A thought on privacy


©iStockphoto.com/Marco Volpi

I can’t believe that few years ago, all I had to worry about was my phone number – it being the only valuable information I would only share with a few. But With the advent of social Media, it has become more and more difficult to manage the information we share or who we share it with.

Few weeks back, facebook’s Zuckerberg’s implicit statement “privacy is over” have stirred up so many reaction all over the blogsphere, I thought we’ll never hear the end of it. Seriously though, I think it’s a faux problem.  

Social Networks are here to help us “build weak ties, not strong ones.”  As states Morten Hansen in his book “collaboration”:

“… research shows that weak ties can prove much more helpful in networking, because they form bridges to worlds we do not walk within.  Strong ties, on the other hand, tend to be worlds we already know; a good friend often knows many of the same people and things we know.”

With the knowledge that a really small percentage of your weak ties will become strong ones, the very need of sharing personal details of your life becomes obsolete. For one, it is just noise for most of people you connect with and for two; it would only backfire on you. (a recent article on SF chronicle affirmed that Too much info on social media aids ID thieves)

Bottom line: If we have to say goodbye to privacy and welcome sociality (as Tim Leberecht name it) then so be it.  It is not up to facebook or whatever other platform to protect the information you share, it’s up to you to filter it beforehand!

Lamia Ben


BI & E20 convergence: where to?


Image courtesy flickr

When I started researching Enterprise 2.0, all I was thinking was, Business Intelligence would do wonders if properly used in this context. And surely enough, more and more awareness has been rising towards that merging.

In 2008, Don Tapscott a best-selling author and digital society guru, suggested that Business intelligence will become, due to the high degree of collaboration within the Enterprise 2.0, “Collaborative intelligence” in which “minds across an organization can come together around information and data that they believe is relevant and timely and pertinent to them.”

I’m not sure organizations have been able to get that far in the previous two years. But I think the merging of BI and web 2.0 principles within the firewall, has taken few other roads which are not less interesting.

Say you’re an organization with a social presence on networks such as Facebook or Twitter. Wouldn’t it be great to get advanced analysis of your customers feedbacks, satisfactory rates… based on their tweets, blog posts, reviews and social network updates? That’s where text mining capabilities come into play.

“One of the great opportunities of both Web 2.0 and enterprise 2.0 is all the conversational content that it creates. You would be losing a good bit of the value if you do not look at this content but you need good tools to do it.”  [ Text Analytics Becomes More Valuable within Enterprise 2.0 ]

Text mining tools are actually a great way to get value out of information when you don’t have specific questions to ask. A remarkable application would be the “sentiment analysis” which aims to determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic (your brand in this case). In fact, “Social networking and sentiment analysis” has even been considered a must-watch trend for 2010 by BIScorecard founder Cindi Howson and I couldn’t agree more.

Another example that caught my eye this week is SNA (social network analysis). The basic concept of SNA is to explore via visualization how people interact with one another, collaborate and share information.  Jacob Morgan raises a good point on his blogpost “Social Network Analysis for Improved Collaboration” when he says that:

“What’s interesting is that you can do a SNA before and after you implement a [Enterprise 2.0] strategy to see how the changes are taking shape.”

Well, if this doesn’t help evangelize Enterprise 2.0 principles within organizations, I don’t know what will.

I can see a bright future for the BI & E20 merging, and it’s definitely worth a more profound exploration (I’m getting into that asap and will post any new findings). I’m sure there are plenty of examples in the wild. Anything worth the mention?

Lamia Ben

A thought on over-sharing

Image source

I had a nice conversation with a friend over how important it is to have a personal social media strategy. It can be summarized in a single sentence: Channeling the right information to the right people at the right time.

Easier said than done, right?

Well the real complexity comes from the need to know

1. who you are?

2. who is listening ?

4. What channel are you using?

3. what Do you intend to do with your Network?

I’m an over-sharing person, my motto? “knowledge was made to be shared”. I used to send everything I considered interesting to everyone I know. Then I realized (with external help, that is) that on some networks, I didn’t get any feedback. And it hit me, what I think is interesting isn’t necessarily that much appealing for everyone else. Obvious right?

I decided then to set a personal social media strategy. It goes something like this:

Facebook: I have a bench of family members but mostly techy friends in there. I often share funny comics, green videos, life hacks articles and technology memes.

Twitter: This is where I share everything related to my PHD, mostly social media and Enterprise 2.0 links.

Mailing lists: I still haven’t figured that one out yet (it’s an internal joke, sorry I’m the only one laughing)

I share just as much as I used to, but definitely not in the same way. How about you? What is your personal social media strategy?

