Recently Waggener-Edstrom, the PR firm, released Twendz, a tool for analyzing Twitter posts for topics. It’s a pretty great tool, and they are making it freely available.
I used it recently to search for “photosmart”, a Hewlett-Packard printer brand. You can see that results of that search.
From this search, I get a sentiment ratio (percentage of positive versus negative posts) for “photosmart”, as well as a subtopic sentiment analysis for the top five subtopics. A word cloud also lets me see other common words used. In many cases, the twitter posts also include a link to a blog post with a lengthier description of the problem/question/topic.
Now there’s no excuse for not monitoring your company and products on Twitter.
Gourmet Experiences on a Fast Food Budget
- A hamburger and a hotdog cost the same whether you do it on a fast food budget or design it to be a gourmet burger.
- This begs that question, what’s makes something gourmet?
- And how can we apply it to web design?
- You take them apart, and see what gets you there
- Meticulous Preparation
- How Do The Best Teams Create Great Designs?
- The teams with bad design didn’t have different goals than the teams with great stuff. They all have the objective to make great stuff.
- There is a spectrum… in the middle of this spectrum there is a Process
- Process: Some teams say “we don’t have a process”, but that’s not true. Any team that eventually produces something has some sort of process. They just aren’t paying attention to the process. (Like a cook who says she doesn’t have a recipe for making something. There is a recipe, it’s just not explicit/conscious.)
- This is fine when things are going well, but not good when things are not going well.
- Process: To the right on this spectrum there is Methodology.
- Dogma: And beyond Methodology is Dogma (unquestioned faiuther independent of any supporting evidence.) Lots of things we do become dogma: “It has to be Web 2.0”, “it has to have social media”.
- They had a theory, that those organizations with great experiences had some sort of dogma that they adhered to.
- But on the other side of Process there is Techniques.
- Many great recipes have a roux. (flour and oil over low heat.) By itself, it tastes terrible, but it makes many recipes great. The roux is useful in many instances. If you can do it well, then you can make the recipe well. It’s a technique. You have to be good at it, and to get good you have practice and maybe a little coaching.
- All the way at the left end is Tricks. Tricks aren’t always “right”, but they are effective. It’s easier to use the wrong tool to get the job done, than it is to go get the right tool.
- The Best Teams
- Don’t have a methodology or dogma
- The struggling teams often tried following a methodology without success
- Focus on increasing the techniques and tricks for each team member
- They were constantly exploring new tricks and techniques for their toolbox
- Struggling teams have limited techniques and tricks.
- University websites…
- Every department maintains it’s own websites. Each college, admissions, etc. So there is a different look and feel for each part. How do you resolve that?
- The standard answer is to use templates.
- But there is no evidence that templates result in quality design.
- It is an attempt at a methodology, and in some cases becomes dogma.
- Each page has it’s own purpose. The business school is different than the admissions which is different from the school of nursing.
- There only people who care if the pages look the same are the people who have responsibility for the university website.
- Students don’t care if a page looks different.
- Instead, focus on tricks and techniques.
- The Three Core UX Attributes For Great Experience Design
- Started with 150 different variables, studied hundrends of teams, only three attributes really matter.
- The Three Questions
- Vision: Can everyone on the team describe the experience of using your design five years from now?
- Vision turns out to be absolute key to success. It’s a stake on the horizon with a flag. If we can clearly see the flag, then we can instantly look and see if any baby step we take will take us closer or further from the flag. And everyone can see it.
- A really good vision is stuck in the sand, but we can move it. Then we just move towards the new location.
- Feedback: “In the last six weeks, have you spent more than two hours watching someone use either your design or a competitor’s design?
- The organizations where people spend significant time watching people use the design create significantly better designs.
- It needs to be everyone on the team.
- No longer do you have opinion wars, because now you actual experiences.
- Culture: “In the last six weeks, have you rewarded a team member for a creating a major design failure?”
- When we have a design failure, we learn something.
- All the really important lessons in life come from failures.
- Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment calls.
- At Intuit they reward people. They throw a big party with champagne and caviar. The CEO makes a speech. They spend 3 minutes making fun of the people, and 20 minutes talking about the lessons learned.
- Organizations that are risk averse make crap.
- Five Second Page Tests
- A simple technique
- Can be done in less than 10 minutes
- Can use page mock-ups or real site
- Example: Buying a Notebook Computer
- You’re ready to buy a new notebook computer
- You consider a computer a big purchase
- How much technical support will you get if you experience problems?
