Archive for June, 2010

LexisNexus is taking nominations for its Top 50 Blogs of 2009

If you read insurance law blogs, I would encourage you to head over to LexisNexis and cast your vote for any blogs that you would like to see included in their Top 50 Insurance Blogs for 2009. Even if you aren’t a member of the LexisNexus community, you can register free and make your comment. Full instructions are provided at the site. . .

Go there >>


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A modern take on Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People

[Photo by Aidan Jones via Flicker]

Carnegie wrote his masterpiece How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936, but he could have written it in 20,000 BC and it would have been relevant then – and today. The underlying message is that being social and cultivating respect from others is the key pathway to reaping rewards in both your business and personal life.

Web 2.0 hasn’t changed a thing. In fact, Carnegie’s ideas may be more important today than ever.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Risk + 2.0: The week in links 6/25/2010

1. Security, compliance come before collaboration

Vanguard, a large mutual fund company, is beginning to implement Web 2.0 tools in its workplace. Like insurers, Vanguard operates in a highly regulated environment, which has made Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 adoption slow. But employees are embracing these new tools as they are deployed.

2. Canadian Underwriter: Jeremy Gutsche on Social Media’s Future

Comments on social media’s future from Jeremy Gutsche of Canadian Underwriter.

3. Social Networks Pose E-Discovery Risks

This article takes a look at the legal side of social media data gathering, specifically e-discovery.

… e-discovery is growing more challenging as the volume of information that enterprises store increases, and as employees increasingly use social networks and cloud-based applications. Already, multiple court cases have featured e-discovery requests for information stored in social networks.

4. iOS 4 Arrives, Will Regulated Companies Benefit

Unless you’ve been in a deep coma for the last few weeks, you know that the new iPhone 4 was just release. As the popularity of mobile phones continues to rise, it will drive increased social media use both within and outside the enterprise. It will be interesting to see how these newer platforms are embraced by regulated companies.

5. Protecting the data you don’t even know you have

Social media and Web 2.0 tools make it possible to collect a great deal of data – data that we may not even realize we’re collecting. Can companies be held liable for not securing data they didn’t know they had? This issue was recently raised after Google discovered that it had been inadvertently collecting data from Wi-Fi users, but many other companies will probably find themselves in these situations as we go forward.

6. Enterprise 2.0 conference continuing to evolve

This is a very thorough summary of the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston by Rawn Shah. Hutch Carpenter also offers his own comments here.

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Risk + 2.0: The week in links 6/18/2010

Another week of articles on collaboration, social media, and risk…

Cisco Speeds Highly Secure Business Productivity With Enterprise Collaboration Software Solutions

This could be a peek at the coming generation of Enterprise 2.0 software:

Cisco announced that Cisco Quad, an enterprise collaboration platform, will be available later this year via native iPad and iPhone
applications. Cisco also unveiled a new Cisco Prosumer Video solution which integrates Cisco FocalPoint, an online video workspace, with a business-class Cisco Flip MinoPRO camcorder. Finally, Cisco announced that Cisco WebEx Connect IM is now available on any supported browser.


Together, these three collaboration solutions offer workers a highly
secure, manageable collaborative environment with video, real time
instant messaging (IM) and social networking capabilities.

Life Insurance Producers Not Seeing Social Media Benefits

A survey indicates that

  • 70% of life insurance producers use at least one social media site
  • 14% believe that social networks have generated word-of-mouth-type leads
  • 11% believe social networks give them more client opportunities
  • 91% of producers that use social media for business are using Facebook to communicate with customers; only 22% of these are corrected to their carriers

Crafting a social media policy

Because social media is unchartered territory for most companies, many people don’t have an instinctive sense of the right and wrong ways to use it. Social networking users can easily introduce and spread malware to others and most of the time they don’t realize they are doing it. A social media policy educates employees about your expectations for their behavior. It also gives an indication of your company culture and work environment.

The article goes on to discuss guidelines for creating a social media policy, risks involved, and upside.

It’s OK to confront the computer critics: Bad reviews in social media should be addressed, resolved

Several social media experts weigh in on how to handle negative social media comments constructively.

Why you’ll use Foursquare

If Twitter was the social media king of 2009, Foursquare is definitely the mayor of 2010. I have not personally started using Foursquare, but I can clearly see the benefits for businesses that seek to draw customers to a physical location repeatedly. I don’t know of any insurers who have explored Foursquare yet, but I’m sure it has potential for marketing channels where potential clients are met at a physical location. Banks maybe?

Social Media Do’s & Don’ts for the Insurance & Financial Services Marketplace

The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) “announced that it has expanded its efforts to provide compliant social media guidance and resources with a new initiative to develop supervision and monitoring guidelines for social media use.”

LinkedIn communications at center of unprecedented lawsuit

There are few, if any, legal precedents that govern social media use. That may be changing soon.

In a first-of-its kind lawsuit, an IT staffing firm has accused one of its former employees of violating the terms of her noncompete agreement through her conduct on LinkedIn.


The lawsuit raises the interesting legal question of whether the mere act of connecting with other professionals on a social networking site constitute a violation of noncompete and nonsolicitation contracts.

How CEOs are Using Social Media for Real Results

A rundown of several ways that CEOs can benefit from social media use:

  1. Building Marketing and Public Relations Exposure
  2. Turning Marketing Opportunities into Sales
  3. Staying Connected to Future Employees
  4. Customer Engagement

The LORD and Risk Management

One actuary’s clever take on the BP oil spill from a risk management perspective.

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Computerworld: BP, in crisis mode, misses social networking target


Not surprisingly, BP has taken a public thrashing for not just the environmental and economic disaster but also for not being more forthcoming with the public about the problem. And while it could have used social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to report on the problem and what it was doing to stem the flow and ease the damage, it has largely missed that opportunity.

