Delve Blog

Dec 06

Delve meets Yammer

We’re excited to announce our official integration with Yammer! Now you can sync your Yammer account with Delve, for seamless collaborative news reading and sharing. 

To learn more about how the integration works, check out our post on the Yammer blog. And if you’re ready to delve in, you can download the app right from the Yammer App Directory.

Dec 05

What Delve’s Reading: The future of the work

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As 2013 winds down, here are some reads to inspire innovation in your workplace for the new year. 

We’re in the midst of an organizational paradigm shift. 

History shows that with new tools and technologies come new office cultures and ways of working – or new ways of working drive the creation of new tools.

Jon Husband examines these historic shifts in work and puts a magnifying glass to the evolution of knowledge sharing and management. While we’ve come a long way, Jon says there’s still much to be improved, especially given this new era of real-time collaboration. 

"Many parts of knowledge work have been routinized and standardized with the ongoing marriages of business processes and integrated enterprise information systems. What has not changed much yet is the adaptation of structures and culture to permit easily building flows of information into pertinent, useful and just-in-time knowledge, or fanning out problem-solving and accountability into networks of connected workers." (Read more)

And this new era has a name, according to Steven Sinofsky: Continuous Productivity.

"Continuous productivity shifts our efforts from the start/stop world of episodic work and work products to one that builds on the technologies that start to answer what happens when: A generation of new employees has access to the collective knowledge of an entire profession and experts are easy to find and connect with; Collaboration takes place across organization and company boundaries with everyone connected by a social fiber that rises above the boundaries of institutions; Data, knowledge, analysis, and opinion are equally available to every member of a team in formats that are digital, sharable, and structured; People have the ability to time slice, context switch, and proactively deal with situations as they arise, shifting from a world of start/stop productivity and decision-making to one that is continuous." (Read more)

 

Why does social collaboration at work matter?

Collaboration replaces institutional memory, JP Rangaswami believes. When we make use of collective intelligence we are able to parcel large volumes of data into digestible, actionable bytes.  

"We now have abilities to act collectively in ways we’ve never really had before. Soon, problem-solving in the enterprise will be about knowledge-work triage; which people are the best at classifying or categorizing incoming issues; how the right resources are attracted to solving the problem; how the institutions learns from that process and embeds the learning for the future." (Read more)

In today’s more complex knowledge economy, learning is the work. Harold Jarche says that to thrive in the workplace, we need to be engaged, share knowledge and build strong interpersonal relationships.

"The most effective learning in the new world of work will be when engaged individuals, working out loud, share their knowledge." (Read more)

 

Sparking change within your organization can happen in five steps.

Last month, we told you how to take your organization from enterprise 1.0 to enterprise 2.0 and the steps still stand. 

 

Will your New Year’s resolution be to more collaborative at work? 

- Cara

Nov 07

Five Steps to a Social Business Epiphany

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Social business. Social marketing was likely the first wave of social to hit your company. This next revolution promises to change the very way you work and interact with your co-workers.

The idea is simple: the social web empowered us to tap the collective mind of our trusted friends, colleagues, and the world at large. Management experts promise those same tools placed inside your workplace will let you do the same, and more, in the workplace trenches. The result: smarter, more connected employees, better business decisions, and faster innovation.

If only it were that easy.

All too often, that social, collaborative roar of the external world dulls to a barely audible buzz inside the office. What we have here is a hydra-headed problem.

Those same experts who promise a revolution warn that workplace culture, or poorly designed software, or something in the middle, can smother well-intended initiatives before they have a chance to get off the ground. The truth is, there is no magical on/off switch for organizations to operate in a specific way. Social business is, after all, an initiative - a proposal for improvement - and initiatives require more than one kind of support to be successful.  

So what can you do to guarantee a successful social rollout in your company? Here are five steps you should be sure to incorporate into your social plan:

1.  Embrace the same cultural values of the social web

Before any kind of social rollout can be successful, your organization must welcome the open nature of the social web – accepting ideas like free-flow sharing and collaborative ideation. 

2. Understand how and why knowledge sharing is needed in your organization 

Without a clearly defined ask, you’re only setting others up to fail. Everyone in the organization must understand what the purpose and goals of the initiative are. 

3. Allot the time and space inside your organization

For this type of initiative is to work, employees need to feel like what they’re doing is going to be valued and that it’s a part of their priorities - and not a deviation or distraction.

4. Find a tool or technology that enables a culture of sharing and collaboration/conducive behaviors 

Look for tools with functions that enable the certain behaviors you’re looking for. You may need to invest in building a unique solution to match your needs but chances are there’s a startup out there solving your pain point.

5. Be a champion or rally a group of evangelists to see the initiative through

Once the solution is in place, as leadership or the crusading group set the tone and provide examples. Maybe that means you need to preseed the tool with content and conversations, or maybe it means that you host an onboarding session. 

