Archive for August, 2010

Risk + 2.0: The week in links 8/27/2010

  • Mashable talks about the coming wave of social media monitoring tools. Cluster analysis and semantic analysis are two methods being explored right now. The goal is to find statistical methods that will let companies quickly glean meaning from the vast amount of data being generated by social networks.

All of these companies are working with very smart people who can make data dance. Sysomos’ Bansal published a paper on cluster analysis applied to social data three years ago, indicating that they are ahead of the curve. The real challenge is to apply these complex lenses to the data in a way that lets us non-PhD holding marketers understand it at a glance — and to do it flexibly enough for different monitoring objectives.

Doctors can use a device like a tablet to pull up patient information during a consultation and then use it to, for example, show a patient how disease spreads or how curvature of the spine occurs. It may be easier to share information that way than it is with a PC.

  • Insurance and Technology writer Nathan Golia reports that Geico has expanded its Glove Box app to Android and the iPad. What’s especially interesting is that Geico is using these mobile platforms to increase interaction with customers. They’re not just to shoehorning their existing web offerings into a mobile device.

In its basic form, for smartphones, GloveBox allows policyholders to view account information, pay their bills, access ID cards, record accident information, reach Geico by phone and view videos of the company’s gecko mascot. The iPad version leverages the device’s larger screen by incorporating a split-screen display and auto “how-tos” with images.

  • Many of us don’t have time to do our main jobs and also do social media analytics. So it’s not surprising that companies are emerging to fill this niche. One example is ViralHeat.

If you find an article that you would like included here on Risk + 2.0, feel free to send it to me.


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Learning when to avoid the one night stand

[Photo by Search Engine People Blog via Flicker]

I remember conversations I had with other insurance professionals back when I was first discovering social media. I knew that social media would eventually gain traction in the world of insurance, but the possibilities were so great in number that it was hard to really focus on one area.

When I would discuss social media with others in my field, I would usually get the question “but how can social media be used for life insurance?”

Leveraging social media for other forms of insurance like auto and health was more intuitive I suppose. Social media involves a conversation between people. Listen, respond, and repeat.

Not all insurance encounters are the same. Some can be one night stands; others can lead to ongoing relationships. To form a relationship, people must converse on a regular basis. Some forms of insurance just clearly lend themselves to a regular relationship more than others.

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I’m not on Facebook

… is usually a lie.

My wife and I have Facebook profiles. Her parents don’t. Recently, I told her parents that they actually were on Facebook. They of course vehemently denied it and said that they are not on Facebook and never will be. I then pointed out that they’ve been on Facebook since the first time someone posted a picture of them.

A story is being written about you online whether you like it or not.

I gave in and joined the rush to Facebook in 2008. I don’t use it a whole lot, but I do find it handy for keeping up with a certain circle of friends and family. It’s also proven to be a really great way of getting references for contractors, painters, roofers, etc. Yes, believe it or not, there are practical uses for Facebook.

Most importantly, though, I like being on Facebook because I feel like I have a little more control over my information. If someone posts a photo of me, at least I know about it.

This kind of vigilance is important for companies too.

Are you doing social media?

Social media expert Chris Dessi recently told a poignant story that really illustrates the risk of social media ignorance. One day, Chris met with one of his clients, a luxury watch maker, with the goal of convincing the client to try a social media marketing strategy.

The client had the perception that social media was basically just fun and games. They didn’t see how it could possibly benefit a luxury goods manufacturer, and they stated that they “don’t ‘do’ social media.”

Chris then made the point that they were in fact doing social media:

I turned to my laptop which was projecting on the wall to four other executives in the room. I logged into Facebook, typed in the name of their company and found an active Facebook Page with over 18,000 fans of the page (it now has over 30,000 likes). She seemed shocked. The administrator was a gentleman from Jordan. It was obviously not a company sanctioned Facebook page, but my point was made.

Whether you’re an individual, small business, or large company, I think it’s well worth spending a few minutes finding out whether you’re already doing social media.

Even if there’s no mention of your brand or product yet, it will happen. Why not take this opportunity to start the story out right?

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Risk + 2.0: The week in links 8/6/2010

I took a little vacation/holiday last week, so there were no links posted. Thankfully, the world didn’t come to an end.  Here’s a few more than usual this week to catch up…

  1. Social Media’s Critical Path: Relevance to Resonance to SignificanceBrian Solis talks about how businesses can learn to thrive in social media by having conversations with customers and moving to a “pay it forward” mindset.
  2. Collective intelligencePete Swabey discusses the concept of prediction markets and how one prediction market company, CrowdCast, is beginning to develop social business intelligence tools. These tools represent an effort to capture more in-house knowledge by giving employees a way to share business information and work collaboratively.  I also wrote a summary of prediction markets earlier.
  3. A Look Back at the Last 5 Years in MobileI think it’s important to keep close attention on the development of mobile technology.  Mobile and social definitely go together. It’s easy to forget just how far mobile technology has come in the last five years.  Touch screen devices and increasingly-ubiquitous wireless broadband networks make it easier than ever to stay connected and share information.  The next five years may see even more staggering innovation.
  4. WikiLeaks case highlights digital security challengeThe publishing of secret Pentagon papers documenting details of US operations in Afghanistan was front-page news in late July 2010. Leaking secret documents is inevitable, but we’re now in an era when secrets can go from confidential to globally-known in a matter of seconds.  There has never been a greater need for risk management.
  5. The risk and rewards of Facebook for insurers and reinsurersRein4ce lists some practical social media code of conduct ideas and “good practice” guidelines.
  6. 18,000 in a yearRiskviews commemorates its one-year anniversary in blogging.  I’ve certainly enjoyed the posting at Riskviews this year.  It’s great to see risk pros embracing blogging as a way of sharing ideas – especially in this era when risk management  and insight are as important as ever.  I’m hopeful that a culture of information sharing among actuaries and related risk professionals will emerge in the coming years.
  7. Happiness Rules: Canada’s Youth Don’t Live For $$$As Gen Y begins to enter the “real world,” companies are getting more interested in what makes them tick.  This study reveals that Canada’s Gen Y is more interested in having a network of friends and family than leading. They’re also more risk-averse than their parents.  The respondents generally placed more value on relationships over money.
  8. Social media report a wake-up callThis article by John Powell, aimed at Canadian financial advisors, highlights that women are emerging as dominant users of social media.  The article also notes evidence that women are more vocal online and also purchase more online compared to men.  In general, it seems that women are going online looking for more social interaction than men. You may also be interested in Jessica Faye Carter’s article “For Women, Social Media is More Than ‘Girl Talk’”, which takes a deeper look at women’s role in the social media landscape.
  9. I have been a bit surprised at just how much I’ve taken to e-reading this year after buying an iPad.  Apparently, the e-reading concept is catching on at Farmers, where it is being used to train and inform agents more efficiently. Patriot Risk Management is also piloting the iPad.
  10. I LOVE getting junk mail, spam, and unsolicited email newsletters, and I’m sure you do too.  Of course, I’m joking.  It’s not surprising that email marketing metrics are in decline.  We’re becoming info-saturated, I think.  More info on email marketing and how it’s different from Facebook and Twitter.
  11. 15 Twitter Lists for C-Suite Execs to Follow – Still trying to get your C-Suite interested in Twitter? Whether they’re a CEO, CMO, CTO, CIO, or CFO, there’s a Twitter list for them in this Mashable article.

C-ya next week. ;)

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