Archive for October, 2010

Twitter brings new audience

October 1, 2010

Just found this article and thought it was blog-worthy.

Long story short, a news company (NPR) wanted a younger audience but where their competitors changed their content to attract that audience, NPR changed the way they supplied/advertised that content (through social media – particularly Twitter) and successfully attracted a younger audience.

I find this quite interesting and feel it could easily be applied to other organisations who feel they still have relevant material/products to share but can’t seem to connect to a wider customer/audience base.

Of course, if an organisation was seeking to branch out into social media to attract a different demographic, it would be advisable for them to contact an experienced consultant for advice, lest their web 2.0 debut become memorable for all the wrong reasons. Not all attention is good attention and if an organisation trying to look ‘cool’ and up-to-date bungled things, I suspect they could permanently tarnish their reputation.

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PrimeLife and privacy

October 1, 2010

I take my online privacy relatively seriously. I don’t upload photos of myself to Flickr/Facebook/forums. I use an alias that’s age and gender non-specific. I don’t ‘friend’ randoms on Facebook and I keep my location (even which city I live in) mostly confidential. Considering that, it’s not surprising that my ‘free choice’ of Enterprise 2.0 topic is related to privacy.

Just from searching ‘web 2.0 privacy’ I found what appears to be a very intersting project under development by IBM. It’s called ‘PrimeLife‘ and appears to be supposed to help people manage their information and privacy throughout their lives. Actually, its goals are stated as beingĀ  to:

provide scalable and configurable privacy and identity management in new and emerging Internet services and applications, such as virtual communities and Web 2.0 collaborative applications

and

protect the privacy of individuals throughout their entire life span“.

I find this a mixed bag. On the one hand, the ability to micromanage my privacy and security is very welcome. On the other hand, PrimeLife appears to be a centralised store of everyone’s private information and, if it were ever compromised, could land vast amounts of sensitive data in the hands of people who would abuse it.

That said, PrimeLife is supposed to be a three year project and was only started in 2008, so it’s not expected to be launched immediately. Perhaps by the time it’s finished, the digital landscape will be so different as to render some or all of these issues irrelevant. I don’t think that’s likely, but it could happen.

It also raises questions about who actually owns data. With personal use of a technology like PrimeLife, I would imagine that such a question would be straightforward (unless, I suppose, PrimeLife itself makes some sort of claim to people’s data in return for protecting it) but in the corporate setting, things could be different. Would employees or the company own the data PrimeLife was keeping confidential? Would that prompt PrimeLife to arrange ‘corporate’ accounts for businesses? Although at the moment, PrimeLife seems geared towards only dealing with individuals, I suspect it would eventually attempt to service the corporate world as well.

Still on the theme of PrimeLife with respect to enterprise, I can see it potentially solving problems such as employees disclosing sensitive information. I don’t know enough about how PrimeLife would work to know if it is capable of that, but if it doesn’t fill that niche, maybe some other technology will. From what I’ve read, it seems that it is mostly focused on ‘removing virtual footprints’ so perhaps it won’t monitor the information being published as much as the metadata that goes with it.

Whatever PrimeLife turns out to be, I feel confident of some things about it – firstly that it offers highly desirable assistance in maintaining privacy and confidentiality and, secondly, that it offers a highly desirable target to hackers and people out to steal information/identity/other stuff.

My experiences

October 1, 2010

Wikis

I haven’t used wikis to a huge extent and have only recently been introduced to them but what experiences I have had with them have been mostly positive.

Beginning – The sign up process was relatively straightforward, which is good because I think I would have been somewhat turned away from using wikis if I had found the set up process confusing or tedious. After that, figuring out how to use the wiki went easily. This was partly due to my learning in the presence of people who showed me the basics.

Use – I successfully contributed content. I didn’t bother with formatting at that point because it wasn’t necessary but from looking at the interface, I don’t think I’d have trouble making things look prettier if I needed to. As of yet, no one has edited the material I posted, so I haven’t faced the issues that arise from that (such as feeling upset that people felt the need to correct me or frustrated that they changed something I wanted left alone). I don’t reckon I’d be bothered much by those sort of problems, but I do know they can occur.

Future – When it comes to wikis, I currently consider myself to be a newbie but a competent user of them. Having dabbled with the basics, I feel I would benefit from using them more and have become curious as to whether the different wiki systems (I used wikispaces) offer different features. I can already see some of the benefits of collaborating through wikis as opposed to email and intend to keep using them.

Social Networks

I have been a long time forum user and feel both familiar with and comfortable about posting content and interacting with other people through forums. More recently, I have started using Facebook (though even after months on this platform I haven’t fully explored its fully range of functions).

Beginning – I forget why I actually signed up by I suspect it was because one of my uni subjects required it. There was an initial flurry of activity when my Facebook-using friends discovered I had joined but that settled down after a while.

Use – I don’t post much. This is partly because I don’t enjoy using Facebook that much (playing games aside) and partly for privacy reasons. I don’t upload photos of myself and remove tags that other people placed on me in photos they uploaded. I have found it useful when friends had invited me to events and I wanted to see the event details and who was going but haven’t used to to organise my own events.

Future – I suspect I’ll start using Facebook a bit more. It hasn’t grabbed me much yet but that could change. I think it’s one of those things where the more you use it, the more you want to use and so on. I can see its usefulness and some of the appeal but I remain far from addicted to it… for now.