The SAP Global Media Survey

You may have heard about the Global Media Survey that Shel Israel is conducting on behalf of SAP. It has been well over 60 days from when it was announced but I thought I would roll my own, as many others have, so here goes.

I note he is providing a report at the end of this month. These thoughts may not make it into the survey,  but as part of the searchable internet they will live on.

1. From where you sit in the world, how has social media changed your life? How about the lives of your other family members?

After blogging for about a year I have been invited as a ‘blogger’ to the SAP TechEd event in Munich. To me this is a little suprising and humbling but I am glad that I have been able to make the connection with these people through my blogging. I am looking forward to the event and deepening these connections through serious face time.

( As I revise this after this event I can confirm that many connections have been deepened. It was a great event from many angles and I have a lot more to say about it yet. )

2. From where you sit in the world, how do you think your personal and business lives will change over the next five years? How about for the rest of your family?

This feels like a ‘where are you going to be in five years’ question they ask you in job interviews. Who knows where we are going to be in 5 years. I have my own ideas about where I want my business to be. Gadgets will be smaller and more powerful than ever before but I still think we will have no idea how to keep up.

The best ideas are yet to come. I like the idea that Douglas Adams put forward in that if there was a technology invented in the first 35 years of your life you could probably make a career out of it. In the next 5, 10, 15 years all sorts of things are going to be invented and improved beyond recognition. Who would have thought that 5 years ago I would be blogging?

So who knows what my kids will be into in 5 and 10 years time?

3. What do you feel are the ascending social media tools and which are descending?

While facebook is getting a lot of airtime, I still find linkedIn useful. Twitter is fun. Email is still a functional way to communicate just like the phone and the fax and I don’t think any of them are going to go away. Wiki’s are a great way to collaborate and I use them to work with geographically distributed development teams.

4. The folks at SAP are particularly interested in social media’s impact on the global enterprise as well as small to medium-sized corporations. Do you have any knowledge or advice for them?

Small to medium can be very different if you are a very small business (<5 employees) as opposed to the largest enterprise company in the world. Lets for arguments sake take the Business ByDesign target as the small to medium market.

I think although many more companies could be using social networks and blogging to augment their message and interaction with the market. If they do they may just add to the noise though and they may get tuned out.

How this relates to a company running SAP and how SAP intends to monetize this I have no idea. Are SAP going to launch a web2.0 platform of blogs and wikis? Harmony? We still haven’t seen any plan to release this even though it was mentioned earlier in the year. It would be interesting if SAP entered this space as it is very different to transactional processing.

5. Do you have any interesting case studies of unique uses of social media?

One of the businesses I am involved in makes heavy use of wiki’s for technical documentation and for user help. These tools have made editing our documentation easier and faster. Particularly when some of our team is distributed over the globe.

I would like to use wiki’s more for developing specifications or for proposals. In some of the projects I don’t have the clout to introduce such things but I find a wiki much easier to collaborate that tracking turned on in microsoft word.

6. What social media tools do you use?  Which are your favorites? Why.

I like delicious, and blogging. They are the two keys ones for me. I also twitter a bit. It is mostly about being involved in an ambient conversation. Each of these tools allow me to add something asynchronously to the conversation without having to butt in to make my voice heard. If people listen, great. If they don’t they are not complelled to.

7.  Do you see language as a barrier for  social media?  Will English become the global language of the Internet?  Should it?

English has become the global language of computer programming. That is, most programming language keywords are in English. The rise of social networks will challenge that as I am sure that people will communicate in the language they feel most comfortable in. The SAP Community Network has an English only policy but this has restricted growth in some areas where other languages are primary like in South America. Facebook has had a similar problem in the region and is apparently opening up to other languages.

8.  Are you reading more blogs or less these days? Are you watching more online video or less these days?

I am trying to cut down on stuff in my RSS reader that I routinely ignore. There are not necessarily blogs but rss feeds from forums and other channels that I watch first in RSS. I subscribe to Robert Scoble’s link blog but scan it quickly. There is probably 20 blogs that I could cut back to if I had to. I think my approach will be to triage my rss reader so I have the most important stuff prioritised and the other less import stuff able to be marked as read at will without feeling like I am missing anything.

I find video and audio hard to consume as I have to dedicate time to it much like TV. Blogs and other text services can be scanned much more quickly than other linear services like video and audio casting. This would probably all be different if I owned a small electronic specialist video and audio consuming device. I could then consume as I travelled.

9. What will take over from these social media tools?

There has been some feeling that twittering has surplanted blogging this year. I am not so sure. There are plenty of people that are blogging just as much as earlier in the year. What I am interested in is the next big thing, but I have no idea what that will be. It may well be video.

10. Additional comments?

The participation bar has been lowered with social media tools. Anyone can join in and more people should. Having said that it is an effort to maintain a blog but from my view it is worth it.

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2 Responses to “The SAP Global Media Survey”


  1. 1 Mike Prosceno Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 3:27

    Hey Nigel,
    Thanks for “rolling your own”… Glad we got to meet in Munich. Looking forward to the next time!


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