Good luck, and as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Want more? Here’s some extra reading material: Designing Effective Knowledge Networks

- Cara

Oct 29

On the startup pitch: Do you wish to buy any baskets?

It’s a common refrain you’ll hear in the startup world: ”beware the assumption that ‘if you build it they will come.’”

In other words, people don’t discover—and fall in love with—and share—a product spontaneously. Such happy results are the product of thoughtful, deliberate design, of fitting your solution to real world problems by talking up customers, of persuasive marketing, and of course, of a bit of elbow grease.

The concept’s not a new one. Just ask Henry David Thoreau, who had a few things to say about (the 19th century New England) economy in Walden:

"Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood. “Do you wish to buy any baskets?” he asked. “No, we do not want any,” was the reply. “What!” exclaimed the Indian as he went out the gate, “do you mean to starve us?” Having seen his industrious white neighbors so well off—that the lawyer had only to weave arguments, and, by some magic, wealth and standing followed—he had said to himself: I will go into business; I will weave baskets; it is a thing which I can do. Thinking that when he had made the baskets he would have done his part, and then it would be the white man’s to buy them. He had not discovered that it was necessary for him to make it worth the other’s while to buy them, or at least make him think that it was so, or to make something else which it would be worth his while to buy."

With that in mind, I’d like to share my Delve pitch at the Online News Association conference earlier this month. You can see the slides and read the text of the pitch below. 

And so, we’d ask: what do you think? Do you wish to buy any baskets?

- Andrew

———

Hi, I’m Andy, and I’m here to talk about Delve, a private social news network for enterprises and publishers.

Delve was born out of a simple question: how could the tools of the social web help teams and organizations put great journalism to work.

Year before last, my co-founders and I got together and we realized – we’re living in a pretty cool time in history. The social web had arrived and we felt more connected to the world around us than we ever could’ve imagined.

Facebook showed us what was up with our friends. Twitter gave us what was happening right now, anywhere in the world. And LinkedIn connected to our professional network.

But we realized that there was one network that was untapped by the social revolution. And that was the workplace.

The need was clearly there.

My cofounder curated a daily newsletter for his company, but the links, and the quality conversations they occasionally sparked, got lost in the clutter of his co-workers email inboxes. 

Our friends companies gave Yammer a whirl, but found quality curation consistently drowned out by posts about apartment listings and broken coffee machines.

I was working my first job as a reporter at Associated Press, and while my colleagues were moving onto Twitter en masse, it wasn’t a place where we dissected the craft of journalism or shared best practices as a team.

We were awash in content, but it wasn’t helping us engage, collaborate with, and learn from our co-workers. 

So we took a closer look at the tools at hand and here’s what we found:  the same things that made them powerful to us as consumers undercut their usefulness at the workplace.

The massiveness and openness of tools like Twitter encouraged broadcasting over conversation. And the uniform emphasis on real-time communications, on the status update, emphasized the incremental while burying thoughtful conversations in the flow.

And we decided there was an opportunity. What would a tool that slowed the news down to encourage curation and conversation at work look like? 

First, it would be private – as a company, we didn’t want our competitors to rob our best ideas. And as a community, we wanted to create a space where experts could take down their guard and learners would feel free to think bug.  

It would also be purpose-driven. This was a work tool. Even more than a consumer tool, the value of the tool had to be explicit for workers to make time for it.  So we set learning and knowledge exchange via curation as the explicit goal and hammered the message home with a slogan: turn news to knowledge. We reinforced the idea on the product itself by helping users stake out roles and expertise on public profiles and enabling group segmentation to encourage topical conversations.

Finally, it would need some firepower. We didn’t want to put the onus on our users to fill an empty room. So we built a recommendation engine to personalize a reading list for each user, based on links and comments shared by thought leaders on the social web.

Five months ago, we brought those big ideas with us to the New York Times first ever incubator: TimeSpace. I’d like to invite the ONA community to take a look at the results, by joining a private Delve network we’ve created just for you.

We’re looking for users, feedback, publisher partners. Stop by our booth; we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Oct 28

“The great end of knowledge is not knowledge, but action.” — Thomas Henry Huxley

Sep 03

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May 17

What Delve’s Reading: Scandal fever, Strongbox, and embracing analog

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Filed under bittersweet: Aaron Swartz’s legacy carries on this week with the New Yorker’s launch of Strongbox, the open-source, anonymous inbox Aaron helped build last year. The idea is to let tipsters and leakers share information with journalists anonymously without fear of being traced, a crucial element of news-gathering that’s been put to the test in our data-driven age. We’re betting the AP, recent victims of the Obama administration’s leak hunt, will be booting up a Strongbox of their own pretty soon. Read Kevin Poulsen’s story in the New Yorker about how Strongbox came to be.

