Social Networking

Enterprise Social Networking

I often hear people talking about the value of Twitter but for a while I’ve been following people talking about Enterprise Social Networking and in particular Lawrence Liu and using Sharepoint for this purpose. So, at WPC I attended a presentation on Enterprise Social Networking. It had a case study by Newsgator who were building social networking components for Sharepoint. Now, Sharepoint (more specifically MOSS 2007) has something called "Mysites" which allows people to become connected via their profiles with various information about themselves.

I can’t offer any great insight into this area other than it is a really interesting area and something which I have gut feeling will be very  important in the future.

The BBC News Online has a story reporting a study by Gartner on how businesses are missing out on the potential that social networks present.

Interesting that it says Social Networking was taking over from email or at least taking a place alongside it.

You can also find me on Twitter and Friend Feed. If you’re on one of these as well then let me know so that we can connect.

Top CEO Blogs

I was wondering how many top CEOs actually blog? Who is the most senior person in Microsoft who blogs? I know Microsoft’s blogging policy is "blog smart" and it got me to thinking why Bill Gates never started blogging? Wouldn’t that have been the really smart thing to do?

Seth Godin reckons that CEOs should only blog if they can satisfy 4 out of 5 of the following criteria :-

  • Candour
  • Urgency
  • Timeliness
  • Pithiness
  • Controversy

I then tried to find the best known CEO blogging and I could only think of Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz, although here is a list of other CEOs blogging by Mario Sundar. Do you know of any more?

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NLabNetworks Social Networking Conference

It was such a busy day yesterday, in a good way, and after the meeting with Scott Dodds I came over to the NLabNetworks Social Networking Conference and caught the back end of Andrea Saveri’s talk on the "Amplified Individual". I’d had a chat with her the night before at the informal meal at Shimla Pinks. Andrea works at the Institute for the Future at Palo Alto in California and not only is she highly switched on but also very down to earth. I’m going to be using her "Amplified Individual" tagline unashamedly for community engagement whether that is in person or via social networking. Going to have to get that into the SMB Forum session somehow?

A big shout out to Steve Clayton for coming and presenting, with loads of positive feedback on his presentation and his practical advice.

Jess has done a great job blogging the conference and my involvement on the Panel session at the end, also check out the NLabNetworks site.

The sessions were recorded and will be available online sometime.

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Twitter, Testosterone & Mind Mending Philosophy

Having used Twitter for a while, it has been a mixed bag of experiences of making some real connections and getting some great ideas and insights. However, the funniest thing is following those who are apparently the "A" listers or "B" listers or whatever they call themselves. They are those who have achieved minor celebrity status among Geekdom and so therefore walk and think at a different level to us mere mortals, or so you would think? There was a great episode this weekend of what can be described as "hand bags" at fifty paces from two such protagonists. It was like watching kids fight in a school playground, only the kids would’ve had more dignity. I don’t know, maybe it was fuelled by too much testosterone and a modern day version of whipping out your manhood and seeing which is bigger. And these are the people that we’re supposed to look up to that PR people flock to impress!

Then there are those who try and give mind mending, deep meaningful analysis of the world. These are people who eat the best food, read the best books, listen to the finest and widest selection of music, who know all the people in the big bad Social Networking stratosphere.

Me, I watch the Soaps like Coronation Street, Eastenders, Big Brother, Football, hardly ever listen to music or read books (now), take any exercise (now) and spend far too much time stuck to my laptop into the wee small hours of the morning and trying to stop my kids from fighting and killing each other.

I’m beginning to believe that certain people on Twitter aren’t real people because they are the best dads to their sons, wonderful husbands and probably the best lovers as well.

The two "real" people for me on Twitter are Vlad because he hurls expletives at me and thought provoking stuff at the same time, challenges me and engages in a conversation. The other person is Lawrence Liu, Senior Product Manager and Community Lead for Sharepoint Products and Technologies, because he’s got balls, takes no crap and is willing to engage in a conversation and doesn’t take himself too seriously.


Thanks to Scott Hanselman on Twitter for highlighting Tweetwheel which is built on Google’s App Engine. It gives an interesting view of your Twitter Friends and how they link together.

Here is my Tweetwheel

Let's Connect on Twitter

Despite it’s downtime and its questionable interpretation of its Terms of Service, I’m increasingly finding Twitter a great place to connect with people. I’m not going to try and persuade you to join Twitter, you’re all grown up people who can make their own decisions on that.

You can follow me on Twitter at and it would be great to follow you back.

