DigiRedo’s New Media session at FECAVA congress – follow us LIVE!

Currently we’re in Istanbul at the FECAVA congress, an international veterinary congress. FECAVA is the Federation for European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations. Most of the congress is about clinical subjects like dentistry, internal medicine and radiology. But also the veterinarian needs to realize the importance of communication and the impact of new and social media. And the opportunities they bring.

This afternoon, starting around 2pm, one of the sessions will be entirely dedicated to new media and what the veterinarian can do with it. Together with FECAVA we’ve organized this session, which exists of three presentations: I will start with a presentation with an introduction on new media followed by Susie Samuel from Vethelpdirect, who will talk about how you can use new and social media in the veterinary practice. After the break Erik will talk about online communities. The session will be closed with an open discussion with the audience, a bit unconference-like, where everybody can share their opinion, thoughts and doubts about the use of new and social media for the veterinary practice.

In the meantime we will encourage people to use Twitter (#fecava11). The session will streamed live and can be followed live here.

Enterprise 2.0: part 3 – the gap between employee and corporation

The following article is also published through pharmaphorum and is the third in a series about Enterprise 2.0.

As with a lot of technological innovations, business is often behind adopting them compared to consumers.  This was the case with the telephone, with the adoption of email and today with new and social media. Now, when social computing is becoming mainstream, businesses are considering how to deal with this within their own organisation. The question therefore should not be if a company should adopt social computing (aka Enterprise 2.0), but more when.

As discussed in the previous episode of this series, many employees struggle in managing the enormous amount of information they have to process within their jobs. And the infrastructure that offers that information is not helping them in doing their jobs, on the contrary.

“Many employees struggle in managing the enormous amount

of information they have to process within their jobs”

Some facts:

Forty-two percent of our economy is based on ‘tacit interactions’, which means exchange of information and knowledge directly between knowledge-workers (source: McKinsey). Most of this information is in these people’s minds, and not recorded in a database. In other words, a lot of this information is not secured.

Twenty percent of their valuable time, knowledge workers are searching for information required to do their jobs. Indeed, searching, which does not imply that they always find what they need. Which makes sense, because part of that information is not available, as explained above.

Eighty-five of the current available IT infrastructures cannot be accessed by most knowledge-workers (source: Gartner). That means that if relevant information is available somewhere in the database, they do not have the permission to access it.

The gap between the adoption of new technology, in this case collaborative and social interactive media, between the corporate world and the consumer world has never been so apparent. Cloud computing, mobile, social media, we’re all familiar with it in our private lives. However, within our daily work, this is very often not the case. Cloud computing, for example, is by many organisations perceived a scary, insecure and non-compliant phenomenon.

This is what we call consumerization of technology. New (information) technology first emerges in the consumer market before it enters business organisations. And when it enters, it is in most cases received with scepticism and distrust. IT departments are frequently hesitant in adopting these new technologies, especially if it implies loss of control or, in other words, empowerment of the user. When I was still working in the pharma industry I was always surprised at the ‘glass-is-half-empty’ approach of IT, when proposing experimenting with new and social media. While I sincerely expected, maybe naive, that this technological revolution should ignite the passion of every IT-worker.

In fact we’ve reached a point of no return. More and more employees, especially the digital natives, expect free access to information, the ability to connect with co-workers andto share and exchange knowledge and experience, all online. As they are used in their personal lives with their friends and family. As long as the current IT infrastructures (i.e. the intranets and portals) don’t allow or facilitate this, they will take the initiative themselves to create that space. Already, employees ask their IT departments to give them access to their email and intranet through their personal mobile devices. Just because the company does not offer smartphones to all employees, but the sales force. These employees will get very frustrated if their request is not honoured. While the only reason for asking is helping them to do their job easier and better.

“Cloud computing, for example, is by many organisations

perceived a scary, insecure and non-compliant phenomenon.”

Talking about the employee, what is motivating him (or her)? What really drives him to do his upmost to fulfil his tasks? What makes him get up in the morning? Is that salary? Is that a large bonus if mission is accomplished? Or is it something else?