MORE TECH

Acqui-happy: Yahoo looking to acquire Tumblr. Facebook and Microsoft may be kicking the tires too. Prepare for a sweepstakes.

"Advertisers are users too." One year after the Facebook IPO, the company has gotten serious about making hay, but the stock is stuck.

Google wants to go toe-to-toe with Spotify. Here’s how the tech giant beat its rival, Apple, to the punch with a streaming music service.

POLITICS

Well that didn’t take long. Barely a half-year since re-election, reports of the demise of President Obama’s second term are circulating far and wide. D.C. turns on Obama, wrote Politico. While the three proto-scandals—IRS, Benghazi talking points, and DOJ seizure of AP phone records— may be fledgling and seemingly unrelated, there’s no denying it. Washington has scandal fever. Turns out pairing up your administration’s first serious scandal with an unprecedented intrusion into the privacy of the fourth estate is a great way to guarantee a shellacking in the press. 

Margaret Sullivan at the Times denounced the administration for “unprecedented secrecy” and “unprecedented attacks on a free press.”

MEDIA

All this bad press for Obama has Brendan Nyhan at CJR asking how journalists should balance coverage of facts versus ‘narrative’.: “As I argue in my academic research, media scandals are a “co-production” of the opposition party and the press. It takes two to tango.

And what of Bloomberg News’ own little scandal? The organization apologized this week for letting its reporters snoop on users of the Bloomberg financial terminal. Yes, Bloomberg’s culture is all about omniscience, down to the last keystroke.

What does the quiet death of NewsRight, promoted as a way for the newspaper industry to monetize through smart licensing and piracy detection, say about the changing content landscape? A lot. And a lot of it’s optimistic.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

There’s one word that shouldn’t exist in an entrepreneur’s vocabulary, writes Mark Suster. Guess what it is.

Bad Sign: Scientists warn we’ve officially passed a long-feared climate change milestone: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached an average daily level of 400 parts per million. 

Tip of the week: Tech elites are turning their devices off and cultivating analog lives. You should too. 

May 10

What Delve’s reading: most big data really isn’t big, the real deal Instagram sale, and more

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It’s 2013, and if you don’t have Big Data, your business is toast. Right? Wrong, says Christopher Mims in QuartzTech pundits have conflated big data with ‘data analysis,’ a counterproductive and potentially costly switcheroo. According to a Microsoft Research study, even data-driven companies like Facebook and Yahoo aren’t dealing with big data in the classic sense. Turns out looking at the right data matters more than quantity; or as the old saying goes, size matters less than you think.

TECH

MG Siegler, of Techcrunch and ParisLemon renown, decided he likes writing checks so much that he’s joining Google Ventures as a general partner.

What really went down with the sale of Instagram to Facebook? Kara Swisher took to Vanity Fair to tell the tale. 

Odds are, you’ve seen a few Google Glass reviews in the past few weeks. Business Insider says the final verdict is in. "Nobody Likes Google Glass."

MEDIA

Margaret Sullivan, the fifth public editor at the New York Times since the Jayson Blair scandal made the position a necessity, asks could a similar episode - or something as damaging - happen again?

ENVIRONMENT

Don’t miss Google Earth’s new Timelapse project. How much can humans change the face of the planet in 28 years? A lot, as animated gifs of the Brazilian Amazon and shrinking glaciers aptly demonstrate.

POLITICS

The Heritage Foundation made a splash with a study saying that immigration reform will cost the public trillions. We’re not ones for ad hominem attacks, but it is noteworthy that past academic work by Jason Richwine, one of the study’s co-authors, asserts that there are persistent IQ differences between whites and hispanics. The Heritage Foundation says Richwine’s past work does not reflect the organization’s positions.

HEALTH

One hospital charges $8,000—another, $38,000. No joke. And we know it because the federal government is releasing pricing data from the 100 most common inpatient procedures. Is public shame a new cost control tactic?

For Fun: The Atlantic asks, why do NPR reporters have such great names? Is it the names themselves? Or the medium?

May 03

What Delve’s Reading: deviant globalization, the problem with disruption and more

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If you’ve been anywhere near a tech conference or the internet in the past year, you’ve come across the word “disrupt.” You might’ve heard of a few conferences bearing the name. (Kudos to Enigma by the way, awesome endeavor). Or perhaps the last 10 startup pitches you’ve heard have promised disruption when they deliver anything but. Cut it out, writes Slate’s Matt Yglesias.  Disruptive innovation actually means something, and it’s a pretty damn useful concept too: “Turning disruption into an all-purpose tech buzzword obscures its importance while simultaneously distracting innovators from real opportunities.” 

