Companies 2.0: the Zappos.com case

The slogan Powered by service for Zappos.com is a real business philosophy.

The American company leader in the online sale of footwear, clothing and accessories, has, in fact, recently inaugurated “Zappos Insights”, a B2B payment site in which it makes its knowledge available to other companies, creating a real ” Experience Syndication “, as Joshua-Michéle Ross points out.

Let’s do a little flashback.

Zappos.com was founded in 1999 in San Francisco and established itself within a few years thanks to the choice of making the sending and changing of the goods free within one year of purchase, in line with its core value deliver WOW trough service.

 

Step by step, like the move to Las Vegas to strengthen the call center, the company has gradually expanded the concept of offering its customers a unique experience.

One of the best known initiatives was to open a Zappos.com “channel” on Twitter where customers can receive an online support service and at the same time have a direct line to employees, currently 435, and with the same CEO Tony Hsieh. The choice produced a truly remarkable volume of conversations, as can be seen through this chart which compares the number of tweets on Zappos.com and on three of its main competitors (see http://www.tweetvolume.com/, 14 January 2009).

This strategy also resulted in the opening of a series of blogs in which employees tell their behind-the-scenes work and a Zappos TV on Youtube.

With the opening of “Zappos Insights” the company places itself on another level: making its knowledge available is also equivalent to affirming its status as an innovative company.

The Zappos.com case is striking for the extreme lucidity with which the core values ​​were followed in the expansion of online communication but also the awareness with which the different instruments were used. Given the uncertain forecasts for 2009, we are curious to know what will be the Zappos 2.0 recipe for riding the crisis.
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Mandarina Duck “suspends” her blog

With the poetic post “Migrations” Mandarina Duck announces the “suspension” of its corporate blog The Duck Side, one of the first in Italy, opened two years ago.

Rossana aka Duky, who has taken care of him over the years, leaves, stating “We are working on a series of new communication projects, of which I cannot anticipate anything, so we decided to suspend, at least for the moment, Duck Side.
It is a time when you need a lot of energy and, as they say, “they need me” … ”

 

The motivation is frankly a bit weak, both because they are other employees qualified to write, and because the work on new projects could have been helped by blogging: for example, why not anticipate some ideas to the readers and involve them in the design?

Given the low number of comments and subscribers to the RSS feed of the blog (always under 100 subscribers) it is difficult not to think that the blog is suspended because it is no longer judged useful for the activity of
company communication.

We are very sorry and we hope that these considerations of ours can help the company get back on its feet as soon as possible.
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At the school of Wikipedia, the (post) modern encyclopedia

The most famous encyclopedia is certainly “The Encyclopedia or Reasoned Dictionary of Sciences, Arts and Crafts” composed by d’Alembert and Diderot in the second half of the 1700s.

It is, in fact, the symbol of a grandiose project aimed at summarizing the whole culture in a single place that can be consulted by all, being written in French and not in Latin as other previous works, a child in turn of the Enlightenment trust in reason capable of embrace and enlighten all human knowledge. Another characteristic is that of dividing knowledge by meaningful voices that refer to each other, making it a constellation of autonomous but mutually connected elements.

 

The idea of ​​Wikipedia to create an encyclopaedia that is open and can be compiled by users is certainly the strongest “theoretical” novelty (if we want to borrow this term from philosophy) in recent years in the field of encyclopedic projects, also taking into account consideration of media transformation in recent years (from paper to cd to online hypertext).

In fact, it takes and radicalizes the eighteenth-century objective of creating “a free and“ universal ”encyclopedia, in terms of both breadth and depth of the topics covered,“ made however by the users themselves and not by experts in the field, exploiting the assumption of collective intelligence (Lévy, 1999) that the single interconnected intelligences multiply the potential of each and control each other. Through this multi-handed editorial activity, Wikipedia aims to have a “neutral point of view”, naturally exposed to errors and vandalism.

Launched on January 15, 2001 as a Nupedia service by Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia soon expanded to become an autonomous project that now has around 250 languages ​​and over 10 million entries.

Even companies can not help but compare with it, since it dominates most of the searches made with search engines and is one of the most visited sites in Italy, constituting a reference point for brands, products and services for many people.

To better understand its nature and potential, Digital PR Academy will take care of Wikipedia on January 19th with a study day in which the president of Wikimedia Italy Frieda Brioschi will also be taking an ad hoc lecture. The course will start from what a wiki is to then better understand the reality of the Wikimedia Foundation, how content is created and with what rules and what companies can and cannot do on Wikipedia.

