Beantin

James Royal-Lawson

intranet

Social Intranets & digital natives

One particular statistic from the Swedish internet use report for 2011 was how everyone in Sweden in the 16-25 age group uses social media.

For a fair while we’ve been discussing the expectations of young employees in the workplace, but this statistic is about as big as a wake-up call as an organisation can get.

It’s time for companies to stop slacking, pull their intranet socks up and get social.

Digital natives

Let’s paint a picture. Jesper is 25. Not long out of university and has spent pretty much as long as he can bother to remember using MSN instant messaging, texting, and socialising with his friends via Facebook. All the time.

He’s been receiving constant feedback, answers, and opinions around the clock. At the same time he’s been giving feedback, answers and opinions to his peers around the clock. It’s a totally natural part of his life. A digital native.

Social media sites blocked

So what happens when he enters the corporate world and sits behind his laptop at work? He replicates his natural behaviour outside of the workplace. He expects to be able to network with his colleagues and his professional contemporaries in the same way as he does naturally outside of work.

But your organisation hasn’t embraced social business. The intranet is still a place for pushing news articles from internal communication. Facebook access is blocked. Internally, email is still the king.

Jesper is starting to regret accepting this job and realises that next time, he’s going to do his company culture homework a lot better.

He then pulls out his iPad from his bag and opens up all his normal social networks, invites all of his colleagues to be friends, or follows them, or connects with them and starts working.

Carry on regardless

Circumnavigating your attempts at blocking sites, working outside of your firewall, he has filled in the gaps. It doesn’t matter any more whether you think it’s a good idea to have a social intranet, or haven’t budgeted for one – the digital natives in your workplace are going to network regardless.

Providing social and collaborative tools inside the firewall (or within the realm of the organisation) will help you retain some of Jesper’s knowledge though his social behaviour and turn it into a digital asset for your company.

Banner for IntraTeam Event 2012James Royal-Lawson+ is a digital strategist, web and intranet manager based in Stockholm Sweden.

This blog post was born over a beer and a chat in Stockholm with intranet pioneer Mark Morrell and Martin Risgaard, Social Media Strategist at Arla Foods.

Social Intranets & digital natives

One particular statistic from the Swedish internet use report for 2011 was how everyone in Sweden in the 16-25 age group uses social media.

For a fair while we’ve been discussing the expectations of young employees in the workplace, but this statistic is about as big as a wake-up call as an organisation can get.

It’s time for companies to stop slacking, pull their intranet socks up and get social.

Digital natives

Let’s paint a picture. Jesper is 25. Not long out of university and has spent pretty much as long as he can bother to remember using MSN instant messaging, texting, and socialising with his friends via Facebook. All the time.

He’s been receiving constant feedback, answers, and opinions around the clock. At the same time he’s been giving feedback, answers and opinions to his peers around the clock. It’s a totally natural part of his life. A digital native.

Social media sites blocked

So what happens when he enters the corporate world and sits behind his laptop at work? He replicates his natural behaviour outside of the workplace. He expects to be able to network with his colleagues and his professional contemporaries in the same way as he does naturally outside of work.

But your organisation hasn’t embraced social business. The intranet is still a place for pushing news articles from internal communication. Facebook access is blocked. Internally, email is still the king.

Jesper is starting to regret accepting this job and realises that next time, he’s going to do his company culture homework a lot better.

He then pulls out his iPad from his bag and opens up all his normal social networks, invites all of his colleagues to be friends, or follows them, or connects with them and starts working.

Carry on regardless

Circumnavigating your attempts at blocking sites, working outside of your firewall, he has filled in the gaps. It doesn’t matter any more whether you think it’s a good idea to have a social intranet, or haven’t budgeted for one – the digital natives in your workplace are going to network regardless.

Providing social and collaborative tools inside the firewall (or within the realm of the organisation) will help you retain some of Jesper’s knowledge though his social behaviour and turn it into a digital asset for your company.


Banner for IntraTeam Event 2012James Royal-Lawson+ is a digital strategist, web and intranet manager based in Stockholm Sweden.

This blog post was born over a beer and a chat in Stockholm with intranet pioneer Mark Morrell and Martin Risgaard, Social Media Strategist at Arla Foods.

12 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 22-27, 2011)

For your reading pleasure this time, a collection of links (with summaries) including articles related to: web management, SEO, intranet, UX.


Web management

The web is critical. The web team is not

‎”According to a McKinsey report, From 2004 to 2009, the Internet’s contribution to GDP in mature countries averaged about 20%.” – just think how much it could be if more organisations made good, well managed use of it!

