Sunday, November 25, 2007

IBM & PwC for Social Media CR?

In past posts, I've discussed social media in light of standards and corporate responsibility. I received views from various parties, such as USC's Center for Telecom Management, PwC, and others.

Then I posted a link to IBM's reports on "Navigating the Media Divide."

As business and "social media" and forms of marketing evolve...we do see the need for standards and business models that incorporate standards. But how do you approach this from an international standpoint?

For example, iMediaConnection UK published the article, "Crossing the pond with your search engine marketing strategy", where Warren Cowan -- CEO of Greenlight -- refers to the need for cultural knowledge and domain knowledge to avoid not only case study-type marketing disasters but also for translating search campaigns to multi-country campaigns. But what does this mean in terms of standards and corporate responsibility?

Translation of words in meaning may have ethical but not legal liability, or vice versa or both. In using and interpreting "search data", what's the implication? Cowan refers to differences in quality and 'competitiveness of the term' and the impact on pay-per-click. What are the implications beyond pay-per-click ie. the use of this data? Cowan also describes the difference in rankings of international search engines and the need for strong multilingual and culturally fluent talent for site creation in non-domestic English-speaking regions.

The above example is from a marketer's perspective, but what about the impact on the user ie. the companies that go on to use the data obtained from search to develop user experiences or engage with users...?

Here's another example: a software company may produce a package for virtual meetings. Within this software is the capability for the "presenter" to hand over "remote access" to any member within the audience. Depending on the "presenter's" training/view of international relations...they may opt to give remote access to someone in say Burma. Now this Burmese audience member takes control over the presenter's computer to illustrate something within the presentation....However, the potential is there for the Burmese participant to have access to Internet websites that they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to or would be banned from usually in Burma. Potentially, the "presenter" could place the company, and even the country, and not to mention the Burmese, in a position of liability...why? Because a software was produced for sale with a remote function that technically "gets around" certain restrictive international "laws". And this software may have been developed based on "search data".

On another scale, we have privacy issues, such as a Facebook feature that shares what you automatically buy online without requesting consent to do so.

Marketers are developing strategies to "Get personal with your landing pages" -- to reach out to users on a more social and personal level. Although marketers should work to improve strategies, and all of us to improves products and services, we need to do so in a responsible manner.

PwC have produced two reports with US and International Perspective on the Rise of Lifestyle Media.

If standards are to be set for the multi-level use of social media,
1. Who should take the lead and who should be involved in developing these standards?
2. What should the business model look like that incorporates these standards?
3. How should standards be considered internationally?

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