If I wanted broadcast, I’d turn on my TV


Image courtesy: Jill Clardy

I came across this very pertinent tweet from @oscarberg the other day  (by the way, if you're not following oscar, you should start today) :


It really made me rethink what I've encountered from different brands on social Networks such as facebook and Twitter. It's true that facebook, by construction, encourages interactions, but some use it for mere broadcast. Users on Twitter on the other hand, are very prone to such behaviors and that's just plain sad; because instead of tapping into the true potential of such platforms, people are missing the whole point.

Social Networks, and I don't know why people fail to notice, are Networks that are meant to be "social" in the first place. So If you are a Brand/Non-profit  and have a fan page on facebook and you persist to ignore your fans' comments and/or questions;  Please do your [potential] customers and thus yourself a favor and shut the thing off. It's going to cause you more damage than good.

The question that pops instantly into one's mind is: so How do you make media "social"?

Brandon Cox in an article on Social Media Today presents three major points to be considered:

Care for people –> building relationships.

Model sharing –> share something important.

Converse –>  join the conversation.

"Engagement" is actually the key word here. Engagement doesn't come from an auto DM for following, nor does it come from pretense to care. Engagement comes from conversation, from being proactive and taking innovative actions for your customers.

Here is a great example of a brand harnessing the "social" in Social Media to enhance their social currency

Courtyard Restaurant In Ottawa – Doing It Right

A great conversation indeed:






See how the restaurant, by some few tweets, just won a new customer and I bet even few more? –since he went blogging about it and recommended it to his readers and friends…

So dear brands, if you're still skeptical about the power of word-of-mouth on "Social" Media, please have a look at the "tipping point". It surely will change your mind….

Lamia Ben


Sunday Fun: Life lessons from an ad man

You may think this talk doesn't have much to do with technology, But the main idea is really applicable anywhere. It basically advocates that sometimes, all it takes is a change of perception to solve problems…Something to really consider…

A funny yet very interesting talk from Rory Sutherland at TED.com. Enjoy and have a great Sunday everyone! 

Lamia Ben

What does Facebook’s Open Graph mean for the common user ?


Image courtesy : http://www.facebook.com/f8

I watched the livestream of F8 Today. I’m no developper, I know, but it’s always good to know what’s going on in the social Networks internal loops.   

There was a bunch of new features announced, no location-awareness yet, but the annoucement included a one-for-all permission dialog and oAuth adoption which was very well welcomed by the audience. 

What seemed to be the most important new feature was the Open graph concept. The idea lies in going from a relationships mapping (what facebook used to do) to mapping every activity one does on the web and aggregate it on one platform that is facebook. It’s basically trying to connect real life things to your social graph. 

Yelp is mapping the graph related to businesess. Pandora is mapped to music. If we can take these maps of the graph, we can make a web that is more social, personalized, smarter and semantically aware.


What does this mean for the common user? 

From now on, you’ll see a Like Button all over the internet. Actually, Facebook announced partnerships with over 30 websites such as CNN, ESPN, IMDB, Pandora and Zuckerberg expects more than 1 Billion Like buttons to be scattered all over the web in the coming 24h. 



If you happen to like, say a movie on IMDB.com, the Like button will power a suite of plugins : “the Activity Stream Plugin”, “the recommendations plugin” for example.

You liking this movie will go directly to your Facebook stream. Not only this, since it’s a movie, it will also go under your favorite Movies on Facebook, giving a more personalized touch to your browsing. You’ll also see Facebook friends who happen to like the same movies as you do.

A great example of the recommendation plug-in is Pandora. Now for the first time when you go to Pandora it will be able to start playing music from bands you’ve liked all across the web.

These are quite powerful concepts that will absolutely change the way we browse the web. Reading an article on CNN will become a social experience as well. With platforms like open graph and @anywhere the social web is becoming more than a reality. How far will all of this go, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

The integral keynote script can be seen on techCrunch

Update: Reactions to Facebook Open Graph accross the web


I Think Facebook Just Seized Control Of The Internet   

Ignore Facebook Open Graph at your peril – this is Web 3.0  

Facebook Open Graph: What it Means for Privacy

Microsoft And Facebook Join Forces For Cloud Based Docs

Facebook Platform linking web with your friends 

Add Facebook Plugins to your Blog – Quick Guide


Lamia Ben

Sunday Fun: Learn to appreciate technology

I admit it, I'm a Geek and Poke fan. You gotta give it to the guys, they're good, so much that I share almost every strip I get my hands on. Yesterday I saw this one:

I thought it was really funny and though I know I shouldn't, I kind of felt sorry for Apple. It's crazy how much innovation these guys come out with and they still get this much criticised. It really reminded me of Louis CK's video "Everything is Amazing & Nobody is Happy" that I revisited lately thanks to twitter. I think we should stop sometimes and Just appreciate how far technology has come throughout these recent years. I'll leave you with the video and wish you a great Sunday!


Lamia Ben

Enterprise 2.0 reads – March 2010

There has been some interesting discussions going on this late month in the E20 twittersphere. Too bad I missed out on some of them due my extreme busyness organising Earth Hour in Morocco. But here are some blog posts I kept a track on. If you think I missed out on something, please leave me a line, I'd be glad to enrich the list.

Enterprise 2.0 : the end of office politics ?

Model 1

Model 1 is defined with the following principles :

1 – Define goals and try to achieve them.

2- Maximize winnings, minimize losings

3- Suppress negative feelings :

4- Behave rationally

Even if these 4 principles may sound legitimate at first, soon the the trade-offs become obvious :  … In one word : politics.

Model 2

The second model is based on valid information, choices, commitment and monitoring, all within a team activity. This is transparency. And transparency is a bedrock for trust.

From Model 1 to Model 2

McAfee concludes that : ESSP can help organizations move from a Model 1 to a Model 2 theory-in-use. (…) Enterprise 2.0 is about abandonning the assumption that unilateral control is the best way to achieve desired outcomes.


Enterprise 2.0: efficiency, effectiveness, blame and responsability

While I have been highly critical of Enterprise 2.0, I see the potential in delivering breakthrough value.

If they can change the focus to one that talks about effectiveness and less about efficiency I am willing to bet they will see truly astonishing breakthrough value. The question is – are they up for the challenge or are they prepared to continue trying what amounts to Band-Aid technology application?

Sharepoint and Enterprise 2.0: The good, the bad and the ugly

when it comes to Enterprise 2.0 in particular … the software solution that most organizations seem to reach for today in an almost knee-jerk reaction is Microsoft Sharepoint.

I should be clear that I am not overtly negative on using SharePoint for Enterprise 2.0 and certainly there are those that are doing it. However, emphasizing the tool first, no matter how ready-at-hand, to create an enterprise-class information management solution is rarely the proper way to go — other than for solely financially expedient reasons — and rarely is that the only criteria


What’s Needed First? Culture Change or Enterprise 2.0 Adoption

Do we first require an organizational culture adaptation prior to any meaningful Enterprise 2.0 adoption?…Or, do Enterprise 2.0 tools need to become so simplistic, easy to use and of course generally available to an organization before a culture can be considered connected, flat and more collaborative?

Maybe, in the year 2010, to get to a connected, collaborative and communicative culture that is rife with sharing as an invaluable operating principle to the success of an organization, we need to introduce both a culture change and Enterprise 2.0 to the masses.

Lamia Ben