Saturday, December 6, 2008

Interactive, Terrific, Enriching... Challenging!

Now, wait.
I can't describe ITEC-335 like that!
Well, first of all, I think it is kind of a lousy way you are not supposed to use anymore,
second of all, ITEC 335 deserves much more than that,
and "third of all" (can you ever have more than 2 main points..?) even if these four words absolutely match with the class,
I need more words!

This unusual class brought me far more than I expected! I didn't know anything about Social Networking, Web 2.0 or social media, and I may have been a little prejudiced against social networks in general before taking this class...(see the cartoon for further explanations).

Yet, I was really eager to learn about how these new tools could be applied and what they could bring to the business world. Now I do know.

In this class, I feel like I improved my critical thinking while still being free to be spontaneous, provocative or cynical in my posts. I learned so much about a world that I didn't know as well as I thought, the World...Wide Web.
This is just a matter of perspective, and being able to open to new techologies and ways of communication instead of looking the other way, thinking that social media, web 2.0 or social networks are just a trend that won't last long. Even if this was true, I doesn't mean there is not a lot to gain from observing and participating in the conversations.

So, this class helped me change perspective and open my mind. As a word of wisdom, I guess I'd just tell students to stay as natural and spontaneous as possible, and not to worry about being strongly opinionated. Also, don't buy everything you read but be ready to let yourself be convinced, and, as you say it here, don't knock it till you've tried it...

Thank you for this class and everything I learned.

Photo credits:

Monday, November 24, 2008

What you see is what you get, people!

Let's talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it too...
By the way, in French, we say wanting the butter and the money to buy it with (big surprise, French people like butter... ;) )

In other words, let's talk about the ROI of social media.

Companies thanks to social media can now actually directly contact their customers and talk to them. What else do they need out of it? The conversation they can establish is in itself an achievement, and the value they give to this exchange is their return on investment for trying to establish it. When you try to open a dialogue and you succeed, that is to say, you receive answers and feedback from the persons you were trying to contact, THIS IS YOUR REWARD.
Again, What else do you want?
Now, I know, to convince your CEO or CFO to invest in social media, you need to show them statistics, graphs with trends that indicate profits raising and raising and raising...
But that is the old way. You can't apply this kind of thinking to measure the ROI of social media.
As stated in this video, it would be like trying to
"assign multiple choice scoring to an essay question".
If you want to experiment social media, you need to change your attitude. If you can't conceive not being able to put an accurate figure on the impact of an investment, maybe you are not ready for it and anyway you won't be able to appreciate whatever social media has to offer.

Establishing the dialogue and being part of a conversation with your customers is your ROI.
The rest, sales increase, new ideas to improve your products, revamping your brand image, developping your brand content... you name it... It all just depends on what you want to ask to your customers. Opportunities are endless. You're part of the conversation. You have a say. Listen and ask. And the rest is bonus.

Photo credits:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is puzzled about Twitter...

What's the point in telling everybody what you are up to...?
Where is the urgency in saying that it is raining today and you are so sad about it?

I understand how Twitter can be useful to release breaking news or maybe warn your social network about your being in real trouble (seriously.)...
Or, if you have a really hectic life that is worth being followed, go ahead, twitter too. (Look Barack Obama is so cool...).

But who would be interested in knowing I am actually eating a burrito (I'm not.)? Please if you have any clue about this, tell me...but If you are wondering about that too, check out Twitter in Plain English, I'm still not convinced, but it may work on you!

So I'd say companies who sell these burritos would probably be the only ones interested.
Twitter is yet another way of voluntarily informing companies about what you like and your habits of all kinds so that they can target you better or send you special limited offers. Another way of releasing private information to "the world" (even if completely irrelevant and shallow).

When applied to business, Twitter can be helpful (follow a co-worker on the move). But can you imagine being a CEO, informed about the evolution of the negociation on an important contract, via Twitter?

For private purposes, it can be nice to know if your friends are near you so that you can meet up more easily. But Twitter is like a Facebook limited to the status feature. In other words, my nigthmare. Most of the time, I never, NEVER want to know about what I read there (not because I don't care about people).
On the Twitter Home Page, Nicholas Carr, Author and Technologist was putting it this way :
Twitter is the telegraph system of Web 2.0.
Except that when we had only telegraphs, we used it to convey real messages and relevant content STOP. Let me refrase that... We used it to communicate STOP.