- CDW: Technical support
- New Customers
- Existing Customers
- Create Login
- Rated: 2
- CDW: Customer Support
- Chat Support
- Rated: 3
- Crutchfield: Technical Support
- Free technical support
- 30 day return policy
- Rated: 5
- Designers often intend pages to have a single purpose
- We use this technique when users complain that pages are too cluttered or confusing
- Identifies if pages quickly communicate their purpose
- Paper Prototype Testing
- Design is in flux
- Team needs to try ideas to get feedback quickly
- Team can participate in study
- They are at a point where they can make changes
- Good resource: Paper Prototyping (book)
- Quality Ingredients
- In and Out: Sells burgers, shakes, and fries.
- There is a secret menu. But they are all burgers, shakes, and fries.
- They have a machine that slices the potatoes into fries just seconds before cutting them.
- They have a butcher on site. The meat is freshly prepared.
- Inuit Inuksuk: Arrangements of rocks to show that someone had been this way before. Lets the solitary hunter traveling alone for weeks or months to know that they are not alone.
- The Amazon Product Review is like an inuksuk: it lets someone know whether people have been this way before. Not all Amazon reviews are technical in nature, many of them at an inuksuk: just to let you know that other people bought and liked this camera.
- This is also what having testimonials about.
- Colleges are now experimenting with having students blog about their college experiences.
- Colleges even have content for the parents: an inuksuk for the parent.
- Creative Approach
- At MIT, students submit CSS designs. They choose 365 a year, and the MIT homepage changes every day. The content is the same, it just moves around.
- Cooking Up Gourmet Experiences
- It’s not about the money you spend, or dogma or methodology.
- You need to focus on developing great tricks and techniques across your team.
- Don’t let methodologies and dogma boy you down.
- Look for opportunities for creative approaches.
- Website: http://www.uie.com
- Newsletter: UIEtips (free weekly newsletter)
- Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks
Dunbarnumber: 120-150 – the number of people we can really know at any point in time
- Will: based on tribes and communities
- As a result of the internet / we b 2.0 / facebook+myspace+blogs the
dunbarnumber is raising
- This doesn’t leave room for the one way messages of corporations / advertising
- Some companies greeted enthusiastically, some companies are barfed upon
- Cory Doctorow / BoingBoing
- DOWN and OUT in the
by Cory Doctorow Magic Kingdom
- In the science fiction future of Cory, instead of money, there is something that he called whuffie
- Roughly equivalent to social capital: reputation, access to resources, favors added up (reprocity), followers, levels of trust
- High whuffie score = good reputation
- You can buy stuff with your whuffie
- But… not really fictional or futuristic. It’s here and now.
- It’s how we decide to friend people on Facebook (based on looking at existing friend relationships)
- To raise your whuffie, you need to establish relationships and credibility
- 5 ways to raise your whuffie
- 1. Turning the bullhorn around: instead of just speaking, listen
- (Will: I wonder what would happen if I solicited input on HP printers and HP website)
- The silence will smack down your whuffie
- 8 ways to turn the bullhorn around
- 1. Get advice from experts, but design for the needs of the novice
- 2. Respond to ALL feedback, even when you have to say “no thanks”
- 3. Don’t take negative feedback personally: people want a better experience, they want to keep using your product/website, they are taking the time to give you feedback to make things better
- 4. Give people credit:
- mention contributions in blog posts, tweets, or videos.
- Name a product or feature after the contributor (or let them name it)
- Send journalists their way
- Send a gift certificate or special coupon code
- Schwag and schtuff
- Upgrade their account
- Give the contributor more responsibility
- 5. Point out and explain changes as you make them
- 6. Make small, continuous improvements
- 7. Go out to find your feedback
- Use Google Alerts, Radiant6, or similar tools to seek feedback
- 8. Ignore the haters (“Don’t feed the trolls”)
- 2. Become part of the community you serve
- Figure out who it is you serve
- What problem are you solving? For whom?
- Join the community… not for market resource, not to sell them something… to learn what makes them happen. And why they would give a damn.
- 3. Create truly amazing customer experiences
- Create love, joy, and laughter.
- We can design for them.
- Automagic: a user experience so seamless that it feels like magic just occurred.
