Why Virtual Events Matter – a post by Daniel O’Leary

I have started watching the presentations from the AIIM Virtual Social Business Conference. Even though I was not able to “attend” the conference live, AIIM are making all the sessions available for a limited time.

Thanks to a twitter feed that was running at the conference, I saw that Daniel O’Leary, an “AIIM Capture Expert Blogger” had written an excellent post on the value of Virtual Events.

Here is a link to his post…Why Virtual Events Matter


I’ve just signed up for…The AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference

AIIM social_business agenda

I decided to sign up for the AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference, scheduled for 8 September 2011.

Looks like an impressive line-up. Really keen to hear what each speaker has to say. (The fact that the sessions will be available for up to a month after the conference is going to be invaluable.)


There are three tracks:

  • Strategy
  • Use Cases
  • Governance


Click here for AIIM’s Conference agenda.


The impressive line-up of speakers includes:

Andrew McAfee – Founder of the term Enterprise 2.0
Keynote Speaker: Driving Collaboration and Engagement with Social Business

Dr. David Weinberger, – Author & Public Speaker
Keynote Speaker: The Network Way of Knowing and Deciding

John Mancini, AIIM, President
Keynote Speaker: Setting up for Success, The Social Business Roadmap; Lessons Learned & Next Steps

Claire Flanagan – CSC, Director, Social Collaboration Strategy
Getting Beyond The Field of Dreams: Building a Successful Social Business Strategy, Inside and Out

John Stepper – Deutsche Bank, Managing Director
Change the Work! Stop Evangelizing and Start Doing

Debra Logan – Gartner, Vice President
Key Issues for Enterprise Information Management, 2011

Edsel David – Fannie Mae, Director, Knowledge Management
Building an Effective Collaboration Framework

Andy MacMillan – Oracle, Vice President of Product Management
Today’s Successful Businesses are Social Businesses

Dianne Kelley – Viacom, Director of Records Management
Records Management in the Social Media World

Dan Latendre – IGLOO, CEO
Social started in the cloud – why should it live anywhere else?

Billy Cripe – BloomThink, Principal BloomThinker
Why Go Mobile? Am I Cool Enough?

Hanns Kohler-Kruner – HKK Consulting, Owner
How to Develop a Governance Policy for Facebook

Jacob Morgan – Chess Media Group, Principal
The Business Impact of Collaboration

Ajay Budhraja – Department of Justice, Chief Technical Officer
Agile Collaboration for the Enterprise

Carl Weise – AIIM, Industry Advisor
Survey of AIIM & ARMA resources

Bert Sandie – Electronic Arts, Director, Technical Excellence – Knowledge Workers
The Emergence of a New Breed of Savvy Employees

Ming Kwan – Nokia, Marketing Manager
Share to Connect at Nokia

Bob Larrivee – AIIM, Director and Industry Advisor
How Mobile Devices Will Transform Paper Processes

Jennifer Leggio – Sourcefire, Senior Director, Online Marketing
The State of Social Business and What to Expect in 2012

Ken Bisconti – IBM Enterprise Content Management, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy
Social Business meets Enterprise Content Management

Andrea Baker – Chief Social Engineer
How IT Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Facebook

Gayle Weiswasser – Discovery Communications, Vice-President, Social Media Communications
How Discovery Engages with their Audience

Jesse Wilkins – AIIM, Director Systems of Engagement
How to Develop a Governance Policy for Twitter; Records Management in the Age of Twitter

Steve Ressler – GovLoop, President & Founder
Community Development for Social Business, A GovLoop Story

Related Links

Speakers :

The Use of Collaborative Software in Virtual Teams

I was delighted to discover a whitepaper by Eike Grotheer’s on “The Use of Collaborative Software in Virtual Teams”.

I’m interested in how “virtual teams” operate and work together, and so started reading his work. Then I realised that I had actually been part of his research. To gather data for his thesis, Eike had sent out  requests to participate in a survey in May 2010. (Google still has a cached copy of the survey). In November 2010, he sent out the results of his research. And I never looked at it!  (Kicking myself now, though!)

As I read Eike’s work I got even more excited – his research not only involved communication in virtual teams, he had used TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) to determine the effectiveness of the software.

