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NationalField: in review


By The Drum, Editorial

October 31, 2011 | 3 min read

NationalField, the data sharing social networking platform was formed in 2008 to allow people working on Barack Obama's presidential campaign to communicate. It's grown since then into an international platform to organisations to interact. Dan Grech, digital marketing coordinator for recruitment consultancy Become takes a look at the platform and offers his reaction and perception of its offer.

Last week I was invited to tune into a webinar hosted by Edward Saatchi, son of the famous Maurice Saatchi who needs no further introduction, on how social is taking business by storm. Or more so, why so many Fortune 500 companies are signing up to Saatchi’s private social network, National Field. This webinar, accompanied with a multitude of recent press, went on to paint a bigger picture.

It’s undeniable that social technologies are changing the face of business. There are those who chose to adopt and those who risk falling in the wayside granting competitors an upper hand. To put it on a knife-edge, seeing a ROI from social media boils down to whether you’re using it correctly or not.

To give you a bit of a background, National Field was the technology behind Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, allowing co-workers to interact and cutting meetings by 27% and emails by 21%. The UK is slightly behind on uptake which Saatchi expects to change, early adopters include the NHS.

He plugs that data is not being used correctly within most organisations and that this software employs a better practise of how this is stored and used. This could be anything from setting and monitoring revenue goals, to sharing and collaborating on daily tasks.

From an outsider’s point of view, this strikes me as the internal/office ethics of Yammer, married with the usability and familiarities of Facebook. In its purest form, it is a Facebook for businesses (that can afford it). This triumphs over the all too fortuitous nature of Linked-In, which has now accrued 120 million members and revenues in the region of £75m.

Despite my initial interpretations that National Field is more suited for organisations with staff numbers in the 100’s or even 1000’s, Saatchi defines a team of 25 or larger to be the “sweet spot”.

National Field could well be the social technology solution for companies that have not known where to place their chips if the price is right. I look forward to seeing National Field’s presence increase as a medium that truly understands the needs of its audience.


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