- Tag: “Automagically share your baby’s memories”
- GrowthGRam, StoryGram, FoodGram, WordGram
- Automagicness starts with sign: can signin with Twitter account or Facebook connect.
- You can sync up with your social network accounts
- And then pick people in those accounts who should receive notifications
- Estimates dates from EXIF data, and combines with child’s age to guess:
- First father’s day
- First solid food
- Quicken for iPhone
- Automagic spending update
- Automagic account update
- Automagic ATM finder
- “The best way to organize and share your travel plans”
- You forward your confirmation email, from any airline or travel service, and Tripit creates a uniform itinerary, accessible via web, print, or iPhone.
- 4. Throwing sheep: fun, lightweight activities that encourage participation, but don’t really do much else.
- FB: poking, “I like this”, twitter: nudging, virtual gifting, kudos.
- Makes it an easy way for people to participate, get comfortable
- Example: Dopplr:
- Personal velocity meter (silly and fun – people were twittering about it)
- Carbon footprint
- 5. lighten up: the ability to inject fun into the most serious & professional interactions
- funny 404 page errors
- 4. embrace the chaos
- The fear mongers: legal, public relations/corporate communications, IT
- Understand the need for security… but need to balance it with the need for openness… because that is what people are demanding. We are in a new era of building trust
- Benefits of embracing the chaos
- You’ll be better prepared for the unexpected
- You’ll join in the conversation that is already happening and be welcomed for this move
- It will bring the opportunity for collaboration
- It will make your ideas stronger that way
- In the old days, you had one chance to get the message just right
- Today, you have multiple conversations and iterations to build that message with your customers and audience
- Whuffie is part of the gift economy. You don’t hoard it, you give it away.
- What can you give away that won’t leave you broke?
- #5: embrace your higher purpose
- Do well by doing good: in the core of what you are doing, you are giving back.
- Example: Stonyfield Farms: makes good yogurt, but does good things for the world by doing it. Sustainable production, organic.
- Think customer-centrically
- Take off your marketing hat, your finance hat, and step into your customers hat. What can you do for them?
- Look at the “not customer-centric” slide on slideshare
- Customer-centric is:
- You send customers to other websites
- You measure how many people refer their friends to you as success
- When budgets get tightened, you tighten operational costs (not design, customer support, etc.)
- Your only customer service policy is to do right by the customer
- Your customers are doing things with your product you never dreamed and are posting videos.
- Influencers are adding you as friends on social networks
- You work with your competitors towards better customer experiences for all
- Making new things accessible to people:
- Blogger (enabled amateur journalists)
- YouTube (enabled amateur videographers/actors)
- Flickr (enabled amateur photographers)
- http://Akoha.com: Pay It Forward Mission Card
- If you combine all of these five whuffie factors, you will become whuffie rich
- Leads to better word of mouth, repeat sales, customer loyalty
- Which leads to increase sales and profits
- Q: How to staff up to participate in this?
- A: It’s everybody’s job. At zappos, everyone is empowered to be social. It’s not one person’s job, not one department’s job. It doesn’t mean spending five hours on twitter, it means being ambient.
- The big companies spend a hell of a lot of time internally focused. They spend so much time in meeting talking about stuff that doesn’t matter instead of going to barcamps, tweetups, or webvisions conferences.
- Q: You can’t have a top down mandate to achieve something like the Southwest airlines safety rap. So how do you achieve it?
- A: You can’t mandate it. You have to cultivate the culture. That takes time, it requires hiring the right amount of people, and it takes time to apply across the board.
After a friend recently posted about trying to find the time to blog, I got to thinking: How do I find the time to blog?
After some thinking, I came up with a few principles. In some ways, I’m the worst person to give advice, because my frequency of posting is terrible compared to any decent blogger. On the other hand, I’m the father of 3 children under the age of 4 (doing attachment parenting no less) and I work full time, so if I can find the time to post, then anyone can.
First, make sure that you know why you’re blogging. If you don’t know, the issue may not be a lack of time, but a lack of clarity or motivation. Rebecca Blood’s articles and references on blogging and book, The Weblog Handbook, are useful if you are just finding your voice. Once you know why you’re blogging, the following tips may help you find the time to actually get those blog posts going.