(If you are not familiar with TAM (Technology Acceptance Model please check out my earlier posts: Predicting User Acceptance; and Applying (loosely) the Technology Adoption Model to a Real-Life situation)

Eike had used some pretty advanced statistical techniques to analyze his findings (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient; Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance), and I won’t go into those in detail.

Survey Results Summarized
  • 265 people responded to the survey,
  • There was also a very large variety of tools in use (Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, Microsoft Project Server, Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Quickr, and Google Apps were all listed, along with other collaborative applications).
  • Most of the features that are frequently used can be split into two categories:
      • Tools for sharing and managing information (e.g.  document, content and knowledge management)
      • Tools for direct communication between team members

User Satisfaction and the Use of Collaborative Software in Virtual Teams

OK – this is where it started getting interesting. Eike rightly states that

the use of information systems can only provide a benefit to an organization if users first of all have interest in using them and then actually make use of them.

To try and explain this the Technology Acceptance Model was devised (refer earlier mentioned posts for more detail). It states that the a user’s intention to use a system is influenced by the perceived usefulness and  the perceived ease-of-use.

Eike analyzed these two determinants (perceived usefulness and perceived ease-of-use) to determine their impact on the use of collaborative software. (He points out that, as everyone who responded to the survey is already using collaborative software, the intention is already known, and that the use is measured.) 

Again, I won’t go into too much detail. In the survey there were 4 statements that were related to the perceived usefulness, and 4 statements that were related to perceived ease-of-use.

Performing a bivariate correlation analysis on the data from the survey, Eike was able to show that there was a positive correlation between the perceived usefulness and the actual use. This effectively proves (statistically) that the more users perceive collaborative software to be useful within a virtual team, the more they will use it. (Sounds logical, but then this fact means that the TAM can be verified).

Tackling the other determinant of the TAM, Eike did a bivariate correlation analysis between each perceived ease of use item, and the extent of use of collaborative software.

There was no significant correlation which meant that the ease of use of collaborative software  has only a minor effect on the usage behaviour. However, it wasn’t actually possible to draw a conclusion as the survey participants were all experienced IT users, and the difficulty of the software may not have prevented it being used.

Going further, Eike investigated the impact of TAM factors on project success. Again using statistics he was able to show that there was a positive correlation between perceived usefulness and project success, and between perceived ease-of-use and project success. This confirmed that a relationship between the use of collaborative software and project success does exist.

In other words, the more useful the participants perceived the collaboration software that was used in the virtual team to be, as well as how easy they thought it was to use, had a positive impact on the success of the project in all aspects.

Summing it up

Sometimes it is easy to think “well, that’s already obvious”, but I always find it valuable to be able to scientifically prove (in one way or another) what everyone assumes.

And that is why I found Eike’s research exciting. From a handful of well thought-out survey questions, he was able to scientifically prove that

if software is considered useful by its users, it enables them to become effective and productive in their work, and if it is easy to use, it enables them to make use of it straight away, and leads quickly to desired results. 

Other useful links:



A meeting of the great ECM minds – the #ECMJam

Today the second ECM tweetjam was held. The topic:

the connection between ECM and SocBiz

Organised by Bryant Duhon, the list of participants looked like a veritable “Who’s who” of the giants in the world of AIIM and ECM.

As mentioned – this was the second ECM tweet jam. You can read Bryant’s initial explanation of what it is here:


And…here is Bryant’s report on the first ECM Tweet Jam:


Bryant will be writing a report of today’s ECMJAM. It will be worth waiting for.

If you want to read the raw tweets though, check out the tweet stream

Related Posts

Laurence Harts post on the ECMJam

Social Media and Pharma Industry, a Paradoxical Oxymoron?

The following is an article that was originally posted on PharmaIQ.

The author is Cristina Falcão.


The world’s most highly regulated industry seems doomed to “forward retreat” tiptoeing into social media. Why? The reason lies on social media’s gist – user generated content (UGC) is the raison d’être but also the main drawback, since the lack of rules on the accuracy of online content (written by the users of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) makes pharma accountable.

Effective guidance, equally issued by the EU and US drug agencies, is urgently needed, before pharma companies can use social media’s valuable contribution in areas such as pharma-vigilance, clinical trials, R&D, and employee- recruitment.