Big week for Facebook. Despite a modest stock bounce, Quartz called its earnings the worst report the young company has ever issued, citing a spending race with Google for engineering talent and a quarter-over-quarter decline in global revenue per user. And while user growth in the developing world continues, usage may have peaked in developed markets. Some, like Henry Blodget, aren’t worried: Facebook is doing exactly the right thing: ignoring Wall Street and investing aggressively.

As for what they’re doing with all that talent? Here’s an awesome read from Alexis C. Madrigal on their design philosophy.

MEDIA

White spaces are in. Reuters has a preview of its site redesign up and, logically, given its newswire roots, it scrapped the home page concept for a ‘river-of-news’ approach. It reminds us of a preview of another news site’s mobile-friendly redesign: the New York Times.

Maybe you’ve heard that the Koch brothers want to buy the LA TImes to play some media offense for the conservative movement. Turns out the staff wouldn’t like it: about 1/2 said they’d resign if the brothers succeed.

Betaworks bought Instapaper. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you should. They’re buying up all the key pieces in the online ecosystem.

ENERGY/ENVIRO

We hope this doesn’t surprise you, but, fracking won’t get the U.S. out of the Persian Gulf, Steve LeVine points out in a writeup about Michael Levi’s new book Power Surge. “Even if the US buys not a drop of oil from the Middle East, Levi said, it is likely to retain long-term interest in Israel’s security.”

And you’ve heard a lot about the pernicious effects of the sequester. Another one to keep tabs on: millions in budget cuts for regional climate research centers. Because a blindfold is exactly what we need as we go over the climate cliff.

POLITICS

Term of the week: “Deviant Globalization”: “a hidden and powerful underground economy that is growing globally at twice the rate of the legal economy. This vast commercial underworld rewards those who combine traditional business skills with the ability to operate in the spaces between the laws and enforcement agencies of various countries. Those who succeed can make enormous profits off of such illicit activities as trafficking in drugs, weapons and humans, money laundering, intellectual and physical piracy, sex tourism and even organ trading and cross-border waste disposal.” Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera is a meastro.

HEALTH

Great read from Ezra Klein that cuts to the heart of our flawed healthcare system. Turns out home care for complex illnesses improves quality and cuts costs, yet Medicare may shut it down. 

FOR FUN

How I Became a Hipster. "You know you’re in hipster Brooklyn when someone who looks like a 19th-century farmer tells you that his line of work is "affinity marketing.""

LONG READ

This man gave up the internet for a year, but came back because it’s something we do with others. 

Apr 26

What Delve’s Reading: Churnalism, how to build a startup community and more

What’s the lesson of the AP twitter hack, on the heels of misinformation after the Boston tragedy? Dan Gillmor says we, each one of us, the former ‘audience,’ must get it in our heads to trust nothing at first glance, to use judgement with each new story. Call it a slow news approach.

As for those Wall Street algorithms making crappy trades by the microsecond after the AP hack? They’re making it awfully hard to get a job in finance in Wall Street. This chart shows a decline of more than 30% since Dec. 2000.

MEDIA

There’s an old adage in journalism that news is what someone, somewhere wants to suppress. Everything else is just advertising. Our new favorite tool, churnalism, helps answer that question: Is it Journalism? Or just a repackaged press release?

And as a follow up, remember, never pay for twitter followers kids. As these celebs found out, it doesn’t look pretty.

In media biz news, the New York Times reverted back to a revenue loss in the first quarter of 2013 after chalking up a hopeful, if slim, gain for 2012. They followed the news by lifting its industry-heralded paywall for videos, and promised to build video ‘franchises’ around popular columnists.

Finally, the Koch brothers are trying to buy Tribune Company’s 8 regional papers, including the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times.

TECH

What does it take to create a startup community? Or is that even possible? With ‘Silicon’ alleys, beaches, and hills popping up around the country, there’s no lack of people trying. Dealbook digs in.

Ray Kurzweil is helping Google make the ultimate AI brain. Oh, and he thinks we’re only 15 years away from the tipping point toward beating death (or at least serious longevity).

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Young Americans are driving a whole lot less. Why? A return to transit-rich cities and the national love affair with all things digital play key roles.

The toll of pollution on China’s youth is going to be staggering, reports Edward Wong at the Times. What appeared to be externalities end up as real internal costs.

HEALTH

Meanwhile, the uninsured population in the US keeps growing ahead of Obamacare implementation, accounting for almost half of working-age adults last year. 

Oh, and in case you saw that Politico story making the rounds: No, Congress isn’t trying to exempt itself from Obamacare.

Laughs: Majority of Americans not informed enough to stereotype Chechens via The Onion.

Boston follow-up: The American dream isn’t for everyone, writes New Yorker’s David Remnick on The Brothers Tsarnaev.

Wonk of the Week: We interviewed Doximity’s Nate Gross, a bona fide Silicon Valley optimist, who says social curation of clinical findings and medical research could speed the adoption of new medical knowledge from a matter of decades to a matter of months.