Friday, May 26, 2006

Enterprise Social Bookmarking

I've been thinking that social bookmarking would be great in the enterprise. There are a few things that I would like to see in an enterprise level social bookmarking application.
One of the main paridigm shifts in bringing a social bookmarking tool into the enterprise is to keep a smaller more focused tag cloud and provide tools to help with that. This helps to direct the users into areas they should be focused in and hopefully curtail random browsing that could effect job performance.

Some points i think would make the Web 2.0 social bookmarking tools useful in an Enterprise 2.0 setup.


  • Off limts urls - This kind of goes with proxy blocking rules. If your company is blocking Youtube then Youtube links should not be able to make it into the system or at the least kept out of the public list. Sometimes you also have a situation where one user has access to something other users don't. I can see it necessary when a third party app is deployed that has less then ideal security, you may not want links showing up in the public list.
  • Automatic tag assignment - It would be a benifit to be able to apply certain tags automatically based on a url. So if I bookmark a article it would be flagged as a news, or a bookmark to a competior's site would have a competitor tag. This way in the enterprise you can have a bit of control and have a chance at creating standards that everyone knows and can quickly look up the links they need.
  • Tag owners - Being able to remove a link from a tag would be nice to keep junk out of key tags the company uses for specific topics. It should be distributed, so someone is sales could be allowed to remove the competitor tag from any link tagged with competitor. This keeps key areas junk free and allows the administration to be spread out to Subject Matter Experts and keep a flood of removal requests out of the system admins inbox. Moderation might be appropriate but you should be able to turn it on and off per keyword.
  • Terminated Employees - I can't think of the best way to handle links by employees who leave the company. Maybe multiple options is best. It could drop all links from these employees to a default account or append something like "-gone" to the name. I would think the app would be tied to your directory system and it could be a problem unless you never give out the same ID more then once.
User Experience
  • Public, Private and Group links? - In the enterprise there are somethings you just don't want to share with the whole company, but inside your group it needs to be shared. An example could be someone in management flagging an outside companies home page with the tag acquire. Sharing that with other management would be fine but it could cause problems if the link with that tag made it to the public list. Groups could also be used for the for: ability to send a link to an entire group.
  • Consistansy check - If a tag is new an validation screen should be presented so that the user can see that they are creating a new tag and allow them to fix it quickly. Basically to keep spelling errors out like the one in the title of this bullet.
  • Internal/External Visual Queues - Some way to easily identify if a link is internal or not would be nice. It could be based on a certain tag generated based on the url or a manual checkbox.
  • Easy Submittion - This is a key feature that needs to be there and standardized through out the enterprise. Just installing a tool like this isn't going to have a huge impact or grow outside of a core group unless subittion is easy. A corporate wide toolbar for IE and firefox would be the best setup and probably help with other issues. Keeping it incredibly easy and without any cutting and pasting is key.

I'm all for the openness that is makes such a cool tool online, and maybe for small business's. I just think that for a large company where you want this type of thing to take off, having it wide open could present more problems in the long run.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Idea [#1] - Mobile Ad Campaign

I was thinking about a campaign that would use posters with unique codes printed on them and a persons cellphone. Ideally the codes would be 2d barcodes like QRCodes but that might not work in the US but maybe Japan. Otherwise you would need to use unique alphanumeric codes or unique keywords. You could then place them around a city or event.

When someone finds the poster they would take a picture of the 2d code or enter the code string into a url shown on the poster. If your the first person to enter the code then you could win a prize and all subsequent code submittions would receive a coupon.

From the marketing perspective it keeps your brand at the front of a persons mind as they hunt for your poster.

Another spin on this could done at events, expos... Have a group of people with codes on their shirts walk around, each different like a poster. The winners need to goto the companies both to redeem their prize. Last spin would really only work for 2d barcodes. Have a group of people with all the same code on their shirt and then one person with the winning code. Hold that person back for a bit of time and then have them wear a jacket to the middle of the expo and then reveal their shirt with the code.