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The Social Web
Tapping into the collective genius of people
Curated by Stephen Dale
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It’s not complicated, you see | Harold Jarche

It’s not complicated, you see | Harold Jarche | The Social Web |

I've followed Harold Jarche for some time now, and never cease to admire his ability to distil complex arguments down to simple concepts. In this post he rounds on the organisations that have become mired in complicated structures and processes that ultimately dampen the ability to innovate. 


To quote: "Organizations need to embrace complexity, instead of treating it as mere complication. We know that innovation can abound in start-ups, but why not in larger organizations? One problem is that growth creates sustainable efficiencies, which get embedded and codified. These efficiencies can lead to greater market share, which companies become addicted to, not seeing that they are simultaneously becoming less innovative."


The answer is to simplify structures and reporting lines; ensure that staff know what they are responsible for delivering, and give them the space (and trust) to get on with it.


Value: 9/10

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Data Curation as Digital Preservation of Documents and Electronic Artifacts: Key Reference Resources

Data Curation as Digital Preservation of Documents and Electronic Artifacts: Key Reference Resources | The Social Web |

Robin Good: Data (or Digital) Curation, is an academic/scientific discipline dedicated to preserve, organize and collect digital documents and other electronic artifacts for archival, re-use and repurposing objectives.

Check: and

The importance of Data Curation can be easily underestimated as it may appear, to the casual viewer, as an arid, tedious document archival job.

In reality, Digital Curation efforts are of great value to the preservation of important cultural documents and data for future researchers who will want to access, in some organized way, the data-information-artifacts of our time. In addition, the data curation practices and guidelines developed by academic and research institutions can also be of value and inspiration to other types of curation work, that may adopt, emulate or innovate upon them.

If you are interested in learning more about Data/Digital Curation and in identifying the key organizations in this space, here is a good shortlist for you, thanks to the kind work of Kevin "the Librarian" Read:

University of Arizona – Digital Information Management
University of Illinois – Data Curation Education Program
University of North Carolina – DigCCurrUniversity of Virginia – Scientific Data Consulting

Digital Curation CentreDigital Curation ExchangeInternational Journal of Digital CurationPurdue-UIUC Data Curation Profiles Project

Useful. 7/10


Via Robin Good
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Why Happiness is So Important in Our Social Networks

Why Happiness is So Important in Our Social Networks | The Social Web |

I selected this piece written by Jack Ricchiuto because it's a great reminder to all of us participating in social business aka social networking about what's most important to thrive in our social networks.


Obviously all of this begins with being passionate about what you're doing and evolves from there.


Here are some highlights:


Everyone has 3 circles of connections.


1. people you're closest to

2. people we know more casually

3. people we don't even know exist, but are two steps

     from us through our first and second circle


We can measure growth in networks here are a few ways:


**How many circle connections people have with   

    others in their networks


**How collaborative people are with others in their



Here's what caught my attention:


**The pivotal indicator is the scope of network weaver engagement in networks.


**The other four indicators are accelerated by the work of network weavers who instigate, facilitate, and enrich connections in networks.


**As these indicators increase, the quality and impact of the network grows in ways that benefit the individual members of the network and the network as a dynamic whole.


**The evidence indicates that people have measurably better health, work, well-being, optimism, and engagement in their life when they are connected to happier networks



**We can build on these indicators by adding happiness indicators to the mix




How does happiness scale organically through networks?


**The whole thrivance of networks grows when more people become connected to already happier connections and bring more happiness to the connections they have


**This is how we can move from thinking about growth just in quantities, densities and reaches of connections to the vibrant and contagious quality of connections that add to the measureable welllbeing of the network


Selected by Jan Gordon covering "Content Curation, Social Business and Beyond"


Read full article here: []

Via janlgordon
John van den Brink's comment, June 4, 2012 4:14 PM
Great article Jan!
janlgordon's comment, June 4, 2012 4:38 PM
Thanks John, it does make perfect sense as long as we're doing what we love:-)
Otir's comment, July 23, 2012 8:16 AM
What a great article! Inspiring and contagious indeed. I have been very sensitive to the network weaving trend from the get-go, because this is how I had identified myself before I knew it was going to be coined a term: a weaver, a connector. This is definitely what makes me happy, when I feel that the connections can go "through" me.
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Content Curation: From Information To Knowledge [Video]

Robin Good: Start this video clip at 1':42" (up to 3':30") and you can get a pretty good idea of what a content curator does and why what he does has so much to do with sense-making, making things understandable for others and ultimately extracting contextualized "meaning" from information "as is".