What is the current guidance situation?

Unlike in the US, the European Directive 2001/83 (Community Code) forbids public advertising of “prescription-only medicines”. On the other hand, EU offers little specific guidance on social media (apart from some EFPIA -guidelines on websites, and the PMCPA’s (UK) “Brief guideline on blogs”), and waits for the US approach; however, FDA rules on pharma, internet and social media, which draft was due at the end of 2010, still have not been issued.

Major concerns

Pharma companies are responsible for the contents of a sponsored website (sponsorship can simply be advertising); yet, it is virtually impossible for the industry to control a website’s UGC without undermining the dynamic nature of social media. Adverse events reporting (AER) is a nightmare: the law states pharma companies must report all those events to the respective regulatory agencies, where they are stored in databases to monitor drug safety. It is impossible for the industry to monitor all AER’s, and marketers fear that user-generated content will include complaints about their drugs’ side effects; what makes it even worse, is the fact that FDA’s databases are regularly searched by lawyers for potential class-action suits.

Nevertheless, there are many pharma companies using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools; the only way out, is to monitor activity on any social media platform where they are present, using disclaimers, reserving the right to remove unwanted comments and redirecting drug questions to the company’s website.

Clinical trials

Patient-recruiting for clinical trials through social media, grants decreased R&D costs to the industry. However, clinical trials have several types, designs, and sample groups; social media, alone, is not the universal source. It can prove to be a double-edge sword, if patients interact and exchange information before the whole trial is completed; also it does not ensure evaluable data in the end. Patient- recruiting outside the physician’s own pool of patients has high dropout rates; tweeting about a clinical trial may build awareness of the opportunity, but does not guarantee an engaged PI, who will lead the patient through the clinical trial, thus assuring collection of meaningful data.

Although ‘social media’ is the overhyped buzzword of our time, for pharmaceuticals it will be a treacherous route: regulations will undoubtedly limit (further) interaction with the public, but increase accountability – it not being worth the effort or risk.

All we know for sure is that the debate has only started.


Click on this image for the original post



Related Posts:

Relationships in social media


Seth Godin was once asked about the value of social networking for business.

In response to this Seth discussed the “value” of having so many “friends” on Facebook, or “followers” on Twitter.

I want to have a solid connection with someone based on something more than just the effort it takes to click on a button.

He goes on to question whether these people would go out of their way to help you. One interesting example he gives is that he knows people in NZ that, if he needed it, would give him a place to stay. He’s never met these people, but a strong relationship has been built up online because they have helped each other at some stage. They have taken the time to do something for the other.

Seth’s comment really resonate with my thoughts on relationships in Social Media. I don’t want to have hundreds of “Friends”, or thousands of “Followers”. I don’t want to be a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker).

I want to have a solid connection with someone based on something more than just the effort it takes to click on a button.


John Mancini’s Keynote View of the Digital Future


John Mancini, President of AIIM International was kind enough to make a zipcast of his info360 keynote presentation slides. This allows him to do “present” his slides. I am very, very grateful that he did this, as I was not able to attend the conference. I was really impressed by John’s comments. I made some “rough” notes. (I call them “rough” because they don’t capture all of John’s message – If you want, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the link to his zipcast.) ============================================================ Rough Notes made from John Mancini’s keynote at Info360 We are in the middle of an interesting technology inflection point —————————————————————- We have been through many phases, each with its content management focus.

  • Mainframe – Batch Transactions
  • Mini – Departmental Processes
  • PC – Documents
  • Internet – Web pages

Effectively what we have done is just taken the old world of paper-based records, ledgers and transferred it to the next phase of technology. This may the the source of some of the challenges that we have. The next iteration after the Internet will be “Social” – a focus on interactions and conversations. The content management focus will be capturing and managing these. John mentions that companies can’t just put a social layer on top of their current processes. They will need to think about the social layer and how they embed it in all of their processes and push it back through our web presences and information repositories so that everything connects up. A system of engagement that just has a front-end social process and nothing else behind it is not enough. John also points out that we need to avoid pushing just old world concepts into this social world. We will need to adapt these ideas, and ways of doing things. The old transactional ideas had to do with control, auditing and securing. This won’t be always possible in the new way. Implications ———— CIO’s will need to approach things differently.

