email: sports@how2social.com 

tel: +61 (0)2 8347 1530      

The Future of Social Media in Government

When business and personal demands allow, I attend key conferences as either a chair, keynote speaker or delegate.

What spins my wheels is not only the occassional flash of research porn presented by the REALLY clever kids doing the REALLY cool things, but also the sharing and exchange of information and on trend practice.

Some government departments are well ahead of the pack when it comes to the integration of new social technologies into their communications mix.

The Australian Government Department of Human Services springs to mind. They have been evolving their social selves since 2009 and their considered approach is a winner.

Conversely, there is also a number of departments and government organisations who simply lack the intent and/ or technacy to push their operations forward towards social.

In the evolving sphere of social and digital communications sharing is key.

Both for evolving best practice and to welcome the late comers to social media and reassuring these organisations that it’s not too late.

Their social and digital media journey will simply be fast-tracked for them, although the challenges around buy-in from both within and outside the organisation will unfortunately remain.

#Gov3Conf

I have spent the last two days in the nation’s capital chairing the International Business Review’s 5th Annual Government Social Media Future 2016 Congress.

With a varied and really engaged line up of speakers and delegates it has been a great 48 hours dialoging about ‘what’s next’ in social.

Day 1 investigated local government case studies on the changing face of social media landscape, social engagement and approaches to engaging communities. Disruption and Digital transformation were not surprisingling key themes.

Day 2 saw some great case studies presented by Amanda Dennett of the Australian Government Department of Human Services, Lisa Portolan of the Australian Sports Commission, Dale Roberts of Head Space and Craig Mack of Diabetes NSW.

Not surprisingly, the resounding points of discussion amongst delegates were about the actionable:

  • how can I get started on social?
  • we don’t have huge budgets, can someone recommend How2…?
  • can you help me how to get senior management on board for social?

It is precisely from observations and discussions such as these, that How2Social.com was born.

I believe EVERYONE should have access to knowledge and practical information for How2 use the platforms and / or the steps to managing successful social media campaigns and teams.

If you would like access to knowledge about How2Social with confidence for your organisation, head over to http://www.how2social.com and reinvigorate your social journey with an affordable, personalised program and digital mentor when and where you’re in need.