Monthly Archives: August 2013

Social Media – Are we now the “Media”?

Reading up on the increasing number of instances in social media actions winding up in litigation it has become increasingly clear to me that social media is becoming an earnest battle ground in which every day people are facing the kinds of law suits that used to be the sole domain of traditional media providers (television, radio, newspapers, etc) and celebrities.

Here is a lawyers take on the role of litigation in social media:

In fact the role of litigation in social media disputes is so common that there is now a plethora of articles and videos covering: how to develop a social media policy, to how to protect yourself from litigation when engaging in social media.

In essence it appears to be the case that those of us who engage in social media are now held to the same standards of accountability as the traditional media providers. A status update is no longer a word amongst friends, it can be shared, it can go viral, those offended can probably track you down. Essentially we can be held accountable for everything we say.

So is it appropriate that Joe Blogs be made to account for whingeing to his friends on Facebook about his terrible boss? Shouldn’t a distinction be made between close knit social network in which people should be allowed to say exactly the kinds of things we are used to saying around a barbecue? Don’t we have the right to make a complaint without being fired for it?

Your opinions are valued (oh and I won’t prosecute 🙂

Please feel free to share your thoughts and any additional information on this topic.


Do we really need another social network?

This isn’t one of the required activities for our beloved INB346 but, scrounging through the net after reading Jason’s blog entry on the risks faced by Microsoft in regards to their social media profile, I came across, yes you guessed it, yet another new Social Media platform.

Go to and you will find that Microsoft have entered themselves into the Social Media market. You can read more about it on .

Is the market already saturated?

Now I’ve been with Google’s Gmail since it started but I can’t say that I have ever used Google+. It seems to me that the whole point to wide based social communities (FaceBook in particular) is that almost everyone uses the same one. So I wonder, what is the point in making new ones that don’t actually cater to an audience that hasn’t already been captured by an existing Social Media application? Here’s an exhaustive list .

Your opinions are valued

So I want to open this subject up to everyone. Please respond with your opinion on the current level of Social Media market saturation and on whether or not you think there is any market share left for new arrivals. Or maybe just respond with a list of Social Media platforms that you use personally.

Blogs I visit frequently

Apologies to other classmates who no doubt have wonderful Blogs that I simply don’t have the time to visit frequently. My finally message below sums up why.

And finally


Adobe – A social media legal risks case study


Who doesn’t know the brand Adobe? Well okay maybe some villagers in the middle of nowhere have never needed to edit a photo or create a flash animation, but otherwise…

So for those who don’t know. Adobe was founded in 1982 and focuses upon multimedia software. For the relatively small amount of research I have been able to invest so far, it appears that Adobe has thrown itself into the muddy waters of social media with as much gusto as any other social mediafied (yes I just invented a word) company of the modern era.

They have a Facebook page, where they seem to be constantly responding to unhappy customers. They have a Twitter page. They even have a page devoted to their social media team as well as page covering public commenting policy on their blog. And yes, considering the last two links come from their blog, they have a blog.

Adobe’s Social Media Risk Factors

I could probably write a thesis on Adobe’s social media presence and therefore their legal, not to mention reputational, risks. I will however cover what I see to be their three greatest social media legal risks:

Risk Factor 1 (False statements and or misleading and deceptive conduct):

With Adobe’s great degree of public exposure via its various social media platforms it is very susceptible to false statements and or misleading and deceptive conduct. Though it is always nice to have customers make positive remarks about your products, once this information is on their social media sites Adobe must have to work to ensure that statements made are true and correct, not misleading. Adobe’s social media team must monitor their various social media platforms frequently to ensure that any such content posted by the public is quickly removed.

Risk Factor 2 (Defamation):

Reading through Facebook posts made by customers, that could best be described as one sided flame wars. I can only imagine that at some point someone, or many people, must have made derogatory remarks about organizations other than Adobe. Though it would only be detrimental to Adobe if unhappy customers make disparaging remarks about their products, it would be another thing altogether should Facebookers start posting derogatory remarks about other organizations on the Adobe Facebook site.