Since the middle of last century behavioural scientists have investigated human motivation. Before that it was thought there were basically two main motivators: biological motivators(hunger, thirst, sleep, sex) and extrinsic motivators (reward and punishment). An interesting experiment by Harry Harlow and Edward Deci with monkeys demonstrated there is a third motivator: intrinsic motivation through joy, happiness and passion. This is the motivator for us humans for playing the piano, for photography and oldtimers. For developing software, which we are so proud of the we’re willing to give it away for free. We’re willing to spend hours of our free time and willing to spend significant amounts of money in these activities because of the satisfaction it gives us. Interesting enough, ever since the industrial revolution, businesses have only adopted extrinsic motivators, such as salary increases and bonuses and never really explored the possibilities of intrinsic motivators. While more than forty years of behavioural research has demonstrated that this is not the way to motivate people. Although the carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it has become obsolete in motivating people in the current changed environment. This brings us back to the conclusion we made in the previous episode. Create an environment where employees can excel and improve their skills, where they can choose the path to fulfil their tasks and goals as long as it also serves a higher purpose. Also known as as the three elements of true motivation: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose (source: Daniel Pink – Drive, the surprising truth about what motivates us)

 “IT departments are frequently hesitant in adopting these new

technologies, especially if it implies loss of control or, in other

words, empowerment of the user.”

So now the urge is clear. Business organisations need to change, significantly. In the way they communicate with their employees, how they are motivated, in the way their workforce is empowered and in the way they are organised online. But where to start? That’s what I will discuss in the following episodes. First I want to ask you to take a look at your own organisation. How are you organised online? What functionalities does your intranet offer? Is it interactive and does it allow collaboration between co-workers. The figure below comes from the congress Intranet 2011, which was held in March recently Utrecht, The Netherlands. It represents the development of the intranet from a one-directional information source to a social operating system that contains all kinds of collaborative applications which drive internal and external work. Can you indicate where your company’s intranet is?

TEDx Maastricht – and we’re part of it…

Today is TEDx Maastricht, a conference about the Future of Healthcare, organized by The Radboud University Medical Center. A very interesting meeting,  because of the impressive line of speakers, the TED formula and the topic of patient empowerment, e-health and participatory medicine.

The whole event will be livestreamed the entire day, and we’re very pleased to be part of this production. Off course all presentations can be followed live and in the breaks interviews and reports from the foyer will be made. The latter belongs to our  responsibility: our reporter Erik van der Zijden and cameraman Eduard Ernst are out there, looking for short stories, asking about the participants’ impression of the meeting, their experience with Health 2.0 and the Future of Healthcare in Holland.

Check out the program, turn on the Livestream and enjoy TEDx Maastricht. Even if you’re not there physically you can still be part of it…

Award for Afya Serengeti campaign

The Afya Serengeti campaign, of which we reported earlier in our blog, has won an Award of Excellence in the category Animal Health. With this award, founded by the RX club, the campaign is honoured for its creativity and execution. The campaign was developed by Circa Healthcare in order of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, and focuses at the prevention of rabies in the Serengeti area in Tanzania. The campaign supports vaccination teams that vaccinate all domestic dogs in the communities surrounding the Serengeti National Park. We were involved in this campaign through the production of a video-series where we followed these team in their year around vaccination campaign.

Rabies is a lethal disease that still claims more than 25,000 Africans per year, mainly children. While rabies is preventable with vaccination, fighting it is a huge undertaking. The Afya Serengeti project alone encompasses an area inhabited by more than 6 million people and 500,000 domestic dogs.

This Award of Excellence is a fantastic recognition for this sympathetic campaign.

The Social US Army

The US Army. An organization of 4.5 million professionals that safeguards the national and international territories. In this blogpost I certainly do not want to make any judgement about the intentions of the US Army when executing their duty, and whether it’s good or bad to show so much power in some areas of the wold. That is something everybody should make up their own opinion. No, what I do want to talk about is the way the US Army has embraced Social Media and provides soldiers to blog from their location abroad. Whether that’s a warzone or not. During Blogworld 2009 we had a short interview with a spokesman and -woman.


Rifle or keyboard
For the first time the US Army had a booth at the commercial exhibition place and looking at the sheer number of people visiting the stand it certainly was popular to talk to soldiers that so now and then replace their rifle with a keyboard. Totally against expectations the US Army has opened up blogging for a large number of US Army personnel, who can share their experiences with the rest of the world. According to their own words no filtering takes place. They even have established a new division for this: ‘the Online & Social Media Division’. “We recognize the informative power of Social Media to reach our target audience, and we are here at Blogworld to see how we can improve”, says Major Arata during our interview.

“We have a blog, Armystrongstories.com, where everybody who is interested in finding out the lives of real soldiers can come. Currently we have 56 real soldiers blogging about their lives, unfiltered”, says a passionate Major Constantino (who, by the way, kept a very close eye on the PR lady rushed to us when we were conducting the interview…). Constantino: “We make the army more human. We are not some sort of digitized machine but we are real people”.