Greenpeace R2D2 QR Code

I’ve read a fair few good things have been said about aspects of Greenpeace’s “Volkswagen” campaign – but they haven’t done a good job of using QR Codes. Yes, it looks good on R2D2’s side, but (amongst other problems) the code leads to a non-mobile version of the site…

Härmed anmäler jag Riksdagen för brott mot lagen | Emanuels randanmärkningar

The new “cookie law” came into force on July 1st here in Sweden, basically making pre-approval of cookies a requirement for a website (with some fuzzy not clearly defined exceptions). Have you adjusted all your (Swedish) sites? A draft recommendation of what to do to comply is available from IAB Sweden.

The Web Is Not A Farm! It’s Time To Tear Down The Silos

All hail the generalist! Conferences covering every “Silo” seem to be talking about how the Silos that exist in web [well, business…] have to be broken down. Unfortunately a lot of time, it is the Silo topic of the conference that paints itself as “right” and it’s all the other Silos need to be broken down. Thankfully, Kristina Mausser writes some sense. All hail T-shaped people and generalists!

A Comprehensive Website Planning Guide

Some nice parts in this Guide from Smashing Magazine. Unfortunately, it’s missing some really important aspects. What about migration? Most companies aren’t start-ups with no existing digital presence. What about SEO? Keyword research? Taking care of redirects? And then a big miss – usability testing?

Five years from now, there’ll be no such thing as a webpage

Well, no – but kind of. Yes, social (networks, content & search) will continue to make huge changes to how we consume (create and share) content – but the hub of the internet will still be pages.

UX, IA & Testing

“Come as you are” – Part 1: The Reckless years

A series of blog posts sharing stories and experiences from 13 years of working with Information Architecture. Martin is currently the lead IA and UX architect for The Guardian.

Changing the Guardian through guerilla usability testing

Examples of Guerrilla usability testing from the lead UX/IA at The Guardian newspaper in the UK. Although it’s a compliment to “proper” testing, there’s really no excuse for doing no testing at all when it’s so simple, quick (and low cost) to just get out there and collect some data!

SEO

Getting “Pure” Search Results

Some tips about how to get “clean” non-personalised search results. Useful for research. I particularly like Scroogle – allows you to search Google as a “Google virgin”.

Why Google SERP CTR studies are a waste of time

We all know how “ranking number 1 in Google” is a silly phrase these days. This article does a good job of looking at patterns in click through ratios of SERPs and analysing the behaviour. You even get a reminder of some good housekeeping tips for improving your snippet.

Intranet & Collaboration

Does your intranet make a difference for your customers?

Nice reminder from Jane that the intranet should be helping you help your customers. In particular I like the example at the end of the post where she quotes a large bank that broke their workforce down into 3 groups: front line, back office, and analytical. All of which have very different expectations and needs from the intranet – and require different strategies (and tactics)

The multiplier effect

A blog post on the Economist Blog about social collaboration platforms as a talent-centred ecosystem for organisations. They talk of “T-shaped brokers” with deep specialist knowledge (the vertical bar) and a desire to collaborate (the horizontal bar). I’ve dubbed a variation of such people as “super-creators” previously.

11 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 18-21, 2011)

For your reading pleasure this time, a collection of links (with summaries) including articles related to: web management, UX, cookies, search, UX and search.


Web management, UX, mobile web

10 rules to make a great online bank dashboard – Meniga blog

The headline says “online bank” but these 10 rules are just as good for any website

Going Mobile!

‎”It’s not about making our site work on a mobile device, it is about what our users need when they’re mobile”. A case study from Utah Valley University

New Data: 33% of Facebook Posting is Mobile

Some stats saying that a third of FB updates are from mobile devices. Probably a pretty reasonable statistic – but it was calculated using 70,000 publicly available updates. No idea if that’s a representative selection of FB as a whole. It will of course vary quite dramatically from country to country.

How to improve the usability (and conversion rate) of your forms

Nice little check-list for making better forms.

Intranet

Is your intranet a dinosaur?

Good set of 6 questions to ask yourself about your Intranet and help prioritise activities. Given that most orgs don’t have an intranet strategy, answering these wouldn’t be too bad a gap-filler.

Cookies

The Cookie Law in Sweden – Self regulation committee started by the IAB

From July the 1st, an amended law comes into force, making it effectively illegal to create cookies when someone visits your (Swedish) website without explicit permission (in advance). Exactly how the law should be intepreted is a bit unclear. There is a trade organisation working on a recommendation. This change, driven by the EU, is perhaps excellent news for companies offering hosting outside of the EU…

Information Commissioner’s Office

Countries across europe are starting to implement new laws regarding Cookies. The new Swedish law comes into effect on July 1st, but it’s still unclear exactly what needs to be done. Here though is an example of what the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK has done: a banner on every page asking you to accept cookies

Search & personalisation

Personalization gone too far

Every single service is fighting to give us “exactly what we want”. But is exactly what we want really want we want? or need? Take 10 minutes to have a look at this thought provoking TED talk by Eli Pariser.

