Monthly Archives: November 2008

Responsibility vs. Ownership

One of the interesting and surprising pain points that I’ve seen in socializing social media through our organization, and to the broader company, has been the shift in thinking about ownership of web domains, documents and ideas. One of the interesting things social media changes is the idea of ownership. Before the implementation process of taking a wiki, blog or web site live, the question that most comes up is, “who owns what.”

Maybe it’s corporate America. Maybe it’s that during the job performance process there are objectives, goals and outcomes developed to measure against to judge the success of an individual’s year. Maybe it’s that we’re all fearful of doing work that isn’t measured or fearful people aren’t doing things that can be measured.

Social media sort of in its own organic way tears down these ideas of ownership and promotes a greater, more empowering sense of responsibility. It’s the responsibility of managing your own content on the org’s wiki versus the old way of sending every document to one person to own. It’s the responsibility to blog about topics you want to talk about and when you to talk about them versus the old way of getting time on a PR person’s calendar to develop the story already in your head.

Of course this is just my observation. Let me hear yours.

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Suicide On Justin.Tv: Let the Outrage Begin

As news spread about the 19 year-old who committed suicide live on the life-casting site,, for manyit’s hard to imagine the horror which took place.  While the troubled teen ingested an overdose of pills and slowly met his demise, some of the onlookers to his broadcast were scared, others laughed and egged him on to do it.

Reading the Sunday paper, Biggs’ dad now says everyone, including should assume some blame in the incident.  Now, I guess we could discuss what’s happening in America that people could watch another take his own life and laugh. Or we could talk about how lonely that person had to be to want to take his life with an audience. But, I’m not a sociologist or psychologist and per the purpose of my blog, I just want to take a look at this incident from a PR standpoint.

First,, and every other life-casting site, is about to be under heavy scrutiny.  One for how safe are the networks to detect and eliminate these sorts of activities and two, how responsive should a social network company be to let unhealthy/illegal things take place on their watch.  I’m interested to see how this plays out in mainstream press and court of popular opinion.  Just as the public was opening up to Facebook and Twitter, now a new side of social media will be introduced to America.

How will those who are not geeks view this ability to watch life as it takes place without restrictions?  Will this one incident start the conversation that technology, or social media, has gone to far?  To have taken his life on webcam amongst his close friends on an IM buddy list is one thing, but to do it with a wide audience of people viewing is another.

One thing is for certain, no one likes the idea of someone’s son died in “public” and nothing was done to help.  It’s sad that he thought taking his life was the best option.  It’s disturbing people could watch.

I hope the young is ready for the negatitive attention its receiving and prepared to talk about this in a transparent and respectful way.

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I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been blogging

You’re probably wondering what that title means. Well, last week I helped launch the first FedEx blog, The Global Citizenship blog. The blog or blogs discuss the four areas of corporate responsibility at FedEx and launched alongside of the FedEx Citizenship Report.

fdxblogFor the past two months the other member of the FedEx blog team and I had been preparing for launch day. Meeting with our colleagues in legal, brand and marketing to discuss how the blog would look and operate. Then there was the socializing of the blog internally to groupd of FedEx team members and executives that were responsible for making sure FedEx lives the four areas of Citizenship as defined by the report.

In reality, we’ve been preparing for the blog launch for almost three years. We’ve been listening to blogosphere talk about the brand and in some cases reaching out to engage the community to either help or support what they were talking about. Now, it’s our turn to engage.

I haven’t officially posted to the blog just yet in my admin/blog team capacity, but I’m watching and helping. It’s been truly gratifying talking to our bloggers about topics, writing style and providing feedback. This is something the organization has been waiting for.  And, now our organization can’t wait to start building a voice in the community.

I invite you to join us on the FedEx blog and provide feedback and insight.

So, while I haven’t had much time to blog on the displaced texan, I’ve been up to my keyboard in bloggery.

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What’s With All the Talking

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been having fun at work talking about social media.  I’ve been fortunate to be asked to meet and explain what the fuss is all about.  After I’ve gone through Facebook, Twitter, Digg and my Google Reader I see eyes start to glaze over.  To people who haven’t really “gotten it” it’s all a lot to swallow.

So, I step back and explain it all boils down to behavioral change.  All these tools are just simple ways to influence a change in behavior.  The behavior could be to change someones thinking about a certain topic, enhance their knowledge around key subjects and to find the things that are out there that you never knew.  All these tools help people talk to people and share what they know.  Simple.

In the coming week I’ll be happy to explain why all this talk has been happening.  It’s a really exciting time and hopefully you come back to find why.


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The Penguins

FedEx Penguins

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Being Social is a Social Process

Curious to hear from the folks out there about your socialization of social media war stories. In the coming weeks, you’ll understand why I ask and maybe even I’ll been even able to share mine. Mine are war stories, not horror stories. Hopefully so are yours? Let me hear them.

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