Army gimmicks
Main question of course is how they do it, unfiltered blogging. Whereas many organization don’t want to burn even their little toe, the US Army is providing full insight. Or so they say. Honestly, I can hardy believe that a platoon somewhere deep down in Afghanistan -accidentally- throws some confidential information on the net. But apparently they don’t bother too much. Arata: “We always say: we should educate and not regulate. That means that we should provide clear guidelines en trust our people.

The biggest goal of this initiative is informing the general public about the activities of the US Army and thus increasing the ‘goodwill’. According to both spokesmen they have succeeded in that, though a lot of work still needs to be done. That -coincidentally- a new person joins the army because of the social media activities, that’s good but not the main cause. And yet, looking at their booth with all the US Army gimmicks and give-aways it did look a bit like they were attempting to bring people in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely convinced that the spokesman and -woman truly believe in the power of blogging (though Major Constantino has to start herself blogging) and I think it’s wonderful that Social Media especially here found its place.

Now, if the US Army kan blog unfiltered, what can your company do?

Blogworld 2009: Human Business and a Guinness World Record

150

Social Media has definitely grown out of its infancy. Although, according to all the geeks that attended the first integrated edition of Blogworld and New Media Expo in Las Vegas. More than 2500 bloggers, podcasters, consultants and other new media mavericks visited Sin City for 3 days to talk about and share experiences on Social Media. Close to 300 speakers gave dozens presentations and panel discussions on a large variety of subjects. Without going into detail of all of them, I will give you the highlights of the conference.

Twitter rawks

If there was one subject that was mentioned in almost every discussion then it was Twitter. With great passion Twitt-lebrities like Laura Fitton (@Pistachio), Robert Scoble (@scobleizer) and Aaron Strout (@aaronstrout) shared the power of Twitter. “The power of unisolating people”, according to Laura. “And it’s not about the writer, it’s not about the number of followers you have but it is about the message you share. People are made to socialize, also in business. For that it is important to surround yourself with inspiring people. Twitter is a great tool for that.”

Guiness World Record

Thanks to Twitter a Guinness World Record was set during Blogworld. The highest number of social network mentions within 24 hours. And last Monday the record was confirmed by Guinness World Record: a total of 209,771 social network mentions of #beatcancer in one day via Twitter, Facebook and blog posts. As a result eBay/Paypal and MillerCoors offered a donation of $70.000 to four non-profit cancer organizations (Spirit Jump, Bright Pink, Alex’s Lemonade, and Stand UP to Cancer). As the campaign continues, you can still donate and help promote this initiative via Beatcancereverywhere.com.

shoe4africa

Shoe4Africa
More good causes-support from eBay/Paypal. Their booth was completely dedicated to this theme. One of the good causes was Shoe4Africa, a non-profit organization aiming at ‘empowerment through sports and education, creating unique health initiatives, and promoting AIDS awareness.’ Cornerstone project is the development of a children’s hospital in Kenya, which will be the first public hospital in Kenya and the largest children’s hospital in Africa. The project is supported by Anthony Edwards, who sat in the keynote Celebrity panel. Although not yet very active in Social Media, Edwards understands the difference he can make as a celebrity using Social Media to spread the word around this project. So at Blogworld, he lost his Twitterginity and made his first tweet. Follow him on @anthonyedwards4. We also had a short interview with him which will be published shortly.

Dutch presence
And of course we ran into Vincent Everts, a webexpert and trend-watcher. Vincent presence at Blogworld was to promote yubby.com, a video aggregator the collect videos from over 30 popular video sources. Previously known as Dik.nl, but you can imagine, not a name that would work well in the US (although, flickr didn’t change its name for Holland…) And of course, Vincent not only did his upmost for yubby, he also worked on his own brand. Being very present at various sessions and as member in one of the panels, the success of his quest was confirmed to be successful during the closing keynote. When one-time talk-show host Guy Kawasaki asked the audience who has not heard of Jenny the Blogess, Vincent raised his hand as one of the few. Guy looked at him and said ‘oh, that’s that guy in the white suit’. An interview with Vincent will be launched shortly.

Chris Brogan

If there is one Social Media guru that is reaching superstar status without losing it, it’s Chris Brogan. I think he is the most mentioned, quoted, RTweeted and appreciated speaker of Blogworld 2009. And true, Chris is a very sympathetic and respectable person, but moreover, he is a visionary and true knowledge expert in the field. His keynote on day one was for me the most inspiring of all sessions. ‘Stop tapping each other on the back, but get out there and start working. There is so much to do out there’. And he is right. Social Media has grown out of its infancy. As much as we liked the pioneering atmosphere at New media Expo 2007, those days seem to be over. Social Media is becoming true business. Moreover, we shouldn’t call it Social Media anymore. It’s Human Business.