Must-see. Excellent. 9/10



P.S.: Thanks to Howard Rheingold for spotting this clip and sharing it.


Original clip:


Via Robin Good
Beth Kanter's comment, July 22, 2012 4:37 PM
Had to scoop this with a meta commentary on your curation technique!! Thanks for a great example of great curation in action
Robin Good's comment, July 23, 2012 1:15 AM
Thank you Beth.
janlgordon's comment, July 24, 2012 11:22 AM
Thank you Robin Good and Howard Rhinegold for bringing this to my attention, it's excellent!
Rescooped by Stephen Dale from Curation, Social Business and Beyond!

If You Don't Understand People, You Don't Understand Business [vimeo]

I selected this video by Simon Sinek because he always inspires me and this talk is now exception. Today more than ever before, social networks - [social business] has given us the opportunity to support each other and do business in exciting new ways.


It got me thinking about the power of communities and what they can do together and the importance of businesses to find, connect and support those communities who resonate with their brand promise.


He talks about trust and the importance of being authentic as individuals and organizations to be transparent, honest, generous and consistent through all of our actions.. He wrote a book called "It Starts With Why"  [people don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it], which I highly recommend.


Simon Sinek


"If you inspire people, more people will inspire you"




 "Our ability to build trust and relationships is the key to our survival as a race, and to thriving as ideamakers"


Here's what caught my attention:


**When we are authentic as individuals and businesses, every decision we make is a communication to others who will immediately be drawn to us.


**Trust and common beliefs are the ingredients that make up great communities, brand advocates and word of mouth.


As a Business:


**People make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from their trusted friends, they want to buy your products and services because you have clearly communicated to them that you care about their needs, you have listened and you are there to provide solutions


As Individuals


**When we have clearly stated who we are and what we believe through our actions, others who share those beliefs are attracted to us. We then come together to form a trusted community based on these core values


**Think about the power of being in a community that builds trust through common beliefs and the impact this group can make on us as individuals as well as out in the world.


**Think about the fulfillment of doing something for others without wanting anything in return  


**Think about the richest day you’ve had as a business or as an individual, was it about money or was it about helping others in some way. When you have your priorities straight, you reap human satisfaction and financial rewards always follow.


Selected by Jan Gordon covering "Exploring Change Through Ongoing Discussions"


See Vimeo here: []


Much of this resonates with my recent blog on "The ART Of Collaboration" (  - written before I had seen the video of Sion Sinek, but I'm pleased to know that my take on Athenticity and Trust are seen as key attributes for on-line engagement.

Via janlgordon
Bart van Maanen's comment, July 18, 2012 10:44 AM
No time to watch now, but I've pinned it. Did you see his video as well. That was quite inspiring too:
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Organize, Share and Discuss Valuable Learning Resources Into Cloudscapes

Organize, Share and Discuss Valuable Learning Resources Into Cloudscapes | The Social Web |

Robin Good: Cloudscapes are collections of "clouds" about a certain topic. A "cloud" can be anything of relevance to learning and teaching clike an essay, a presentation, a resource, tool or event.


A cloudscape is therefore a user-driven collection of learning materials/resources pulled together for a specific need.


A cloudscape contains multiple elements:

1) Content - the actual text content

2) Cloudstream - tracking all the editing activities in the collection

3) Clouds - individual information objects

4) related Tweets

5) an RSS feed

6) a discussion area


Cloudworks, the platform where cloudscapes are born, is an open repository of educational and learning materials that motivates participants to share, find and discuss learning and teaching ideas.


Although the word "curation" is never used on the site or in the related documentation, this is yet another example of how the convergence of open repositories, open content and sharing platforms like this one, provide a natural and fertile ground for spontaneous curation approaches.


On this platform users can create topical learning collections by bringing together a selected set of existing content resources.



Cloudworks is developed by the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University in the UK and it is part of the Open University Learning Design Initiative (OULDI) project.


