Archive for the Tag 'Social Media'

Social Media at the World Business Forum

Point: Extend the conversation of a conference beyond its four walls

Story: Open innovation, crowdsourcing, and new product development all depend on expanding the conversation from a narrowly defined in-group of people to broader, more inclusive global participation.  The World Business Forum, for example, is already the largest conference of senior executives in the US. But HSMAmericas, creators of the World Business Forum, wanted to extend the conversation beyond the walls of the conference’s Radio City Music Hall location. They’re doing this through the Bloggers Hub, a concept which they pioneered with sponsor Pitney Bowes at the World Innovation Forum in May.

First, HSMAmericas created the infrastructure to support a global conversation about the conference.  With the aid of hub sponsors IBM and ExecuNet, they wired a block of front & center reserved seating on the mezzanine at Radio City Music Hall.  The hub space includes ample power outlets and high-speed internet access.

Second, HSMAmericas invited a diversity of some of the best business bloggers to participate. (See categorized list below.) The featured bloggers will be blogging and tweeting the conference in real time as well as posting articles and interacting in conversations during and after the event.  Each blogger brings his or her own spin and segment of the global audience.  Some bloggers, like me, emphasize innovation. Others emphasize economic issues, entrepreneurship, technology, etc. This ensures that the conference reaches a wide variety of global participants and extends the conversion along multiple dimensions of specialization.

Third, HSMAmericas created coordinated points of contact and content access. This includes a Facebook page, a LinkedIn group, and a Twitter hashtag. Bloggers will be using the #wbf09 hashtag on their real-time updates of the conference.

For example, anyone — executives, managers, entrepreneurs and all interested parties — can participate in the action of the Forum in real time by following the #wbf09 hashtag on Twitter.  Bloggers will be using the #wbf09 hashtag on their real-time updates of the conference.  They will append #wbf09 not only to their updates from the Forum  but also to conversations they have with anyone using the #wbf09 tag. To join in, simply use the #wbf09 tag in your tweet. You can pose a question, share an opinion, or reply to anyone directly. To reach a specific blogger, just start your tweet with their Twitter ID.  (For example, to reach me, simply start your tweet with @andreameyer and use the #wbf09. I’ll see it and reply.)  Including #wbf09 in any of your tweets will make it visible to anyone participating in the conversation.

During the time of the World Innovation Forum (May 4-13), for instance, 4514 tweets mentioned #wif09. World Innovation Forum speakers Paul Saffo  and Fred Krupp are on Twitter as @psaffo and @Fred Krupp, respectively. Previous World Business Forum speakers on Twitter include management guru Tom Peters (@Tom_Peters) and legendary CEO Jack Welch (@jack_welch).

Here is a list of the World Business Forum Featured Bloggers and their Twitter IDs.

Business News
Wall Street Journal | Paul Glader | @wsj
The Huffington Post | Shahien Nasiripour | @huffbusiness | Reena Jana | @RJMAC
Reuters | Felix Salmon | @felixsalmon
Newsweek | Katie Paul | @newsweek

Innovation and Strategy
Working Knowledge® | Andrea Meyer | @AndreaMeyer
Working Knowledge® | Dana Meyer | @WorkingKnowledg
Business Strategy Innovation Blog | Braden Kelley | @innovate
Innoblog | Renee Hopkins | @Renee_Innosight
The Complete Innovator | Boris Pluskowski | @bpluskowski

Execunet | Lauryn Franzoni | @LaurynFranzoni
Execunet | Jeffrey Sherman Thompson | Graciela Gonzalez Biondo | @HSMAmericas
Fast Company Expert Blogger | Seth Kahan | @SethKahan | Zach Clayton | @bill_george
Insights on Leadership and Employee Engagement | Michael Lee Stallard  | @MichaelStallard
Chris Brady’s Leadership Blog | Chris Brady | @rascaltweets
Time Leadership | Jim Estill | @JimEstill
Orrin Woodward Leadership Team | Orrin Woodward | @Orrin_Woodward
Jossey-Bass on Leadership | Carolyn Carlstroem | @josseybassbiz

