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Archive for the ‘Social Ecosystem’ Category

UberVU – Your Social Conversations Monitor (via Blonde2.0)


A couple of weeks ago I read this on Blonde2.0, a blog I always enjoy reading by a truly talented founder and CEO of a consultancy firm “helping brands use social media tools such as social networks, the blogosphere, and social software, most effectively in order to create brand awareness, an online buzz, recruit employees or achieve any other goal online.” This article features UberVU a novel and simple way to monitor social conversations. Let us know what you think and be sure to pop over to Blonde2.0!


As a social media agency, it’s important for us to always be up to date on what people are saying on the Web regarding the brands we represent. I was introduced to UberVU at SeedCamp Paris last year, by their founder Vladimir Oane. UberVU collects all the conversations happening around your brand from blogging platforms, microblogging, social news sites, forums and social networks, and makes music by stringing it all together in a highly intuitive interface. Some of the sites that UberVU covers:

UberVU includes simple graphic indicators in their insights to give you an overall view of the kind of buzz or “the sentiment” your brand is generating in the social sphere. Basically you now have the tools to determine at a glance whether people love you; find you about as pleasant as a bad rash; or somewhere in-between. The question remains whether UberVU can pick up on the subtleties of syntax – meaning, do they understand sarcasm, metaphors, short hand and the like. Especially in the communist world of 140 characters for all twitterers regardless of class or station, the ability, or lack thereof, to pick up on such things can make a big difference in the size of the discrepancy between assumed public brand sentiment and reality. This is why UberVU wants to get smarter and is now asking users to help train its sentiment meter. If you ever find a mention in your stream which was incorrectly assessed by their sentiment measurement feature, you can now “teach” it otherwise.

UberVU’s services are divided into a few categories:

Data Collection

The way UberVU works is very easy. You just pick your search term and voila, you will receive all this information either by going to the site or signing up for email alerts. You can decide how often you’ll receive alerts regarding new mentions about your search term/s.

And now look out James Bond, I believe we have ourselves a corporate espionage feature. UberVU allows you to keep track of  the sentiment around your competitors and see exactly how it compares to your own; where are they stronger; where are their weak points – Perhaps the 3.0 version will feature an ejector seat where you can launch the competition out of their desk chair and into the roof of their startup garage, if you get the urge.

Analytics

You will receive all the reports and charts that you ever dreamed of. The uberVU charts are interactive – you can drill down to specific days or zoom out as much as you want. You can filter information by platform (i.e. twitter, Facebook), language, location and even sentiment.

Interaction

You can reply to people’s comments right from UberVU. UberVU also offers translations for mentions because not all mentions will be in your native language. All mentions can be translated into your language of choice, or even filtered to arrive directly in your own language, allowing you to respond to tweets, posts and comments immediately without having to cut and paste to a third party translator. The significance? You can now have conversations with foreigners. Not correspondence, conversations.

Exporting Data

UberVU also includes seamless report making features for charts, PDF’s and the like. Reports like this can really come in handy when you want to show others in your company some of these beautiful analytics.

UberVu recently unveiled three new features; Geolocation, Share Of Voice (SOV) and the Daily Sentiment Breakdown:

Geolocation allows you to see exactly where in the world people are talking about your brand and provides you with a very cool visual heat map:

SOV shows you specifically on which platforms your brand is being talked about the most (i.e Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc).

Daily Sentiment Breakdown is really an add-on of UberVU’s core sentiment feature, only now the results can be broken down across a 24 hour period. What this allows for is the tracking of specific daily initiatives so that users can make incremental adjustments to the tone and direction of campaign strategy – slowly turning that frown upside-down.

In a world that’s trying to assess social media’s ROI, there is no specific platform yet which provides a complete, comprehensive measurement tool. However, I have to say that UberVU is one of the best tools out there right now. For anyone managing a social media campaign, both third party and in-house, there are a couple of social media conversation monitoring services – the most expensive of them being Radian6 and the cheapest of them being Google Alerts, which is free. There’s also an Israeli solution called Tracx. However, for the relatively small price UberVU costs, it is able to provide as comprehensive and insightful a solution as you’ll find out there at the moment.  Stay tuned for more cool features coming from them soon.