But a major concern about this tool came to my mind when I read this (here):
Twitter gets you behind doors. Your audience is eagerly logging in to check tweets from mid-day traffic, during board meetings and even on the toilet.

Our society is time-neurotic. Don't people ever want to rest or talk using more than 140 characters? Sometimes, I just miss the 20th century, when we could all be happy, talk for hours, do one thing at a time and not feel guilty about it. Remember?

Photo credit:

Friday, October 24, 2008

I have a

I am fully convinced of the advantages there are about working in teams. I mean in a well-organized and well-managed team that knows where it is going. I actually really like the idea of interaction and everyone bringing its own contribution and expertise to a project. No man is an island. You can't be a Leader, a Brain, an Anchor, a Soldier and a Freelancer at the same time (How to pick your million dollar crew).

Now, about virtual teams... At first, I was a little skeptic, but I believe with the right leader and a good organization to take on the challenges... the numerous advantages can outweigh the drawbacks (and when the virtual aspect is really needed). Although, I don't think Ocean's Eleven would have managed to rob the Bellagio if they didn't know each other well...

So, I won't come back on the many positive sides of virtual teams. I would just like to stress one point. It seems like these Geographically Dispersed Teams are moslty thought to bridge distance and time gaps around the world to work more effectively. I mean the emphasis is often put on the taking advantage of the time zones to make a 24h global work day possible and the sharing of valuable expertises from around the world, in spite of the distance.

I feel like it can be applied to a more local level. By local, I mean national level, as opposed to the global world-wide level. Indeed, establishing virtual teams could solve other issues of diversity, and for example enable more persons with disabilities to work more easily and to feel more involved and integrated. It could help them have access to higher positions without the obstacle of travel meetings aroud the world. It could be like telecommuting applied to team work.

Besides, unemployement could sometimes be avoided with more mobility. But virtual teams are free from commuting issues. As a result, I feel like virtual teams can be an alternative and new way of working, but maybe also a solution to foster and ease diversity and an opportunity to make the job market and job opportunities more accessible to everyone.

Photo credits :

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is citizen journalism litteraly BREAKING "News"?

As one of the last trends, citizen journalism is a fascinating topic, but it raises a lot of questions.
In this video it is defined as what happens when:
"people who are non-journalists commit random acts of journalism"
So, in other words, it is user- generated news.

But in what way does it differ from the mainstream media? Are traditional media so outdated they have become an endangered species, about to disappear? What relationship can exist between the mainstream media and citizen journalism? Are they actual rivals or potential partners?

Start by checking out this short and funny video :

I'll ad that, first, even if people can be the only witness of an unexpected event, where no journalist was... in order for a large audience to know about it and see their video, they still need it to be broadcasted by the mainstream media to have the news circulate. And the mainstream media make the news more easily accessible to a large number of people.

The true positive side of citizen journalism is that it widens the range of information providers. I learnt in high school that 75% of the images broadcasted in the world came from CNN. Knowing that, it is harder to expect different opinions and perspectives from the mainstream media... CJ is about views and news. I agree that if the content that is posted as news by the people looks like the scoop of the century, it may be a rumor as well (see the Steve Jobs case...), but when it is just a controversial report that does not follow the media's bias, it may be worth hearing it, if it is supported by evidences - whatever topic it is about.

Then, the mainstream media can also benefit from that trend by offering the users a forum, like CNN did with Ireport. They understood they won't be out of business if they establish a partnership with citizen journalists, and it can be lucrative. They get videos, news and freelance for free! And let's face it, they are not really threatened because they are an institution ...whenever politicians have important information to pass through, they organize a press conference for journalists to spread the word. They won't call you first...

So, I think it doesn't have to be one or the other. It will take some time for us to adjust to this new source of information, and to figure out which sites provide reliable, quality content. And I think most people will continue to trust mainstream media even if they criticize them.
But the concept of Citizen Journalism is definitely rising because it promotes freedom of thought and passion for knowledge, in the hands of the people. It can be seen a contribution from active citizens, a form of political participation, without being automatically tagged as amateurism.