Example of a cloudscape:


More info:



Via Robin Good
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How to Grow and Manage an Engaged Online Community | Social Media Examiner

How to Grow and Manage an Engaged Online Community | Social Media Examiner | The Social Web |
Online Community Management For Dummies: Discover how to guide, monitor, respond and assess activities of your online community and build brand loyalty.


I'm not recommending the book because I haven't read it, but the summary by Patricia Redsicker resonates with my own experience of community management (UK local gov, 1,200 communities of practice).  Though the book is clearly aimed at community management for sales/marketing/brand management, many of the tips described apply equally well to enterprise communities, e.g. communities of interest, purpose, or practice.


I still recommend "Cultivating Communities of Practice", by Wenger, McDermott and Snyder as starting point for anyone involved in setting up, managing or nurting on-line communities. 


Value: 7/10



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How Google and Microsoft taught search to "understand" the Web

How Google and Microsoft taught search to "understand" the Web | The Social Web |
Inside the architecture of Google's Knowledge Graph and Microsoft's Satori.


Based on ideas put forward by a team from Yahoo Research in a 2009 paper called “A Web of Concepts,”extracting conceptual information from the wider Web to create a more knowledge-driven approach to search. They defined three key elements to creating a true “web of concepts”:


1. Information extraction: pulling structured data (addresses, phone numbers, prices, stock numbers and such) out of Web documents and associating it with an entity
2. Linking: mapping the relationships between entities (connecting an actor to films he’s starred in and to other actors he has worked with)
3. Analysis: discovering categorizing information about an entity from the content (such as the type of food a restaurant serves) or from sentiment data (such as whether the restaurant has positive reviews).


Google and Microsoft have just begun to tap into the power of that kind of knowledge. And their respective entity databases remain in their infancy. As of June 1, Satori had mapped over 400 million entities and Knowledge Graph had reached half a billion—a tiny fraction of the potential index of entities that the two search tools could amass.


Value: 8/10

Via Mark Oehlert, Judy O'Connell
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Twitter follows Facebook down the walled garden path

Twitter follows Facebook down the walled garden path | The Social Web |

Twitter set off alarm bells across the web in recent weeks when it ended its partnership with LinkedIn and reiterated its warning that it would be cracking down on the terms of its API. 


A quote from the article: "Twitter won't become a walled garden disconnected to the open web. But the company leadership does believe the best way to attract big brand advertisers and create meaningful revenue is to adopt a closed ecosystem, similar to Facebook, in which users access the service mainly through the company's website and mobile apps, rather than third party clients."


It appears to me that Twitter is rowing back on it's commitment to be an open platform, and sees itself as a media company rather than social network. Value-added services such as Bottlenose (which I highly recommend), and any third-party clients (Hootesuite beware) that Twitter deems to be competitors could find themselves at worst disconnected and at best, subject to limitations encoded into a new API. 


I can't see how any of this benefits ordinary users, since healthy competion and innovative third-party products will be killed at a stroke. I do wonder whether the likes of Facebook or Twitter forget that it's our data that is empowering them. Perhaps they need to be reminded!


Value: 8/10

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Women Win Facebook, Twitter, Zynga; Men Get LinkedIn, Reddit [INFOGRAPHIC] - Mashable

Women Win Facebook, Twitter, Zynga; Men Get LinkedIn, Reddit [INFOGRAPHIC] - Mashable | The Social Web |

When it comes to the sexes on social media, there are a few places where the battle lines seem settled. It probably won’t surprise you to learn, for example, that men are from Google+ and women are from Pinterest.


But when it comes to the two dominant social networks — Facebook and Twitter — you may be shocked to discover that women are now in the majority on both services. Not only that, but they’re posting far more frequently on Facebook than their slowpoke male counterparts can manage.

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Google Shutdowns Continue: iGoogle, Google Video, Google Mini & Others Are Killed | TechCrunch

Google Shutdowns Continue: iGoogle, Google Video, Google Mini & Others Are Killed  | TechCrunch | The Social Web |

Google is continuing to shut down services which aren't core to its business - something it has been actively doing ever since Google co-founder Larry Page took over as CEO.

