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All join in

In December, I had a delightful conversation with the BBC's Peter Day and his producer Rosamund Jones at the Headshift office in front of a microphone. The In Business programme about social networking aired on Radio 4 this week.

The interview touched on a host of subjects, but featured in the programme are:

  • Negative feedback about a company's products and services on social network sites: Market signals are weak insofar that if demand dries up you don't necessarily know why. By listening to the discussions happening on blogs and groups on social networks you can get useful information about how your products and services are perceived and what aspects matter to your customers (I made the same point in August when I appeared on BBC News 24... well, I hope I did, it was aired live).
  • The rise of the consumer-advertiser: A recommendation from people you know and trust is the most effective route to transaction. Social networks offer a powerful transmission mechanism for recommendations. It happens by itself but advertisers and social network providers are keen to monetise it.
  • Declarative commerce: When you search for something on Google you are met with advertising linked to keywords because searching is one of the closest proxies to declared intention. But what if you could unequivocally declare your intention to buy a certain type of product or service? Imagine what companies would be willing to pay to offer you theirs. (The inspiration for this point is from Doc Searls and his thoughts on VRM and from John Battelle with his coining of the database of intentions.)
  • Collaborating on ideas: Organisations can boost their innovative capability by sharing their ideas and inviting contributions from a wider group. This can happen internally as well as externally.
  • Twitter in the enterprise: While a fair bit of traffic on Twitter could be considered mundane, I believe the use of ultra-short from-any-device-to-any-device no-action-required messaging inside the organisation has enormous potential to tie people together and spark relevant conversations. Let the stream of information flow by and engage when relevant. Low cost attention-wise. (Since the interview was recorded I have had the pleasure of reading similar thoughts much better phrased by JP Rangaswami.)

The programme also features Kara Swisher of All Things Digital, Peter Cunningham of Viadeo, Stephen Millard of Clearswift, Penny Davis of T-Mobile, Dan Black of Ernst & Young and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffmann. You can download an mp3 of the half hour broadcast from the BBC website.



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Bart Stevens


Good piece. Pls check my blog (if you want to) at ichoosr.com/blog
We are organizing a VRM event in Munich in April, maybe you want to join.
Also , maybe you he specific people you want to speak at this event.

Let me know



Stanley Pasons

I'm not sure what the hold-up is... maybe they have re-thought their stance on how this is going to actually make the company any money. Or perhaps their lawyers pointed out the liability of providing agents a platform to stick their feet in their mouth. Whatever it is, it's hardly something I'd claim as being "Well done".

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