Blogging 4 Business: Panel on User-Generated Content [en]

Panel: Euan, Struan, Mark, Lisa

Engaging with the consumer.

Blogging 4 Business

Struan: lawyers hate risk, and also really bad at blogging. Law firm in New Jersey which was told not to blog. Works for big law firm. Been advising clients about blogs and online stuff for the last 12 months. Problems with user-generated content, or staff which might be blogging. Risk-management perspective. Caution.

Mark: short war between Israel and Lebanon. Photographs discovered by bloggers. Wake-up call about how powerful blogging and user-generated content can be. Reuters in Second Life: what journalist ethics in a virtual world? *steph-note: hate it when “virtual” is used to describe digital spaces, because it sounds like “unreal”.* [Global Voices Online](

Lisa: worked for eBay. Hard to give all power to users, keep some control. Yahoo.

Euan: “branding”, “customers”, event terms like “web2.0” etc., vocabulary indicating hordes of people piling onto something that was previously small, maybe fragile. Real danger of killing it in the process. How do you influence (rather than “control”) these environments? *steph-note: let me add “engage with your brand” and “user-generated content” to that list, just mentioned in the moderator’s question.*

Lisa: Quality? depends what the objective is. Asking users to provide photos of sunsets which match the one in the film. Ad contest, winning one (Doritos) cost 12$69 or something. Doritos: is it going to be good? Five finalists (with which D. were all OK) were so keen on winning they actually did their own campaigns, sending the videos to their friends, etc.

Mark: social media providing an alternate way of judging which photos are best for illustrating a subject.

Struan: as soon as you encourage the community to produce stuff, you need to be prepared to what might come back your way. *steph-note: stuff will come back your way whether you ask for it or not; it’s already out there!*

Lisa: when there is product attacking a product which has positive to it, there are often many positive comments which come to its defence.

Euan: flamewars etc. Law struggling to keep up with what’s happening. Jonathan Schwartz who wants to blog financial information, but it’s illegal to do so for the moment.

Struan: there is nothing to stop the information getting out through an unofficial channel.

Moderator: July 2006, Reuters brought to task by some bloggers. What was the internal response to that? (We know the public one…)

Mark: very quickly issued a classic release for news organisations in which they thanked the blogger for the photograph. Hasn’t happened again. Been continuous dialogue with professional photographers and bloggers.

Moderator: need for vetting UGC? Editorial decisions that journalists take all the time but that the public may not be familiar with.

Struan: YouTube, MySpace, not in their interest to check the content (if they did, more liability!) as long as they react quickly in case of content. Guardian: comments not approved — Time: comments approved => higher risk, because involves judgement call. *steph-note: I think this is with UK law, not sure it would work like that in CH.*

Euan: if you try to sanitise the conversation it will move somewhere else.

Lisa: guidelines. Help community moderate itself.

Question to Euan: what are the rules to “keep it pure”, when consulting? (re: fears of “commercialisation”)

Euan: authenticity. It’s not anti-advertising, or anti-commercialism. *steph-note: not sure I got that Q&A right.*

Struan: biggest problem for companies getting into blogging is finding something interesting to write about, and somebody who is capable of writing it. *steph-note: I agree, but it’s often because they don’t think of looking in the right places.*

Question: legal implications if you have bloggers and you let them do it, and they say things that are not necessarily the view of the company?

Struan: company won’t be really able to distance itself from the bloggers. Need to trust the people who are blogging. Posts don’t need to go through the legal department, but some guidelines are in order. When can they blog, how much? Do they understand the basics of trademark and copyright law (to avoid silly lawsuits), do they understand what is and is not confidential? Manageable risks, not something to panic about. Plain English is OK. Encourage bloggers to get a second opinion if they have doubts about what they’re posting. Fair use.

Euan: BBC blog policy (wiki page, developed by existing BBC bloggers). Much more conversation than if just the legal dept. had taken care of it.

Struan: blogger who wrote some potentially offensive political stuff on his blog, somebody googled him, found he worked for Orange, he was suspended (later reinstated). Petite Anglaise story (well recounted). The employer should have had guidelines to protect itself (not nice for bloggers, but better for the company).

Similar Posts:

Blogging 4 Business Afternoon Keynote: Michael Steckler [en]

Gossip: casual talking, especially about other people’s affairs.

SN are a large and highly engaged audience, so there is a great advertising and branding opportunity there. Rules?