Social Search goes global

Google has rolled out search results from your social circle globally. So now everyone will see links shared by their “friends” in their SERPs when Google deems it to be relevant. I’ve been watching this for the a fair while now, and it really affects the order of the search results. This is

Analytics & Tools

Google Analytics’ New Site Speed Report Tracks Page Load Times

You can now get page load data in Google Analytics. It’s only sampled data (you don’t get figures for every page view) and it needs a slight modification to your trackng code – but worth monitoring. Slow page load times causes visitors to give up.

probably the single most significant shake up of SERPs (for an individual) in ages.

URL Shortening Services Compared: Bit.ly Pro and Yourls

I make use of both Yourls and Bit.ly pro. Bit.ly pro is a more convenient in a number of ways – but wth Yourls you own the redirects, you can decide the shortened URL. The power is totally yours.

12 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Weeks 13-17, 2011)

For your reading pleasure this time, a collection of links (with summaries) including articles related to: web strategy, UX, search, web developement.


Web strategy & User experience

All the kings are dead. Long live the ecosystem.

Nothing is king. Everything is king! Here’s a quote taken from my Beantin Manifesto: “Until we stop arguing about which discipline lies at the top (or bottom) of the pyramid (“xxx is king”), until we start linking these skills horizontally, until we stop boxing ourselves in and closing the lid, our organisations and clients will fail to get the best out of this fantastic medium.”

Hard economic lessons for news

The internet has disrupted a number of industries. Some have take it in their stride, others have fought long and bloody battles to hold it back. News and newspapers still need to wake up and smell the coffee. What use in a newspaper? I wrote at the end of last year. I just love the rules of business models in this post by Jeff. “Tradition is not a business model”.

How to Build the Perfect Facebook Fan Page, 2011 Edition

This is quite a nice little guide to the new look Facebook pages – especially if you’re familiar to how the old ones looked and worked.

Opening the floodgates

In my February newsletter I wrote about how Flattr had all the right pieces but in the wrong order. They needed, amongst other things, so reconsider their user acquisition strategy. They’ve taken a step in the right direction and now you can receive micropayments for your content without being forced to make micropayments to others.

The fall and rise of user experience

Well considered, well observed, thought provoking, inspirational, damning – I’ll stop now and leave you to read Cennydd’s transcript of his speech at IA Summit 2011.

11 articles about An Event Apart Seattle 2011

Over in Seattle at the end of March An Event Apart took place. Luke Wroblewski published his conference notes in the form of 10 blog posts. Lots of UX, design & strategy goodness.

Search

How Google Instant’s Autocomplete Suggestions Work

If you hadn’t already realised, Google’s autocomplete suggestions are complex things. They take into account location (so specific as to what part of town you’re in), language, browsing history, trending topics, legal judgements, sensitive topics, and more.

Hoppande resultat i början av sökmotoroptimeringen

Magnus has written a whole load of posts this week, but I wanted to share this one. I’ve had a few conversations recently where I’ve brough up the affect of “freshness” (grace period) and “trending topics” (QDF – Query Deserves Freshness) on new pages – it deserves a little bit of understanding.

Holistic SEO for the Data driven web

Yet another good post from Jesper – search optimising has always been a balancing act – man and machine. Giving the machines the right (meta)data so that people can find it – using the search mechanisms that they prefer. As the web becomes more semantic and increasingly social, search (behaviour) follows.

Google adding other social sources to realtime, social efforts evolve

Until now it’s been pretty much only Twitter that has appeared in Google’s real-time search (and blended SERPs) but other sources are now starting to appear. So far, I’ve only seen other sources (such as Friendfeed and Facebook) via Google.com.

Intranet

The 13 hats of an internal community manager

Quite a good list from Steve Radick of what’s required from an internal community manager. The specifics will very from organisation to organisation, but generally this covers the role well.

Web developement

The Cicada Principle and Why It Matters to Web Designers

Beautiful. The geek in me wept with enjoyment at this fascinating mix of nature, web design and mathematics.

Coping with Over Four Hundred Devices: How Netflix Uses HTML5 to Deliver Amazing User Interfaces

Step into the world of web management with Netflix, where they are maintaining a cross platform presence using HTML5 (instead of native apps) and some serious split-testing methodology. A relatively small team, A more manageable code base, quicker development – and potentially a more consistent user experience.

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