The Social Network to Social Business


I’m really bored of Facebook; it just doesn’t give me what I want anymore. I find myself scrolling through lots of irrelevant pointless updates and information that I really could do without. OK, its great for keeping in contact with friends and posting photos, but the activity feed is becoming pointless bar a few exceptions. I know the new “Subscribe” button may improve this but I’m still waiting to see.

I am however, still a huge fan of Twitter. Or more realistically, I am a fan of Tweetdeck. Purely because I can split the people I follow into topic areas, Technology, Social Business, News etc. So depending on what I want to know at a particular time , I can find it or find someone who might know about it. But what Tweetdeck doesn’t do, is make the viewing user experience as pleasurable; I can’t preview photos or links so I’m sure I just skip over a lot that I may be interested in.

This maybe where Google+ will provide the happy medium? Ok, it’s not brilliant yet either, but it seems to be trying to be best both of both worlds. I like their use of circles and huddles so I can decide what information to view and with whom; it seems a more structured way of consuming the vast amount of content that is out there. At the moment thought, the users of Google+ seem to be more of a professional audience and not the GenY or Millennials that Google probably wanted. But is that a bad thing? Not for me.

As someone who is focused on Social Business Collaboration I can’t wait until we see Google+ as part of Google Apps. I’m a fan of software like Yammer and Jive that really allow employees to collaborate better. But it’s the ability to collaborate on documents that really allows social software to really enter the Enterprise. Software like Cisco Quad is where I think Social Business is really headed with the blend of social networking  but with the Enterprise ready document management. Google+ will inevitably have this is well, all in the cloud which makes it available to even the smallest company.  Then when you add in end to end unified communications such as IM and video, whether its Google Voice or Cisco Jabber, you create the optimal user cockpit for your employees.

Quad, like Google+, will also have the potential of their own  Apps Marketplace which will allow 3rd party software vendors to build plugs such as Finance & CRM apps. The outcome of this is that the whole Business can embrace Enterprise 2.0 rather than keeping it in purely a GenY silo. So when Management say that Social Business is just like Facebook, you can be confident that won’t be the case.

The Rise of the Social CV

  I really liked this blog post from James Poulter about how the CV was “becoming less and less appealing to HR directors, whose inboxes are filled daily with the word document versions of young hopefuls, applying for graduate schemes and alike. So many are now trying their hand at getting noticed by the powers that be, by using a different set of tools – those being digital, mobile and most importantly social”

As I step away from my role at Microsoft into a new role at Cisco, my focus is moving much closer to Enterprise Social Computing  and Blog posts like James reinforces that it is a great move for me. Organisations are changing, not necessarily from Top Down, but from the Bottom Up. As GenY begin their careers, they are brining a social evolution to Corporate Britain which will only gain momentum as time goes by. This infographic may not work for everyone but it sure is more exciting than looking at 2 pages of A4!

My Social Marketing Project – “Black Flys”

Well, its clear to see that I’m not the most regular blogger in the world. But over the last month I think I have a fairly good reason. In a bid to become more proficient in the world of Social Media Marketing, I’ve taken on a project helping Black Flys sunglasses launch into back into the UK. Those of you who are from the X sports arena or live in the USA might have already heard of Black Flys before; those of you who haven’t, Black Flys are a cutting edge So-Cal Eyewear brand associated with extreme sports and the California lifestyle. Yes, it makes me want to go on holiday as well!

Well the last month has been great fun working with the UK Black Flys guys, Jared and Ben. Their skills are in business development so they have let me have free rein in building up their Social Media presence on Facebook and Twitter. So far the Black Flys UK Fan Page is well over the dreaded Dunbar Number of 150 and seems to be climbing upwards. The good news is this can only get bigger after the official website is getting a makeover and Im signing up some cool young talent to join Team Black Flys in the UK.  We already have a couple of great inline skaters in Jenna Downing and Sam Tuffnell; both of whom are no stranger to winning things! But over the last few weeks I’ve also signed up Watergate Bay’s Josh Piper, a Top 5 British Surfer;  GB Ski cross rider Ed Cozzi and BMX rider Anthony Watkinson. All these riders fit the Black Flys brand really well and I’m looking forward to working with them all to build not only the Black Flys brand but also helping them build their own individual brands.

If you want to know more or get involved, join the Facebook Page above!