- Repurpose: If you are an information worker of any kind or a student, you’re probably already doing research, generating reports, analyzing information. If you can find a way to take your initial work and repurpose it for use in two places, then you can generate content for your blog with only a little additional work. Be aware that depending on your employment contract, work policy, and employment laws, there could be all sorts of issues about who owns your work, the confidentiality of your work, and a slew of other issues. On the other hand, judging from recent Wired magazine articles, many companies are now opening up and encouraging transparency in all its forms, including blogging. Research this ahead of time so that you’re doing the correct legal and ethical thing.
- Substitute: You probably already bookmark websites, send emails about interesting articles or thoughts to friends and you may even write the occasional letter or holiday newsletter to family and friends. All of these are material that could be published on your blog. When you publish your bookmarks on your blog, not only do you benefit, but so do your readers. Blog instead of bookmarking, blog instead of emailing, blog instead of writing a letter, blog instead of publishing.
- Get creative: Take the creativity advice of Gifford Pinchot III, and always keep index cards or a quarto on you. The time when you have a creative idea to post is most likely not when you are in front of a computer. So grab that handy pen and paper, outline your post, and it’ll be quick and easy to post when you next sit in front of a computer.
- Scratch an itch: My own blog originated from my desire to keep track of books that I had read. As I borrowed more books to read (instead of buying), I found it difficult to keep track of books and authors I liked. That make it difficult to decide what books to read next. I could have simply kept a lot on my computer, but how much more fun to share it with everyone. Now using my blog helps me do something I already wanted to do, and that’s true even if no one ever reads it. The epilogue to MIT’s open source book has an interesting discussion of the open source principle applied to writing:
“While every writer will tell you they write for themselves, this is more a statement of principle than an actual description of process—a piece of writing, whether a textbook or a novel, needs an audience to succeed. A programmer who claims to writes code for him or herself, on the other hand, is often telling the literal truth: “This tool is for me to use. Additional users are nice, but not necessary.”
If you can manage to write and simultaneously create value for yourself through your writing, then you have a double motivation to write.
- Eliminate barriers: If posting on your blog requires you to jump over a dozen hurdles, you won’t do it. Eliminate barriers, and you’ll find that even five minutes can be enough to start an interesting post. Use simple blog software with a WYSIWYG editor so you aren’t spending time messing with HTML. Keep a browser window open to your blog editor at all times, so it is always easy to get to. Start a post, even if you won’t have time to finish it now, and keep the edit window open. You’ll come back to it later when you do have time.
- Have modest expectations: I’m sure I could have made this a “top ten” list, but seven items came easily, and still fulfilled the purpose of the post.
- Set a goal: E set the goal of posting at least once a week, and while she may have missed one week somewhere in there, for the last two months, her blog has had plenty of fresh, interesting articles. Way to go!
Update (4/12/2007): Here are several other resources about finding or making the time to blog:
- Technological Winter offers similar ideas and some new ones in Six tips to find the time to post.
- A VC in NY writes about finding the right time of day in When Do You Find The Time To Blog?
- Blogsite.com offers some useful ideas about substituting blog postings for other kinds of output in Can’t Find the Time to Post?
Research from Stanford School of Business Professor Itamar Simonson and coauthor Chezy Ofir at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, points out that telling customers they will be surveyed, or asking them about their expectations ahead of time creates significantly more negative feedback. A quote from the article:
The researchers found that people who expect to evaluate are decidedly more negative. They also discovered that merely asking people to state their expectations before they receive a service made people morenegative—even though their predispositions may have been quite positive. For example, people who are asked if they think they will like a movie before seeing it will be statistically more negative than people who were never asked that question.
Simonson and Ofir studied the responses of customers who had called for service at a major computer hardware and software company. The researchers divided the customers into four groups. Participants in the first group were told a technician would service their problems and that they would subsequently be asked about the service, such as whether the tech was on time, whether the employee was polite, and whether he or she solved the problem. A second group was not told there would be an evaluation, but the customers were asked to state their expectations, such as how long they thought it would take for a tech to arrive. A third group was told both: to state their expectations and to expect a survey. Members of a control group knew nothing but were later polled.
The result: People who expected to evaluate were significantly more negative than members of the control group. The same was true of the group asked to state their expectations ahead of time. Interestingly, the group that was the most dissatisfied was the one that was asked their expectations and also warned about a survey.
