Beantin

James Royal-Lawson

microblogging

12 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 42-43, 2010)

Information Architecture 101: Techniques and Best Practices

A great “briefing paper” from Six Revisions, intending to raise awareness of the discipline with designers.

Mental Models

The latest Alertbox post covers what users think they know and how that affects their behaviour. Users, designers and developers all have differing mental models. You need to work with conformity not against it, and gently adjust the mental models of your visitors and users.

10 essential usability guidelines for websites

If every website followed the ten points in this list, i’d suddenly have hardly anything to complain about any more. Well, perhaps not *hardly* anything – more like “less”.

How Yammer Won Over 80% of the Fortune 500

Yammer boasts that 80% of the Fortune 500 use Yammer. I wonder how many of those 400 companies have adopted Yammer as their official, or main, collaboration platform?

How I learnt to stop worrying and love enterprise microblogging

Nice case describing how Yammer took flight at AXA Australia in just the few months since August.

Information flow part 3: Why persistent links are important

I’m really enjoying Kristian’s series of posts about aspects of his work over the last couple with the intranet at Region Västra Götland. This particular post goes into the details of how they’ve tried to deal with managing URLs and links across multiple systems.

How we improved our intranet search experience

Luke describes how they implemented and tweaked their Intranet search (using a Google Search Appliance). Some good lessons-learned and insights that anyone dealing with intranet search can make use of.

Report: iPad Is an Enterprise IT Triple-Threat

The headline talks about iPad (and thereby iSO) but the report concludes that Android and HTML5 should also be prioritised. I’m going one step further than Forrester and saying prioritise HTML5 and Android. Plan for mobile/wireless working and plan soon.

How Google tested Google Instant

An insight into how Google tests it’s products (before launch in this case). What I find interesting is that normally Google uses eye tracking whilst testing. It gives them real data to work with. In this case, Google Instant, they chose not to. Why? I suspect they did try, but realised that far too many people were spending too much time looking down at the keyboard whilst typing – and not looking at their instantly-changing search results.

How Facebook Decides What To Put In Your News Feed – These 10 Secrets Reveal All

Some useful testing into how Facebook decides what to display into your news feed. Would be interested though to know their source for saying “Top News is how a vast majority of Facebook users get their information”

20 Real Tips for Hiring a Social Media Consultant

A good list to help you separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of social media consulting. You don’t need to hold yourself religiously to all 20 points, but there is some really good, honest, to-the-point advice in Pam Moore’s post.

How Google dominates the Web

If you had any doubts about just how dominant Google are in our World of Web Stuff, then this Royal Pingdom posts shows you the stats in easy to consume pie-charts.

Microblogging and bullying in the work-place

The concept of choosing to follow someone is very familiar to those of us active on twitter. As is the concept of not following someone.

In small organisations, my experience has shown that normally everyone would follow everyone. This is largely because small organisations are likely to be cohesive as a team, especially at the smaller end of the scale.

In large organisations (over 250 employees), my experience has shown that it is accepted and understood that you don’t follow everyone. Why would you? Following 20,000 people would ruin your micro-blogging experience (or at the very least force you into needing some kind of Tweetdeck-like application to filter and sort it all!)

In medium sized organisations (50-250 employees), I’d generally expect employees to follow everyone in their team, or department, and then a sprinkling of other colleagues from a range of other teams and functions – plus senior management.

Cultural shift

We all know (or should know) that the move to a social intranet involves a cultural shift in how an organisation works. A social intranet is not achieved by the availability of a particular tool. The cultural changes required will be unique from organisation to organisation, and some will be more ready than others to adopt the way or working that a social intranet enables.

Exclusion

One particular aspect of that cultural shift I hadn’t considered is that of exclusion. Deliberately avoiding certain collegues on your social intranet. Groups of employees deliberately freezing out other employees by not following them.

Now it’s easy to initially react in the classic control manner. Let’s ban Facebook! Let’s ban Yammer! That, I’m afraid to say, is not a solution. The problem isn’t Yammer and it’s ability to let you choose who you follow and unfollow. The problem is that a culture of exclusion and bullying behaviour exists within the organisation.

Address the issue, not ban the tool

Your focus needs to be on how to address that issue internally, not how to “fix” Yammer (or whichever tool your organisation uses). A “solution” such as forcing everyone to follow everyone else is impractical and not really a solution. It will drive down adoption, reduce the business gain from microblogging, and almost certainly force the bullying that exist in your organisation into another forum.

