Trying to Repair
Today, Pastor Mark talked about how to live with best practices. That is the series for this month, best practices. He mentiond that it is easier to prepare than repair. You must prepare for a flood by building your house on foundation and not just buliding it on ground because when a flood comes, it will collapse and you will have to repair it. Sometimes the damage is done and you can’t prepare for it, so you must repair it if need be. That is what I am going to do. I am going to repair the relationship I messed up. There will always be scars and it will never be as good as new. By trying to repair our problems, I hope you know that you have value to me and you really mean something.
“We believe that we’re on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make. And participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollenization of our groups which allow us to innovate in ways that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company — and we have the self honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.”—Tim Cook, speaking on an Apple earning call in January, 2009, after Job’s last medical leave. (Via SplatF)
Bonjour à mes futurs lecteurs.
Je lance ce blog afin de partager mon expérience sur le déploiement de SAP, donner ma vision des “best practices” et les partager avec vous.
Voilà pour l’objectif officiel, vertueux et un peu langue de bois. Ma motivation est en réalité ailleurs. Je travaille au sein d’une l’équipe SAP en tant que maîtrise d’oeuvre sur la partie comptable, dans un groupe Français de banque/assurances. Notre organisation a profondément évolué au fil des années avec pour objectif de réduire les coûts et les délais de nos projets.
Pour ce faire, nous avons mis en place un “core model” que l’on déploie dans les différentes filiales du groupe… Cela aurait pu être un succès. Pour de très nombreuses raisons, l’échec est cuisant : les projets coûtent très chers, sont rallongés ; mais le gâchis est en premier lieu humain. Les différentes populations impliquées sur ce programme de déploiement sont stressées, frustrées, n’ont plus les moyens de s’épanouir dans leur travail.
Mon objectif en lançant ce blog n’est pas de m’appitoyer sur cette situation. J’ai le sentiment d’avoir quelques clés pour débloquer la situation. Mais dans un contexte de désorganison à grande échelle, ma voix n’est plus entendue.
C’est pourquoi je m’offre cette tribune publique. A qui est-elle destinée ? A ceux que cela interessera. Elle me permettra en tous cas de m’exprimer ; et peut-être de débattre avec des personnes qui ont des expériences et des visions différentes.
Bonne lecture !
There is a Like that Will Never Go Out
Note: Careful (or at least weekend) readers of this space will remember that I was several hours late for my talk at American University’s Social Learning Summit because I got on the wrong train. AU nicely agreed to let me give my speech anyway, at the end of the day, in shortened form. That speech was certainly better, because it was shorter; but here’s the full version:
Thanks to Melanie and AU for having me, and thank you all for coming. My name is Mark Coatney, and I’m the Director of Media Outreach at Tumblr. I’m a former journalist for Time magazine and Newsweek, and I’m here today to talk to you about social networks and scale.
I’ll start with the disclaimer that, as a former word person, my visuals here will, for the most part, be completely uninteresting. This will actually be to your benefit, because you can all look at your phones while listening to me!
I’m all about creating efficiencies via the second-screen experience.
So, scale. As humans were incredibly bad at visualizing big numbers. Yet they’re something we casually throw out all the time. This is especially true when we’re assessing our impact on social media.
For example, we often talk about someone who has a million followers on Twitter. If you are any level of celebrity at all, it’s almost embarrassing today if you don’t have a million followers. Same if you’re running a social media account for a big brand. Certainly, it’s assumed that you’re doing something wrong if you aren’t pulling at least high six-figures.
So let say you really do have a million human beings hanging on your every word. Seems only fair we should acknowledge them, no? I mean at the very least say their names; they deserve that much.
So lets do a roll call. Assume that we can say an average of 25 names per minute. At that rate, how long will it take us to do right by all our one million followers? Anyone?
Four weeks, nonstop, to devote a little more than two seconds to each follower.
Or look at something that for me is a little closer to home. There are currently more than 100 million blogs on Tumblr. I’d like to know who these people are, for a lot of reasons, including that part of my job is to know as much as possible about what people are doing on Tumblr.
So say I give each one of them only five seconds each—seems little enough, right? Just five seconds of my time to get a sense of what this blog is. How long will this take me?
Almost 16 years.
So, I’ll get back to you in 2029 with a full report on that.
In the meantime, there are, of course, caveats to these numbers. As Anil Dash argued a few years ago, you don’t really have a million Twitter followers (now of course, you probably do, but his larger point, that there’s a lot of noise in social media following numbers, still stands). Many of the accounts that follow you are spam, or people who followed a long time ago and never log in. Or they’re cats.
Still, if you’re, say, Justin Bieber. Even if, as was recently reported, more than half of your 37 million Twitter followers are fake accounts, that’s still 17 million or so actual people who are in theory logged in and hanging on your every character. But at that scale, individual interactions tend to become meaningless.
The questions we have to ask in evaluating our social media impact are, “are they real people?” and “what are they, and you, getting out of the experience?”
I’ll give you an analogy from my former life in the magazine world.
One of the revolutions of the past 10 years has been in how our assumptions about print have supposedly refuted by the hard data the Web provides. Have you heard of a thing called the passalong rate? It was the assumption magazines used to make about how many people were reading (as opposed to number of copies sold) their magazines. The theory was, for every on printed copy sold, the magazine was actually passed around to four people, all of whom of course read every story and ad on every page.
Time magazine used to say 20 million people a week read their magazine cover to cover, and who could say they were wrong? But on the Web, you can measure that, and that’s one reason you get, as they say, digital dimes to analog dollars.
Strangely, though, in social media we don’t do that. We simply toss out “I have 700K fans on Facebook!” And we assume that, much like the passalong rate, all 700K of these people are actively taking in the message we want them to receive.
But, much like that passalong rate, a follower count is simply a nice big number that sounds impressive but actually may tell you very little. Further, a focus on acquiring a big number blinds us from the purpose of why we want to do this in the first place: Because we want to communicate with an actual person.
If all social media becomes is simply another form of mass media, then social media has failed. The promise of social media is not “I can reach a million people,” but “10,000 people had a meaningful, measurable interaction with my publication, with my company, with me.
So my mission here today is to not only give you a few strategies I’ve developed in trying to make social media interactions as meaningful as possible, but, fundamentally, to tell you that by far the most important measure here is quality of interaction, not quantity, and to make that case I’d like to tell a short story about my own experience.