It’s on the Internet, so it must be true


A bit tongue-in-cheek, but here is a recent statistic I saw quoted on Twitter:

“90% of txts are open w/in 14 seconds of receipt.”

I’m always looking for great new statistics to quote, but I also always research them — if they are not linked to research — to figure out where the statistic originated.

I started with the above quote in Google.  Not much came back so I refined the search to “90% of texts are opened.”

This uncovered:

  • “90% of texts are opened within 3 minutes #mobilemm11″
  • “90% of texts are opened.” (referenced)
  • “94 percent of text messages are opened in 9 minutes or less”
  • “90 percent of all SMS text messages are read usually within three minutes of being received”

None of the statistics I found were from studies done by well known analysts. Sometimes a lot of these (once true) statistics go through a game of telephone on the web.

The real future skill is discernment … not the ability to just find information.

More than just the application

From a comment left on this article:

How Social Media Upending Enterprise

Successful companies put more value on the information than the application.

Look at what Amazon has done for consumer buying or what Google has done for advertising. The key to this market is not on building the new ‘it’ application, but on helping companies understand how their brand is being discussed, what their customer perceptions are, and learning to innovate hand-in-hand with customers (many large enterprises now believe that the next set of innovations will come from outside the organization).

I’ve been involved in this space for nearly 10 years now. Nearly 3 years ago Telligent ( started investing in analytical tools to help our customers understand the data after being the first in the market to offer a suite based collaboration solution.

Anyone can build the next forum, blog, wiki, twitter-clone, etc. they key is using the information to transform how the business measures, operates, and works with its customers and employees.

So I agree, there is a major shift underway. But it has to be about more than just the tools…

Measuring Social Media

It’s not that often that I’m right (and probably much more often that I’m wrong!), but there are several things that Telligent called before the market that I don’t hesitate to see us take credit for:

  1. Before there was “Social [Networking | Media]” we had a vision for building a community platform that integrated in a suite of tools. This is what became Community Server, our main product.
  2. Nearly 2 years ago we started investing in tools to help measure activity. This became Harvest.

This morning someone forwarded me a paper that Peter Kim published, Social Media Predictions for 2009. One of the macro points at the end was, “Measurement needs to be addressed, soon“.

I couldn’t agree more!

We’ve been working on this problem for nearly 2 years now and it is why we hired Marc Smith, whose doctorate is in sociology, to help us think through this problem even more. Version 3.0 of Harvest is due out in early 2009 and will help answer questions about usage that usually required traditional web analytics tools tying them back into the social analytics. In fact, you can see some of the roadmap details here:

So yes, Measuring Social Media is going to be a critical success factor for 2009 (and beyond). …and Telligent has been there from the beginning.

BTW, you can watch a quick video overview of Harvest on YouTube here:

Information vs Knowledge Worker

I’ve spent the past couple of days in Redmond, WA at Microsoft’s Enterprise Partner Summit. A term Microsoft uses just about everywhere is “Information Worker”. They have entire business units formed around “IW”.

This nomenclature is inaccurate, in my opinion, in describing the customer or people that it is being applied to.

Information these days is everywhere, is useless by itself, and has only minimal value. It’s only when you can apply organization and intelligence to the information thereby converting it to knowledge that makes information useful and valuable.

The term coined by Peter Drucker in the 70’s is more appropriate for describing the people that do this: knowledge worker. A knowledge worker applies expertise to information to create products, make decisions, etc based on the expertise of the subject material they are responsible for. The people within your organization that poses the talent of converting information to knowledge should be some of the most valued assets you have.

An information worker is akin to workers hired to manually go through and pick tomatoes. The crop by itself has value, but the value can be increased substantially when a knowledge worker combines a variety of resources along with their skills to produce something more valuable.


Knowledge workers add value to the information and make information more than just noise. Information work can be automated, knowledge work is not so easily replaced.

As organizations navigate their way through this recession it is the knowledge worker and the unique skills and talent that organizations need to guard and protect. Because it is the unique knowledge of the organization that is ultimately its most valuable resource and will be in the most high demand both during and after the recession.

Email is part of the DNA of Social Software

I don’t understand why email is so often disregarded when it comes to collaboration software. Everyone wants to talk about how their software gets you out of email – whereas when you look at how organizations operate email always plays a fundamental role in how information is shared.

