Organizations don’t Tweet, people do

Organizations don’t Tweet, people do : A Manager’s guide to the Social Web by Euan Semple


In the Foreward to this excellent book, Andrew McAfee (Principal Research Scientist at MIT and author of Enterprise 2.0) describes Euan Semple as being “passionate about making things better … insightful, unconvential and original” with an indepth knowledge of “social web, social business, Enterprise 2.0”.

It is deliberately formatted into many short chapters making it easy to pick up when you have just a few minutes spare.  You can then mull over each chapter (applying your ideas to your own situation) before reading the next.  You can also read the chapters out of sequence because they are self-contained mini-units.  I found this style really useful because it enables you to fit in a bit of reading during a busy day and to jump from one topic of particular interest to another.

Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite accompanied by my own thoughts:


Those [organizations] who are successful at deploying social tools in business tend to be good at enticing people into their use and try to make them relevant and useful to as many people as possible.” (Semple, 2012)  I agree totally with the need to entice people to collaborate because you cannot force social tools on people so collaboration must seem relevant and must pique their interest.

Chapter 1 – We all need to grow up

“Thinking too much is seen as a bad thing in many workplaces and ‘having ideas above your station’ a frequent admonishment.” (Semple, 2012)  If a company is to benefit from the vast amount of knowledge inside all of their employees then the company has to be open and receptive to everyone having a “voice” provided that the views shared are for the common good and Semple (2012) posits that “power is shifting from institutions and corporations to networks and individuals”.

Chapter 2 – Ten Steps to success with technology

“Be prepared to go where people’s use of the tools takes you and enjoy the ride” (Semple, 2012)  This might sound reckless, cavalier and unstructured (which might be deeply unsettling to anyone who loves systems) but, if you trust the people you work with, you will be able to trust that good things will come out of the journey.  Semple advises that companies should  “Cultivate communication and trust between those who care that it works and have the commitment to do something about it”

Chapter 3 – The ultimate in democracy

What would it be like in an organisation if everyone took “full responsibility  for ourselves and those around us – the ultimate in democracy, not the absence of it[?]”

There are 45 short chapters and the above extracts will have given you a flavour of Semple’s ideas; I highly recommend this book.


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