Blogging 4 Business

75% use SN to keep in touch with family and friends.
62% for being nosey
55% express my opinions
49% meet people with similar interests

*steph-note: totally tuned out I’m afraid. I think the initial idea of viewing social networks as advertising space put me off, to the point I’m not even sure if he’s saying if it’s a good or a bad thing. Today I just feel like telling people to [ride on the Cluetrain](*

Personal spaces set up by a brand.

How do you get into that personal area?

– understand consumers’ motivations for using social networks
– express yourself as a brand *steph-note: I’m wondering if people shouldn’t just forget about brands a bit — not that they’re totally useless, but branding for branding gets tiring*
– create and maintain good conversations
– empower participants

Participation ecosystem. Recommendations based on personalities.

*steph-note: did a really shitty job of taking notes. I’m getting worse and worse today.*

Early adopters, onine mavens, online connectors (really important!), followers.

How to? create your own community, find influential bloggers, segment existing customers, attack the niche, start the gossip, reward customers… *steph-note: this is exactly the war-marketing vocabulary/mentality [the Cluetrain speaks against](… Eek.*

Summary: SN = large and engaged audience => huge opportunity for branded content and advertising, but there are strict guidelines to how to approach this.

Similar Posts:

Blogging 4 Business: part 2 [en]

**Next panel: Heather Hopkins, Kris Hoet, Scott Thomson, Simon McDermott, moderated by Mike Butcher**

*steph-note: again, partial notes, sorry*

Blogging 4 Business

Simon McDermott: [Attentio]( monitoring all this social media stuff. Analyse the buzz. Identify what influencers are saying about your product. What are the popular bloggers saying? Reputation monitoring. What issues are being raised?

How to interact with this media?

– monitor and analyse brands
– identify influencers
– communicate with key influentials

Case study: Consumer Electronics Player — monitor buzz around gadget with lower momentum than other recent success story. Better understand online consumer opinion and identify key forums and bloggers. Delivered a dashboard with relative visibility and trend information, etc.

Mike’s question to Heather: what would [Hitwise]( do differently?

Heather: blogs are a rather small category. Two examples: one (Sony Playstation virus or something) story which spread like wildfire amongst the blogosphere (hardly anybody has heard about it in the audience here) and the Coke-menthos video (many more people). Use Technorati,

Kris: Microsoft go to blogger events, try to keep conversations going — for that, they need tracking (what are people saying about Hotmail?) Also use Technorati and, comment tracking *(steph-note: with [coComment]( maybe?)* Best way of tracking is to read all these blogs, of course, but it’s a lot of work.

Moderator (Mike): comments very influential!

Kris: Comments can influence what the blogger writes, so it’s important to engage there. You don’t need a blog to engage with bloggers. Leave a comment. Everybody is a customer.

… *steph-note: sorry, tuning out*

Woman from public: blogged about her Dell nightmare (computer broken after guarantee), and was tracked down two months later by Dell, comment with apologies for the delay in tracking her, got somebody from the UK office to call her, pick up the laptop, repair it free of charge, and then ask her to get back in touch if there were any problems.

Simon: if Dell had been monitoring 18 months earlier, they would probably have saved themselves some trouble — they grew very fast and customer service didn’t follow.

Question: tracking in different languages. Short of one person for tracking each language in each country, what can we do?

Simon: solution is identifying top 5 bloggers in the area we want *steph-note: not sure I agree with that*

Kris: if you’re in contact with bloggers, ask them if they know anybody else who might be interested in joining the conversation too. They know each other.

Similar Posts:

Blogging 4 Business Conference [en]

[fr] Notes de la conférence Blogging4Business à laquelle j'assiste en ce moment à Londres.

So, unless some miracle happens, I’ll be blogging this day offline and posting it tonight when I get back at Suw’s. There seems to be no wifi provided for conference attendees unless you are willing to shell out £25 for a daily pass. (Actually, it seems there were a certain number of passes available.)

I would honestly have expected an event titled “**Blogging** 4 Business” to be “blog-aware” enough to realise that providing free wifi to connected people will encourage blogging of the event. Granted, most of the people I see in the room are taking paper notes (not that there is anything wrong with that) — this doesn’t seem to be an audience of bloggers. But wouldn’t it be an intelligent move to encourage the blogging public to “do their thing” at such an event?

I missed most of the first keynote and panel, spending time in the lobby chatting with Lee and Livio of [Headshift]( (my kind hosts today), and [Adam](

**Panel 1** incomplete and possibly inaccurate notes (they’re more snippets than a real account of what was said, partly because I don’t understand everything — audio and accents)

How do you respond to crisis online? (cf. Kryptonite)

Ged Carroll: In the 90s, faulty lock was broadcast on consumer TV. Mistake: didn’t tell the blogs that they were monitoring what was being said in that space, and that they were working on a solution (they *were* in fact acknowledging the problem, but hadn’t communicated that state of things to the public).