This post was originally published onThe Next Web on September 8th.

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What President Obama Can Learn From Steve Jobs


We just had to repost this article. Leadership is complicated. Managing in the NOW requires a thorough understanding of the Social Ecosystem. Take a look and thank you Business Insider.

The sunlight of summer has begun it’s annual transition to equinox, and we are all reviving the pulse of the work-year.

The President has returned from Martha’s Vineyard to face what will surely be a challenging fall.  It’s mid-term election season and the mood of the voting public is downright ornery.

ODS (Obama Disappointment Syndrome) a growing wave of depression, has created a huge anti-incumbent wave.  ”Throw ‘em all out!” seems to be the mantra of the season.

In the last couple of weeks the number of negative op-eds on the President from both sides of the aisle have grown considerably.  The mildest theme seems to be “he is too smart to be in touch with the people,” or “we just don’t know who you are or what you really are about Mr. President.”  The really challenging ones drift into the inevitable issues of racism.

I have long held that the most qualified people to be in government are business folk.  Not just Billionaires like Mayor Bloomberg, but anyone who has successfully run anything, been responsible for making payrolls, paying back loans, paying bills on time, navigating through good times and bad.  Most important: balancing a budget.  But the reality is most people who have these credentials are too smart to get sucked into the dysfunction of the public sector. Nor will they submit themselves to the relentless intrusion and scrutiny of the press.  So what’s the next best thing for the “beleaguered” President?  Take some lessons from the guys who know how to really get things done. And who better than the best CEO in the Universe: Steve Jobs.

So Mr. President, in an effort to help you succeed, herewith is a new playbook for your consideration:

1. You have to make other people cool. Being cool got you elected because it made people feel cool electing you. But then nothing much else happened. You thought healthcare would be the cool thing but dramatically misread your audience.  Steve makes millions of people cool, it is his most amazing talent.  Buy an iPhone and you are cool.  But if you don’t have a job, you have no chance of being cool.  And the Healthcare plan? No one is cool with it (outside of DC).

2. Get citizens to voluntarily pay more taxes.
Apple has been doing this for years.  Customers happily fork over a big premium for their products. They will even camp overnight outside an Apple store to have the privilege of doing it first.  We have a huge debt problem. In Europe everyone pays a VAT (Value Added Tax). Apple has a CAT (Coolness Added Tax).  Watch and learn Barack.  You just have to figure out what it is the Federal Government does that’s cool, or useful, or is of particular benefit to anyone.

3. Replace Congress with a Genius Bar. The current spin is that the Republicans are obstructionist.  But if there are Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, how could that possibly prevent you from bringing “Change we can believe in?”  The answer is that Congress just isn’t smart enough.  Sure these are fine, well-intentioned people but we need really super-smart folks to fix our dysfunctional system.  Steve Jobs figured out that even people savvy enough to buy Apple products were going to have problems now and then, and he wasn’t going to subject them to someone you’d find working at the Division of Motor Vehicles.  He recruited an army of Geniuses.  So why not forget about political party affiliations and just support the election of Geniuses.

4. Wear the same outfit every day. I know it sounds trite but you probably have figured out it takes a lot of brain cycles to be POTUS.  Why waste any time trying to pick out a slick Armani and matching tie (or arguing with the First Lady about HER selection).  Steve’s turtleneck and jeans thing has worked for 30 years now because it sends a simple clear message “all I care about is making insanely great products.” You could be transmitting “all I care about is improving your life, making a better America.”

