I’ve recently been explaining Lotus Connections as a global lunch room. It’s where you can share the stuff you’d normally share over lunch in the company cafeteria, but through blogs, social bookmarks, community forums (R2), personal file sharing (R2 or Quickr 8.x, not sure, so don’t ask me), etc. instead.
Beehive, an internal IBM Research application that feels like Facebook, is more like a global cocktail hour. It’s where you share information and ideas about work initially, but then you slowly digress into talking about movies that scare the crap out of you and your favorite types of beer.
I had a recent conversation with a pal of mine who explained Beehive this way (and I paraphrase):
You know when you see some little kid in a game arcade playing Skee-Ball for the first time? They see all those tickets spit out, and their eyes just go wide. WOW! Now, you know those tickets aren’t worth much – they’ll maybe get you some plastic trinket or two – but that kid will keep throwing those balls until their arm falls off, just to get more tickets. That’s what Beehive is like.
I’ve given up trying to explain the business value of Beehive (to IT people!), and I’m just having fun in there. The by-product is that my colleagues get to learn way more about me than they’ll ever learn in the lunch room.
And maybe knowing more about me is the best way to form an even deeper trusted working relationship with me. Benefit? I’ll help you before I help the other guy or girl.
“Global lunch room” engenders trust between colleagues.
“Global cocktail hour” engenders friendships in the workplace.
Or maybe I’ve just had too much honey to drink.