Lamia Ben.

People-centric is the new black

I stumbled upon a video the other day that really caught my eye: Are you ready for the 21st century?

It is interesting how many fields have come to believe that people-centric models are the way to go. The video presents the participatory model as the scenario which will rule the 21st century.

"Society places the human being at the center of its considerations and not just considers the current perspective – humans as consumers destined to sustain the economy"

The implication of such model on information technology has created ultimate value. We’ve moved from having one medium for everything (1700), to several different media but isolated for the same audience (1900) and finally towards the post Internet 1 era where:

“All media is integrated into one network which will become the public space of the 21st century. In that networked space culture will emerge and be formed”

This is the model advocated by Enterprise 2.0 evangelists. Knowledge workers are to be placed at the heart of the networked organization:


Source: What is Enterprise 2.0?

Content is to be created, shared and viewed by everyone within the Enterprise. Elevating a pool of information towards wisdom:  A wisdom of the crowd.

Think about it, what if your organization adopted the same model Twitter does?  Empowering your knowledge workers to enhance your service adding new features or coming up with your next product?  If two heads are better than one, imagine the power of a 100. 

Is the web affecting our perception?

Image source

I overheard on twitter the other day, a funny yet so true assertion: I don’t retain information, I just tag it. And it got me thinking. Wehave been affected by the web in more than ways.I don’t know about you, but It has become almost impossible for me to restrain my urge to switch tabs while reading an article online, or find the patience to go through multiple pages posts. Are our brains becoming wired to only retain metadata and not the data in itself?

The question that should be asked in my sens is, is there really a need for us to retain information?

Albert Einstein himself once said “Never memorize something that you can look up” Would he say the same if he has seen google? Wouldn’t that make our minds… empty?

the true value of information doesn’t lay in the information itself, but rather in our interpretation of the data, of us connecting the dots and by modeling and remodeling infos, getting even more value. 

Bottom line is, don’t overstuff your head, learn only what’s absolutely necessary. STOP once in a while, think things over, play with ideas, connect the unconnected…. Go beyond being the vessel into which infos are driven and become the catalyst of a new knowledge.

Lamia Ben

Let’s Focus on what matters – Today in review

An interesting issue that keeps popping in every conversation about Social Media I’ve been part of, is that it’s NOT about technology. Tools are important, no doubt. But a fool with a tool is still a fool.

Social Media is there to solve business issues. A nice metaphor is given by Esteban Kolsky who discusses the use of social Media for dealing with customer services. On his post Let’s Call a Spade a Spade (and Social Media a Band-Aid) he stresses on the fact that businesses should rather focus on Social Business which is

“the vascular surgery that will repair the arterial walls, ensure that circulation is working properly, and there is no loss of function.”

Rather than solving the issue with band aid aka Social Media. Which “won’t stop the bleeding — or save your life.”

Businesses should really focus on what matters most, and to borrow David Armano’s words: “You shouldn't treat social media like a temporary advertising campaign. Social media is more organic than that. It's a way of thinking and approaching business that requires passion and commitment and, above all, willingness to participate in social spaces honestly and freely and by the rules of the social network itself.” 

“So while managers debate who will control social media inside their organizations — marketing, PR, corporate, IT — I say stop and ask the bigger question: Do any of the people who make up your company, agencies, partners and so on actually live social? Do they demonstrate that they work and play in a connected fashion?”

(Do You Live Social?)

So companies have to go beyond the silos mentality into establishing a real collaborative working environment. Go beyond “It’s Not about the technology” into anchoring a management style backed up by this same technology.

Larry Hawes sums it beautifully in his interview on CloudAve

“E2.0 is a way of being and operating for organizations; it is management philosophy supported by technology. Any organization that implements social software without changing management style and corporate culture will see its E2.0 initiatives fail.”

2010 the year of great resolutions

Since it is the first post on this blog, I’d like to take the chance
to introduce myself. I’m “Lamia Ben”, a young BI consultant who has
just started graduate studies in pm & E20. This blog is a project i
had in mind for about a year but never had enough courage to make the
leap. Until i read scott young’s post about Getting Started Without
Skill (http://bit.ly/6C9aQ9) and i realized that it doesn’t matter if
it’s not as great as i pictured it to be, all that matters -for now-
is that i check it out of my to-do list.

So basically, this blog is a compilation of Thoughts on project
management, E20, social Media and everything about technology that I
consider worthy of posting.
If you’re willing to start this journey with me, please leave me a
comment or send me an email with any propositions or suggestions, I’m
listening :).

Have a good day everyone, Peace.