This has serious implications for customer satisfaction surveys, but also for product research groups. Showing product prototypes to customers in a research setting is a context in which participants will frequently both be asked about their expectations and expect a survey. The effect can be research that “finds” problems that aren’t really problems:
The researchers warn that while marketers must stay on top of customer desires and complaints, they must also be aware of the effects the mere expectation of filling out a survey can have on how customers view their experience. “It may not be realistic,” says Simonson. “They may be chronically more negative, pointing out problems that are not problems to the average consumer,” he says. “You want people who are representative of the marketplace.”
This suggests that if you have any opportunity for analysis that doesn’t rely on surveys, but instead relies on behavior, the results are likely to be more accurate. Social media buzz, word of mouth, and collective intelligence applications based on behavior may all be more accurate than survey responses.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I recently had the privilege of seeing and talking with Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki. In 1995 he built the first wiki as a tool for collaboration with other software developers and created the Portland Pattern Repository.
Virtually everyone is familiar with wiki at this point. It’s the web you can edit. Wiki reached its maximum reach with the creation of Wikipedia. For a wiki to work well, it is essential that there is a motivated critical mass of participants maintaining the wiki. For Ward’s original Portland Pattern Repository wiki, the motivation for users was to advance the way software was developed. For Wikipedia contributors, the motivation is to build a comprehensive encyclopedia of knowledge. Both of these goals are important to their relative population of users. Wikipedia contributors for example, may spend dozens of hours per week in unpaid work to make Wikipedia a better encyclopedia.
Why is a motivated critical mass of contributors so important? Some of the key contributions a wiki needs to thrive :
- the contribution of original material
- improving or correcting material
- building linkages between topics in the wiki
- various forms of wiki gardening that include:
- ensuring topics conform to good style
- correcting mistakes
- building and improving trailheads and maintaining trails
- filling in critical missing gaps
- removing spam and user errors (such as when a user accidentally deletes content from a post)
- and monitoring changes to spot when any of the of the above gardening is needed
What if you want a wiki but lack a sufficiently large, sufficiently motivated group of contributors?This is a problem I’ve been thinking about for some time. Derek Powazek says that what we need to do is “smallify the task“. In part that can be done by breaking down big tasks into smaller tasks. It can also be achieved by finding way to eliminate some of the bigger tasks.
In that case, could the gap between the minimum critical mass and motivation needed and whatever actual user population you might have, be at least partially mitigated by some kind of automation or collective intelligence? In other words, could some of the work normally done through the explicit contributions of a small group of committed users be instead done through implicit feedback and machine intelligence? Below I’ve captured my thinking in this space.
Let’s start by assuming that, at a minimum, raw contributions would still have to come from people, as would corrections to the material. But what we could simplify building linkages, improving trailheads in maintaining trails, spotting and removing bad mistakes or spam?
Wiki topics are frequently characterized by many hyperlinks between the topics. In fact, the rich hyperlinking between topics is very much a part of what makes wiki is so effective. However chasing down all the right links between topics can add to the effort of writing a topic in the first place, or maintaining the wiki over time.
There is a technique that can be used to create a list of suggested topics that are related in some way to the topic a user is currently viewing. This technique relies on observing the behavior of previous users to determine what topics those users viewed, and in what order. For example, even if there isn’t a rich set of hyperlinks, a small subset of users will be motivated enough by their need for information to seek out other topics. They might do this by using search, the recent changes page on a wiki, or by navigating a convoluted set of hyperlinks to get to an ultimately useful destination.
The analysis then consists of using the clickstream data of these visitors to determine, for any given page A, what other pages also seem useful, considering for example, the amount of time spent on each page, and the order in which they were visited. For example, if I view the clickstream data, I may see a number of users who visit topic A, then go on to visit some intermediate topics very briefly, and then spends a significant amount of time reading topics D and G. I may then conclude that for other visitors who read topic A, they may also be interested in topics D and G.
We would need to user interface of the wiki to support presenting a list of recommended topics. Then when any visitor views the topic A page, the wiki can present recommended links for topics D and G. This makes it more likely that subsequent users are able to find related topics without going through search, recent changes, or long navigation paths. The net effect is pretty similar to the effect achieved in good wiki gardening when topics are appropriately hyperlinked together. But since this technique can be automated, it becomes possible to increase the usefulness of the wiki, while decreasing the effort needed to maintain it.