Most of this looks fairly logical and rational in the light of Google's stated aim to focus on Google+ as their core product. I thought that maybe iGoogle would be a candidate given the massive loss of functionality caused by the recent design makever. However, speaking personally, I think there is still a call for personalised portals, and I for one will be sad to see it go - particularly given the time and effort I've put into personalising my own iGoogle portal. For those seeking to migrate elsewhere, I can recommend Netvibes, ( which has always had the edge over iGoogle in terms of functionality and usability.

Value: 8/10

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Get Enhanced Twitter Features On Facebook With This Neat Trick

Get Enhanced Twitter Features On Facebook With This Neat Trick | The Social Web |

In the spirit of not ignoring each other, Twitter and Facebook have recently tightened their mutual integration, with links that lead to actual Twitter pages, users and hashtags appearing right in Facebook updates. Furthermore, Twitter updates can now be automatically sent to Facebook Pages as well. Whether you’ve linked Twitter to Facebook or not, this is a change worth knowing about.


If you already have your Facebook and Twitter accounts linked, but can’t see these new posts appearing, the solution is actually very simple. Go you your Twitter profile page and scroll all the way down. If your accounts are already linked, click the “Disconnect” link to disconnect your accounts.


Next, click the Connect with Facebook banner to link your accounts yet again. This is somewhat annoying, but is very simple to do and is worth the extra features you’ll be getting. You will now be prompted to authorize the Facebook Twitter app, and your accounts will be linked again. 


Value 7/10

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Rescooped by Stephen Dale from Content Curation World!

Clip Anything To Create Topic-Specific Educational Clipboards with eduClipper

Robin Good: EduClipper is a new educational curation platform allowing both teachers and students to clip just about any type of content from the web and to organize it into topic-specific clipboards.


Clipboards can be made "private" or public depending on your needs and both their individual content items as well as any full clipboard can be easily shared on all major social networks.


Find out more:  ;

Via Robin Good
Ken Morrison's comment, July 1, 2012 6:23 PM
I like that these will be seachable so that they can be shared. I'm excited to test drive this. I agree that it may be better than social bookmarking, because even a well-organized diggo tag will have things off topic or for some audiences because we all have different ideas of the meaning of a word used for tagging.
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Why We Stop Learning: The Paradox of Expertise

Why We Stop Learning: The Paradox of Expertise | The Social Web |
How to keep learning when people think you know it all.
Via Jeff Hester
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Guide To Creating Personas: How To Understand And Meet User Needs

Guide To Creating Personas: How To Understand And Meet User Needs | The Social Web |

Personas are used by some of the leading brands around the world to help guide their design choices and marketing touchpoint strategies. Creating personas will help you understand your website’s visitor, how they’ll utilize your website, and the types of information they need most to support their buying decisions.

The “Guide To Creating Personas Infographic” will help you as a business owner realize the value personas can offer. You’ll also find tips and “How To”s for building your company’s personas, so you can better meet the needs of your users.

What are Personas?

Personas are hypothetical archetypes, or “stand-ins” for actual users that drive the decision making for interface design projects. Personas are not real people, but they represent real people and users throughout the design process. Personas are not “made up”; they are discovered as a by-product of the investigative process. Names and personal details are made up for personas to make them more realistic and life-like. Personas are defined by their goals. Interfaces are built to satisfy personas’ needs and goals.

By: Bill Ross


Via maxOz
maxOz's comment, August 2, 2012 12:56 AM
Jenny Thanks So Much for sharing, hope you've been well, cheers Michele
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Building a Social Business: Start with Email Changes

From the article: "Social business is all great in theory but that doesn’t help those tasked with figuring it all out know where to start."


Can't fault that logic, but I don't really agree with the approach decribed in the rest of the post. So why am I sharing it? Partly for my own record (and I particularly like the Kevin Jones video), but also because it's worth illustrating this as a symptom of a deeper problem; it doesn't give any compelling reason why anyone would want to migrate away from the familiarity and comfort of their email inbox. 


Just telling people that "social business is good for them" is not going to create the traction needed to develop more fluid knowledge flows across the organisation. People will only change if they can use something better than what they have now. And that includes better UX, easier to use, and (most importantly) fulfills the same business processes of their legacy system.


Most people will agree that email is inherently inneficient for anything other than one-to-one communication. But until and unless enterprise social software systems can replicate the email experience, people are not going to let it go. 


