I’ve just been looking back on a few unique incidents regarding social media over the last few months.
And I’m so glad that Social Media and Online Collaboration CoP is back up and running to balance it and show some great examples of social media use in Local Government.
But I still worry that some organisations are putting themselves at risk in an environment which could make or break them.
At a resent presentation from Steve Dale he highlighted that The Social Skinneypoints out that 85% of people that work in social media have been in the industry for two years.
Don’t get me wrong there are some great people that are doing amazing stuff with social media that have just come into the industry.
But in what other situation would you allow someone with only two year’s experience to be in charge of an organisation reputation?
Maybe some senior managers have not yet seen the light.
Take the example of HMV whose sacked workers took over the official Twitter account to live-tweet being fired.
And then details came out that that one marketing director was heard commenting‘How do I shut down Twitter?’
And in other tweets posted before they were later removed, staff claimed the account was set up two years ago by an unpaid intern.
Maybe they had not taken the power of social media seriously.
And if you want to see the power it has Clair from Scoop it, show’s it in this image.
“The Dow Jones recently tumbled almost 150 points in a “flash crash” caused by widespread digital panic. What was the cause of this panic? Twitter.
The story is that someone hacked the official Associated Press Twitter handle and tweeted a false report of a terrorist attack on the White House, which claimed that the President had been injured in said attack.
This is significant in the grander scheme because the Dow essentially measures the health of the US economy and a hit of this magnitude means lots of people (deserving or otherwise) needlessly lost a lot of money in nanoseconds.
There are claims that nearly 70% of trading is done via “high frequency trading” or “HFT,” which employs a trading algorithm that crawls reputable news sources (and social media) and executes auto-trades based on what the crawl produces. In layman’s terms, a robot is reading the news and if it doesn’t like what it reads, it hits the “sell” button. Something like a Twitter hack causing a flurry of selling is a dangerous game to play, especially when most traders don’t have access to social media during the trading day and can’t keep up/compete/compensate for the robo-trades.”
I know Social Media is not going to have as big an impact in Local Government as this example.
But it is interesting and do you still feel that your social media is in safe hands?
Given the austerity measure starting to take place across the UK public sector – 500,000 posts in five years – those charged with maintaining services need to take action now on capturing the knowledge of those who will be lost in the cuts. If they do not, as has been seen with many previous “restructures” in the sector, former employees may need to be brought back on at expensive consultancy rates to provide advice and counsel.
So could online communities be used in supporting the knowledge capture and transfer in the future?
I suppose the answer is Yes but it needs to be part of something bigger. My feeling when it comes knowledge sharing and transfer within organizations is that there is still a focus on
- Process and
Bring in some technology and everything works. But we all know this is not the case.
APQC’s research document on Retaining Valuable Knowledge: Proactive Strategies to Deal with a Shifting Work Force conducted with the Oil and Gas industry found that the best way to retain valuable knowledge in the face of attrition or downsizing is to build and sustain systemic KM approaches; one of theses approaches is establishing communities of practice. Companies like Chevron Texaco, Schlumberger, and ExxonMobil have improved their efficiency by institutionalising a knowledge-sharing culture through communities of practice
“By helping to build these communities, we are not only realising huge improvements in business processes and performance, but also providing employees with greater access to one of the most valuable learning resources: interaction with peers,” said Michael Behounek, director of knowledge management at Halliburton.
Schlumberger have designed their knowledge ecology around collaborative working, with a knowledge retention and transition strategy integrated into to their ways of working. Schlumberger Hub (“The Hub”) is an intranet and Internet enterprise information portal that provides employees and customers uniform access to information, providing access to:
- knowledge repositories,
- project management and collaboration spaces,
- real-time news a help desk, and
- Support for multiple internal and external audiences through threaded discussions, community repositories, and collaboration technology.
A key feature of the Schlumberger Hub is the seamless view it provides to the end user, whether it is an employee or a customer. All information is stored in one repository, and the portal posts only the appropriate information for each customer type.
So technology can be part of the solution but as with Schlumberger is need to be part of something bigger, the
- Process and
And there are many examples of the people and process techniques such as the Knowledge Exchange that we use but there are many more.
Also in the APQC report it suggested vendors such as Oracle have labelled a technology solution to the issue of Knowledge Loss as Enterprise 2.0 – a combination of content management, enterprise search, and portal technology, linking with 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs.
We have done some great groundwork on some of these with Communities of Practice for Public Service
And with the upcoming Knowledge Hub we will be hitting all the areas that Oracle mention and a lot more.