5. You can’t be afraid of pissing people off. Probably your biggest Freshman error has been to try and make everyone happy.  Yes you passed a Healthcare bill but it didn’t take on the tough issues (Tort reform, insurance rate controls).  You decided we needed to “surge” in Afghanistan but also announced we’d only do it for a little while, so as not to over-irritate all of the antiwar constituency who voted you into office.  Steve Jobs takes on the tough issues. He decided that Adobe’s Flash, one of the most widely used media formats on the Internet, sucks and that was that. iPhone and iPad don’t support it.  So I can’t view half of the stuff on the WWW on my iPad; but I still have one.  Take a real stand on something President Obama and live with the fact that to be effective you are going to make some people angry.  As long as there are more happy people then angry people you’ll have a second term.

6. Vision without execution is nothing. We elected you because you understood how frustrated we were with DC Dysfunction.  You had a vision for “not a Red America or Blue America but a United States of America.”  You said you would bring change to Washington.  True you never said you’d make DC “Insanely Great” or “Magical” but you presented your campaign vision with compelling Jobsian conviction.  Yet, the partisan aisles are wider than ever.  No one seems to want to solve problems, they are just obsessed with maintaining or regaining their majority.  Steve Jobs has a saying: “there are two types of people in the world: those who have shipped products and those who haven’t.”  Steve has shipped more Innovative products over the last 30 years than any other tech executive.  The lesson here?  Get rid of all of the professors, policy wonks, career bureaucrats, and Chicago thugs and convince some real capitalist operational executives to come work for you (even if you hate the way we smell).

7. Build a little intrigue. Tell us something big is coming.  Set a date for a big presentation.  Leak a little here and there to tease.  Cut all the deals behind the scenes so Congress backs you. Then get on stage and tell us all about our shiny new Healthcare Widget.  We won’t mind what’s missing because we’ll know it’s just 1.0 and your bound to have a bunch of improvements next year and it will be much cheaper too.

8. Make us USA Fanboys.
Right after the election it was fun to be an American again, especially while traveling abroad.  Europeans in particular were not Bush fans and we took a big hit in our image.  Electing you made the World feel good.  But the bloom has quickly faded. No one can figure out what you really stand for.  We are straddled with debt, and seem to be losing our innovative edge. We can’t even give our kids a decent education.  Apple went through bad times prior to Steve Job’s comeback.  It lost it’s Mojo.  But Steve returned with laser like focus. The company’s back was against the wall and he put forth a simple proposition. He said they would only do two things and had to make them spectacular to survive.  He thew away all of the previously bloated, PC-like Macs and introduced the first iMac and iBook. They were a hit.  That led to iPod.  Which led to iPhone.  Which led to legions of proud Apple Fans. And most important huge financial success.  All due respect President Obama, we need to focus on innovation and education.  If we are not giving our children the best and nurturing our innate Yankee ingenuity, we will never create jobs and return to prosperity. It’s hard to feel patriotic pride when your house is being repossessed.

9. When all else fails. Blame it on us stupid Americans.  We just don’t get it.  We don’t need to access our iTunes library on more than five computers.  Calls dropping on our brand new iPhone4?  We are holding it the wrong way!  Go to the Genius bar and Apple will give you a rubber and show you how to practice safe iPhone4.  Mr. President, Yes you can to bring change to Washington, but everyone else is going to have to want to change too.  If they won’t play ball, make it crystal clear that they are the morons and send them to a Genius Bar for help.  Well actually looks like the voters are going to do that for you in November.

The final lesson is that passion and persistence against all adversity will pay off.  After all of the adoration bestowed during the campaign, it must be horrible to have to endure the current spate of negative press.  But hey, Steve was summarily thrown out of his own company, thrashed around for a bunch of years trying to get NeXT to be something. Perhaps it was a dose of humility that helped polish his edges a bit but he never lost his passion or focus.  His return and turnaround of Apple is now epic.  And the story is really just beginning.  So President Barack Obama, can you turn it around and become an epic President? One for the history books? Take a lesson from Apple. It’s all about Jobs.

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Defrosting The Fear Freezer


How to Get Rid of Fear as the Dominant Management Force?

