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Data and stories

There's a thing about metrics and measurement. Especially in digital channels. We all agree we should measure, but most research reports about social media, intranets and websites conclude it's hardly being done.

But the thing I find even stranger is that if we actually measure and share our numbers, big conclusions are derived from them. "Our website is very useful because we have x visits per month." Or: "Our internal microblogging platform is valuable because 90% of our employees has created a profile on it."
To be clear I think we should collect these numbers and share them. They do tell us something. But I find it strange that when these numbers are shared, they are shared without any context. And they are shared as if data can tell us the whole story. Data is the only reality.

We know it isn't. There's much more to life, even digital life, than numbers. Yes, we should collect data and do that much more rigorously, definitely when it comes to …

Conversations and empathy

Markets are conversations, remember? In 1999 this was the central thesis of the great book The Cluetrain Manifesto. The book is just great. It's a must-read. I'm surprised how many people in the digital marketing and communication market know and have read it. Not to mention that I think we still have a lot to learn from the book - so don't just read it once!

Markets are conversations. We know and feel that deep down. But are we as humans and are companies actually doing accordingly? There is so much in marketing, communications, advertising, selling, etc. that has nothing to do with a conversation...

Maybe there's something more fundamental that we are not getting here. I'm about 90% through Sherry Turkle's book Reclaiming Conversation. And what a great book it is. I love books that really make you think. And this is one of those books. When your a 'digital' fan and junkie like me, you almost want to put it away. The book is a mirror and what you see t…

Changes to work and blogging

If you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn you've probably seen I changed jobs as of Jan. 1 of this year. After 6 great years at Entopic and Bildung I decided to join Teva Pharmaceuticals as senior director external digital channels. I've been at Teva now for about 10 weeks and must say I enjoy it. There's lots going on in the pharmaceutical industry and the intersection of digital and pharma is very interesting, I find. In short, there's lots and lots to do.

So, why change? As mentioned I enjoyed working at Entopic and Bildung. Great working environment, great team, dito customers. But I also found I was looking for new challenges. In leadership development and in digital. If possible I wanted to get more experience with leadership in a large, international organization. And I was looking for new areas in digital to learn about. Teva contacted me and gave me this opportunity. After quite some talks and lots of thinking, I decided to go for it. And I'm happy to say I…

Where’s your trend periscope?

It’s a priveledge to work with many different people and organisations. One reason why organizations work with us is to bring “external reference” to the table. So they want us to share with them what others are doing and what the trends are in the market.I enjoy this role. I find it very important to stay in touch with what’s going on in my area of work (and even the broader context of my work). And sharing our insights is a way to stay in touch. There are others different ways to do this as well:
talk to people from other companies
visit conferencesread books
read trend and research reports
read newspapersread news and updates on the web
work for many different organizations
etc.The good thing about today is that there are many tools to help you keep your “trend periscope” up. For instance, I use Feedly for RSS feeds, Pocket for storing and reading online articles and getting recommendations for this to read from followers, Twitter - still one of the best platforms for trend watching and …

Intriguing intranet technology trends

There’s quite a bit going on in the intranet technology landscape. Three trends I’m seeing are:Many “out of the box” intranetplatforms are popping upOrganizations are using combinations of platforms to fullfill employee needsOrganisations are outsourcing functional and technical maintenance, and hostingStandard intranet solutions I don’t where you live but where I live, in the Netherlands, many standard intranet solutions are popping up. This is understandable if you see how many intranets, that have been developed on cms’s, have failed. Many are so sick and tired of the failed intranet projects that they flee to intranet platforms that can be set up quickly and are well-designed.
As much as I understand this, I’m also intrigued by it. Over the last 5-10 years almost all companies have left their custom developed intranet (cms) behind and have moved to standard cms’s, like Drupal and SharePoint. Two of the main reasons to do so was the lack of innovation in these tailor-made intranet…

Happy 7th birthday, dear blog, I still love you!

Just yesterday my dear blog turned 7! I thought I'd write a short post to celebrate this and to also share with you that I'll be blogging more this year. Wow, 7 years I ago I started blogging. And I can still feel the lump in my throat after hitting the 'publish' button. I was nervous what everybody was going to the think about me blogging. My bosses, my colleagues and all the people out there. Even after 7 years, it still is a thing to send out my musings via the interwebs. But I must say I've always enjoyed doing it. And I love getting positive and negative comments on the posts.
The last years have been busy and blogging has been slow. But I have been blogging, for instance on the Dutch blog Frankwatching. And I hope to start blogging soon on MarketingFacts, another great Dutch blogging platform as well. More blogposts will show up on my own blog as well.

So, happy birthday, my dear blog! I still love you and will show you more love this year.

New book: Collaborating in the social era by @oscarberg - a review

There are quite a few books about ‘collaboration’. Recently one was added to the list: ‘Collaborating in the social era’. I had the pleasure to read Oscar Berg’s new book twice. Once in ePub format and then in paper. And I must say I enjoyed reading the book and highly recommend you read it too.
Reason to read the book
The first reason I enjoyed it is because I’ve been following Oscar’s writing (blogging) for years now. It’s great to see his writing has been collected, structured and extended into this book. Intranatverk did a great job publishing it.
The second reason is the fact that many books you read about collaboration are theoretical. They give us general and more strategic things to think about. And these kinds of books have their own right. I enjoy them as well. On the other hand, after finishing those books, I can feel lost. What steps can or should I take? Oscar’s book is not about that. For one, it’s clear that Oscar is not only a consultant, but has done the stuff he’s pr…