For more details go to Chris’ blogpost on his keynote. Here you can find the entire keynote (and all other keynotes).

Trend for 2010
On the exhibition floor, there were several companies that demonstrated applications based on aggregation of content. We already mentioned yubby.com as a video aggregation site, but aggregation goes beyond video. Zemanta is an application that helps you look for content related to the blogpost you are writing. While you’re writing, it ‘looks over your shoulder [..] and gives you tips and advice’. It analyzes your content, suggests keywords and related articles. With Zemanta, your blog becomes more visible and generates more traffic.
Regator goes even further in aggregation. There is an enormous amount of content available within the blogosphere. Regator ‘gathers the world’s best blog posts and organizes them in a way that’ makes it easy to find the things you need’. This selection is not purely done through some fancy algorithm, but through a team of editors. Yes, real people that search the web for valuable content. In fact, they decide for you what’s valuable or not. Regator uses criteria like regular updates, topical, well written, originality and whether or not your blog is ‘awesome’ based on which you can be added to the selection. The last criterium is rather vague and subjective, but that’s admitted by Regator.

Content is still king in new media. But finding the right content becomes like a monk’s job. For that we need aggregation, and we predict aggregation becomes the trend for 2010.

Audio Bummer
Was it all highs in Vegas? No, there was definitely a bummer. As there were more than 5-6 simultaneous tracks, you had to make up your mind what session to attend. Obviously, that was challenging as interesting presentations were scheduled at the same time. At New Media Expo in the past all participants were given the opportunity to download the audiotracks of all presentations. For free (or better, at no additional fee). Blogworld changed that policy: audiotracks are now available for $15 per session. Not funny. I can’t split myself up in 6, but feel that I have paid close to 1200 bucks to make all these sessions possible. Therefore I plead that all participants should have access to all recorded sessions (at least audio). And I was not the only one complaining about that. Organizer Rick Calvert should make up his mind or consult Tim and Emile Bourquin, former organizers of New Media Expo.

Another disappointment was that there was not much on the use of New Media for internal communication, in our view the way to learn what New Media is, to gain experience and in addition, to improve your internal communication, which in many organizations is underdeveloped. Truly win-win. A separate track should have been developed for this topic. Hopefully the organization considers this for the next edition.
Further, there was a strong focus on blogging, too strong to my liking. New Media is more than just blogging and Twitter. The focus overall was too much on the technology. There was hardly any attention for the development of a New and Social Media strategy. If we really want to go out there and help companies adapt New and Social Media, we need to understand that this is key to success. From that perspective I didn’t really hear anything new in these three days.

Conclusion
Conclusion for Blogworld and New Media Expo 2009: a lot on technology (and then mostly blogging) and too little on strategy. A lot of panels, some good and some which had a tendency towards too much ‘incrowd’. Some very inspiring speakers, a good atmosphere and at night awesome parties. Overall, a more than average event. Rick Calvert only has to solve this audio issue and I will certainly consider attending Blogworld and New Media Expo 2010.

people blogworld


Let’s vote – Power to the People at DigiPharm

Let's vote at DigiPharm

We thought, let’s do things different. And so we did. During our presentation at DigiPharm 2009 we used our slot to interact with the audience. After 1,5 day of talking about the (im)possibilities of Social Media for Pharma, sharing Best practices, visions of the future and panel discussions we thought that it was time to measure the opinion of the participants. Because, as James Heywood (patientslikeme) said on day one: “The pharma industry is the only health care stakeholder that really cares, because they measure”. OK, we thought, if that’s the case, let’s measure. Or, in our own words, let’s opinionate.

Before our exercise started, every participant was given a green and a red voting card (an analogue voting system symbolizing pharma’s current position in the evolutionary ladder of Social Media). We presented 4 statements. For each statement we gave a pro and contra argument after which the audience entered the discussion, giving their support to either of the two positions. Finally, the discussion on each statement was closed by a vote. Those who agreed raised the green card, those who disagreed the red.

And here are the results:

Statement 1: In 3 years Twitter will have become a valuable communication tool for pharma

Stelling 1

Statement 2: In the near future pharma regulations will become more flexible, which will help Web 2.0 initiatives

Stelling 2

Statement 3: Implementation of Web 2.0 tools in pharma will have a positive effect on the reputation of pharma in society

Stelling 3

Statement 4: Using Web 2.0 tools internally will spur innovation within pharma companies

Stelling 4

Interesting results. In our following blog-posts we will elaborate more on each of these statements. We will share some of the responses from the audience and will give our own opinion.

We would like to thank all the delegates of DigiPharm for their co-operation in this ‘ad-hoc research’. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

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