The following article was written by John Bernard, Chairman and CEO of Mass Ingenuity. John is writing a book called Managing in the NOW that focuses on how to create a competitive advantage during the next business revolution. The Social Ecosystem is a critical part of making things happen, both NOW and in the future. That’s why we are all working closely with John Moore as he guides the evolving Social Ecosystem. I’ve worked with John for 8 years and he has a lot to say about management, leadership and the NOW System of Management. Here’s what John recently said about fear. We’d love to hear your thoughts too!

One of the nasty little realities of organizational life is that fear plays a predominant if not dominant role in controlling behavior. While it is tempting to say that fear is the natural order of things organizational, the reality is we pay a huge price by using it in terms of creativity and agility. Fear freezes our people’s creativity and engagement.

Deeply seated in our beliefs about the need for fear is a belief about the nature of human beings, a set of beliefs that are politically incorrect to mention. But if we are going to tackle fear, we need to get at why we use it, how we use it and what options do we have if we choose to move away from it.

The use of fear as the dominant force for guiding behavior is based on this belief: if our employees don’t fear job loss or some form of punishment, they will not do what we expect of them.

In more descriptive detail it looks like this:

  • If we don’t punish people for being late they will be late
  • If we don’t monitor their break time they will take advantage of us
  • If we let them take personal phone calls they will talk on the phone all day
  • If we let them surf the web they’ll spend the day on Facebook
  • If we don’t monitor their work they’ll do sloppy work
  • If we don’t stay on top of them they won’t get much done
  • If we let them talk to co-workers they’ll socialize all day long

To summarize, if we really believe fear is necessary to have a productive workforce, than we must believe that human beings are basically lazy, irresponsible creatures. Human nature is such that we can’t treat our employees like responsible adults, because they act like children.

You are probably bristling at this description and wanting to assure me that you are more enlightened than this. And the reality is you probably are.

I am not making this point as strongly as I am to try and put leaders down, I am saying it so painfully plainly because I think we need to reexamine how we lead and manage people.

Fear means we believe the people who work for us are not responsible adults, and yet evidence to the contrary is everywhere you look. I have met machinists who are scoutmasters, meter readers who are elders of their churches, pressmen who serve as county commissioners and letter carriers who are talented and prolific poets.

I am not saying there are not lazy people, because they are—but they represent a very small minority of our workforce. But the average every day worker in our organizations is anything but lazy. Follow them home and learn about their lives and you’ll find they’re great parents, reliable and generous neighbors, creative problem solvers and productive citizens.

If all this is true, then why do we use fear to drive behavior in our organizations? And why do even some of the best organizations still have a lot of fear in them?

Fear is a natural state in a world of hierarchy, in part because the people over us in our organization have one big, frightening stick: they can fire us and throw our lives into economic turmoil. So one driver of fear is our dependence upon our organizations for a paycheck that results in things we need: food, clothing, shelter, education, etc. This fear will always be there to some degree or another because we all worry about making ends meet.

But the other source of fear, the source we can address, is the fear created by how we run our organizations. Fear is driven by doubt. Doubt causes us to hesitate. When I don’t understand how things work I am at constant risk of stepping on an unsuspected landmine. That being the case, I keep my head down and don’t question things that don’t seem to make sense and I certainly would not make creative suggestions. I just do my job.

Fear based in doubt and confusion can be eliminated—or at the very least significantly reduced. And to be competitive, it’s essential we do everything we can to drive it out.

To eliminate fear, I suggest you make the following things VERY clear to everyone who works for you:

  1. Where the organization is going (it’s vision, goals, strategies)
  2. What you are counting on them to do (count means, measures that are clear)
  3. How to effectively solve problems they see (pick a common problem solving method and teach it to everyone)

We can never fully eliminate fear because it is part of the human condition, but we can defrost a huge portion of the fear freezer. That’s one of management’s most important jobs.

We pay a heavy price in terms of creativity and agility with fear, but we don’t have to if we remove the core doubts our people have about the organization and their role in it.