  • Traditionally – Minimise Risk and Reduce Cost.
  • The new is Add Value and Create New Reality

The end of the email era John did an analysis of his e-mail:

  • 46% was actually unwanted (spam);
  • 21% was e-mails to colleagues – these could actually be better addressed with social media;
  • 21% was bac’n (interesting, but not essential, can be deleted without any harm).
  • The only things of real value were the e-mails sent to, and received from, real people outside of the organisation. This accounted for only 6% of total volume.

His point was – we need to think differently about e-mail. This is compounded by the fact that the people coming into the workforce are from the “social” phase, while the people making the decisions are from the “PC” phase. The End of IT autocracy.

  • 10 years – the coolest technology was was you got at work.
  • Now that is reversed.
  • Workplace IT is lagging behind.
  • If a business imperative is important enough, it doesn’t matter how much IT control it, if going outside that control will allow a user to get the job done, people will do it.

Implication of Compounding

  • Information growth will be incredible.
  • At the same time the cost of storage is dropping.
  • However this is not proportional. (Information growth exceeds decrease in cost).

Why we should care ——————-

  • If we ignore this, we will make the same mistakes again. E.g. when e-mail came out, companies considered it a risk, and that it was really only needed for management, etc.
  • However, companies need to embrace this technology to remain competitive. Otherwise there is a risk of a “digital divide”. The longer that it takes, the more difficult it will be.

============================================================== Link to John Mancini’s Zipcast ———————————————–

Enterprise 2.0 and Enterprise Collaboration Alignment

E2.0 Enterprise 2.0 communication social network

Originally from “Enterprise Collaboration – What’s Your Problem?

You want to complain? Go ahead.

Just read a great post by Steve Radick. His post discusses how, even though, we have such a great opportunity at the moment, to communicate how we feel about something in the work place, we still don’t.

And we never have. Who ever wanted to send an “anonymous” e-mail to the HR department about something that was royally pissing you off? Or to fill in an on-line survey about management in a truly honest way. We all know that in an organisation, if the communication is via the computer, then it ain’t that anonymous – “Oh look, unknown employee using computer WEX321 (ip address has criticised the way the Director runs the company. Let’s just make note of that.”

Steve’s post is quite interesting and he discusses ways to encourage honest feedback.

Here’s a link to his post: Got a Problem with the Organization? Speak Up!!


Click on graphic for a larger version

Got a Problem with the Organization? Speak Up!!Got a Problem with the Organization? Speak Up!!

Let’s share!

sharing information

Wow!! Just read an excellent blog by Oscar Berg called Understanding the psychology of sharing – what makes it tick?.

In it he talks about Information Sharing, in relation to Enterprise 2.0, and the value the sharing of information can bring.

Oscar’s blog makes reference to a number of other wonderful articles about the sharing of information. Even though you can read more about them in his blog, I’ll mention them here briefly because they really made me think about the real value there is in sharing.

They were:

I recommend that you read them. I found them inspiring.

On the whole, the social benefits that comes from information sharing seems very positive. And it is actually best when done altruistically. That is – share for the sake of sharing. Don’t make getting something back a requirement.

In a work environment, sharing relevant and useful information has numerous benefits. Relevant information could include:

  • A description of  a particular technology that someone is using, or
  • an explanation of how someone solved a particular problem, or
  • a link to a relevant (and I mean relevant) article on the internet, or
  • a summary of a report that someone has read.

The value that this would give would include:

  • Team building
  • A better understanding of something, not only be the recipients, but by the person who sent the information (the best way to learn something is to teach it, or explain it, to others).
  • Build up a reputation (naturally this depends on the quality of the information sent to the others). And not only of the individual, but also of the group as a whole.
  • Increase the overall knowledge of the team.

The examples of relevant information, and the benefits are not exhaustive. There must be many ways to share information and knowledge. The important thing is that what is shared is relevant, helpful, or adds value. (Just typing something into a search engine, and then sending the link of the first thing that appears to the others is not valuable. )

Understanding the psychology of sharing – what makes it tick?