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Archive for June, 2008

Social Quotient: Do your employees “get” customer service?

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 26, 2008

My pal, Steve Mann at SAP, wrote a thoughtful post about how folks should start with the right type of employee first, and not social media tools, when it comes to social media marketing.

My favorite:

Marketing Drives Conversation, Conversation Drives Relationships, Relationships Drive Brand Affinity, Brand Affinity converts into Revenues.

I’d say this is true even for an organization’s internal “customers”… For example, if you want your salesforce to better absorb your enablement materials, create some relationships with them first.

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Posted in Social Enterprise | 7 Comments »

Laundry: Childhood “punishment” to adult sanity preservation

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 22, 2008

When I was a pre-teen and pissed my Mom off, she’d “sentence” me to fold clothes for 30 minutes in the spare bedroom. That’s where we stored our family’s Mount McLaundry. See, my Mom believed in spending time doing fun things, family things. Laundry wasn’t one of them. We didn’t store clean clothes in bureaus or closets. We scaled the Mountain every few days to gather what we needed, when we needed it, much like our ancestors did, I imagine.

Me being a tad more anal than Mom, I can’t handle having unfolded laundry for very long, especially if there’s no more clean underwear in my drawer. Combine that with a love of aloneness – which is ironic, considering my passion for creating a trusting, social, corporate world someday – and suddenly, Laundry becomes an oasis.

Ok, combine that with a 4-year-old daughter who thinks “normal” is spending 16 hours straight playing with me – not her Dad, me. Gee, thanks, Grandma Lyons, for setting that impossible standard. :)

Every weekend, I look forward to escaping to the man-cave-turned-toy-storage downstairs with a glass of red and a full basket of clothes. I fold, I drink, I revel in unresponsibility. I absorb endless HGTV. It’s the equivalent of my husband watching his recorded Ultimate Fighting Championship episodes while I’m gluing some crazy family “crap” together with my daughter in another room.

When I don’t get “folding time,” I turn into a nasty version of myself. Blech. Thus, Laundry is sacrosanct in my house. I, and only I, do it. And I do it alone. With joy, and surprisingly, a little reverence. I sometimes attend our local spiritual house, but Laundry becomes my sanctuary more often than not.

What’s your regenerative habit?

Posted in Social Software | 6 Comments »

Firefox 3: Tagging your personal bookmarks

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 20, 2008

Once you build up a large list of bookmarks, keeping track of them all can get a little messy. To stay organized, you can assign tags to your bookmarked sites: just double-click on the star icon and you’ll be prompted to enter your tags.

You can tag a site with as many terms as you want (be sure to put a comma between each tag), and then easily find the sites again by typing that tag into the location bar. For example, entering “travel” into the location bar will bring up all the sites you’ve been bookmarking as part of your vacation research.

Ding ding ding. Sign me up.

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

It’s Goopy in the Octopus Head

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 19, 2008

I got to be in Sam’s octopus head yesterday to “sound board” his most recent post, Anatomy of the Enterprise Octopus. It was gloriously goopy. That messy creation stuff always gets me excited, always energizes me, especially when the topic is awesome. And, I was able to share some interesting thoughts with him. Because he is my boss, I won’t have to figure out how to measure the worth of that interaction to report to him later. Whew. I’ll expect my raise soon, Sam.

Anyway.

One thought I’d like to flesh out a bit more is the co-Learning part of COLORS. This is because it is the low-hanging fruit in the overall culture change that must happen for a COLORS environment to thrive. That culture change is already happening in the eLearning space.

First, I always say that, if you want people to use social software, to become more collaborative and transparent in what they do, you need to co-opt existing business processes and work behaviors. You want to “capture the knowledge” of your retiring workforce? Tweak your existing mentoring program to effect that result. You want people to move conversations out of email and into the corporate “piazza” or townhall? Use tools that enable people to create and comment and follow the conversations in that piazza by using… email.

So, many enterprises have picked up on this. I have one customer who is thinking about how to co-opt their call center’s existing eLearning program to encourage more social participation. In a call center, associates are typically encouraged to participate in education modules during downtime. This company also wants them to create a sense of community, to have fun, and be fun. (This blew me away, because I’ve never heard of a company wanting to make their call center environment “fun.” Awesome.)