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Leadership Lessons From Jeff Dunham!?


Art truly does imitate life.

Oops … We are getting a bit crazy again. What could we possibly learn about leadership, managing in the NOW, and the Social Ecosystem from Jeff Dunham? Well, let start with some facts.

via Wikipedia: “Jeff Dunham has been called “America’s favorite comedian” by Slate.com, and according to the concert industry publication Pollstar, he is the top-grossing standup act in North America, and is among the most successful acts in Europe as well. As of March 2009, he has sold over four million DVDs, an additional 7 million dollars in merchandise sales,[5] and received more than 350 million hits on YouTube (his introduction of Achmed the Dead Terrorist in Spark of Insanity is the ninth most watched YouTube video ever),[1] making him one of the most-viewed entertainers of all time. Spark of Insanity received the best reviews of any DVD on Amazon.com in 2008, and A Very Special Christmas Special was the most-watched telecast in Comedy Central history, with its DVD going quadruple platinum (selling over 400,000) in its first two weeks.[6] Forbes.com ranked Dunham as the third highest paid comedian in the United States behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock,[5] and reported that he was one of the highest earning comics from June 2008 to June 2009, earning approximately $30 million during that period.[7]

Well there you go! A “bidnessman”. And how did he do it you ask? Simple. He did it by understanding his customer and what they want (even need!). Then Jeff used every form of social media he could access to build a following. He did it NOW … meaning fast. He used the Social Ecosystem to manage his business in the NOW. Great job Jeff.

Enjoy the video folks …

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NOW: The Mother Of All Processes


We live in a complex world and we work in complex organizations. Whether your organization is small, medium, large or huge, understanding how it all works is no small task. Regardless of its size, the simple reality is the performance of any organization is largely driven by its management system. Ironically, it is rare to see an organization even acknowledge it has a management system. However, this is the “mother of all processes” and until an organization takes conscious control of that system, it will have little control over its performance.

A management system is a collection of processes understood by every employee that focuses the organization and drives it to achieve specific desired results. It creates the priorities, establishes targets, clarifies accountability, allocates and aligns all resources, reviews progress, initiates adjustments and interventions when performance is below target, and drives improvement in all routine work. An effective and disciplined management system ensures the routine work of the organization is delivered with increasing quality and decreasing costs, and that strategic initiatives are effectively executed so they deliver the expected results.

Download the full article, The Mother of All Processes: Part One to learn more about this important key to the NOW System of Management.

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The NOW System of Management


Welcome back to The Periscope Group! We’ve been heads for the last couple of weeks working on the system of management now called … wait for it … NOW. Why NOW? Because everything we do is happening NOW. So, for the foreseeable future we will be talking about managing in the NOW and how that relates to customers, employees, leadership, growth and a host of business concerns.

The convergence of social media, cloud computing and the millennial workforce is creating a revolution that will redefine how we compete for the next decade. The new standard for action is instantaneous; everything is happening in a time called NOW. Every opportunity and every problem that is not resolved in the NOW is lost.

Additionally, we will continue to syndicate with John Moore and The Lab. John is moving forward with the Social Ecosystem, a concept we support and need as part of the NOW system of management. Here’s what John says about the Social Ecosystem: (via John Moore) “The Social Ecosystem provides a structure within which all types of organizations live and interact.  This ecosystem is open and inclusive of both public and private organizations and remains independent of geography and language.”

Stay tuned!

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Transparency … (via John Moore)


As many of you know, we are heavily involved with installing a system of management (NOW System). The topic of transparency threads throughout this system and often invokes intense debates between leaders. In any case, John Moore’s article is excellent. Please take a look!

(via John Moore) Transparency sounds like a great goal, a key attribute that people point to when they discuss the benefits of social media and nearly every social+ framework.  Why wouldn’t transparency make sense, the concept makes us think of pulling aside the curtain (picture the Wizard of Oz), eliminating hidden deals, hidden agendas, working purely for the goals stated.