Sustainability and Social Enterprise | Adam Christensen | @smarterplanet
Triple Pundit | Jen Boynton | @triplepundit
Triple Pundit | Nick Aster | @triplepundit
Triple Pundit | Ryan Mickle | @triplepundit
Tree Hugger | Matthew McDermott | @matmcdermott | Michael Mossoba | @creativemichael

Path Forward International | Julie Lenzer Kirk | @YourBoot
Path Forward International | Renee Lewis | @chiefcatalyst
Awake at the Wheel | Jonathan Fields | @jonathanfields
Successful Blog | Liz Strauss | @lizstrauss

1 to 1 Media | Don Peppers | @donpeppers
Hank Wasiak | Hank Wasiak | @hankwasiak
Influential Marketing | Rohit Bhargava | @rohitbhargava
Marketing Thoughts Blog | Ken McArthur | @kenmcArthur
PR Mama | Stephanie Smirnov | @ssmirnov
5 Blogs Before Lunch | David Allen Ibsen | @daveibsen

Psychology and Brain
Brain Leaders and Learners | Dr. Ellen Weber | @EllenfWeber
Brain Based Biz | Dr. Robyn McMaster | @robynMcMaster
Ramblings from a Glass Half Full | Terry Starbucker | @Starbucker

Information Playground (EMC) | Steve Todd |  @SteveTodd
Social Media Blog Stu | Stuart Miniman | @stu | Ben Parr | @benparr
Collaboration Solutions in Industry Segments | Bob Preston | @BobPrestonCCO
GDGT | Peter Rojas | @peterrojas

Economist Mom | Diane Lim Rogers | @EconomistMom
The Big Picture | Barry Ritholtz
Angry Bear | Dan Crawford | @angrybearecon
Angry Bear | Ken Houghton | @angrybearecon

Women’s Business Perspectives
Hot Mommas Project | Kathy Korman Frey | @chiefhotmomma

Workforce and Career
Execunet | Robyn Greenspan | @Robyngreenspan
Execunet | Joseph McCool | Philip Stott | @VaultCareers | Linda Petock | @VaultCareers
All Things Workplace | Steve Roesler  | @steveroesler What Works for Business | Daniel Kehrer  | @whatworks
Training Magazine’s Training Day Blog | Margery Weinstein | @margeryw
Conference Hound | Jordan Enright-Schulz | @conferencehound
Conference Hound | Bruce Carlisle | @conferencehound
Thought Bright Blog | Robert McNeill
Business Boomer | Arabella Santiago | @businessboomer


  • To invite participation in your conference from anywhere in the world, create a central blog space that aggregates links to all the blogs
  • Designate a Twitter hashtag (simply choose an abbreviation or word preceded by a pound sign (#) You can register and define hashtags at
  • Create a page on LinkedIn and on Facebook to let individuals know which of their colleagues and friends are attending or interested in the event.

Further Information:

I will be live-tweeting and blogging from the World Business Forum on Oct. 6-7, 2009.  Join me in person or follow along on this blog or on Twitter @AndreaMeyer and @WorkingKnowledg or any of the above sites for full coverage!

4 Comments »How-to, Innovation

Using Social Media to Improve Corporate Innovation

Point: Social networking tools help capture the “quiet contributions” from the fringes of your company

Story: In the typical company, innovation relies on a hand-picked team leading an innovation project. The trouble is, these teams often have no good way of tapping the expertise of the whole company. They tend to call on the small circle of colleagues they know or on the acknowledged experts in an established field. But they have a hard time identifying people whom they don’t already know but who might have new knowledge relevant to the problem at hand. As a result, potential good ideas are lost or hidden.

That’s where social software tools come in handy. With a tool like InnovationSpigit, for example, a company can start a discussion on a topic and employees who know about the topic self-identify by posting ideas, refining the ideas of others, and voting on ideas.

