Corporate communicators have been lacking in the social media department for what seems like forever, and while that might have been okay in the past, there's less and less room for the socially inept in today's work force. This week we explored reasons behind the roadblock, as well as other struggles of giants such as Microsoft (Windows Phone 7, anybody?). 

Why Corporate Communicators are Failing Social Media

To put it simply, both large and small -- but mostly large -- companies are constantly struggling to effectively make use of social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. The issues behind the blockage have been echoed over the corporate space for years now:

"I actually probably don't want somebody with a communications background," said Amber Naslund around this time last year when asked what she would look for if she had to replace herself as the Director of Communications at Radian6. "…the truth is there's a lot of preconceived notions in corporate communications that are very, very difficult to undo, and part of the reason that social media is struggling for adoption inside established companies is that they're having trouble jettisoning old ideas about how and what to communicate to their customers."

Another report from last year indicates that bloggers are no better: “Few Australian blogs are getting the full benefit of publishing a blog and instead seem to have simply ticked the blog box as part of some PR / marketing checklist,” said Salinet Point co-founder Ben Dunscombe.

And finally, we come to today. A survey by The Access Point revealed that 89% of the 80 corporations that participated intend to increase their investment in social media over the coming year, regardless of the fact that the issues remain the same:

"One of the major obstacles communicators face in the adoption and usage of social media is a lack of understanding among internal stakeholders within their organizations," wrote Brian T. Regan, GM New York, and Access Point's Senior VP, Michael B. Young. "Most feel they have mastered the social media basics (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) and are seeking to take social to the next level."

What happens when you mix a big pool of corporations with an increase of a concept they don't understand? Probably something really, really bad.

We hope this will open up a conversation for what you all consider the next step in social media, as well as some input about today's understanding of what a community manager should and shouldn't be doing. Read on and hit us with your two cents here.  

Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 7, Will it App-eal to Enough People?

These days it takes a lot of backbone to compete with companies like Apple and Google in the mobile pool, but Microsoft is one of those players that has a lot of backbone. In what is being perceived as their last shot to stay in the mobile game,  the company has launched Windows Phone 7

The phone is made to appeal to the hard working executive, showing important boxes to check such as next appointments and a count of unread emails on the lock-screen. Outlook integration is also featured, as well as PowerPoint presentations that can be edited and previewed on the go. 

Unfortunately the crowd isn't so hot for missing -- and pretty basic -- functionality,  such as cut and paste capabilities which reportedly won't be available until next year. 

If for whatever reason Microsoft grabs hold of your attention in this arena harder than the popular iPhone or Droid devices, keep track of models such as LG, HTC and Samsung on November 8th. 

Plugging Gmail Gadgets into Outlook with Xobni

Back in May, e-mail management company Xobni (news, site) announced a new platform for plugging contextual Gmail gadgets to Outlook. This week, the first of these gadgets made their debut: Outlook users can now see previews of images, videos and feeds from Flickr, Huddle, Yelp and YouTube without leaving their inbox.

Part of the Xobni for Outlook 1.9.5 release, the new gadgets allow e-mails to contain rich previews of links to Flickr photos, YouTube videos or Yelp listings. The previews appear at the bottom like so:


Other cool capabilities include the expansion of the gadget bar (seen at the bottom of the image), and the tabbed functionality for preserving screen real estate. Also, if you're not feelin' it you can completely disable it as well. 

Check out more info here

UK Enterprise 2.0 Study: Usage, Spending, Use Cases and More

Sometimes it's a good idea to look at what your peers are doing on an international level. David Osimo, Paul Foley, Federico Biagi (all from Tech4i2), Mike Thompson, Lee Bryant (both from Headshift), and David Bradshaw from IDC are helping out with a recent study on Enterprise 2.0 in Europe.

Jacob Morgan, Principal and Co-founder of Chess Media Group, broke down the 160 page beast for us, highlighting interesting points such as use cases, spending and Apps vs. 2.0. Check it here.

Beyond Findability: Endeca Mixes Business Intelligence and Enterprise Search 

Endeca Technologies (news, site) made headlines this week with Endeca Latitude, a new Business Intelligence product designed to provide organizations with the ability to find and understand information. 

With extreme interaction on the forefront, the heart of Endeca Latitude consists of three main principals (no data left behind, ease of use and agile delivery) and a hybrid search-analytical database. Applications can be built on top of the whole shebang, to boot.

If you live for BI, Endeca latitude might be worth your while. Check it out here.