It sounds a little Utopian, in fact….  Aldous Huxley would be excited to see it taking up so much of our time, so much of our thinking….

The problem with transparency, of course, is how far does an organization need to take the concept and what does it really mean when applied to any given function?

Well, first off, the key for any organization is to meet their defined goals, deliver information/value where and when needed.  In fact, each organizational goal will require a different degree of “transparency” ranging from completely open to completely closed. Each can be right for a given organizational goal at a given time.

The key for success within The Social Ecosystem (or any of the components of the overall Ecosystem), is to focus on organizational goals first, define strategies and tactics second.  The strategies and tactics will lead you to the level of transparency required.  As always, let common sense organizational strategies lead your way, not buzz words.

John

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Social Organization (#2 via John Moore’s Weblog)


This article was posted by John Moore a few days ago. It is an important article in the series on Social Ecosystem and all of us at Periscope are excited to see this conversation evolve. Take a look and let us know what you think. Join the discussion!

via John Moore’s weblog: As you may recall, in part one of defining the Social Organization we discussed a few reasons why we need a new view of the world.  We also took time to define The Social Organization in very simple terms:

The Social Organization will use standard approaches that make it easy for customers/citizens to find and buy products and services while enabling the organization to meet their goals.

This easy to understand definition enables us to begin to define the attributes of the Social Organization:

  • Social Organizations use standard approaches.  They follow a well-defined framework for successfully achieving their goals. We will define this framework as we go, but understand that 75-80% of the framework applies across all types of organizations in The Social Ecosystem.  The remaining percentage takes into account the uniqueness of your organization.
  • Social Organizations focus on delivering value in an equitable way.  We do not live in a utopian world, we live in a world where services are delivered in a way where, ideally, customers feel they have received value while allowing organizations to meet their goals (for businesses, making money).  For example:
    • When a customer buys an iPhone they are not focused on the amount of profit made by Apple, they are only concerned with the value received for their money.  If they feel they received the value expected they are happy.  If Apple, as the Social Organization in this example, is able to meet its goals as well, both sides have “won”, equity is achieved.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Social Ecosystem (via John Moore’s Weblog)


John  Moore’s recent article (The Social Ecosystem) is of great interest to all of us at The Periscope Group. Is a concept such as a “social ecosystem”  ready for prime time? In our opinion the answer is yes. Here’s an excerpt from John’s article:

“Organizations of all types have struggled to come to grips with terms like Government 2.0, Social Business, Social Media, and a long list of others that are floating around book stores, universities, and blogs.

I have spent a lot of time speaking with businesses and government agencies, exploring what is working, what is failing, and seeking to understand where confusion and hype are preventing these organizations from achieving full value from their efforts. The Social Ecosystem is the result of these efforts and is meant to reduce confusion and offer guidance for organizations across the world.

Lofty goals? Perhaps, but the Social Ecosystem is not being defined in a vacuum, it will fully leverage many ideas that are already available and will evolve, as needed, as we continue to learn more.

For this post I will discuss, at a high level, the major components of the Social Ecosystem as well as some key definitions. Over time I plan to create a table of contents, a section for terms, and break this down into a book-like format. Please be patient as it will take time and we’ll all work through this together.”  Read More

John, thank you for getting the conversation rolling. We very much like the “social ecosystem” concept and the 3 key components. Over the last 2 years we’ve talked to a lot of leaders in private and public sectors. To a person they have asked for clarification and some sort of threaded language to wrap their heads (and strategies and budgets) around. Trying to explain things in an unthreaded system was and continues to be very difficult. It steals cycles that need to be focused on development. A “social ecosystem” would have made a huge difference in achieving clarity of purpose, alignment of strategies and ultimately allocation of resources. We’re looking forward to the evolution of these conversations and the “social ecosystem.” We will bring several people who are building a “system of management” into this conversation as well. Ultimately, that system and this ecosystem will be closely tied together.

via The Social Ecosystem

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