Category Archives: online

My learnings about Social Business Strategy

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In November I opted for a radical shift in my career from HR, OD and Training – to the new emergent field of Social Business Strategy,  becoming a Social Business Strategy Consultant with a start-up called 2020 Social in India.

During these months – I have been thinking and blogging about how business can leverage and utilize social technologies internally to build internal employee communities – to build an open and transparent organization.

Primarily I look what what are the cultural constructs within an organization that build collaboration, and what are the Leadership imperatives that would support such an organization. In fact, at 2020 Social we believe in eating our own dog food.

Social technologies help people to connect – so it’s not a surprise that one of the main focus of my research is also how Social Media can help organizations with Recruiting – and thoughts about Social Employee Relationship Management.

My personal take is that these trends would continue increasing – as organizations build internal networks to resemble Facebook, and as Twitter became the top trend in US jobs in 2009.

Check out our definition of Social Business Strategy – Business Strategy Plus Technology Plus Sociology and our Position Paper

Lists on Twitter – India Related Lists

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Ever since Twitter introduced the lists feature (if you don’t know what Twitter lists are check more about it here) opening up the ability for every user to curate and publish lists, there has been a explosion in the number of lists that people have made.

This post is on some of the twitter lists I have encountered that focus on Indians on Twitter.

If you know more such lists – feel free to add them in the comments: – following 496 people – following 475 people – follows 493 people

My new gig at 20:20 Social :-)

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Ok, here’s an announcement that I want to make.

I have joined 20:20 Social, India’s first social business strategy consulting firm

I guess, what you’re asking is – what the heck is a social business strategy consulting firm?

Social business is the new term (or meme, if you will) that is emerging to describe organizations that are leveraging social software and tools to connect with customers and other stakeholders – that’s right folks, bringing the social web into the organization.

As I have believed – such tools (call them web 2.0 or whatever) help in facilitating transparency and openness  and help achieve the true goals of Organization Development

In my role in 2020 social (follow it on twitter) I would be looking at the enterprise practice – or essentially how organizations can deploy social tools to empower employees, build collaboration, develop knowledge and positively impact business. Yeah, some people call this Enterprise 2.0 too.

It takes me back to the starting point of my career – when I started out looking at organizational processes for Knowledge Managementand then e-learning.

However as much as I love tools – I know that culture always trumps tactics, tools and even strategy. So I am looking at leveraging my HR and OD learnings to help client organizations deploy these social tools.

And I am super-excited to be working along with the amazing 20:20 social team that includes an old blogging acquaintance Gaurav Mishra who blogs at What makes Gaurav a kindred spirit is his openness and transparency as CEO – he blogs about the organization as he manages it 🙂 Check out Gaurav’s posts on how to build an Open and Collaborative Professional Services Firm, and Top 10 FAQs on Building a Social Business Strategy Firm in India.

Am also looking forward to working with a true blue Thought Leader Dave Evans (not the AC/DC guy 😉 author of a book on Social Media Marketing who blogs at

You can download 20:20 Social’s position paper on Social Business Strategy as a pdf, or read it on scribd.

Who are the other folks who are doing something similar?

Well there are two that I know of – the Altimeter Group and Dachis Group.

20:20 Social has just started its journey and I am very excited to be part of something so new and emergent.

(cross posted from my other blog)

Tata Sons wins case against

World Intellectual Property Organization HQ in...
WIPO – Image via Wikipedia

[tweetmeme source=”gautamghosh”]This is a little weird. I have tremendous respect for the Tata group but this case against the travel community site doesn’t make sense or logic unless they want to manage the community too.

Interesting thing to note is that MakeMyTrip which owns the domain is talking to the community and building up quite a support, however I don’t come across anything similar by the Tata folks.

As they say:

Very recently, TATA Sons filed a case against us ( in infringement of their TATA name (as our domain name contains the ‘TATA’ word!). Tata Sons has contended that it is confusingly similar to its ‘Tata’ brand and the travel portal runner has no rights or legitimate interests to use it. The company had argued that the site infringed the right of its registered trademark/service mark ‘Tata’.

And in a decision by a sole panelist, ownership of the domain has been awarded to TATA by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Arbitration and Mediation Centre.

Needless to say we’re alarmed by such claims on our domain name. The domain name is importantly a representative of the colloquial “OK Ta Ta Bye Bye”, which represents travel, journey and related activities, referring to the generic word “Ta Ta”.

Nikhil Pahwa blogs at Medianama

MakeMyTrip (which owned the oktatabyebye domain) is going to appeal against the order, CEO Deep Kalra has told MediaNama, adding that ”Ta ta is a generic that everyone understands.” Strangely enough, there is no appeals process at WIPO, so MakeMyTrip will file an appeal in India to stay the transfer of the domain name.

What is that they say about people who live in glass houses? Via Twitter, Cleartrip informs us that MakeMyTrip owns Unlike Ta ta, I don’t think Cleartrip is a generic, is it?

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Why Twitter still beats Facebook

So Facebook (my page) has acquired Friendfeed (my profile) and most people are saying Twitter should be quaking in their boots.

I agree Twitter (my account) has cause for concern. Facebook after opening its search functionality to status updates – as well as the new Facebook Lite version are worrying signs for Twitter.

But here are the reasons I think Twitter can still outsmart Facebook.

  1. All said and done facebook is the place for personal and social relationships. It’s where people connect one on one. And unlike the social media mavens – most people have a small network and use it to connect with old friends. Most people don’t “follow” pages of products and brands. That is not the case in Twitter, where you can follow people without the awkward notion of virtual friending.
  2. Twitter is malleable enough for conversations or broadcasts – and while people suggest you should be conversational, brands can use it as a broadcast medium if they are smart.
  3. Twitter’s API and ease of use via the cell phone is great for people who are increasingly spending time on the mobile web. And I suspect Facebook Lite is a method to get to those users. Will we see a spurt of dabr and slandr services for facebook? Let’s wait and watch. Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop however have integrated Facebook updates into them
  4. People aren’t “retweeting” stuff on Facebook status updates – you can’t @ and reply to status updates and while links are shared they don’t have the collective wisdom that is evident on twitter.
  5. Apps get in the way. Every day I have to ignore numeous apps on Facebook to really uncover what my friends are sharing. Earlier apps were fun. Now they are killing facebook. Will Lite do away with apps? Don’t know. But more and more Lite is sounding like a not so great version of Twitter.
  6. I had a Twitter account much later than a facebook account. But I have more Twitter followers than Facebook friends. The folks on Twitter are better and more savvy in social media – if I have to brainstorm and talk of new ideas I’ll go to twitter.