Moderator (Paul Munford?): how do you prevent something like that from being so predominently visible (search etc.)?

Darren Strange: owns his name. Same if you type “Microsoft Office”, his blog comes up pretty quickly too. Blogs attract links, good for search engine ranking.

Question: brands need ambassadors, OK, but where’s the ongoing material to blog about Budweiser?

Tamara Littleton: brand involvement in the site keeps things alive and happening. Reward ambassadors with merchandise.

*steph-note: on my way to London, I was reading the Cluetrain Manifesto (yeah, I’m a bit late on that train) and was particularly inspired by the part about how most of traditional marketing is trying to get people to hear a “message” for which there is actually no “audience” (nobody really wants to hear it), and so ends up coming up with ways to shove it into people’s faces and make them listen. This idea is kind of trotting in the back of my mind these days, and it’s colouring what I’m getting out of this event too.*

Question: transparency is a big thing… “creating ambassadors” (*steph-note: one “creates” ambassadors?!)… where is the space for disclosure?

Tamara Littleton: it’s about creating an environment, not saying “if you do this you’ll get that reward”. Rewards could be access to information about the product. Invite people to take part in something.

Ged Carroll: two types of rewards: merchandise etc, and also reputation-ego. Doesn’t have to be tangible.

Darren Strange: trying to have non-techie people try new releases of Vista, etc. Installed everything on a laptop, shipped it to the people’s house, and gave it to them. “Take the laptop, use it, blog if you want to, write good or bad things, or send it back to us, or give it to charity, or keep it, we don’t really care.” Huge debate about this. Professional journalists will be used to this kind of “approach”, but bloggers are kind of amateurs at this, they don’t know how to react. Disclosure: just state when you received something. *steph-note: and if you’re uncomfortable, say it too!*

**Panel: Lee Bryant, Adam Tinworth, David ??, Olivier Creiche**

*steph-note: got wifi, will publish*

Blogging 4 Business

Lee presenting first. Headshift have quite a bunch of nice products in the social software department. “It aint what you do it’s the way that you do it, and that’s what gets results.” (Bananarama)

Concrete business use cases.

Olivier talking now. “To blog or not to blog?” Simple answer: blog. Serious Eats. Citrix: a lot of knowledge disappeared when people left the company — a lot of knowledge out there that is only waiting to be gathered out of people’s e-mail boxes. Used Movable Type for that.

Another case study: AEP, also wanted to prevent e-mails from being the central repository of company knowledge (e-mails are not shared spaces!) Start small, experimental. Need to find the right people to start with. Another one: Arcelor/Mittal merger. Decided to communicate publicly about the lot of stuff. Video channel. Wanted to be very open about what they were doing and how, and answer questions. Good results, good press coverage.

David: allowing lawyers to share their knowledge and expertise, not just in their offices. Blogs, RSS, wikis allows time-critical sharing of information. *steph-note: like I’ll be publishing this as soon as the panel is over…* Catch things on the fly and make them available over a very short period of time.

Adam: starting to roll out business blogs just to allow communication. Bringing about profound change. *steph-note: very bad account of what Adam said, sorry — audio issues.* Other problems: educational issues. Best to not force people to use this or that tool, but open up. Share. Get people inside the teams to show their collegues what they’re using.

Question (moderator): a lot of evangelising going on in terms of blogs. Do blogs/wikis etc deliver on the promise of breaking down barriers, etc, when it comes to internal communication.

Lee: not a simple black/white situation. It comes down to people. Big problem: people bear a high cost to interact with communication systems and get no feedback. But with social tools (lightweight), we get immediate feedback. Integration with existing corporate systems.

Question: is social media the end of communications as we know it.

Lee: every generation of technology sees itself as a ground-breaker. But they’re all layered on top of each other. We have technology that delivers on the initial promise of the web (equal publication, sharing, etc) *(steph-note: yay! I keep saying that!)*

*steph-note: more northern English please ;-)*

David: now, using the web to create communities of practice, getting lawyers to communicate with people unthought of before.

Question: how do you deal with outdated material.

Lee: with mature social software implementations, any piece of information gathers its own context. So what is relevant to this time tends to come to the surface, so out-dated material sinks down. More about information surfacing when it’s time than getting out-dated stuff out of the way.

David: social tools make it very easy to keep your content up-to-date (which was a big problem with static sites).

Similar Posts: