Do I know you?

Archive for May, 2008

Jive so far

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 30, 2008

I haven’t even officially started at Jive Software yet, but I’m already part of the family. I haven’t received my laptop yet, but I’ve got VPN access from my home iMac. As a result, I’ve already plopped a load of Gia stuff all over our internal social software environment, called Brewspace. Natch, it runs on Jive Clearspace 2.0.x.

Some observations

  • Many of my new colleagues come from large companies, just like me.
  • Many customer experiences are the same. This would be true, no matter what software vendor you work for.
  • There are a lot of “doers” at Jive. There are many discussions, and people seem to act on them more than I’m used to.
  • These people know how to have fun, OMG. Makes me wish I was relocating to Portland.
  • There is positive communal pressure from within to get social software right, from all angles – development capabilities, administration, performance/scalability, user experience, user adoption. Each area gets some love.
  • Jivers will call “bullshit” when necessary. I expect when that happens, things actually change. Luxury of a growing company.

I’ll be onsite in Portland next week, and will finally get to meet my new boss, Sam Lawrence, in person. I already have secrets about him, so I think trust has been established already.

Oh yeah! I’ll be at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston. I’ll arrive the evening of June 9, and plan to work the Jive booth June 11. Stop by to get some Enterprise Octopus stickers, assuming we have any left!


Posted in Social Software | Tagged: | 11 Comments »

Register for Business Social Software Jeopardy!

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 25, 2008

Don’t miss Social Software Jeopardy on Wed May 28! Over 500 folks have already registered.

Contestants are:

Bill Johnston
Bill is the Chief Community Officer at Forum One Communications. Read more on the Online Community Report blog.

Laura Ramos
Laura is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, focusing on B2B marketing. Learn more on the Forrester Blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals.

Jeremiah Owyang
Jeremiah is a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, focusing on Social Computing. To learn more, visit his blog Web Strategy by Jeremiah.

Categories are:

  • Industry Stats
  • Best Practices
  • ROI

Your host will be:

Sam Lawrence

Sam is the CMO at Jive Software and a frequent speaker, blogger, and work-a-holic. Sam has 15 years of technology marketing experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune-level hardware, productivity software, communications and media companies. Learn more about him on his blog, Go Big Always.

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I have a new job!

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 20, 2008

Gia Lyons has spent 8 years at IBM and up until now has been the IBM Lotus Connections Software Evangelist. This interview post serves as her notice to her colleagues about her new gig at Jive.

Read more…

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: | 56 Comments »

Indian firm is kickin’ the KM effort *old* old-school

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 19, 2008

In discussing social software user adoption approaches with one of my sales manufacturing customers today, he explained the following (Abhijit, if you happen to read this, please correct me if I’ve misrepresented anything):

In India, his manufacturing sales dealership is experiencing a brain drain of large proportion. He may very well be the youngest person in the organization, and he’s been there several years. Plus, the future seems to be one of constant turnover, as folks come on board, get trained, then leave for higher-paying careers elsewhere. He suggested that this is a common occurrence in India right now.

As a result, it is his strategic mission to acquire and pass the knowledge and experience of those who are about to retire, to wave after wave of new hires. The hope, perhaps, is that they use this knowledge as a way to ramp up quickly and get plugged in to the organizational network faster, but also as a base upon which to build new experiences. Also, the hope is that they share what they learn and create as they go.

TaperecorderSo, how is he passing eminent retirees’ knowledge to the new folks? He has taken to giving new hires and others digital voice recorders, and setting them up to interview the folks about to retire. He then sends the recordings to a transcription service for transfer to a written format. I’ve referred to this as “Be like Oprah” in Twitter. Go interview your experts before they leave, and get their permission to post what is shared, preferably in a tool that promotes interaction (like blog / wiki / forum / etc.) as opposed to passive reading (like a news article).

As an aside, I wonder if posting the transcript of an interview in a social software environment might get the interviewee to participate in same?


This sounds like lots of work, but if passing knowledge from one generation to the next is critical to the survival of your business, I imagine it’d be worth it.



Posted in Social Software | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

New Lotus Connections 2.0 YouTube / Viddler Demonstrations

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 14, 2008

You can see brand-new Lotus Connections v2.0 video demonstrations, thanks to Suzanne Minassian, Lotus Connections Product Manager, and her producers, Ron Sebastian and Doug Spencer.

Pass it around…

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Finished “The Diamond Age”

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 14, 2008

I’ve finally finished Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, and just… wow. I saw in Twitter that George Clooney might be making a mini-series out of this book, which would be spectacular.

The idea that nanotechnology could connect folks in an almost literal collective mind was an appealing theme in this book. Or, more accurately, the idea is about the ability to use human brains as a computing grid for enormous computations.

