British professionals fall behind U.S in recognising social media potential

Survey of 1000 working professionals uncovers several major barriers to the use of social media at work and shows that Americans are quicker to see the benefits of being active online

DUBLIN – 16 June, 2015 – A new survey of 1,000 professionals published today by Scredible – developer of socially driven education technologies – shows that nearly half (47%) of UK professionals believe there is too much useless content on social media.

The study, which surveyed fully-employed professionals aged between 20 and 45 also finds that around a quarter of Brits (26%) think there is too much spam on social media. 29% simply do not have time to post during the working day. A further 19% are worried about what their employers might think of their social media profiles, including how what they share might be judged.

Full-size infographic: http://clk.ie/YWgvvxSCR

Full-size infographic: http://clk.ie/YWgvvxSCR

Colin Lucas-Mudd, Chief Executive Officer at Scredible plc, says: “In the UK, our research shows major barriers preventing businesses benefitting from professionals’ use of social media at work. Many UK workers share concerns over how hard it is to find good content, the time required to sift through spam, and worries their employers’ perception of using social media. As social media rapidly moves into the #1 slot, both as a marketing and support tool, this is a disaster in the making in terms of global competitiveness. Further, as it becomes more important than ever for professionals to fully understand ‘social’ as a learning and development tool, educational opportunities are being lost and career prospects dimmed.

“The UK stands out as a world leader in the creative arts, as well as the knowledge and digital economies. However, the negative perceptions of social media demonstrated by this survey will ultimately put this position at risk.”

The results show that social media service providers need to improve their offers and educate UK business stakeholders better. Many British professionals view it as an entertainment rather than business resource with 68% of respondents believing social media is most useful for keeping in touch with friends. A significant proportion (38%) believe that social media is a ‘distraction’ that should be banned at work.

The survey reveals a stark contrast between U.K. with U.S professionals, the latter of whom are more favourable towards using social media in a business environment. Some 61% of Americans recognise that social media will be important for their careers in 5 years’ time, compared with only 39% of Brits.

Lucas-Mudd continues: “The UK is renowned globally for its creative, digital industries; but history demonstrates that we often fail to exploit the enormous commercial, development, and educational opportunities presented by a more connected world. Businesses and individuals that are quickest to recognise the benefits of an active social profile will get ahead of the competition. More awareness is needed everywhere, but we Brits can certainly learn from the U.S in this regard. Something we need to do quickly if we’re to remain competitive.”

Other key findings of the survey include:

·       Only 3% think social media currently provides useful, educational content

·       Only 5% believe that social media is most useful researching

·       3% think its most useful for finding a job

·       11% of respondents think employees can damage a company’s reputation through using social media

To find out more about Scredible, visit the website at https://scredible.com/ or download from the Apple App store or on Google Play.

Article originally appeared on BusinessWire
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Fixing the digital skills gap

Article originally appeared in Thales Learning & Development, Enhance June/July 2015.
TLD - article image

Photo credit: Thales Learning & Development, Enhance June/July 2015.

Industry Expert Q&A

We spoke to Colin Lucas-Mudd, founder and CEO of Scredible, to find out why his technology and education platform is catching people’s attention and talk about the growing digital skills gap.

What does Scredible do?

It helps business professionals acquire information and knowledge. You tell the Scredible app your goals, interests, and areas of expertise, and it looks at the aggregate data on you and others with similar goals. The aggregate data enables the application to deliver content and trend lines that are calculated to be most valuable for any given goal.

The more you use Scredible, the more accurate it gets. It is learning with you, and finding out what you don’t know… but perhaps should.  Ultimately it will predict what you should be learning next in order to attain your professional goals. Unlike news readers that deliver ‘popular’ stories, Scredible returns a deep vein of relevant, validated content from credible sources, helping professionals build their reputation online.

How does this type of app differ from, say,  a MOOC?

MOOCs have been a boon for auto-didactic self-starters and/or the economically disadvantaged. The key problem is that MOOCs, for the most part, simply apply legacy fundamentals using technological tools for delivery—they’ve not improved on traditional classroom education in any way that would make the much-needed difference.  They haven’t solved for the “telling ain’t training” problem – a problem that is amplified for time-crunched professionals.  It doesn’t matter how good the teacher is if the course material isn’t developed around the specific knowledge gaps of the student.

We are at a fascinating point in time when our global culture has reorganised around a new central hub—our mobile phone. And while the MOOC approach can never fill specific holes in a student’s knowledge, an app on a phone, driven by machine learning ‘AI’ that continuously learns from the student, can analyse – just as a great teacher would – what a student doesn’t know and then fill the gaps. This makes the learning quicker and more satisfying.

We are frequently hearing about the growing digital skills gap. What do you think is driving that?

Society is changing at an accelerating pace, as the world population grows and gains access to the cloud and connectivity tools. At the same time it is clear that the desirable and long-term rewarding jobs and careers will require a new, and ever-changing, advanced skillset—a skillset that is failing to keep pace with the knowledge economy—and the need.  In combination, these trends have combined into a volatile cocktail of uncertainty that will continue for our lifespan and beyond.