I have another customer who is working with my pal @jenokimoto to inject social learning into their existing structured eLearning program.

OK. Let’s get really uncomplicated here, and talk about how one person can get started with this. It’s not rocket surgery after all.

How to start a simple Social Learning revolution

Ingredients

Example

Angela creates a quick video that explains the nature of her organization’s relationship with Customer X. She describes the Customer’s technical, non-technical, and cultural environments; she shares a story that highlights a failure, another that describes a success with the customer. Maybe the stories involve trying to sell them something, solving a problem, or simple relationship-building. Who would this kind of information be valuable to? To anyone in the company who needs to work with that Customer in any capacity.

All she’d have to do is brush her hair, click a button in the “piazza” social software environment, and start talking. Then, when she’s done, click a button to save it in the “piazza”. It’s that easy.

You know, certain types of knowledge and experience are better suited to particular mediums. I would probably never type anything like the example above. I’d most likely do it during a phone conversation, actually. But that’s the old way.

Hmm… what if people just started recording themselves during those phone conversations? If the tools are stoopid-simple to use, why not? I’m going to try that – video myself during my next customer interaction, then share that with my sales colleagues so that they get an idea about what I’m saying to customers about Jive Clearspace and user adoption good practices. Gotta go brush my hair now.

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Facebook in Clearspace, create content via email, and more!

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 16, 2008

I haven’t blogged about how ridiculously extensible Jive Clearspace is. Or, how active the global Clearspace development community is. No need. Just check out the Clearspace Plugin Catalog, along with the discussions and ratings for each plugin to get an idea. Tell your geek friends about it.
You say you want Facebook for the enterprise. How about Facebook in your enterprise profile?

The Facebook plugin integrates users’ Facebook profiles into Clearspace while allowing each user to control how (or if) their Facebook information is shown.

You say you want to comment on Clearspace discussion threads, documents and blog posts via email. You’ve already been able to do that via the Email Watch feature. But now you want to create discussions, documents and blog posts through email, too. Ok. Now, you can.

The Advanced Email plugin gives your users the ability to comment on blog posts, documents and discussion threads and to create discussion threads, documents and blog posts, all via email.

You say you want to manage rich media, too? No problem. You can easily embed rich media from consumer sites with these plugins:

Oh, you want to create videos on the fly within Clearspace documents? That’ll be here sometime in July – September:

New Plug-In Enables Jive’s Product Line With High-Quality Video

You want to populate your Clearspace blog with content from some other blog? No problem.

Feed your Blog plugin

You want to display your personal calendar on your homepage, or a group calendar on a community or group homepage? Here you go:

Calendar Widget

You say you want a social software platform. Jive Clearspace might be what you’re looking for.

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

That’s Waffle Thinkin’!

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 11, 2008

Last night, while at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, I ended up in Blogtronix‘s suite, where they had a snazzy wine and cheese thing going on. We are all competitors at this conference, but unsurprisingly, we are all quite friendly and social with each other. Blogtronix puts on a great party!

Anyway, I had remembered reading/hearing/watching something that posited the following:

Men think like waffles, and women think like spaghetti.

We started discussing this. Waffles are orderly, compartentalized, and quite tasty with syrup and butter. Spaghetti, on the other hand, is a jumbly mound of unpredictable configurations, and tastes best with just a little spice in the sauce (but, is also good with syrup and butter – what isn’t?). When I had first explained the Waffle and Spaghetti analogy, one of my (male) pals piped up and said, “Maybe we need to use a breakfast food analogous with spaghetti, or a dinner food analogous with waffles, so that the comparison is even more dramatic.”

I, of course, said, “Why can’t I eat spaghetti for breakfast? That’s Waffle Thinkin’, man!”

I then remembered Stowe Boyd‘s session earlier that day, Web Culture and the New Ethos of Work. Stowe talked about how the corporate world must re-think the “post-everything” era, and reform the way work happens (I paraphrase horribly). He showed up at the party later with his awesome hat and enlightened me further in person, but I was drinking by then.

Anyway.

Many corporations are full of Waffle Thinkers. Waffle employees are very expensive cogs in giant industrial-age wheels (or, little squares in giant waffles), cranking away to earn more money for some stakeholder so that he can buy another shiny boat. Stowe talked about how employees will become “artists” in the future, with freedom to create and share and consume across the Waffle. To me, that’s good Spaghetti Thinking. The enterprise needs more Spaghetti Thinking, regardless of gender. We need more unpredictable, serendipitous, temporal organizational configurations and connections. I’m not saying we need to throw out the Waffle Way, but maybe pile some spaghetti on it.