Now that would be social software. :)

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My Mother’s Day Video

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 12, 2008

My preschooler and I played with my new iMac’s Photo Booth application. She insisted on using the “wrinkly” effect. She was very proud to have snuck in a few potty words during our performance, about a minute in.

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Why is it so hard to get smart people to share?

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 8, 2008

There is a brigade charge underway to capture the wisdom (knowledge + experience) of the retiring corporate crowd. The urgency is perhaps driven by the fact that these “wisdom holders” will retire, then turn around and charge their former employers a hefty consulting fee for continuing their services. Not a bad gig if you can get it. But, those who have tried the knowledge management (KM) thing in the past will tell you that this harnessing, leveraging, capturing, harvesting – pick your favorite over-used word – is a hard row to hoe. And for the record, please do not try to harness or harvest my knowledge. I am not a horse, nor a corn crop.


Why is it so hard to get your smart people to share? Because human beings typically share their precious knowledge only with people they trust. Not a software application.

If you’re one of these retiring wisdom holders, or perhaps a Gen X/Y subject expert, you smell what I’m steppin’ in. You’re the ONE individual who really knows why the chemical process behind your best-selling adhesives is what it is, or how to deal most effectively with your top three multi-million-dollar clients, or the Colonel’s secret spices. Maybe you’re the only one who knows why your corporate authentication directory evolved into the weird Galapagos-Island-like thing it is today: “Hey, what’s a red-footed Booby doing in there?”… “Ask Lincoln, he’ll know.”

Because you are the one individual who knows this stuff, you are reluctant to advertise that fact, for fear of the avalanche of requests to collaborate. You need more emails, IMs, and phone calls like you need another orifice in your cranium. Plus, these people who would swarm you like flies on poo will not perhaps care too much if you are over-extended. But, you are more than happy to share what you know with one or two others, after you’ve discerned that they won’t abuse you, won’t stab you in the back, won’t take credit for your intellectual capital, and will perhaps return the favor. The people who invest in creating a relationship with you are rewarded with your experienced point of view.

It is impossible for anyone to imbue the full power of their experience into a profile, a blog, a forum, a wiki, a presentation, a tag, a podcast, a video, or anything else. A wisdom holder’s value lies in their ability to bring their experience to bear on a situation within context, in real time. This is most often done extemporaneously, and in my world, over the phone. And if done well, true breakthrough thinking can happen. But, that’s another topic.

The spoken word trumps the written.

The whole point of social software, from the perspective of retaining corporate wisdom, is to make a wisdom holder’s surface knowledge available to a general population, so that other people can do the following:

  1. Be aware that this knowledge exists in the organization, and who has it. This is a huge pre-cursor to effective collaboration – knowing people exist, and knowing what they know. In social network science terms, the goal is to increase your organizational network’s density, which means more awareness / connections between more people, and to reduce distance, which means fewer network “nodes” between two people, based on trusted relationships – you can’t call Kevin Bacon directly, for example, until you ask a guy you know who knows his agent to get you an appointment.
  2. Determine with whom they should collaborate, if they even need to. The irony of social software is that many may never need to collaborate with you if you share your surface knowledge. And an added benefit is that if you ever do need to collaborate with that person, you’ve accelerated that effort beyond the “dumb question” stage. You can get to the really good stuff faster.
  3. Begin a trusted relationship with someone. This is done by “talking” to them in a forum, a blog, commenting on their document, etc., in hopes that in the future, you can boldly call them and ask for their tacit wisdom. 

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: | 11 Comments »

BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections is now available from RIM

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 5, 2008

Read about it

Download it

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Make an Epic Change for your Mom this Mother’s Day

Posted by Gia Lyons on May 4, 2008

Hoo boy. Twitterland is rockin’ with Stacey Monk’s (@StaceyMonk) guest post on Sam Lawrence’s (@SamLawrence) blog, Go Big Always. Dennis Howlett (@dahowlett) and I don’t know how many others blogged to get the word out as well.

Dennis tweeted me, asking what IBM could do. I’ve been on holiday in New York City these last four days (Mom, I couldn’t find your records on Ellis Island, bummer), but now I’m home, and wondering how on earth to move the dancing elephant to assist Stacy’s Epic Change organization. I know there’s a process somewhere, but I will have to blog internally for help to learn which levers to pull and which buttons to push to get the elephant to dance Stacey’s way.


Stacey is looking for:

Here’s what I’m going to do personally: give donations in my mother’s and mother-in-law’s names for Mother’s Day. They love this kind of stuff, especially since education was practically a religion in their houses. Don’t have a mom? Donate in honor of your favorite teacher of yore on America’s National Teacher Day, Tuesday, May 6.

It would be great if you could participate, even if you just blog and twitter about this worthy cause. Please pass the word, Web 2.0 style.



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