When we set out to build Community Server 4 years ago one of the bigger problems we wanted to solve was how to remove technology as the barrier for creating communities. Much of my own motivation for this was from my time at Microsoft where I worked with communities. The communities were typically either newsgroups, in-person meet-ups, web-based discussion, or email list based. The problem was that while all communities could benefit from one another they were separated by technology boundaries, i.e. those in the email distribution list community didn’t participate in the newsgroup communities largely because of technology reasons.

Community Server was the first community platform to integrate email into our offering and we’re continuing to innovate here. In fact, we did the same thing for newsgroups too – but this integration is really most popular with super-technical communities.

Email integration today consists of enabling any forum or blog to be setup with a unique email address so that users can send/receive content. For a blog it simply means an ability to publish via email, for forums it enables any forum to behave similar to a distribution list and then transcribe all content back to the forum.

With the recent release of Community Server 2008.5 we’ve done even more to enhance email integration:

  • Groups & Micro-communities – each group or micro-community receives its own unique email address. Plus when integrated with an email system like Microsoft Exchange this also becomes a tool for managing the creation and membership of Microsoft Exchange Distribution Lists (something that was supported previously by a tool called AutoDL in the Exchange Resource Kit). This takes the burden off the IT team for creating and managing Distribution Lists.
  • Smart Archiving – content sent over a email list integrated with Community Server is automatically separated into body and thread and then transcribed into a forum. Now the content is re-discoverable, indexed (searchable), and picks up a number of other attributes associated back to the user’s profile.
  • Attachments – attachments sent via email are automatically stored and versioned in the Community Server media gallery. Once in the media gallery the attachments are also then indexed by the search engine and also support comments, ratings, and other tools for sharing the attachment.
  • Business Intelligence and Analysis – most importantly once content is within Community Server it is analyzed by our BI tool to give credit and reputation to the author as well as to track how important content is.

We’re doing even more with email integration in our next major Community Server update. Building social graph information from email as well as building additional archiving tools are all things we’ve discussed. Ultimately though its users that benefit the most from the email integration work.

Email integration makes social software more accessible and user friendly because it doesn’t force people to change the way they work… it just improves it.

The “I’m a PC” new Microsoft Ad

image Jerry and Bill just didn’t do it for me. In fact I was really, really disappointed with the first set of ads.

I love Seinfeld (the show) and realize that these ads were in that spirit, but it just didn’t do it for me. Furthermore while I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Bill Gates has done at Microsoft — and for the computer industry as a whole — I think he symbolizes the old Microsoft vs. the new Microsoft (people like Scott Guthrie).

Bottom-line, while I think people in the tech industry could connect with the first two ads. Most people — at least those that I know that aren’t techy — let out a collective “Huh?”

That changed last night.

The new “I’m a PC” ad (watch it here) resonated much better and I really liked it too. Hopefully this is the direction the rest of the ads will follow.

Beware your Facebook is showing


The Wall Street Journal’s September 18th issue has an article in the Personal Journal section titled, College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook Page is Showing – sorry not sure where the online version of this article is, if I find it I’ll link to it.

The article states that, “…survey of 500 top colleges found that 10% of admissions officers acknowledge looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applications … 38% said what they saw negatively affected their views.

What about how this affects business? I do a lot of business virtually and before I talk with analysts, buyers, or anyone else I usually do a little research – starting with Facebook, MySpace, and Google. It’s pretty amazing what you find and what people decide to share.


Here is the link:

Hungry for Change

image I just read IBM’s 2008 CEO Study entitled The Enterprise of the Future. It’s about an 80pp document and does have some good insights into what global CEOs are thinking about. There is lots of great blog fodder in the document. Some of the points that surprised me what how much mention social networking and collaboration received. While I did expect some coverage I wasn’t anticipating what I found.

In the opening pages the document starts with “…customers are far more informed, and far more demanding today. But instead of viewing this as a problem, you see it as an opportunity – to draw on their energy and ideas to collaborate and to differentiate your companies.

The document goes on to talk about some of the challenges that CEOs face. One being the “…companies are struggling with its [change] accelerated pace. and that “…technological advances are reshaping value chains, influencing products and services and changing how their companies interact with customers.

The value of Enterprise 2.0 is the ability to lubricate the mechanisms of change and facilitate how companies interact with customers.