Montag, 18. Juli 2011

A Social Media Story - Follow up: Why

“In the end they are all dead!” that’s Shakespeare in ten seconds, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt stated in his theory on theatre: “A play has reached it ends in the worst possible outcome.”

Especially in the beginnng there were reactions of confusion on the Social Media Story. This is perfectly okay, because your mind tells you, no available schema fits, it is time for learning. But of course all these fair questions deserve an honest answer.
The answer is threefold: Why on Social Media? Why the format of storytelling? Why a fictional story?

via stockxchng, Old Canon by hbrinkman

Why a fictional story?
After reading the intro, you hopefully agree that fortunately it is a fictional story. Recently I have argued that the Social Media demands bad case scenarios for meaningful risk management. Moreover in a fictional story the literary instrument of alienation allows to bring down all the defense weaponary (after all, nobody of us works for Telsup, no accusations!), and it also allows a more rational view (sorry, this is not my light bulb shining here, it is all Berthold Brecht).
Technically speaking, a fictional story allows compression and thus enhances read effeciency as well as a continous and steady one-go compilation (imagine I had send to you all the links of Social Media Story – follow up: What?)
And finally as I have read some literature on Storytelling in KM, I was curious whether also a fictional story can work.

Why the storytelling format?
Everything applies which was said by many smart people and what I have summarized and connected: the LTM, Storytelling and KM; Storytelling
But moreover a story can serve as a working platform / a war scenario. The stream of my consciousness goes like this: If the readers don’t believe the story to be realistic (now with all the sources in the background known), we can re-engineer the story to become more realistic (perhaps in more research of real bits and pieces), so the original story becomes as baseline for the very valuable discussion, what our risks are. Thus improved scenario and improved understanding of scenario risk (this technique is not only applicable to Social Media) are the result. If the scenario is agreed to be realistic based on the real sources, then an After Action (fictional) Review can take place. We can learn to improve on the scenario.

Why on Social Media?
A wake-up call! I don’t seem to reach the relevant people with my message that Social Media is vital for a global corporate player. The Social Media Story shows the potential impact of SM, and exemplifies that SM is not only social chit-chat for after work hours, and washes away the argument that is only about selling in business-to-consumer relations. Reading the story it shoots for a #socialtree and a #socialfirewall. So, don’t say, you didn’t know, it could happen.


A Social Media Story - Follow up: What

This blog post is part of the follow-up on the Social Media Story - the "When trees are the better walls" post was one of these urgent light bulb moments that took me away and the "Virtual coffee corner doesn't serve tea" an immediate response.

Yes, you are right and I admit: There is no country Nowerestan (nowhere land), and there is no living person Emin Pascha (so this on the positive side, the guy that I killed is already dead for more than 100 years, however the Germany discoverer Emin Pascha was an enemy of the Mahdi at that time). And the general plot did not happen like this. False information.
However, remember the schema in the human mind, in order to create a schema, some detailed information was discarded to build the schema.
I claim the pattern is built on true information. However a larger amount from various sources, but every major statement – that was the ambition – can be motivated by real recent events.
Before I next time explain the ambition of the experiement, the motivation and why I did it, here you find some of the sources and real events.
via stockxchng, Fuente de Gaudi by L Avi

First I would like to advertise to you  an Ericsson reference, mentioned in the story:
As the sources themselves for part of Social Media the follow the probabalistic principle of Social Media (so it might not be the original source of a thought and no investigation of the source’s impact qualitatively or quantitatively):
“The Social Media Revolution”, including the work of Social Media activist, government responses, arrestation and tweeting from the prison.
On how a bad tweet can backfire and on misinformation on Social Media:

      Operators & Suppliers:
      Competitors on Social Media:
      Free internet:

      A Social Media Story - Day1
      A Social Media Story - Follow up: Why

      Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2011

      The virtual coffee corner doesn't serve tea

      Nick Milton had a good point, when he got crumpy on the coffee corner metapher (KM and coffee machines – as long as it is that productive, keep on being crumpy, Nick!): The virtual coffee corner doesn’t serve tea.
      When we in Ericsson Germany still had offices (only some weeks ago), I was sitting with a Senior Customer Project Manager. And true, I never went to the coffee machine with him to ask a question. And when I had a question to my boss, I went to him, not to the coffee machine, in order to ask.
      No, Nick you are right, the coffee machine is not a good metapher for KM. The virtual coffee machine is not for strong ties and it is not for cases, when you know, what you don’t know. Then you are much better of with Communities of Practices, Subject Matter Experts, After Action Reviews and KM structured according to the processes.