I think John Tropea (see comments in the original post) sums it up quite nicely:


"Basically the email client is a personal information management's people's life...everything they care about (received/sent) is here where it can be browsed, sorted, filtered, searched

...why would people let go of this...unless enterprise social software offers these email-like features, it will just continue to be a "sometimes food", where you ask questions, and perhaps share infrequent updates".


So, by all means prioritise email behaviour change as part of your social business strategy, but make sure that you have something that delivers the same sort of personal information management features in your shiny new enterprise social software system.

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Mobile Money: Facebook Advertising | OnlineMBA

Mobile Money: Facebook Advertising | OnlineMBA | The Social Web |

The future is mobile and "appified". More evidence of the move to mobile working and the growing use of smartphones and tablets as the preferred method of engaging with the Internet.  Businesses, and particularly web-based companies are waking up to these changes and mobile-targeted ads and marketing tactics are becoming profitable when compared to traditional (non-web) channels.


According to the data, 60% of Facebook users say they never click on ads or sponsored content. Ok, but that leaves 40% that do, and 40% of 900 million (and growing) is a big number.


Mobile ads currently account for 1% of all ad spending last year, but this is expected to grow by 80% this year. 


Despite the problems with FB's IPO and the wallowing share price, their cut of the adversting revenue could make $8.5 billion this year. It doesn't look like a company with too many problems!


Value: 7/10



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News Discovery: Here's The Cream of the Crop - Best Apps and Services To Find The News You Like

News Discovery: Here's The Cream of the Crop - Best Apps and Services To Find The News You Like | The Social Web |

Robin Good: Here is a good and well written overview of some of the best news discovery tools out there.


These services, generally avaliable as mobile apps and/or desktop tools, aggregate a large number of relevant news sources in different categories of interest, and leverage in many cases your Facebook and Twitter network of contacts to suggest the type of stories you may be interested in the most.


Covered in the article:

Pulse Zite Google Currents Flipboard Taptu Prismatic LinkedIN Today The Browser Longreads

and more


Excellent overview. 8/10


Full article:



Via Robin Good
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Big Data Just Beginning To Explode

Big Data Just Beginning To Explode | The Social Web |

The world of “big data” is changing dramatically right before our eyes – from the amount of data being produced to the way in which it’s structured and used.

The trend presents enormous challenges, but it also presents incredible business opportunities.

By 2020, over 1/3 of all data will live in or pass through the cloud Data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009 Individuals create 70% of all data. Enterprises store 80%

The Infographic by CSC helps you visualize some of the latest trends and illustrates the importance of shifting from “collecting to connecting data” to search relationships between data sets to help reveal valuable new insights.

The Data rEvolution Report, also explains how data analysis can enable companies to succeed through looking ahead, anticipating and planning.

By CSC —


Data rEvolution Report : [PDF]

Infographic: [PDF]

Via maxOz
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The ART Of Collaboration (Collaborative Behaviours)

The ART Of Collaboration (Collaborative Behaviours) | The Social Web |

If people are given the right tools and the right environment, will they spontaneously collaborate and share knowledge? Why do some people find it difficult to share and collaborate? Would incentives and rewards make a difference? Answers to these and other questions are explored.


The key characteristics identified for effective collaboration are Athenticity, Recognition and Trust (ART), bound together by Passion. Collaboration is a skill, honed by practice. 

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Rescooped by Stephen Dale from Digital-By-Design!

A Geography Of Twitter - Visualized

A Geography Of Twitter - Visualized | The Social Web |

This visualization, put together by researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, shows the origins of the entire globe's tweets.

The researchers write:

This graphic illustrates these data as a spatially aware treemap. The size of each block represents the number of tweets emanating from that country and the shading reveals in the number of geocoded tweets as a proportion of that country's Internet population (i.e. it gives us a sense of how likely Internet users are to create geocoded Twitter content).


The graphic reveals a large amount of inequality in the geography of content. However, while many other online platforms and more offline knowledge sources are characterised by distinct digital divisions of labour in which the Global North is a predominant producer and subject of content, Twitter displays significantly different geographies.