Risk Factor 3 (Breaches of the Privacy Act):

Having read through a lot of public posts on Adobe’s Facebook page I can’t help but imagine that Adobe’s staff members, responding in particular to complaints, must have to be very cautious that they do not disclose personal information about the person they are responding to. It actually concerned me that, in many instances of customer complaints, that Adobe was asking unhappy customers for personal details. To the extent of my reading, no personal details were actual visible. I can only imagine that, being aware of privacy concerns, Adobe must go through and delete personal details from posts.

Summing Up

Adobe, like so many other organisations with both a large public profile and a great degree of sensitivity to the opinions of their customers, must not only have a comprehensive social media policy but must also constantly monitor its various social media sites. I personally am given to wonder whether organisation’s investments in social media may now, or at some time in the future show a marked decrease in ROI. In particular the cost of monitoring social media sites to ensure that nothing libellous, defamatory or otherwise inappropriate may eventually equate to such a blow out in costs that some organisations may choose to limit their social media profiles.

Your responses are valued

Please feel free to add any input in regards to social media legal risks that Adobe must manage that I have not covered here.

And Finally 🙂 (Warning contains some offensive language)

Yellow Pages – Doomed to a slow death … or

A short history of Yellow Pages


The first Yellow Pages was created in 1886 by Reuben Donnelley in Chicago in 1886. The use of yellow pages in the publication was an outcome of a printer running out of white paper and using yellow instead, in 1883. The iconic walking fingers logo was created by Henry Alexander in 1962 and it was only a year before the logo was adopted by Yellow Pages across the globe.
There is, or was, a Yellow Pages for every country in the world. In Australia YellowPages is created by Sensis  who are wholly owned by Telstra.  They began publication in Australia 1906.

A slow death

Since the advent of Google and SEO Yellow Pages Australia’s popularity has steadily

Though this loss in popularity could arguably be wholly attributed to the difference between online and Traditional Markets (The Law and Economics of Online vs. Traditional Markets), it seems more likely that the Australian Yellow Pages is a victim to falling behind the times and not having a good understanding or grounding in shifts in technology and search behaviours. This is not to say that Yellow Pages Australia hasn’t attempted to keep up with the times. They have an online version of the Yellow Pages and offer web developers tools to help integrate Yellow Pages into their websites.

Yellow Pages Australia have attempted to re-brand themselves as web savvy and technology capable but their continuing drop in popularity leads to me to the conclusion that they don’t really understand what is going on in the world right now. Fundamentally they stick to the same pay per advertisement business model and, though they have attempted to enter into the age of Web Services,they don’t seem to take advantage of the benefits that Web Services and, in particular, Social Media can offer.

If Yellow Pages Australia is to have any kind of a future it must re-envisage not only its marketing and sales strategy but also its product development strategy.

Product Development – Co-create products

To leverage the principle of participation Yellow Pages Australia could convert its traditionally business owner created advertisements into a wiki. Wikipedia has proven that users are more than happy to share their knowledge and expertise on a given subject. Google’s business pages have proven that consumers also are happy to share information about businesses they do and don’t like.
By allowing consumers to create, comment on, and manage business listings Yellow Pages Australia would be able to offer a product that contains information meaningful to customers of a given type of business (customers usually have a better idea of what they want from a business than a business does) and would have up to date and meaningful reports on the current status of a business that wouldn’t even need to be updated by the business owners themselves.

Marketing and Sales – Derive customer insights

By allowing consumers to comment upon business listings Yellow Pages Australia would be able to offer an up to date picture on the current status of a given business. Furthermore, by monitoring comments made by consumers, business would be able to respond to problems in their products and / or gain meaningful feedback.
It is even likely that comments made by consumers may offer businesses crowd sourced ideas about how they can better run their business or improve upon their product offerings.

Summing up

Though risks would be associated with both of these new modes of operation the
relevance and immediacy of the consumer based sources of information would turn
Yellow Pages from a bland static source of information into a dynamic and self-updating
source of information. Additionally, by asking the audience to participate in
the creation of their product, Yellow Pages Australia would be able to harness
a collective intelligence far greater than that of its existing staff base.