The day is part of the larger Digital PR Academy project which activates thematic training courses in Milan and Rome for public relations, marketing and press office managers, whose topics include “Internet PR” as well as “Wikipedia” “Social Media Marketing” and “Internet and crisis management”.

Here you can find the complete program of the day and of the other courses while for the citations of this post and for more information on Wikipedia I refer, obviously, to the “Wikipedia” entry on Wikipedia.

Social network and personal data protection

The “Social network: attention not to fall into the net” convention, organized at the Catholic University of Milan, was held on Wednesday, January 28th on the European Day dedicated to the Protection of Personal Data.

In front of a large and crowded audience (including Anna Masera de La Stampa) five experts said their opinion on the relationship between social networks (facebook above all) and personal data. For the Guarantor for the Protection of Personal Data (better known as the Privacy Guarantor) there were Francesco Pizzetti (president) and Mauro Paissan (component) together with Fausto Colombo (professor of Media Theory and Technique at the Catholic University and director of OSSCOM) and Marco Spolidoro (Professor of Industrial Law), moderated by Ruggero Eugeni, director of the ALMED (High School in Media, Communication and Entertainment of the Catholic University).

The Guarantor has chosen a university for comparison in order to start a dialogue with young people and students. As indeed Pizzetti and Paissan have reiterated, his task is not only to make coercion but also information and prevention. With this in mind, the conference opened with a report by Mauro Paissan (summarized here) which emphasized that the real “antivirus” for incorrect or harmful behavior is the users themselves, composing almost a handbook of good practices, taken up in different locations (for example by Anna Masera and Repubblica.it), while Pizzetti reported that the Guarantor is evaluating, together with various operators, a “waterproofing” of social networks to search engines in order to protect the personal data contained.

 

 

Fausto Colombo, with a more sociological slant, underlined the different approach of the generations to social networks: adult ones (the digital “migrants”) are often more reluctant to expose themselves and therefore they protect themselves more, while the younger ones (the “natives”) digital) are struggling to find a clear way of managing data that is disseminated, differently from what happens for mobile phones and instant messaging programs. Colombo also highlighted the fact that the media has always had to do with the question of social control (Foucault docet), but in this case there is a need to develop greater guarantees and sensitivity.

Marco Spolidoro has instead underlined the lack of a consolidated jurisprudence that protects the data on the net, above all dwelling on the copyright and citing the Peppermint case.

Finally, Ruggero Eugeni highlighted a feature of social networks: if the other media are constituted independently of social behavior, in the case of social networks the tool is placed simultaneously with them and the two aspects cannot be dissociated, making our mental schemes obsolete.

The concern for personal data fits in fully with the question of the existence of a memory on the net: what will we find on the net looking for ourselves in a decade? In the meantime, how will the kaleidoscope of pages that concern us be combined?

Lancia communicates with the network and presents the New Delta in preview

Yesterday in Turin the meeting was held between Lancia managers belonging to different areas of the company and a well-fed group of forumists and car bloggers and, in particular, connoisseurs of the historic brand.

The day was full of content. The meeting began at Mirafiori with the illustration of the program and the presentation of the group’s communication activities made by Lancia Communications Director Maurizio Spagnulo and Delta Product Manager Juri De Rochi.

 

 

After the ritual buffet, with the minibus (in the photo) made available by the hosts, the already close-knit group moved to visit the Lancia dealer in Corso Marche to view the new concept of the automaker’s sales points.

The last stop was the Style Center where designers and creatives develop the group’s car projects.

In this place, super-guarded like Alcatraz but with the internal aspect of the MoMa in New York, the cheerful handpiece has met and dialogued (to no end …) with those who develop all aspects of car design in person: the designer Marco Tencone (who designed the New Delta), the manager of Fiat Powertrain, the Magneti Marelli Manager.

After a brief presentation the most desired moment arrived: the mink and the contact with the New Delta. Those present scoured the car down to the smallest details and pleasantly drowned the technical managers present.

The meeting ended with the revelation of the prices (in world preview!) To those present by the Italian Marketing Director Carlo Melloni: the “infiltrator” journalist of Quattroruote did not miss the tasty opportunity.

Considering that, having organized the appointment in first person, the risk of not being considered very objective I report the impression of the present Enrico who, in my opinion, makes very well the idea of ​​the climate of the day:

What struck me most of all was the predisposition of the Lancia executives, perfectly in tune with the event. They were willing to talk and even deal with thorny questions without ever hiding behind the corporate babble. I believe that this attitude (which in other areas of business is still not present) has encouraged the conversation and I believe that Lancia has drawn some interesting feedback.

Allow me to add a thank you to all the very prepared and always attentive participants and see you at the next dates!