Archive for March, 2009

Obama Team @ Webforum2009 in Oslo

Posted in 1 on March 19, 2009 by Geir Stene

webforum09This was interesting. And people waiting for the “revolutionary new”, maybe got another aha experience. I did for sure!


If you’re trying to be an internet scout ( like probably the crowd of some hundreds felt listening to the staff around Obama today) you might discover than when you get back to the everyday life you see that what’s up front there – is much the same as what is here already. You won’t discover a brand new land, or planet for that part. You will discover a lot of what you already have seen before. Still the Obama Campaign did something that really made a difference. What might that be ?

The Obama team implemented and made a system of knowledge we already have, but in an environment where it ‘s new to think like that. Data mining, segmentation, Direct mailing knowledge, Does this sound like Direct mail strategy?) combined with a great sense of what sociology is all about. The mix, in a political campaign, speaking directly to people, instead of  “from above” has the effect any social activity, well done, has. Dialogue, connected to the real world!

Dialogue craves for participation, influence, the possibility to make people re- think and possibly change their origin opinion. That is what the American people all of a sudden thought possible, and responded to – and  – not only the American people. The population of the world could all of a sudden e mail, comment on facebook and twitter – to the “maybe next President of the US America”.

All done by a large team all over America using well known techniques of e.g. a great car salesman, and a sociologist and storytellers, telling real stories from real people to real people. Just what we want politics to be all about.


Fun or real value?

Posted in Community, innovation, IT and communication, Web 2.0 on March 8, 2009 by Geir Stene


Frequently I see in the discussions of web 2.0 that it’s enough to participate. That it’s amazing what’s going on. Networking, possibilities, a “brand new world” is out there and we all have to join in. Any one asked the question why?

What’s “new? ”Where are the differences between the old fashioned fan clubs, Amcar or sailing clubs? Beside that you now can be in touch via the web. Don’t get me wrong. I’m there, not all over the place, but as you can see I do blog. I do have a facebook profile. LinkedIn is a definite must for a professional as me. I’m at Slideshare and I do twitter. I comment on articles about stuff I have some knowledge, and things that pisses me off. (By the way “Twitter” – us not native English spoken, might not know – twitter means something like bird sounds/singing)

But why? Why am I there, what’s in it for me? I will avoid boring you all with my reasons, they are no different from yours. A real question is if it at all is an important question why we individuals are there – more important would it be to look at the possible effects. Heard of the “Obama effect”? Was that you and I that made him president?  – not me; I can’t vote – or? Did our participation in social media influence the opinion? Maybe it’s wrong questions – why did Obama focus on social media? Maybe it’s his campaign that got the benefits – and not you and I? I can imagine lots of arguments coming up here now – and you are very welcome to bring them on.  One thing is for sure. The owners of the virtual locations ( Facebook, my space, twitter and so on) They got huge benefits out of it, as they do every time one of us consultants praise web.2.0, social media, the “new and brave future” I don’t want to be a parrot marketing the owners of these places –without getting real value back.

Another , maybe the most important thing to understand is the shifts in how our societies act. Long ago we got “trained” in democracy and that we should join our “crowd” and by being many have the influence we wanted to achieve what we all wanted. We needed a party or a fix organization to fight for all of what we wanted. Now we act far more in a way that’s : “I want to make this XX matter change/ happen” – and then find someone around that are up to the same as me – when we made this “something happen” we don’t need to be a part of that group anymore – we find new groups for new topics we want to change.

This is why a lot of activities from businesses, organizations, individuals will not gain on being active in social media. The reasons why participating, and the level of how to act (and knowledge about it) in this environment is simply not developed by far too many companies OR their advisors. It’s just not enough to participate. You need to know where you are going to be, and why. You need to know what to do there, and have knowledge of how to do it.

The most simple way to put it: It’s like any other activity you involve in, you need to know your environment, and understand it’s rules. This goes for you and me as individuals – or companies or the public sector for that matter.