Enterprise 2.0 in Action

I have chosen to answer Question 2:

Following lecture 3 where you gained some insight into how the potential value of Social Technologies to organisations, please blog about further examples of Enterprise 2.0 in action.

Case Study One: Sticky Beak Media

Working for a Web Development Studio I interviewed my boss about what elements of Enterprise 2.0 are being used in his business. I chose to use the Andrew McAfee’s SLATES principals as a guide to my questions. I think Sticky Beak is a perfect example of a relatively new business that is constantly implementing Enterprise 2.0 elements for their clients.

Case Study: Sticky Beak Media
Interviewee: John (owner)
Web Address:
Question Model: Andrew McAfee’s SLATES

Question Search: How are search actions optimized for your clients?
Answer: We use taxonomies to filter information whether it be categories or tags. And on occasion we use the CMS’s default engine for Boolean searches.
Question Links: How are links optimized for your clients?
Answer: We do keyword research for our clients and then include keywords in the anchor text. We need to be mindful of ratios of anchor text usage.
Question Authoring: How many of your clients frequently share updated content such as Blogs?
Answer: Eighty percent of our clients keep their content up to date or utilize Blogging technology. Updated content is an asset to create a brand identity and make the author appear to be an authority on the given subject. This also provides our customers clients with useful, up to date, information.
Question Tags: Have you ever implemented a folksonomy style navigation system for a client?
Answer: We haven’t yet implemented a folksonomy style navigation system for a client?
Question Extensions: Do any of the websites you have worked on implement a “smart” categorization system that works out what content the user is most likely to be interested in based upon previous searches?
Answer: Not at this stage.
Question Signals: Do any of your websites implement signalling technologies such as RSS feeds or notifications when their website is mentioned in social media etc?
Answer: Google Alerts is sometimes implemented as is HooteSuite.
Question Summing Up: Sum up your views on the role of Social Media in Web Development.
Answer: Web 2.0 is a paradigm shift in which listening to the consumer creates opportunities to engage with people that you never would have before.

My personal thoughts on Sticky Beak:
Though I have only worked for John for a few months, in that time, I have seen Social Media playing a part in everything that we do. If we make a website then we add links to share posts on Facebook or Twitter. Essentially it has taught me that a modern web design company must place social media as one of the corner stones on which a websites success is hinged.

Case Study Two: Stepping Stone Clubhouse

Having a friend who works for a mental health clubhouse and, from conversations with her, seeing the plethora of Enterprise 2.0 elements integrated into the running of this organisation I chose to interview here about her workplace. In this instance the Wikinomics Business Model seemed the most appropriate framework around which to structure her answers to my questions:

Case Study: Stepping Stone Clubhouse
Interviewee: Shannon (manager)
Web Address:
Question Model: Wikinomics Business Model

Stepping Stone Clubhouse is a part of a global movement known as Clubhouse International it is an American model for psycho-social rehabilitation . As a part of a broader community Stepping Stone Clubhouse runs training programs where it teaches other clubhouses how to be better clubhouses. This sharing of knowledge in an open way has strengthened the clubhouse model and Stepping Stone Clubhouse itself by increasing and broadening its knowledge base.

Being Open
As members are involved in every level of the running of their clubhouse and, as there are no member only or staff only areas, it could be said that Stepping Stone has been following the principal of “being open” for a long time. The business model of the clubhouse itself is open to all members, there are also three members of the clubhouse on its board of directors. The entire membership is also consulted when program decisions are made.

The clubhouse shares its achievements and information via a monthly newsletter that is available, not only to members and staff, but to the broader clubhouse community and also external stakeholders, and interested parties. Stepping Stone has a Facebook page, Twitter account and a website via which stakeholders are kept constantly abreast of what has been going on in the clubhouse.

