Facebook At Work

960-facebooks-new-website-will-allow-you-to-officially-start-facebooking-at-wor.jpgSandeep Kalsi is a Board advisor, focused on leadership development in marketing/media & tech companies.

Don’t be shy, take that extra step into a more sophisticated and collaborative workplace with Facebook at Work. Ok, maybe not just yet! Rolling out in phases, the recently launched enterprise offering from Facebook is going to make things a lot easier for you. Likes, comments and shares will start to have new meanings.  In reality, collaboration tools have been happening for a while, in larger companies some of us have grown up with clunky corporate intranets, which may have served some useful business and admin functions but never really took off as a serious communication platform. More than likely, you’ll be using some sort of group tool, either Skype or WhatsApp. If you’re a little bit savvier, you may have been exposed to the next generation product suite which includes the likes of Slack.  FB @ Work, no doubt, is likely to be a game changer.  “Likes” may point to positive or negative reactions from employees; “shares” will drive exchange of ideas, good communication and perhaps improve business speed.  The ability to canvass opinion and make quick decisions is not a bad thing!!

With FB, one thing is certain, its UI will bring a huge amount of familiarity for users and that could drive mass adoption, especially if it is free in some form. The level of market disruption is naturally expected to be huge.  I’m a huge fan of the connected workplace, it’s definitely making its mark. Something any platform provider must do is provide a layer of collaboration tools and options, to enable teams to interact, network and feel part of a community.

Well how does this impact PR, media and marketing professionals? Examine what sort of tools your team or agency are using. Make choices based on improving communication horizontally and vertically in your organization, this will in most cases positively impact employee engagement. In India, the workplace demands good communication protocols, managing virtual teams, and driving Pan-India campaigns across remote locations is extremely challenging. Add to that the preference of controlled communication in India, which probably is the reason why conventional enterprise networks are still the first choice. At Skribe, we’re using all of the above to help us run our business – connecting our data, research and customer teams. Collaboration and sharing is also top-of-mind when we are developing the enterprise and agency solution. As long as work profiles are kept separate from personal ones, FB @ work will add to the conversation. Engage.

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Acts of Intimidation

MediaWatchThe Editors Guild of India issued a statement on Saturday condemned “the blatant acts of intimidation and threats to Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Wire, by student members of the ABVP in Allahabad University (AU) that forced the police to intervene to escort him to safety.” The incident took place last Wednesday when Varadrajan had gone to the university to meet VC RL Hangloo, after he was refused permission by AU authorities to address a symposium at the Senate hall of the Arts campus. » Fake Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups run by persons pretending to be journalists in Kashmir are crippling journalism by spreading rumours. In a latest episode when rumour about anti-polio drops killing Kashmiri children created massive panic shows the trend of misuse of social media in J&K. Reported by The Hoot. » RED FM 93.5 has come up with a national campaign. Named – Bahut Kiya Sammaan, Awaaz Uthate Raho 93.5 RED FM Bajaate Raho, the campaign focuses on city specific issues such as pollution, unhygienic conditions, water shortage, and traffic jams, and urges people to raise their voice in protest. » I&B Ministry has asked all private channels to carry DD News telecast of the Republic Day Parade on 26 January with sign language interpretation to make it more meaningful for the differently-abled.

It’s Free You Say?

^AB7BFA99DAA6300960B55A4D7F526016D8EDA99B6D54E71F20^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrWhatsApp has announced that it will drop its USD 0.99 annual subscription fee, and will be available for free from now on. What’s interesting is that the Facebook-owned firm has assured its users that it will not start rolling out third-party advertisements to make up for the loss in subscription fees. Instead, it will look into partnering with companies, to open communication channels with its 900 million user base worldwide. » Google has emerged as the most trusted news source for second year in a row. In a report released by Edelman (USA), 63% of people out of 33,000 surveyed across 28 countries say they trust “search engines” for news and information more than the news outlets whose articles Google aggregates. Only 53% trust “online-only media.” What this means is that readers are more likely to trust a headline they read in Google’s news aggregator, over the same headline on its original website, Ouch!! » The Media Foundation has invited nominations for its annual Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Media person for 2015-16. The annual Chameli Devi Awards have been around since 1982. Last date of filing nominations is February 15, 2016. The Award will be announced a few days before it is presented at the India International Centre Auditorium in Delhi on March 17, 2016. For more details.

Paperless FIR

ChaiTime-Image24.12Now file your FIR on WhatsApp. CM Devendra Fadnavis announced that from January 1, police station in Maharashtra will start a process of registering Information Reports (FIRs) online. The copy of the complaint will be given on WhatsApp along with a confirmation SMS. » After free voice call on WhatsApp now tests the video-calling feature. Video-calls will have to be optimized for slower networks, especially for regions like India where WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps. » Google is working to build a new app that lets users chat with friends or message a chat-bot for answers.  The app additional will also be able to do everything that a normal Google search can, such as offering up answers and providing links to web pages.

War of the Words

Trending-Image18.12Smriti Irani was caught in the firing line for using the word ‘blasphemous’ in a press conference as she defended FM Arun Jaitley in the DDCA controversy. Taking to Twitter, journalist Sagarika Ghose wrote, “Smriti Irani says charges are “blasphemous”! Erm..blasphemy? As in an act of insulting God?” to which Irani replied saying that Ghose should tag her in her tweets if she has something to say as only cowards talk behind the back. The tweets turned heated until Irani went back to doing what she termed as ‘productive work’. » India has taken the 97th spot in the Forbes annual ranking of the best countries for business. “India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain” said Forbes, while Denmark topped the list for the sixth time in ten years. » The temporary ban on WhatsApp was lifted in Brazil after a different judge ordered the service to be blocked for 48 hours. A judge in Sao Paulo lifted the block, saying, “It does not seem reasonable that millions of users are affected” because WhatsApp had not cooperated with a criminal investigation. He recommended fining the company instead.

First Draft News

ChaiTime-Image24.11To help scribers who find it difficult to scour emerging stories from user generated content on the internet, a group called the First Draft Coalition, with Google News Labs and seven other partners has released a website called the First Draft News. The website will help journalists better understand social newsgathering, verification techniques, ethics and the law, in-depth investigations, fakes and hoaxes, and other issues. Alastair Reid, former editor of journalism.co.uk has been appointed as the site’s managing editor and can be reached at alastair@firstdraftnews.com » The Chinese government appears to have adopted new methods of implementing censorship on its public. According to The New York Times China has blocked foreign messaging apps like WhatsApp while also shutting down phone service of the users entirely, currently restricted to Xinjiang territory. The shutdown is preceded by a text message which asks the users to consult with the cyber police affiliated with their nearest police station for any questions.

WhatsApp Reloaded

ChaiTime-Image27.8Have you checked WhatsApp on Android recently? Now it’s reloaded with more control over messaging to the users. The update allows users to mark messages as unread even after reading them, customize message ringtones and pop up notifications, mute individual contacts, use lesser data in WhatsApp calls, and express with new emoji. » Nikon has put down its caution notice against the two E-Commerce websites – Flipkart & Snapdeal, stating that they are not its authorized partner/dealer. Therefore, users are advised to check the warranty entitlements before buying any products from these portals. This decision came after Flipkart lodged a complaint against Nikon India in the Karnataka HC on August 3, which advised to settle the matter out of court. » ‘Augere Wireless Broadband’ is now the wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel in 4G push. The acquisition gives Airtel the right to use 2300MHz spectrum in a total of nine circles. This move enhances the company’s strength in 4G, which it launched recently.