      via stockxchng Market Cafetaria 2 by stylesr1
      The coffee corner is a metapher for the use of Social Media in Knowledge Management to build a network of weak ties and mutual understanding. When you and your colleagues must rely on serendipity, because you don’t know, what you don’t know or you don’t know what you know.
      There was a time in my business life when I had to fly to Sweden almost every two weeks, and I had constantly too much coffee.  Why? There was always a business purpose for the trip, no doubt, but there was always a huge network of people, “just” to talk to over coffee. And it was business all the time, because we had not much else in common, but it was business in general terms, understanding what they were working on, what problems were nagging me, what was happening in the organization and to people. These talks were creating the mutual knowledge, the understanding, which enabled me afterwards to very effectively (not efficiently!) share knowledge. I knew what would fit their context and what would create value.
      When I had tried to learn from failures (e.g. activity-based KPIs), I found it helpful to look at work patterns (I am fully aware that this here is very sketchy, more details you find at: A new work pattern – sharing, the power of sharing, mutual knowledge – yet to come).
      You can distinguish between: Working on own agenda; seeing the big picture/learning/creating mutual understanding; and sharing.
      The crucial part is not so much the sharing itself (that can be IT based), but the learning part, the part of seeing the big picture, the part of creating mutual understanding, the part where a common context is created, which transforms information into knowledge.
      If this mutual understanding is lacking, we happen to fill databases with tons of useless information. But a virtual coffee corner is not mandatory. If the mutual understanding is there,
      • because you and your colleagues are tight together by a firm KM process
      • because you sit in the same garage company garage
      • because you are down under but share exactly the same working context,
      you probably don’t need a virtual coffee machine, and tea is fine.
      But in my expierence internally in a global company in 175+ countries with 90.000+ employee and externally, a virtual coffee corner is a business space and it is needed. But that doesn’t mean the whole working day should be spent there.


      Dienstag, 12. Juli 2011

      When trees are the better walls

      There is a book by Henning Mankell, which is called in German “Die Brandmauer”. A rather unfortunate title, because what is in English a "Firewall", might be in German either the traditional firewall “Brandmauer” of brick and stone, or the neo-German IT “firewall”, and in the book it rather meant the later one.
      A similar blossom of style (“Stilblüte”) grows wonderfully, when I state: The best architecture of a #socialfirewall is a #socialtree.

      via stockxchng Ruin wall by mazweb
      Although a well grown tree, like a well raised #socialtree, can stand bad wheather, the metapher was to a larger extent targeting the good times, when the corporate considers how to make best business in social media and how to engage most adequately.
      However as there is not only great and valuable information out there in the internet and in social media, but also misinformation, one needs to consider to build also the #socialfirewall.
      The combination of two characteristics of social media as for something different than what every PR & Marketing department is trained and qualified to cope with.
      A Social Media allow a larger spectrum of diversity, Social Media does not suppress fluctuations
      B The size, the number of participants bears the potential to amplify fluctuations.
      A In every traditonal publication a lector would have corrected my “blossoms of style” into a “bloomer”, as well as every serious verification team would have checked information and arguments in a publication. In style and content many weird things are on the web, some awsome, many aweful.
      B So while the censorship of good taste and common sense cleans up the weird things before publication in traditional media (I am aware of my naïve point of view!), they survive on the web, and even more, some of them get amplified, because they are funny, weird or just support what we want to think. This is why we sometimes enjoy amateur videos on youtube, because they are just so unconventional.
      But because not everyday is just sunshine and social media bear these characteristic, corporates must play their scenarios in raincoats. Justified or not, there is shit out there, and if it hits the fan of social media, it hits big time.
      No more metaphors today!
      And as companies defend their IT environment with firewalls, their social environment, their brand must be defined by a #socialfirewall.
      You ask for examples of what can go wrong: here are 4 (uncommented): Kenneth Cole Egypt, Nokia in Iran, Vodafone Egypt boycott, McKinsey and the trees (ups, sorry, the tree metaphor!)
      So a #socialfirewall is vital, but how to build?
      Certainly not of brick and stone, not even mentally, but – in my opinion – the #socialtree is the adequate architecture. Many employees, nutured by the roots of experience, put up in the air by a strong trunk of communication and transparency (read Michael Ende's: Jim Knopf, if you haven’t heart about glass trees), and all of them out there engaged socially.