Photo credits to
And if you have 9 minutes, watch this very interesting video about this topic...

Friday, October 10, 2008

When the Internet means business, it won't cover you...

I decided to think positively this week, so I'm not going to stress how much business networking seems at first sight like an opportunist way of people-shopping...

Actually, after I read several articles related to business networking, which is defined by Mari Smith on as

"The art of relationship building"

I realised that using the Internet to meet people that can help you with your business or that you can help with yours was not only a way of creating endless opportunites for business, but also, it may actually be the solution to another issue.

One of the concerns we have about the Internet is anonymity. The anonymity of users which often leads to a lack of trust... But what is more important to do business with somebody than trust? And how do you know if someone is telling the truth about themselves?

Well, the Internet, as far as business networking is concerned, may be bringing the solution to the problem it created. Indeed, in the business world, you cannot do everything online, or even if you do, you have to stay true to yourself to enable people to trust you and encourage them to do business with you.

Besides, the Internet is paradoxically helping to force people to be sincere by making all datas public. No more barriers between identities, no professional face and private face... Just you.
As a whole person... You have to display a coherent self if you want others to trust you, deal with you, and not be taken aback when they finally meet you. You have to show you just as you are. On, Gail Sussman Miller presents networks as
"a natural extension of who you are and what you love to do".
Everything is public on social networks, or at least, everything can be found. As Colleen Wainwright was saying on the same site,
"The transparency of the Internet has removed places to hide".

When it comes to online business networking you are no longer safe behind your screen...So that brings me to the title of my post : When the Internet means business, it won't cover you.

Photos credits to
Video credits to :

Friday, October 3, 2008

Is Chasebook...I mean Facebook EVIL?

Facebook is a good idea being misused. I'm not saying the way I use it is the best way, but I use FB to gather all the people I know are easier to contact through this social network.
I don't want to know what they are doing, I just want to be able to contact them. But they take it seriously. They insist on updating their profile 5 times a day. Why is that?

I use Facebook not because I want to, but because others do. And this doesn't mean I'm sheep-like because I didn't join FB because it seemed to be cool and the last trend. Just because I know this is the best way to contact people who like it (unlike me) (and it is sad, I know).
One of the first thing I've been asked, here is "Are you on Facebook"? And people add : "Don't worry, I'll find you". Which is actually scary. FB is the new Big Brother, but it is ok, it is just your friends and the CIA watching you:

"By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States". "This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, agents or government agencies."

I cherish my privacy. This is why I don't like to write information about myself that anybody can have access to in my profile.
I don't want people to put pictures of me on FB and tag them, but I can't act on it if they do. Facebook is a trap. It is out of control partly because of the people.

Whether you like it or not, you are always being judged. People - aka your "friends" - judge you on what you say about you on FB, and what you don't say. Why don't you want EVERYBODY to know you? DON'T YOU HAVE A LIFE? Why won't you let me tag you, it is fun?

Because it is PRIVATE!!!!!!! Wait, does that word still exist? Does it have a meaning or is it completely outdated? I wonder...
Call me an old fart, but I do like my privacy. Which is why I do my best to protect it.

I think Facebook does not have to be a mirror of your life. It is your choice.
"old-fashioned real-world concepts such as art, beauty, love, pleasure and truth"
do not have their place on Facebook. FB is artproof, loveproof and truthproof, if you understand what I mean...
So far, for what I've seen, it is about showing off, and continuously presenting "your coolest self". And what's with this relationship status, anyway? Does everybody have to know when you meet someone, when you break up, if you have been single for 2 years,... It is none of FB's business. Relationships are tricky enough, you don't owe FB any explanation.

I understand the people who lie on FB...because IT IS NOT REAL!
Lying is a way of protecting your privacy.
I just think that with the same purpose, not saying anything is saner.
So, You want to protect your privacy? Then stop thinking you are answerable to Facebook and stop playing by its rules.

Quotes from :
"With friends like these ... Tom Hodgkinson on the politics of the people behind Facebook | Technology | The Guardian"
Photo credits to :
And check out this video, for fun : We need girlfriends