A similar technique can be used to create and improve trailheads. The term trailhead as used for wikis comes from the trailheads associated with hiking trails. Typically there may be a large, interlinked network of hiking trails. A hiking trailhead is a place to enter the network of hiking trails. In a hiking trailhead there is frequently has a map indicating what trails exist and how they connect. A wiki trailhead performs a similar role. For someone coming to the wiki from the greater Internet, the wiki trailhead helps them orient themselves to the organization of information on the wiki and decide where and how to start reading through the wiki based on their interests.
Increasingly, people get to destination websites from search engines such as Google. While Google is frankly amazing at matching search terms to useful webpages, it can sometimes drop you into the middle of the website experience. That is, while the destination page may be the one with the content that most closely matches the search term, there may be very useful and relevant information on other pages that are related to the current page. And it may not be obvious how to navigation to those other pages. This is very similar to the related topic analysis I described above.
However in this context, we have additional information that can be used to better predict what other pages or topics the user will be interested in. When Google, or another search engine, sends a visitor to our site, the referral field will tell us the URL that the user came from. For search engines, this referrer URL will include the search term the user was searching for. This means that when we do click stream analysis and analyze how users visit the pages on our site, we can determine not just that readers of topic A are likely to be interested in topics D and G, but that if a reader of topic A comes to our site from a search engine having searched for a given term S, that then they are most likely to be interested in topic G, but not D. This adds a level of refinement to our basic predictive algorithm and create a better experience for users who come to our website from search engines.
We can also borrow a technique from sites such as Engadget, Gizmodo, and Slashdot to make spotting and removing bad content or spam much easier. The comments on Engadget and Gizmodo can be rated by viewers with +, -, or !. The plus means the comment is good, the minus means the comment is bad, and the exclamation point means the reader wants to “report the comment”, such as for bad language or spam. Many other sites utilize similar techniques for comments, and discussion threads. Highly rated comments either float to the top, or get represented in bold, or otherwise stand out. Low rated comments float to the bottom, get grayed out, or otherwise are diminished in importance. Reported comments may vanish from the site entirely. All of this happens with no manual intervention. Instead, it relies on minimal input from many users.
A similar technique could be used on a wiki. If we allow users to rate a topic, or even sections within a topic, with a plus, minus, or to report it, then we can again apply some automated analysis to determine what to do. Topics that are “reported” by a certain percentage of viewers should relatively quickly go away (with repeated occurences by the same contributor ultimately resulting in banning the contributor altogether). Topics that are rated down by a certain percentage of viewers should diminish in importance-which could be indicated by: the way the topic is displayed (perhaps with grayed out text), eliminating incoming links to the topic, or removing the topic entirely. Or perhaps, if there is another similar topic that is highly rated, perhaps the highly rated topic replaces the lowly rated topic.
Automating Good Style
Another area that gardeners of a wiki spent considerable time on is ensuring that pages conform to good style. Good style may vary by wiki and by group of collaborators, but essentially it is the conventions that ensure a certain degree of uniformity, usefulness, and accessibility of the information contained in wiki topics. It varies by group because different groups have different goals: Wikipedia’s contributors are historians, and they seek to document things from a neutral point of view. The Portland Pattern Repository’s contributors were software developers who were activists for a software development methodology, and they sought discorse and understanding.
A form of template, or gentle guidance, could help ensure that pages conform to good style without manual intervention. For example, a wiki that contains troubleshooting information might guide the user contributing a new topic towards organizing their information as a problem statement, and then series of solutions steps. Subsequent contributors for the topic might be guided to add comments on a section, add solutions to a problem, or qualify a solution step with the particular set of problem conditions.
The trick would be to balance this guidance with the necessary freedom to ensure that users are not too constricted in their options. Systems that are too constricted would likely suffer from several problems. One problem is that the site would not appear alive in the way that wikis frequently appear alive. (By comparison, Sharepoint sites are highly constricted in what information can be place where, and they never display the sense of liveness that a wiki does.) Another problem is that contributors may feel stifled by the restrictions placed on them and choose either not to contribute at all, or not to contribute with their full creativity and passion. I can’t quite envision exactly how this guidance would work, but if it could be figured out, it would go a long way to further reducing the maintenance workload of the wiki.
In summary, what I’m trying to envision is a next-generation wiki that combines the editable webpage aspect of any other wiki, with collective intelligence heuristics that build upon the implicit feedback of many users to replace much of the heavy lifting required in the maintenance of most wikis. This will be useful anytime the intended users of a given wiki are not likely to have a critical mass of motivated contributors. It will not substitute for having no contributors, and it will not work in the case of the wiki with very few users (such as a wiki used by a single workgroup inside a closed environment). But it may help those groups that are on the borderline of having a critical mass of contributors, and have a sufficient mass of readers.
I’m very interested in hearing reactions to this concept, and of learning of any efforts in this direction with wikis currently.
*Note: This post was updated 4/9/2009 in response to feedback. It is largely the same content with some additional clarifications. — Will Hertling
(people contribute for the attention that it gets.)
(team is pulled together across the internet because of mutual respect and trust)
I attended the Portland chapter of the Social Media Club today for a presentation by Kelly Feller of Intel on Social Media and business. It was titled “Careers in Social Media”, but it really addressed many different questions from gaining alignment within an organization to the different kinds of resources and people needed for a social media campaign. I thought it was a good session, and I especially liked that questions were taken through the presentation and addressed on the spot.
- “What Do You Hope To Get Out of Tonight?”
- Let’s hear about Intel Social Media team
- A job
- How does an idea get sold when it first gets started
- How do roles get defined, in a larger organization
- The future of social media: “just five years out”
- How does your ROI get measured?
- What tools do you use?
- How do you create a job?
- What are the key resume indicators you are looking for?
- Just a few years ago didn’t know anything about social media
- Started as a second life blogger
- “I just jumped in”
- Stop worrying, obsessing, thinking, and just start doing
- New capabilities out there (blogging, twitter, wikis, etc.) and way many new tools out there (big slide of tool logos)
- Go toward what you are interested in. You’ll never master it all.
- New customer expectations: 85% of americas wants companies to be present in social media. 51% of consumers want companies to interact with them as needed or by request. 43% of consumers want companies to demonstrate customer service via social media. 90% of people get their purchasing and product information via social media.
- New roles: writer, video editor, community mgr, social media strategist, social campaign mgr., research/data expert, privacy and security experts, lawyer, bloggers, social web UI experts, public relations, software application developer. Online customer service.
- Data is key. Without data, you don’t have ROI, you don’t know how it affects the brand, the bottom line.
- Online customer service is one of the most important roles. No one would have thought this just a few years ago. Now it is the centerpiece. Examples: Intel is doing this, Dell is doing this. Intel talks a lot with Dell about this.
- Organic Word of Mouth versus Amplified Word of Mouth: Slide from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.
- Examples of Social Roles
- Strategist: Social media guidelines, training, internal social media evangalist, social media practitioner (blogs, twitters, etc.)
- Go to intel.com and read the social media guidelines to see an example. You want people to stay on message, not put your brand at risk. You create a path for people to share online without having to go through PR/legal in order to publish.
- Campaign Mgr: Integrate social components into marketing campaigns, often social media practitions, large corps; develop agency relationships
- PR: Cultivate relationships with influencers, bloggers, media; Help define guidelines for engagement, social media practitioner
- Operations: Develop social assets & infrastructure like websites, communities, etc.; Lgeal, privacy & security expertise
- Customer Service: Respond online, track responses & coalesce metrics
- Research/Data Expert: Define research guidelines, deep familiarity with topical and keyword analysis, metrics like Google Analytics, Omniture, WebTrends
- Q: “How does all of this scale down to a small organization?”
- A: “Look at getting interns.” [Will comment: Getting buy in is easier, but doing it all is harder.]
- Q: “Should we use a 3rd party site like Twitter?”
- A: “Meet the customer where they are.” Lots of companies try to direct the customer back to their own site, but it is totally transparent and intrusive to a certain degree.
- Q: What kinds of tools do you use, something with natural language processing, or something with a manual process?
- A: We’re running two simultaneous projects to evaluate two tools, one more automated and one more manual.
- We’re evaluating a tool that identifies conversations that are happening and tracks action/participation and gives statistics. This makes it easier to show the ROI: We engaged with 50 conversations.
- Q: Where do you find people to do it, how do you train them?
- A: WE look for affinity, to see who is interested. You can’t go out and tell people “OK, now you are going to blog.” Then see what we have after we have the volunteers. Our tool, that identifies conversations, really helps. Because sometimes you have an engineer who has really focused knowledge, and they can share that knowledge, but they don’t want to wade through all the other stuff.
