The Nobel Prize 2009 announced on Twitter and Facebook

Social media makes Swedish companies frustrated, according to an article in Computer Sweden this week. The companies that CS talked to all know that you can do a lot of smart things with social media, but few know where to start or have had time to come up with any specific plans. One company says it can’t afford to lead the way and “it expects more things to happen in 2010 anyway”.

I’d say that those excuses aren’t valid any longer. Blogs and other forms of social media have been around for many years now and there are plenty of examples of businesses that have used these digital channels to their advantage. It really doesn’t have to be very complicated. I like this example. The Nobel Foundation is the Swedish foundation that manages the Nobel Prize. It knows it has stories that many people around the world are interested in. That’s not new. But they are modern enough to realize that media consumers today may want that information directly from the source, through new channels like social media. Today, many get breaking news via for example micro blogs.

So as a complement to traditional reporting, consumers this year can choose to get the news about the Nobel Prizes through Twitter, Facebook, RSS or a number of other ways, including a widget that you can post to your blog.

The first announcement will be tomorrow, when it will be official who wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (Monday, October 5, 11:30 a.m. CET at the earliest). Just follow and you will get the news right into your Twitter stream.

Not all businesses have news of the magnitude that the Nobel Foundation has, but almost all companies have stories to tell that are of interest to a number of stakeholders. Social media can be one channel to use. So businesses need to stop hiding behind arguments like “we haven’t got time to engage in social media”. Start experimenting now. A curious and learning organization will always be better at managing change. If you always wait to next year, you will never get off the ground.

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Harry Potter is dead

This could possibly qualify as blooper of the year. The Nobel Prize laureate Harold Pinter died on Christmas Day, but when Swedish Radio (SR) reported about it, Pinter turned into Harry Potter.

“The British writer and dramatist Harry Potter is dead, it was announced today. Potter received the Nobel Prize in literature in 2005. He wrote about 30 plays and more than 20 screenplays. He was 78 years old.”

Listen to the news item during the 00.00 broadcast, Dec 26 (at the very bottom of the page). Download in mp3 format also available. The piece about Pinter/Potter starts at 1.26 minutes.