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Former Member
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Shel Israel is a writer and consultant and is the co-author (with Robert Scoble) of the book "Naked Conversations," which focused on how blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers. 

At this very moment, Shel is working on an SAP Global Social Media Research project sponsored by Mike Prosceno of SAP.  Among other things, you might know Mike as the guy who sponsors the blogger/analysts to come participate at Sapphire and TechEd, and he publishes his own blog

Shel describes his SAP Global Survey as being "concerned with social media and how it emerges in different cultures and how it transcends the formidable barriers of language."

Shel further explains: "Here's what I am doing.  I am trying to answer a single, overwhelming question: "What is going on in the world with regard to social media? I am looking for useful statistics, but those are often outdated  ... Mostly I am looking for real people with stories and personal experience about what is happening with blogging, video, online communities and assorted conversational media... I want your stories."  

A few of the earliest stories are shown as they happen, since one of Shel's design principles is transparency. 

Shel has a "roll your own" version of the survey with which anyone -- if they're inspired and think they have an interesting story to share -- can answer the 10 questions on their own time and at their own pace and just email them back to him. 

It will be really interesting to see this unfold.  I suspect the findings will influence the global adoption and use of social media (things like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, reputation management systems, "friends lists," and entire social sites like FaceBook and Linked-In...). 

And I suspect (and hope) the research will help shape and accelerate SAP's own use of these social media tools and practices as we engage with our customers, partners, and others in the ever-evolving global marketplace.