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NLabs Social Networks Conference is now FREE

The Mother of All Social Networking Conferences is now FREE and has been shortened to a one day affair. It seems the conference fee would’ve tipped the scales for many businesses in the Global Credit Crunch crisis but I think we know what the real reason is and it begins with "T" and rhymes with "right"!

The Programme is now a one day agenda but still has an evening Dinner and I won’t have the pressure of presenting, phew! I can sit and absorb from the pews although I will have the honour of introducing Steve Clayton.

But, if you are seriously interested in learning about 21st Century Networking ideas and some amazing face-to-face conversations, then sign up now and you have absolutely no excuses whatsoever now.

The Mother of All Social Networking Conferences … in Leicester!

This is a unique opportunity to pull yourself away from that virtual environment that you inhabit and actually talk to "real" people about the online phenomenon that is Social Networking. And it’s not just anyone either it is an internationally assembled line up of some of the greatest minds on Social Networking …and me! I know it might be a bit scary to get out of your comfort zone and network with people who are out of your immediate peer group, but you might just enjoy it! The details are below and if I was you I’d be running to sign-up now.

The programme for the NLab Social Networks Conference at De Montfort University, Leicester, is shaping up nicely! See

Day 1, Thursday 19 June will focus on Social Networks and Innovation, including presentations by Microsoft evangelist Steve Clayton, NESTA’s Roland Harwood, Swarmteams’ Ken Thompson and Sleepydog’s Toby Moores, plus Shani Lee, Vijay Riyait and Sue Thomas. Networking continues into the evening with the Conference Dinner at the Leicester Ramada Hotel.

Day 2, Friday 20 June will concentrate on Work and Money, kicking off with Andrea Saveri reporting on new research from Palo Alto (are *you* an amplified individual?), followed by the launch of a new report by Chris Meade on ways to make a digital living, and a challenge from Jim Benson to make some money.

On both days there will also be Workshops including:

  • Dealing with the Negative: What to Do When Social Media Bites You (Jim Benson)
  • Integrating Social Networking with Your Web Site (Sean Clark)
  • Making A Zombie Film Using Social Networking (Karl Craig-West)
  • Weblogs vs. Social Networking Services: A Practical Workshop for Businesses and Entrepreneurs (Josie Fraser)
  • How Can Business Benefit Be Derived From Social Networking? (Stephen Peak)
  • Can we be familiar strangers? Rethinking the language of customer relationships through social networks (David James Ross)
  • Search Engine Optimisation and Social Networking (Angie Stokes)
  • A Model for Sustainable Community-Based Networks: From the Cradle to the Grave (Helen Whitehead)
  • plus more to come

For full info see

Conference Fees
    * £125 inc VAT Full Price (2 days + conference dinner on Thursday evening)
    * £105 inc VAT (2 days only, no concessions)
    * £65 inc VAT (1 day only, no concessions)
    * £95 inc VAT Concession* (2 days + conference dinner on Thursday evening)
*Concessionary rates are for students, DMU staff, senior citizens and those in receipt of income-related benefits. Proof of status is required. If you are in any doubt regarding your eligibility, please email

Find out more and register online at

Social Networking in Plain English

The Common Craft website is a great resource for explaining "stuff" in plain english and I like their video on Social Networking below. It touches on something important that in many networks you cannot see the relationships beyond these networks. What you get is "structural holes" (you can tell I’ve been spending too much time with the academics), points in the network where either you cannot see the links beyond this or that these networks are not actually connected.What if you could spot these "gaps" and connect them but only do that if it made some sense to do it either in a business sense or some other sense. We would be building ever more valuable relationships??

NLab Social Networks Conference – 19/20 June

I’ve blogged before about the NLabs Social Networks Conference before but I’m going to do it again. It’s a must attend event on 19/20 June at De Montfort University, Leicester. It’s got a great range of speakers from across the world, well the US mostly I think but that is the world isn’t? If you’re a Microsoft Partner (… or not), then come along and see Steve Clayton in person and hear his insightful views on the world of Social Networking. There are too many great people, workshops, conversations going to be happening there that it will be a shame if you missed it. There are even bursaries available for eligible people, so you might not even have to pay for it! It’s all part of a long term agenda to bridge that divide between creativity and business. It’s being driven by a number of key people such as Professor Sue Thomas and Toby Moores, CEO of Sleepydog and founder of the Creative Coffee Club.

Sign-up as soon as you can when the registration opens, which I believe is soon or if you want to know more contact me directly, all my contact info is on the blog.

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