Web 2.0: Andrew Woolfson

Social media: use/challenge
Works for an accountancy company, which always sounds really boring. There’s a process mentality, things have to work with the way someone does stuff. Met Euan Semple a few years ago and he was talking about social media, but Andrew didn’t really quite see it. Put it to the side and about six months later, and it dawned on him was that they could do more. Was like the people who was trying to convince others to try new things. Euan set him on this road.

People at company are all worker bees, they want to do things, they don’t want to think about things and work out how things might be done. So have to get their teams working with whatever’s been put in place. So regardless of the fact that blogs and wikis are strange words and odd to say, eventually find out that the word ‘blog’ has become acceptable, ‘wiki’ maybe not so much.

How do we start working with them. Have to capture the imagination within the partnership and to use people who have a perspective. It’s not always the man at the top, could be anyone. Capture their interest and sponsorship and help their people do things. Point is that you can’t do everything for everyone. To do everything you have to go into mainstream IT, and IT is all about security and authentication. To do anything you have to be thoughtful about where you’re doing to do it. Look at points that are flowering.

Tax is one area – it depends upon information being passed quickly around the business, so that they can get an advantage from that knowledge. Soon as it’s public domain then it loses value. Big debate about competition and change, and where the Big Four are going to be, and where the second tier companies are going to be. BDO wants to be able to be apart fro the Big Four, and figuring this out is something social media can do.

In tax area, Daniel Dover, had written series of books to bring tax to life. Had an idea he wanted to do a series of movies. Marketing team were not keen on it. But he carried on and they took his idea, managed to find the money to do a YouTube channel, not a full one because that’s expensive. So started to do video and put that up.

Convinced CEO that blogs are a good way to converse with journalists, audience, all sorts of people. Had something to say and had a good style to say it with. Because of external blog, now have internal blogs too.

How to respond to generational studies, looking at the graduates coming in. Even if you’re 21, though, many of them still have the minds of a 40 year old, they don’t automatically use all the tools. But Facebook is cross-generational. Students coming in had misrepresented the acronym BDO (humorously).

HR Director things that Facebook is about dating; IT thinks that if someone wants to block it, they’ll block it; business leaders don’t know what to do – but normal business rules apply, if someone’s not working they’re not working.

Got to point with Facebook where it becomes intrinsic. Stop Facebook, then you also have to stop phone, email, text…. There is no work/life balance, there’s just life. It’s not fun is fun, work is work, there are elements of fun in work. And CEO said, “Myself, I prefer to trust people”. Write a policy about fair, sensible use. If they want to abuse that, then you have the management ability to do something so why do you need to put an electronic filter in there saying “Don’t do this”. You don’t recruit lazy, stupid people; you recruit smart people who are the leaders of the future, you don’t stop them networking.

Values of the business underpin all that. Have a Facebook group now.

People want to do stuff. Bought an island in Second Life. Wasn’t about the PR side of things, early adopters were all already there, so their entering Second Life wasn’t a story. They wanted to do something, wanted to tie that in to everything else. Have to take a view that thinks about how we look at 3D worlds and virtual solutions, and SL seemed ready made to do that.

Took the tax movie from YouTube and then carried out a session, invited tax clients to SL and premier the movie in SL. Bring a little imagination and play into what BDO is about. If we say we are entrepreneurial, different, then that’s an easy way to show it.

The idea is to take that island and rent it out to member firms. They wouldn’t have thought of that and you can give value back to them by doing it.

How do we do this? Imagination. It’s important to be yourself and to be imaginative. Support form the top. Recruit creatively.