Acting Global
As part of an international community of clubhouses, Stepping Stone is also one of ten accredited training bases who are authorized to train fellow clubhouses in the running of a clubhouse. They frequently attended national and international conferences where information is shared and all clubhouse are able to have input into the further development of the model by which clubhouse guide their practices. Stepping Stone also undertakes research which is used to provide evidence to support the benefits of the model.

My personal Thoughts on Stepping Stone:
The success of Stepping Stone Clubhouse seems to be largely dependant upon its implementation of Social Media Principles. Though they have only been using Facebook and Twitter to promote their organisation for the last few years, they have been implementing some of the founding principals for the ten years that they have been operating.

Closing Thoughts

It is a testament to the proliferation of social media that I was able to find two perfect examples of local organisations implementing, or being guided by, social media principles. The phenomenon of Stepping Stone Clubhouse leads me to believe that principles of Social Media have been around for a very long time but that only in this new Digital Age have the principals been able to flourish and become a worldwide phenomenon.

Questions and Answers

Please feel free to respond with your own opinions on the flourishing of Social Media and the places from which it has drawn its historical roots.

Other week three Blog entries I have had a chance to look at so far:

Why do we Blog?

Why do we Blog? Why in fact would anyone want to write a journal that invites criticism from others. In researching the nature of Blogging, the kinds of people who Blog, and their reasons for doing so I found a huge range and variety of reasons for doing so.

Every journey should start with an understanding of the self, so before I begin analysing the behaviour and motivations of others, I will start by analysing myself. My introduction to social media has been a slow and gradual process. I got my first computer when I was in my early 20’s when most people didn’t have computers and not all of these people had the internet. It was the heady days of 1998. Microsoft had just realised a new operating system and were making their first forays into capturing the developing computer games market. I tried to avoid watching the Winter Olympics coverage and they found the first traces of water on the moon.
My first computer was even old for its day. On the box it said it ran at 166mhz but, when I learnt how to check the CPU clock frequency for myself, I found out that it was actually running at 86MHZ. It had 2MB of on-board memory, a 256MB hard drive, 8bit colour, and no sound card.
I spent my first few months playing around with html but, before to long, got a dial-up connection to the internet. Immediately I was presented with an environment where I could get instant answers to most of my questions. Wikipedia hadn’t been invented yet but I could type a html question into the Yahoo search engine and almost always find an answer.
It wasn’t too long after I got my internet connection that a friend told me about an online (text based) game called moral decay (A MUD or Multi User Dungeon). It is safe to say that my web technologies education very quickly took a back seat and I spent most of my time navigating through a text based world and killing a lot of the creatures I came across (both player and NPC), though I probably spent more time being killed.

This story may not seem to be entirely relevant to the growth and proliferation of social media until you think about the implications my introduction to a multi user game so early in my introduction to computers themselves. The internet itself was first used so that Department of Defence Researchers could share information with each other(
The advent of social media is really just the coming to term of the very basis of the internet itself. Networks are created to share information and computers, like people, have very limited utility unless they exist within a network.

Through this blog I seek to explore the nature of social media, in all its aspects, and hopefully to gain useful insights from those who are interested enough to comment on my posts. I will endeavour to read as many blog posts as possible, both those written by my fellow INB346 students and anything else that I find of interest out there on the web. I will comment on posts where I feel I have something to contribute to the conversation and hopefully some people will comment on my posts.
Furthermore I plan to advertise my new blog on FaceBook and Twitter and to continue to explore and find new Blogs to extend the discussion.

In regards to what makes a Blog a success (a huge topic on which many students have undoubtedly written thesis’s) I will introduce the first Blog I ever came across and the only one, till this time, that I have read extensively. The self proclaimed “The Best Page in the Universe” ( ) is a Blog written by a single individual who is effectively ranting about every hate and like he has, and will probably ever have. I find it hugely entertaining. They key to Maddox’s success, I believe, is that he not only says the things many people are thinking, but he says it in a way that is entertaining.

Please feel free to comment with the reasons why you Blog, or some of the reasons why you think others Blog

Happy Blogging