So maybe there is a chance for the sector to hold onto its knowledge. I just hope that we are not too late, and that by using the simple things to start the process the technology can support it in the future.
Quiet a few people are still coming to terms with social media and the vast amount of tools that you have at your disposal
Beth Kanter and David Wilcox came up with a great game called the Social Media Game which allowed you to play out a scenario and find ways Social media could help you.
From this it got me thinking, I was already in the process of developing CoP Trumps, so I thought why not the same thing for Social Media.
So here’s my first attempt, it builds on Beth and David’s work.
I’ve broke the scoring factors down into 5 categories
- Learning Curve
- Knowledge Sharing
- Encourages participation
What do you think, what needs to change and is there something missing?
I’ll be talking about this more and more over the coming months. As I’m on secondment to this project for the next 12 months
The video below gives some details about the K-Hub and if you would like to go into real detail you can find out more over at http://www.local.gov.uk/lgv2/core/page.do?pageId=174022.
Hope you enjoy the video
Last week I attended the London leg of localgovcamp. You can find the tweets at #localgovcamp
And a big thank you goes out to Steve Dale, Ingrid Koehler Dave Briggs, Anke Holst, Hadley Beeman and Charlotte Hayes for the great organisation of the day.
Considering I’ve been talking about the concept of the unconference for probably 3 or 4 years it’s the first one I have attended. And it’s a great experience. It’s a pity most of them take place on a Saturday.
Throughout the day I heard some great stories of how local authorities are trying out social media and there are some great success stories out there. One example from Sarah Lay at Derbyshire CC about the use of social media to promote and share the results of the election. Here the link to the story.
There so many stories out there they just need to be shared to a wider audience. We need to break the fear factor of social media Local Government.
Another great story was about the use of Twitter during the snow over the last couple of months.
Walsall used twitter to update the public when the trucks where going out and members of the public where suggestion ideas of where the gritting needed to go, especially after a water main burst in the early hours of the morning. Check out Dan Slee’s blog Twitter Gritter
With the Knowledge Hub project moving forward, check out Steve Dale’s video for more info.
One of the key aspects of the knowledge Hub is changing the knowledge ecology of local government. A really tough task! But I believe that we can do it and the telling of stories should be at the heart of it.
So if you have a story about how you have used social media or social networking to help you in your work, I would be interested in hearing from you.
Ingrid Koehler has started the process off with her blog Crying out for examples
So if you do have examples please contact me or Ingrid and we will get the ball rolling.
While looking to see what virtual whiteboards are out there, I came across Robin Good’s mind map on Mindmeister.
Which is still something that I need to have a play around with.
Robin has collected all those great social media / social networing sites in one place.
And there’s lots of thing on there that I have not seen or tried. So a big Thank You to Robin for that.
You can see the Best Online Collaboration Tools 2009 on Mindmeister
Socitm say that 67% of Local Authorities have a total ban on use of Social Networking sites http://www.ukauthority.com/?tabid=64&id=2686
The Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm) says its findings show that most ICT managers in the public sector restrict or even block social networks.
The public sector needs to exploit social networking as no-one ‘can afford to ignore the potential’ according to a new report.
By doing this they’re taking the wrong attitude to something that could improve the company.
The report has revealed that 90 per cent of public sector bodies restrict social networking in some way, while over two-thirds cut employees off from it completely.
ICT managers need to look at how social media may help deal with budget issues by ‘engaging citizens, delivering services, and empowering employees in new ways of working’, the firm says.
And we can’t ignore social media. The report boldly states: “Failure to engage with the trend is tantamount to decrying the telephone at the end of the 19th century.”
There a nice little video report on the Chartered Institute for IT http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.34115. That’s if you’re allowed to see it.
I find the results of this frustrating, where there is a big push from central government to connect people and data.
Of course I’m going to say look at some of the benefits that are coming from IDeA’s Communities of Practice platform, but also with the release of www.data.gov.uk
The potential is there.
All we need to do is train and encourage the use. I know the report boldly states: “Failure to engage with the trend is tantamount to decrying the telephone at the end of the 19th century.”
And it took around 30-40 years before the telephone was seen as the norm, actually probably longer. And I’m wondering was anyone shown how to use the telephone, or was this done by word of mouth (sorry bad joke).
With email it took 7-8 years to become the norm, so how many of you have been on email training. I’m guessing most of you.
So where’s the plan to teach social media and social networking. Only a few organisations are thinking about that or have started.
How long before the rest catch up? Now that’s my question
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