- The FCC has ruled that participating in advertising falls under “truth in advertising” laws, and that means any time any employee writes, whether anonymously or not, they are speaking as a representative of the company.
- Q: What about seperation between personal and work identify?
- A: To a certain degree, I am always “on”. But my personal brand is good for Intel, and if my personal brand is helped by me talking about food in Portland, then I’ll talk about food in Portland.
- Just Do It
- Join the conversation.
- Participate personally (“don’t ask people to twitter something for you.”)
- Be authentic and be human. If you just twitter about one subject, you’ll just get one audience.
- Q: Should you focus on just one thing, become a master of that one area?
- A: Is that what you are drawn to? Do what you are passionate about.
- Leave no stone unturned…
- Blog – You can’t not have a blog, especially if you are in a big company
- “I already do that, now how can I stand out?”
- Be Free to be yourself
- Advertise Your Doggafiddum (be yourself)
- People have relationships with people, not companies
- Sharing “who you are” helps humanize yourself and your company
- Bloggers need to be authentic and transparent
- Personality inspires trust –> trust builds loyalty
- “How can I be more me?”
- What is a personality moment?
- Your goal should be to more efficiently turn every such situation into a personality moment. Brands that do this succesfully are the ones that develop personality.
- Southwest Airlines: how their flight attendants go outside the box. Google southwest airlines rap for a video of a guy rapping the announcement.
- Blog Post: Formal versus conversational
- The conversational post tells a story. Kelly will post the slides
- Resume Example: Formal versus conversations
- “The big picture” versus “my manifesto”. The conversational one stands out, the formal one is just like every other resume ever written.
- Q: “How do you get past the folks in HR?”
- A: “I have two resumes.”
- Tips for Better Conversational Writing
- Write in the 2nd person (“you” as the subject”)
- K.I.S.S.: keep it short, silly.
- Write like you were describing something in a conversation
- Use the “cocktail party rule”: you don’t just jump into a cocktail party discussion and say “hey, you want to hear about me?”
- Fight the bull : http://www.fightthebull.com: put in the complete text of what you are going to write, and it will tell you how much bullshit is in there.
- Structure of blog post:
- 1st paragraph: setup (interesting anecdote, story, quote)
- 2nd paragraph: tie to your point
- 3rd paragraph: make your point
- 4th paragraph: include bullets
- 5th paragraph: summarize
- Q: What if a small company doesn’t have the bandwidth to do social media? Can they hire out and still be authentic?
- A: I would question that you don’t have the bandwidth. Do you have even one marketing person? What are they doing? Where are they spending their budget? Why aren’t they spending it on social media?
- Q: What if you have to deal with engineers? They are social media laggards
- A: They might be, but if you convince just one or two, they will become your biggest advocates.
- Good examples of social media
- Mattel Playground: 500 moms invited to come participate in an online community. Mattel asked the mom how to handle the recalls, now this year Mattel’s sales are up 6% despite all the recalls.
- Intel: Mass Animation. Collaborative Animation project, 50,000 participations in Facebook community.
- Bad Examples
- Mars Turns Skittles.com Over to Twitter: it may have gotten them some buzz, but did it do anything for the their brand? What was the long term effect? It was a drive by marketing shot”
- Small Things: (Intel site): Intel is giving money to certain charities, for anyone who clicks on the button. But the site didn’t include any social elements, so it really hasn’t taken off.
- Whenever you are doing any kind of marketing campaign, look at how you can include social elements.
- How can people share moments of their life?
- How can you help them (e.g. corporate management) get it?
- Do not advocate “agency bloggers” (pretty please)
- Do your homework (don’t advocate something the company is already doing) – it’s all online
- Use industry tools (e.g. Forrestor POST methodology)
- Don’t assume they don’t get it (sometimes they just gotta do what they gotta do, like get a product out, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get it)
- Hand out books: Groundswell, Personality Not Included
- Twitter: @KellyRFeller
- Text Kellyfeller to 50500 for text info card
- 25 March 2009 The 10 Commandments of Community Management
- 8 April 2009 Reducing Customer Service Support Costs Dramatically (87%!?) by Turning to the Community
- 22 April 2009 The “Duh” Paradox: Increasing the Connection with Your Customers Improves Retention and Extends Lifetime Loyalty
- 6 May 2009Rome Wasn’t Built by Itself: Harnessing Product Innovation Through Online Communities