Posted in Social Software | 52 Comments »

E2.0 Conference community site runs on Jive Clearspace

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 6, 2008

Yes, I’m tooting my corporate horn. So sue me.

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference community site is running on Jive Clearspace 2.0. Wait until you see what’s coming in 2.1 in a few weeks.

Go join and enjoy!

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

I’ll be at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston Jun 10 -12.

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 6, 2008

If you’ve ever wondered how tall I really am, or want some Enterprise Octopus or Norman Naysayer stickers, or would like to learn about what Jive Clearspace has that nothing else does, or you want to meet one of the co-founders and CTO of Jive, then please stop by the Jive booth at E2.0 in Boston next week. I’ll be working the booth on Wednesday, June 11, from noon – 2pm.

See you there!

Posted in Social Software | 1 Comment »

The Dixie Chicks can make people more innovative.

Posted by Gia Lyons on June 3, 2008

The idea of social data portability – “the option to use your personal data between trusted applications and vendors” – has been around for some time now. The DataPortability Project is focused on consumer-oriented sites, and not corporate internal use. The Project people even say so.

Perhaps it’s time, though, to change that. Let me tell you a story.

I recently got a new job. I decided to “go new” on many things, including a new hairdo (it’s swingy!). Then, I thought, “I know! I’ll update my profile picture!” That’s when I got irritated. See, I belong to… (counting, hang on)… well, damn. I have profiles that include my photo on these social sites:

  • Jive Brewspace (internal deployment of Jive Clearspace)
  • Jivespace (external deployment of Jive Clearspace Community for developers)
  • Clearstep (another external deployment of Jive Clearspace Community for user adoption and other business practices)
  • WordPress
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Last.fm
  • Picasa
  • Twitter
  • Friendfeed
  • GTalk

Ask me how long it took to update my photo across all these sites. Now, think about how I also had to change my place of work, email address, maybe a mobile phone number, etc. Yeah. Now you understand the need for social data portability. But really, that’s just the surface.

So, what’s the data portability picture for the enterprise?

Data portability for the enterprise means blurring even more the lines between enterprise and consumer personal data, and more importantly, making folks more aware of who and what people know, both inside and outside the enterprise.

Let me explain.

Think about all the bits and pieces of your worklife, strewn about all those different systems: HR systems, skills databases, LDAP directories, employee whitepages, LinkedIn, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could manage all that personal data from a single spot? It can live where it lives – I would call it data transparency, though, not data portability. This can already be accomplished by using data mapping tools in market today, but it takes some serious customization muscles to pull off, not to mention many lunches and cocktails to woo the czars in charge of all of those internal systems so they play nice.

At least with the consumer sites, this becomes easier when enterprise social software systems support data portability. For example, we announced today that we’re supporting the DataPortability Project, alongside LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, and others. This means that, if you’re using Jive Clearspace inside your enterprise, or Jive Clearspace Community in an external customer and/or business partner environment, your people will eventually be able to plop their LinkedIn or Facebook or other consumer profile information into their Clearspace profile, hopefully with ease and aplomb.

And then, think about all the relationships you’ve created, not only inside your organization, but on all those consumer sites. With everyone supporting the DataPortability Project, I’ll be able to display (not port) all the people I’m connected to out of Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter, etc., in my intranet and extranet profiles. That way, my colleagues and customers can more easily see who I know, and more importantly, in what context I know them. Context is critical to understanding the nature of a given relationship. Without that understanding, it’s kinda useless to know that I know someone.

Let’s take this idea a step further: Why on earth would anyone I work with want to see who’s music I listen to on last.fm? Because, those folks might actually be valuable contacts within a different context. And, my Jive colleagues might be able to begin a trusted relationship with them based solely on similar music tastes. This is a wonderful way to tap the voices of thousands over time, especially if creating innovative products is your thing.

Imagine what could eventually result from a conversation about how much two people love the Dixie Chicks, for example.

Now, to take this idea another step even further, read Sam’s take on data portability.

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: | 5 Comments »