We will probably learn some valuable lessons about risk management, public relations, and who knows what else from BP’s crisis, which is now fully a crisis for many more.

We live in a time when people crave and expect information. Even if it’s bad news, people want the truth. That’s where social media can help in a crisis such as this.

We can’t prevent every disaster, but we can get better at dealing with them.

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Risk + 2.0: The week in links 6/11/2010

So many great articles showed up on my radar this week, I decided to skip “the week in tweets.” I hope you find some of these interesting:

The Must Read Enterprise 2.0 Articles – A Guide

This article is actually from earlier this year, but I had forgotten to post it. It has an excellent list of articles related to Enterprise 2.0.

Social Networking A Life Underwriting Tool? Report Stirs Debate

A very good article from National Underwriter on the potential uses for social media in underwriting. It also discusses challenges that will surely arise. I mentioned underwriting and social media in an earlier blog post as well.

Look Who’s Blogging

Mashable compiled some interesting stats on the distribution of bloggers by age, gender, and nationality.

Group lists top five social media risks for businesses

The top risks, which are laid out in an ISACA research paper, are viruses and malware, brand hijacking and lack of control over corporate content. Rounding out the top five are unrealistic expectations of customer service at “Internet-speed” and noncompliance with record management regulations.

Collaboration Systems – from floppy disc to Microsoft Office Web Apps for SkyDrive

Andrew Chan makes a good case for using collaboration tools in the workplace to increase productivity. The number of collaboration tools available seems to increase every day. The latest software maker to join the fray is Microsoft, with its new web-based version of Microsoft Office patterned after Google Docs.

I have not tried the new Microsoft web suite yet, but I use Google Docs frequently for both personal and professional uses. Being able to share and collaborate with others – anywhere in the world – in real time can truly be productive and useful.

If you’re ever in a situation where you need to collaborate on a document with one or more other people, I strongly encourage you to try one of these tools instead of sending documents back and forth through email. It really simplifies things not to have a dozen versions of a document scattered across multiple email inboxes.

Social Media Meets Insurance Regulation: Where Are We Headed?

National Underwriter examines the risks of social media as they relate to the insurance industry. This is a must-read if you work in the insurance industry and have any interest in social media at all. The author, Susan T. Stead, covers social media from several important angles including advertiser scrutiny, insurer risks, and E&O risks.

She also gives real-world examples of social media activity that relate to the specific risks faced by insurers:

A recent posting on an agent’s Facebook page includes a promise that “there will be no premium increase if you have an at-fault accident.” When a premium increases or a claim is not covered because promotional information did not disclose coverage exclusions, the agent may face an errors and omissions claim.

As Susan notes, financial services regulators are ahead of insurance regulators. Will insurers be the last to the social media party?

In the Game: The Best Social Media Strategy

Speaking of the financial services industry, this article is from that perspective. It provides a very informative summary of a how social media is working out in the financial services sector. They look at six strategies:

  1. Brand engagement forums
  2. News feeds
  3. Reputation management forums
  4. Special interest forums
  5. Named sponsorships
  6. Social promotions

Will Social Media Adoption Drive Productivity?

A lot of the buzz around social media has a marketing flavor. This article looks at how social media is being used by non-marketing professionals.

Social networking sites used for business purposes


Risk + 2.0 – The Week in Links 6/4/2010

The Week in Links

AXA Equitable Launches Social Media Campaign – In addition to making a commitment to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, their 800 lb gorilla mascot even has his own Twitter handle: @AXA_Gorilla! One of his recent tweets:

I’m planning for #retirement using #AXA’s Retirement Income calculator Who knows, w/inflation,bananas may get expensive.


Social networking is big on mobile, comScore says – Mobile is clearly the future of mainstream computing, and given that social networking is increasingly a core social activity, it’s a perfect marriage. We need to stop thinking about social networking as something people are doing strictly in front of computer screens; it’s happening everywhere. What advantages might mobility bring for insurers? How can location-aware services be used?


New York burger joint goes social, mobile – A very fascinating and innovated use of social media. A new restaurant called 4food is basing their entire business model around social media:

Customers can invent their own dishes or sandwiches using an online, do-it-yourself application, and even give their dish a clever name. The restaurant’s list of ingredients can result in literally millions of combinations. Every time someone orders an item invented by another customer, 4food gives the creator a 25-cent in-store credit.

I think we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the crowdsourcing concept. When companies start viewing customers as producers and product “designers,” some amazing things will probably happen.  Suppose a financial services firm let clients openly customize financial products and let the crowd “vote” on products they liked the most. Rather than guessing which products will meet clients’ needs best, the customers design and give feedback in one constant real-time loop.


Wanted: Cars that Use Collective Intelligence to Improve Driving – A very innovative thinker, Hutch Carpenter. His blog is a must read for anyone interested in Enterprise 2.0. This post makes one imagine just how much data we will one day collect and how it could benefit consumers and companies alike.


Mobile Technologies, Social Media Facilitate Insurers’ Responses to Nashville Flood Claims

In the first days after the catastrophe, with roads shut down and much of the city still underwater, response teams and victims who left town were still having difficulty accessing the area. Social networking sites and other interactive media emerged as an effective tool for carriers trying to reach out to policyholders in need.

The Week in Tweets

>> @DanOnBranding Banks who fear social media do so at their own risk. Talk about an industry that needs to employ fresh methods for…

>> @DeborahInComms Social media: reputations at risk: via @addthis

>> @InsuranceMHQ My first guest blog post for Insurance Ecosystem: Let Your Policy Be Your Guide…For Social Media

>> @ushometeam Social media and the insurance agent

>> @WaxCom Social media and insurance – friends?

>> @FreeMktgMadeEZ Social Media, Liability and Insurance

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