      Sonntag, 10. Juli 2011

      A Social Media Story - Day5

      The human rights networks don’t buy into the line of reasoning and take it for a lame excuse and a comfirmation that Telsup is not to be trusted. At the same time technical circles discuss the meaning of the operator reaction und the strategic-technical position of Telsup. Many see in the reaction of the operator an indication that the market leadership of Telsup is in real danger. Apart from the image to stick at nothing, now also the technial credibility suffers considerably, that is what most say. Telsup is now in defense. The few isolated representatives, be it the official PR gang or social media savvy employees are too few and too to make themselves heard, their contributions are discarded as biased.

      via stockxchng Rest in peace by mattox 

      In Telsup it is suspected that the Asian competitor is fuelling the uproar in social media. There are leads, but no proofs. An unfortunate statement in this direction outrages the technological community; they call it an absurd maneuver and paranoid divisionary tactic. A wave of conspiratory theories is floating.
      The Telsup stocks are under pressure. Telsup is now also a topic in economic terms, concerned investors have their say on Twitter. The value of Telsup at New York Stock Exchange has got a tailspin.

      THE END


      A Social Media Story - Day1
      A Social Media Story - Day2
      A Social Media Story - Day3
      A Social Media Story - Day4

      A Social Media Story - Follow up: What

      Samstag, 9. Juli 2011

      A Social Media Story - Day4

      After human rights organizations have chosen to ride the Pascha wave on Twitter and have called to boycott Telsup networks, first customer reactions have been reported. In the beginning these reactions were few and isolated; via social media the boycott has gained momentum.
      via stockxchng Manifestation by floche
      Now Telsup has decided to counteract on Twitter. However no fans, followers and supporters have taken up the PR tweets in a positive context.  It has been seen through as a biased and untrustworthy media campaign. The Telsup statements are manifoldly retweeted, cited in many Blogs and everywhere negatively amplified. #Telsupoptimal.
      A major skandinavian operator is reported to have canceled its Letter of Intent (LOI) for the next generation telecommunication infrastructure with Telsup.
      The joint official statement of the Skandinavian operator and Telsup denies any relation of this decision with the recent negative social media resonsance of Telsup, but brings strategic-technical arguments of the decision.
      The story of a Telsup employee is spread, who receives a call to order because of violation of the very rigid Telsup PR directives. There was no confirmation of the story whatsoever.


      A Social Media Story - Day1

      Freitag, 8. Juli 2011

      A Social Media Story - Day3

      Amnesty International has attended to the case of Emin Pascha, who has been found dead this morning. A wave of solidarity not only raises the anger in Nowerestan, but sweeps the whole world on Twitter. #Pascha has become a popular synonym for the revolution.

      via stockxchng Egypt Revolution 3 by runin0
      His interview that was only 2 days published in several foreign, mainly western online newspapers and bears heavy accusation against Nowerecom and Telsup has gained now global attention in reprints, tweets and blogs. The commentaries have lost focus on the national operator Nowerecom, but hit hard on the Global Player Telsup, who only weeks ago has published a Corporate Social Responsibility report.
      No reaction from Telsup so far.


      A Social Media Story - Day1

      Donnerstag, 7. Juli 2011

      A Social Media Story - Day2

      The IT company Quicknet has stepped quickly into the breach, and virtually overnight offered an internet-based work-around in order to keep communications for the revolutionaries going. Nowerecom and Telsup are in the pillory, while Quicknet has become a hero of the revolutionaries in Nowerestan.
      “Responsive to pressure” the telecommunication networks are open again today. Was it really only maintenance works going on?
      Pascha has been hauled off. But still from the prisson he is able to twitter one word: arrested. This is taken up by a national wave of twitter post in Nowerestan.
      via stockxchng Egypt Revolution 1 by runin0

      Demonstrations of angry revolutionaries target the office from operator Nowerecom as well as the local office of Telsup in the noweric capital. All foreign Telsup employees and their families have left the country following emergency procedures.
      The CEO of Quicknet explains in an interview the outstanding importance of communication for the democratic change.


      Mittwoch, 6. Juli 2011

      A Social Media Story - Day1

       Another country drowns in the maelstrom of a social media revolution: Nowerestan. Today in online news has been published an interview with the noweric blogger star and social media activist Emin Pascha: about the revoltion, the work of the facebook revolutionaries and the role of the biggest operator Nowerecom and its sole supplier Telsup. According to Pascha, they provide the infrastructure and know-how, which is used by the secret service of Nowerestan to spy on the internet dissidents and Facebook revolutionaries, to reveal their identities and to localize them.

      via stockxchng Interview by whitebeard

      In contrast to earlier news the dictator of Nowerestan, al Mahdi, has not left the country, and the secret service fights with all weapons to regain the upper hand in the power struggle: Nowerecom and Telsup have been forced (the exact circumstances and the military authority are unclear) to help to switch off their telecommonucation networks. Did they cooperate in order to prevent lasting damage to the infrastructure? Telsup claims “regular maintenance” and “servers undergoing repair”.