The six largest countries in terms of information production through Twitter are:

(1) the United States, (2) Brazil, (3) Indonesia, (4) the United Kingdom, (5) Mexico, and (6) Malaysia. It is interesting to note that only two of the countries on that list are in the Global North and are traditional hubs of the production of codified knowledge.


By mapping the distribution of tweets in the world it becomes apparent that Twitter is allowing for broader participation than is possible in most other platforms and media. In other words, it might be allowing for a 'democratisation' of information production and sharing because of its low barriers to entry and adaptability to mobile devices. Similarly barriers to the dissemination of information, such as censorship, are also visible through the small proportion of tweets originating in China (home to the largest population of internet users in the world).


However, more research is undoubtedly necessary to better understand the geography of content on the platform. The sample is limited, , because only 1% of all tweets are geocoded in the first place, and some countries may tend to geocode more than others.


As virtual layers and augmentations of place increasingly matter to everyday life, it will become more important to understand the geographies of information. This map offers a starting point.


By Dr Mark Graham --


Via maxOz
maxOz's comment, July 12, 2012 9:48 PM
Luis Thank you for sharing
maxOz's comment, August 2, 2012 12:58 AM
Thanks Jenny, Glad you enjoyed xxx
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The Evolving Web: Mapping the World's Data

The Evolving Web: Mapping the World's Data | The Social Web |

As we move towards Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web -- characterized by related, contextualized and personalized data -- there's a growing push for more robust context and relationship mapping. Several companies, from search engines to social networks, have already begun mapping and graphing the way their customers use, interact with and understand data.


Examples listed are:


Google's Knowledge Graph

Facebook's Social Graph

FindTheBest's Decision Graph

Hunch's Taste Graph


These are four examples of a growing number of sites currently creating graphs that relate, connect and map information on the Web; as we move towards a more semantic web, this trend will only continue.

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Communities of Practice: Military intelligence and death by ...

Communities of Practice: Military intelligence and death by ... | The Social Web |

Key abstracts from this piece:


"I asked how they (a UK organisational-wide CoP) surfaced new ideas, how they encouraged variety, how they used signals from the front line to make wider strategic or operational decisions? Did they use the community to monitor the type/nature of problems that were emerging and how community leaders were responding? Were the problems signalling disturbances in the environment that required a strategic response?


The answer… “We hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps that’s something we can take back”


The lesson to be learned for those operating CoP in organisations is to by all means use community ‘leaders’, but use them not as community police, or regulators, but as catalysts to surface relevant intelligence for the organisation."


Indeed, an something I've always advocated for Community Facilitators.

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Watch That You Don’t Fall For This Common “Referral Spam” Scam

Watch That You Don’t Fall For This Common “Referral Spam” Scam | The Social Web |

This article from MakeUseOf.


The Internet is filled with scammers and other bad people. Experience users know all about receiving emails relating to 419 scams. They are relentless. You should consider this to be the lower tier of online scams.


The referral spam scam has many different faces. The core of this scam is to interest people in a product, picture, or other endgame. To obtain this item, the user will need to send a certain number of people to the website, using a referral link.


Users are promised that if they refer enough people to this website through their unique link, they will be able to redeem a free product or service. When the user finally reaches the required amount of referrals to unlock their key, they are coincidentally turned away and told that the product/service is no longer available or that the website currently has no invites left to give.


How to spot a scam? The article talks about:

1. Does the website look trustworthy?

2. Was this website registered and created by someone you can trust?


Personally, I think the best thing is not to get involved in doing any referrals - particularly where the motive is personal gain. 


Value 7/10

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12 free social media tools to make your life easier

12 free social media tools to make your life easier | The Social Web |

Another of those lists of "free" social media tools. Some here that I haven't tried, so not sharing this as an endorsement of any particular tool. I've always found it's best to try things for yourself and determine if they have any utility or fit with your methods of working. I would add that I frequently use Buffer and Eventbrite and am considering ifttt, but I think you have to be careful about the amount of stuff you automate (i.e. frictionless sharing). It's easy to cross the line into spam!


Value 6/10

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Dr. Susan Bainbridge's comment, July 1, 2012 5:42 AM
Glad you're finding some good stuff Steve.
steve batchelder's comment, July 1, 2012 6:22 AM
Hi Susan, Yes many thanks you find some great stuff and its great to be able to share it.