Washington, DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation that will allow associations and companies to continue sending unsolicited faxes to their members and clients under loosened rules defining “existing business relationship.” The U.S. Senate passed a similar bill last week. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation by week’s end. In addition, the FCC granted an additional six-month stay, to January 9, 2006, for new FCC rules that were slated to take effect Friday. This action came in response to a request from the American Society of Association Executives and the Fax Ban Coalition.
The Institute for the Future recently released a report called Toward a New Literacy of Cooperation
in Business (pdf download). Authors are Andrea Saveri, Howard Rheingold, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, and Kathi Vian. Pulling
from work on cooperation from a wide variety of disciplinary fields, including economics, sociology, biology and mathmatics,
the authors seek to provide some guidance on the value of cooperation and how organizations can shift from a competitive
model to cooperative strategies for business. They write:
Connective and pervasive technologies are enabling new forms of human and machine interactions and relationships; they will
present business institutions with a host of new possibilities for organizing people, processes, relationships and knowledge.
These forces will accelerate a shift in business strategy from solving concrete business problems to managing complex
business dilemmas, which in turn will require a broader set of strategic tools and concepts than are provided by competitive
I read through the report, and found a variety of valuable ideas for the practice of organizational communications. I have
summarized some of the key ideas over at Blogging Planet, along with some initial thoughts of mine on their value to communications.
Picking up on my post from yesterday where I was a big grump, Eric Eggertson of Mutually Inclusive, has offered a "modest proposal" for PR people. It is a howl. Constantin has posted "the Master List of 100 wise things" on the NewPR wiki.
We've gathered together a group of authors who will be writing about the future of work from a variety of perspectives, including HR, technology, facilities/real estate, marketing and more. Guest authors will also be joining us from time to time to give us the benefit of their knowledge and ideas.
As I wrote in my inaugural post, I believe that communications is at the heart of the future of work. I hope you'll stop by, subscribe, and add your comments and questions.
The latestdust-up over blogs and PR has hammered it home to me. The focus on tools is getting to the point of self-serving PR babble and boring me to tears. (Amen Tom!)
That is why you don't see me weighing in too much these days on the latest circling buzz 'round the PR 'sphere. Others are doing just dandy opining, and I sometimes leave a comment.
Enough already. There are way too many important things for us to be writing about then endless permutations of "[insert profession/practice] is dead. Is not! Is so!"
And there are way too many important things to write about than what all of the other PR bloggers are writing about. Let's get away from this tendency of PR blogosphere naval gazing!
I have a LOOONG list of PR feeds in my reader, yet I think I uncover only a few new, interesting topics of discussion a week. In fact, inspiration for my posts comes mainly from outside the PR group these days. I think we need to raise the bar a little.
Or maybe we need a rule of thumb. Proposed: If you see that three people have already written on the topic, find something else to say. If you absolutely, positively have to say something, comment instead of posting.
There's a new business magazine for women, called Pink Magazine. (I linked to the about page as the home page is an annoying flash ad.) I am not sure how I feel about that title, honestly. I could imagine it for a lifestyle pub (here in France, on TV, the Pink channel isn for gay/alternative lifestyles), but not really for a business magazine.
Following up on my post yesterday about policing costs, it appears that Dan Gillmor's Bayosphere project is approaching the reward/punishment need via a pledge. It has stoked up some controversy around the blogosphere, not least of which is "how do you enforce this thing?"
I don't think a pledge is enough, but it is a start. It is important to outline the expected behavior. But equally as important is how behavior that doesn't map to that is punished (and behavior that does is rewarded).
The failure of the LA Times' wikitorial experiment brings to light one of the important factors for the success of commons-based publishing: the cost of policing it. Perhaps the best analysis of commons-based problems is Elinor Olstrom's book Governing the Commons. In it, she emphasizes through many analyses the importance of enforcing rules to the success of a collective endeavor.
As we look at the costs of blogs and wikis, in particular, we must build into that some measure of what it is going to cost to make sure that spam, pornography and other unwanted content is kept out. Today, there are technical tools to help you, but none of them are truly foolproof. You will need a person, or team of people, to keep an eye on things. By building the cost of this into the budget for the entire endeavor, you will rapidly come to a decision as to whether it is feasible or not.
The hitch in this is that we are still trying to figure out what the real costs are. There are no solid benchmarks yet that companies can use. Hopefully, we'll see more case studies and numbers so that we can make better decisions.
One other factor: Building and communicating the rules of proper behavior up front, then rewarding those who comply while punishing those who don't. We communicators need to study and understand human behavior in online communities so we can better prepare. More good reads? Virtual Community and Smart Mobs, both by Howard Rheingold.
Are you doing a cost-benefit analysis for your online publishing endeavors? If so, I'd love to hear from you.