The only job security and career advancement opportunities in the knowledge economy will come to those who develop critical thinking skills around their field of interest. Skills that will be even more valuable as machine learning and AI take over many “thinking” roles. Unfortunately, in too many instances, governments, universities, and businesses are doing a less than optimal job of closing the gap between yesterday’s dogma and tomorrow’s practical skills requirements. Part of the problem lies with the way governments set the agenda, responding to today’s opinion polls rather than tomorrow’s needs to drive learning and progress.

Society is changing, the world population is growing, and there are fewer and fewer jobs for people to do.Click To Tweet

Are there any particular areas of concern?

Social business and socially equitable business is good business. This message has finally gained a hearing in the boardroom.  Unfortunately, a recent survey by Cap Gemini Consulting found that while 50% of companies see mobile as one of the two most important skills for digital transformation, 80% face a talent shortage there.

And it gets worse. In another survey of U.S. executives, 85% say they are planning Big Data initiatives but only 21% rate their company’s analytics capabilities as “more than adequate.”  Other surveys of top executives in enterprises with 50,000+ employees are even more disconcerting: Only 13% describe their social media efforts as ‘advanced’ and more than 50% say they lack basic social business skills.

It’s time for this to change.

Scredible launches knowledge-building social app for iOS and Android

[15 May 2015] Scredible plc, a developer of socially driven education technologies, is pleased to announce the launch of the mobile versions of its education and knowledge-building platform, Scredible; now approved and available for iOS and Android.

Scredible is the answer to an increasingly cluttered digital landscape, offering a one-stop platform for users to learn, know, and grow their presence and impact online.

Over the past two years, Scredible plc has been breaking new ground by combining next-generation professional skills and talent development tools with advanced education technologies. The company’s sophisticated, AI-driven, contextual content and social context platform is designed to learn from a user’s engagement, from their likes and dislikes, and then identify gaps in knowledge for future use in programs designed to improve users’ learning efficiency and social experience. This process improves over time as a continuous and predictive feedback protocol intelligently adapts to changing goals as the AI ‘evolves’.

Simply put, the Scredible app is designed to provide a faster, smarter way for users to discover new content and trends, to understand what they need to know, and ultimately to predict what users should know next to achieve their goals.

Download the Scredible app for iOS http://clk.ie/HYKVdYSCR and Android http://clk.ie/j2v25BSCRClick To Tweet

The machine learning technologies underpinning Scredible’s app evaluate the strength of news and other online content, applying systems that counteract the cookie-driven skew prevalent in many online searches. This enables the platform to assess whether the delivered content matches with individual user’s selected criteria by combining factors such as the quality of the source, the author, keywords, sentence structure, and context. The app has been designed to intelligently weed out the weak, underwritten, or ‘over-optimized’ articles that clutter most social feeds.

The Scredible platform provides an easy to use tool that empowers a more connected digital life.  The app combines multiple functions to perform a wide range of tasks:

·       Finds content: Scredible scours the web for real-time contextual information, content, and news – all while figuring out what you need and ignoring what you don’t.

·       Helps you research and stay on top of important topics: Scredible allows you to navigate by topic, author, and publication to get a 360 degree view of any subject, building a clear view of trending and current topics, each vital for individual users’ to meet their goals.

·       Gets to know you: Scredible learns from your goals and habits to source content that is both relevant and useful. The accumulated knowledge enables the platform to identify gaps, then source and present new, trending, and timely material in real time.

·       Helps you write: Scredible makes building social authority and followers easier. It scans content to provide ready to use posts, synopses, and comments that make sharing quality content easier.

·       Helps you learn: Scredible lets you see how many likes, shares, hashtags, keywords, and clicks your posts have generated every day, week, month, and year, providing a clear view of areas for future focus.

Colin Lucas-Mudd, CEO of Scredible plc, says: “A strong digital footprint is becoming ever more crucial for professional success in all sectors. Users are drowning in content, and every day the problem of separating the signal from the noise gets worse. 500 million tweets are posted every day on Twitter and 30 billion pieces of content are shared every month on Facebook. Irrespective of the breadth of any individual’s needs, it’s no longer possible to keep one’s finger on the pulse, nor to generate timely comments and posts, without the application of today’s advanced technologies.”

Users are drowning in content, and every day the problem of separating the signal from the noise gets worse. - Colin Lucas-MuddClick To Tweet

“Scredible focuses on what’s important to meet goals, scouring the web for the most credible, useful, inspiring content, specifically targeted to each individual users’ needs, then leverages the power of the evolving cloud and machine learning technologies to deliver both information and knowledge to meet those needs.”

Lucas-Mudd concludes: “With the individual and corporate testing and analysis phase completed, we are excited to be introducing the freely available version of Scredible mobile and web to the wider market. By providing broad access to a developing intelligent learning social development suite, we anticipate being at the centre of the inevitable shift in education methods and technologies as machine learning evolves into true artificial intelligence.”