For example, a company could start discussion like “Can we develop a new water filtration product?” People from market research might identify the top-selling filtration products and their value propositions (e.g., “BrandA removes chlorine and lead”).  Someone from HR, who recently bought a water filtration system for her family, might contribute her own insights gathered from what blogs and outside websites were saying about all the competing products (e.g., “BrandB sucks because it’s hard to install”). Unforeseen expertise & spark-generating ideas might come from an employee who’s studied marine animals who might suggest “have you looked at how fish gills work? Perhaps we could base an idea around that.” Other employees might point out the engineering deficits of a proposed technology (e.g., a potential filter material is too expensive for consumer water filters). Another person might have good suggestions for how to solve the cost problem (e.g., to coat the expensive filter ingredient on a cheaper material).

The point is that these contributions can come from anywhere, not just the hand-picked team members and their inner circle. Happenstance insights and contributions from non-obvious personnel help increase the volume and quality of ideas. Reputation systems and voting mechanisms, built into innovation-specific social applications like InnovationSpigit 2.0, help direct innovation efforts into the most productive directions.


  • Explore how innovation-specific social applications like InnovationSpigit can be used to improve innovation in your organization.
  • Look for tools that expand the range of idea sources to more people and leverage the intelligence of crowds to focus innovation efforts.
  • Create a vibrant set of communities around open-ended problems to get new and disruptive ideas.
  • Use small incentives, reputation engines, and voting systems to encourage fast feedback that focuses efforts on the best ideas.

3 Comments »How-to, Innovation

Innovations in Analytics: new value from new and old data

Point: Develop new products and services by applying innovative analytics to unused data.

Story: Three companies presenting at Techstars Demo Day last week illustrate a category of innovation that is based on new uses of data. First, Retel Technologies is a_igp3809retel1 new company that helps retailers understand patterns of behavior at store locations. Many retailers have security cameras on site, but they rarely look at the data generated by those cameras because of the sheer volume of data. The raw data is typically viewed only in the event of a robbery. Retel, however, developed a cost-effective human-aided video data analysis service that extracts workplace performance analytics from all that unused video footage. For example, the system can help spot problems such as dirty tables at fast-food locations, employee theft, and capacity bottlenecks (such as a shortage of  cashiers during certain hours). Retel provides its clients monthly reports to help managers see trends, behaviors, and time-of-day patterns that can help them better manage their stores.

Second, a new company named Next Big Sound uses the realtime flow of events in _igp3850nextbigsoundsocial media to help band managers. The music industry is undergoing big changes, but sales of concert tickets are the highest they’ve been in ten years, and people are buying more music than ever. Giving band managers data can help them make better decisions. For example, real-time data from Twitter can be captured and analyzed to show who’s talking about which band and where they are — data that can provide great insight into a band’s fan base. Next Big Sound collects a host of both social media and web data to provide real-time marketing analytics that bands can use in variety of ways. For example, band managers can use the data to pinpoint the demographics of fans, scout new concert locations, and improve online ad placement. They can even suggest that a band mention people or events in the local area or give a shout-out to high-profile fans at a concert.

Third, Mailana is a company that uses communications analytics to help people leverage their social connections. These days, people are inundated by connections to other people. It’s not hard to have hundreds or thousands of connections in the form of entries in e-mail address books, friends on Facebook, colleagues on LinkedIn, and followers on Twitter. But who among the hoard of connections are the true trusted friends that one can really count on Mailana uses data on frequency and patterns of communication to automatically identify a person’s inner circle of most-trusted friends. Furthermore, Mailana helps people merge inner circles — a good trusted friend or a good trusted friend is far more valuable than a casual forgotten connection to another causal forgotten connection. Mailana helps people build and use the high-value core of their social graph.

In each of the three companies, innovative use of data provides new value.


  • Inventory the data sources around you, your company, and industry
  • Consider the potential analytic value of the data — what you might learn from that data? (or what might you learn more quickly?)
  • Leverage low-cost computing and workflow technologies to extract new and actionable knowledge


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