Microblogging needs to be open (a “company wide” feed, available to all) to make people feel included (even if they aren’t active within the microblogging tool). It also needs to be searchable (to allow employees to utilise the digital assets stored in the status updates and shared links). It doesn’t need to be forced (follow everyone) or banned (driving the conversation elsewhere).

What problems have you encountered with rolling out social features on your intranet?

11 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 19-20, 2010)

Free SEO Copywriting Report

Related to my SEO Checklist/SEO Guidelines for content writers Brian Clark has covered similar ground and gives some good advice in his PDF. (although ultimately it’s an advert for their automated product – Scribe)

Blog Title Optimization: 6 Simple Steps for SEO Copywriters

More SEO writing tips, this time Dan Zambonini gives some blog post title tips. No reason why his advice should be limited to blogs, although he’s missed the chance to optimise the <title> seperately – giving the chance to hit a bit of a balance between humans (readability) and machines (findability)

Why use a hierarchical, hyphenated URL structure?

Another good, educational article in LBI’s “FAQ” series. They are good to have in stock to share when someone comes with a “why?”. Full marks this time for the use of cheese in the example.

Google Experts Answer your SEO Questions

A gang of 5 Google experts do some straight talking and provide a few to-the-point answers for web managers.

Intranet content manifesto – 2nd draft

An updated Intranet content manifesto. Nice idea – not guidelines or rules, but a manifesto. It’s been increasingly popular to produce such “manifestos” for varies topics. It’s a good way to build up some common ground and a feeling of inclusion

The Generation Gap in Your Office

The Rise of Gen Y (Millenniums) in the Workplace – Your Company’s Communication is About to Change.. An American infographic; but the pattern is the same in the UK/Sweden (and many other countries)

A Case Study on Enterprise Microblogging (PDF)

A write-up of the launch of enterprise “microblogging” (ie Status updates) within a 150 employee company in September 2008 (the study itself covers a period of March 2008-March 2009”.

Safe landing – a review of the direct deposit banking experience

In-depth article about direct banking, usability & eye tracking. James Breeze takes a look at landing pages & form completion.

7 ways to improve your call to action

We’re seeing time and time again in eye tracking studies just how little time people spend on landing pages before making a decision. This Conversion Room blog post from Google gives a whole load of tips and further reading.

What iPads and Tablets Mean for Web Analytics

Death of the dashboard & the age of segmentation? We interact with the Internet differently though mobile devices and tablets than we do through “traditional” computers – This makes understanding visitor behaviour and statistics a whole lot more complicated. Throw in that people “jump” between devices and we’re doomed!

Google Font API & Interview

At I/O one of the things Google launched was Google Font Directory… It’s Basically @font-face using Google’s resources; it’s nothing revolutionary, but it will be useful from a speed viewpoint.

6 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 14, 2010)

Eye Tracking and Web Usability: A Good Fit?

A detailed and soba look into the neurology behind eye tracking studies and specifically it’s application to web usability testing. If you’re in Sweden/Stockholm then you can get a hands on experience of eye tracking at one of these upcoming free eye tracking workshops.

Understanding the Mechanics of SEO as both Art and Science

Some good SEO tips, including: “You are not in competition with a search engine – you are in
competition with your competitors.”

Evaluate Editorial Impact Using Google Analytics

Practical advice about how to evaluate Editorial Impact of web or intranet content using Google Analytics. Measure more people! measure! Fredrik Wackå has written a (Swedish) blog post in response to Lars Johansson’s article I posted the link to here yesterday. Some good practical points.

Micro-blogging behind firewalls – our work on Yammer

A collection of (research) papers about corporate microblogging, including ‘following, ‘acceptance’, and ‘incentives’ produced during a year of studying by Jun Zhang.

How Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors are Shaped in Social Media: 10 Essential Rules You’ve Never Heard – But Need to Know

A refreshingly different “do this in social media to succeed” article by Taddy Hall. Itching to know more about the empirical data he mentions and that backs up some of his advice.

Adding image information to a Sitemap

Earlier this week Google announced the addition of image data to sitemap entries, including
title and caption. This is going to be another piece of your SEO jigsaw in times of blended search…

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