Social Business By Design – A personal summary (Chapter 1)

Someone wise man told me that one of the ways to remember better what you have read is to summarized on your own what you have read. At this age where information is flying around us 24 by 7, summarizing seems such a tedious task. On the other hand, if we just continue just reading the way I have been doing, the information does not stays in your head very well. Not sure if anyone out feel like I do, it is what I have been experiencing for some time now.

Hence for a change, I have decided to try and summarise what I have been reading and blog the summary. The objectives primary to kick myself into blogging which I have been wanting to do for the longest time as well as to try and summarize what I have been reading. The summaries done are based on my personal understanding and no one else. Readers are free to comment and point out to me any misinterpretation or whatever point that you like to highlight to me. I most welcome comments and feedback for it is from them that we continue to learn.

To kick start, I thought I try to summarize the book I am currently reading which is Social Business By Design by Dion Hinchliffe and Peter Kim. The reason for summarizing this book is that it is very relevant to what I used to do as a project manager working on project relating to social computing and knowledge services.  So, here I go  …

Chapter 1 – Drivers of Global Business Opportunity


Social Business in the book is defined as :

“The intentional use of social media to drive meaningful, strategic business outcomes”.

Looking at Professor Andrew Mcafee’s definition of Enterprise 2.0, there is some similarity  as shown below :

“Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.”

I find the definition too broad especially with the term social media is not defined and a search on the web and give you several definitions from different authors. This is understandable as social media is still an immature and rapidly evolving based on Claude Baudion from the Cutter Blog.

For this, I will use the definition by Andrea Kaplan and Michaelf Haenlien extracted from Wikipedia which states :

“social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content”

In addition to internet-based applications, mobile based applications should be included as well with the increasing proliferation of social media on mobile apps.

There is a distinction between the definition of Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 in that enterprise 2.0’s definition makes an explicit differentiation emergent social software within the organization from that which is external to the organization such as Youtube, Wikipedia etc. From the case study cited from the chapter 1 of the book ( Old spice ad on Youtube), we can see that the definition of Social business makes no distinction.

Playing the role of project manager managing web 2.0 and as a educator, it is important to make this distinction.  For project management, scoping is extremely crucial and if stakeholders does not understand the differences then it could lead to miscommunication of requirements and that is always disastrous. From an educational angle, the precision is required so that learners knows what are is to be developed from within the organization and what can be leveraged from existing platform be it Youtube, Linkedin, Facebook etc.

Another minor thing on definition is that another  definition of Social business which was first defined by Prof Muhammad Yunus , who define it as a “non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within a highly regulated marketplace today. “

Key Points

1. Until recently, social media is viewed as

  • Consumer activity (which is I take it to be user generated content, aka web 2.0)
  • Marketing as the most useful activity for business to be engaged in (Most of what I have come across seems to indicate this is still the fact)
  • Collaboration with the organization (Enterprise 2.0)

2.  Social Media moving into the organization affecting every aspect of business operation and we now have to consider the 4 major and interrelated audiences combined with all types of business. The audiences being referred to are :

  • Customers
  • the Marketplace
  • Workers
  • Trading Partners

3.  Chapter 1 included 3 organization who have successful make use of social media and there are :

  • SAP – using Online forum
  • Microsoft – using Blogs and twitter
  • Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice Marketing Campaign – Using traditional media but integrated with social media such as Youtube and twitter.
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