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Archive for July, 2008

My blog domain has moved.

Posted by Gia Lyons on July 10, 2008

I’ve moved my blog to http://giatalks.com. If you’d like to continue receiving my posts, please update your feed readers with the following feed URL:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/giatalks

Thanks!

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Posted in Social Software | Leave a Comment »

Who owns an employee blog?

Posted by Gia Lyons on July 9, 2008

When I was an IBM employee, I enjoyed writing my employee blog. I also enjoyed being the number two blogger at IBM, trailing only behind my pal, Luis Suarez (natch). I wrote about business stuff and personal stuff. It was my voice to my colleagues.

I left IBM in May 2008. I didn’t, however, leave my people network. Those relationships remain strong, although we are careful about what we discuss now, since many of us actually compete with one another in the marketplace (which I am not thrilled about, but that’s life).

Public Ownership

Public Ownership

I found out a few days ago that someone at IBM has suggested that they “take over” my internal IBM blog.

Boy, that really pissed me off.

I immediately asked Twitter what they thought. Lots of IBMers and non-IBMers chimed in. After I calmed down a bit and read a few of the responses, I decided to feel this way:

  • the blog is IBM’s
  • the content – even my personal stories – is IBM’s
  • the voice is mine

I got all Zen then, because I knew who the person was who might “take over” my IBM blog, and realized that my voice is WAY different than their’s. Also, since my IBM blog contains my name in the URL, I figured it would be interesting to see how they could even accomplish a “take over”. It would be like someone taking over my email, really.

Why do they want to take it over? Most likely for the traffic it receives. I say, start your own blog, put a redirect in front of mine. Done. Oh wait. They still need some of the content in that blog.

Anyway.

So, in retrospect, all of this is a classic example of Waffle Thinking. I’m a cog who left the wheel. Need to get a new cog (waffle square?). Fortunately, there are many IBMers who are fellow Spaghettians, and I hope they continue to encourage IBM’s ever… so… slow… culture change to include more Spaghetti Thinking.

Spaghetti Nation, FTW!

So, IBM, not that you ever need my permission to do anything, feel free to replace me. Take over my employee blog. Fart in my office chair. Use my coffee mug. Take my pens. But know that my voice will always be mine.

Posted in Social Enterprise | Tagged: , , , , | 19 Comments »

Choice matters.

Posted by Gia Lyons on July 9, 2008

Something my pal JD successfully hammered into my head last week caused a lightbulb moment.

Employees can choose not to use enterprise social environments.

About to dive inDo you have a customer relationship management (CRM), procurement, portal, or other software you are forced – yes, forced – to use by your company? Me too. I have no choice. But when it comes to social networking and collaborative applications, there’s no “force” about it. I can choose to use it or not.

This means that the traditional way of implementing “you gotta use this” software doesn’t really work with social enterprise solutions.

So, what does work? Think about the things you use in your life that you don’t really need to use, but want to use. It’s all the things that you could live without if you had to. And I’m not talking about choosing a less expensive model of something you consider a necessity (e.g., selecting a discount diaper bag over a Coach diaper bag – a mom’s gotta have a diaper bag).

Why do you use those things? You get some kind of personal satisfaction out of them. Can you say that for your company’s CRM or procurement applications? The authors of Groundswell refer to one type of this personal satisfaction as psychic income.

I wish I had a magic answer for my customers about what kinds of things constitute personal satisfaction for everyone in their organizations, but then I’d just sound like a dumb software vendor wonk. Instead, I’d rather spend time with my customers to help them figure it out. Because one person’s satisfaction is another’s irritation.

Posted in Social Enterprise | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

Does your wiki have the Q&A blues?

Posted by Gia Lyons on July 2, 2008

Tell me if you’ve heard this one (I have, from several customers)…

Them: “We implemented a wiki so that our team could share their expertise with a wider audience.”

Me: “That’s great! That’s how many have gotten their feet wet with Enterprise 2.0 over the past couple of years.”

Them: “Well, it works great for co-authoring documentation, and creating a knowledge base, but the comments/discussions feature just doesn’t do it for us when it comes to our Question & Answer needs.”

Me: “Really? Why?”

Them: “We’d like to be able to mark a question as answered, and have the people who provide the answers receive points when their answers are helpful or correct. We want them to get the recognition they deserve, but have the system do all the work for us.”

Me: “Ah I see.”

That’s when I tell them about Clearspace’s Community Everywhere.

With Community Everywhere, you can embed discussion threads directly into existing news articles, blog posts or other content that would benefit from comments or discussions. Instead of forcing users to leave your content to create a comment or view a discussion thread, you use Community Everywhere to enable users to participate in discussions while on the page that contains your content.

You can choose to display one of the following on your wiki pages (or news articles, or non-Clearspace community sites that have less-than-stellar discussion features, or press releases, or home-grown web applications, or portal pages, etc.):

  • Display “Discuss This” Link
  • Display “Discuss This” Link and Recent Posts
  • Display “Discuss This” Link, Recent Posts, and Comment Box

The beautiful part of this is that, if you ultimately want your people to use Clearspace instead of that wiki implementation, this is the painless way to do a behavior migration first. You don’t have to migrate any wiki content right away, if at all. Instead, simply ease people into Clearspace via Community Everywhere in your wiki. Over time, Clearspace wiki pages might become the preferred solution, especially since folks can watch individuals, or specific pieces of content (wiki pages, uploaded files, blogs and blog posts, projects, spaces, etc.), or specific topics, and receive email notifications or an RSS feed whenever those watched people or things are updated.

I usually prefer to just watch the subject matter experts in knowledgebase environments such as this. I’ll get everything they create, comment on, and answer.

And, Clearspace’s discussion component allows the people who ask the question to designate which answers are helpful, and which answer is correct. There are points assigned to each designation, which are awarded to the people who provide the answers. These points accumulate, along with points earned elsewhere in Clearspace, to create a reputation rating for each person. This is displayed on the person’s profile, and anywhere their name shows up throughout Clearspace.

So, go ahead and use Clearspace along with your existing wiki environment, and use Clearspace’s Community Everywhere to solve those Q&A blues.

Posted in Social Software | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Clearspace just *shows up* in your browser’s search bar

Posted by Gia Lyons on July 1, 2008

How cool is this:

Navigate to any Clearspace instance using IE7 or Firefox 2 or higher, then click the search drop-down menu and select it as a new search option.

Cisco Learning Community Search

This is made possible by Clearspace’s implementation of the OpenSearch API.

Your search results will include people’s profiles, and their files, wiki pages, discussion threads, blog posts, projects, and the ever popular “what have you” using your browser’s search box.

I wonder what happens if the Clearspace site is configured with other OpenSearch search engines, like Google or Google Search Appliance or Yahoo! or Wikipedia or whatever other site supports OpenSearch (because you can do that in Clearspace)? It stands to reason that your results will include items from those search engines as well, but I don’t know for sure. I will confirm this. When Clearspace search is also integrated with SharePoint (coming soon), I wonder if I’ll get SharePoint results as well? Gotta confirm that, too.

In any case, try it today on your company’s internal Clearspace site, or the following “powered by Jive Software” public sites:

How we did it

Posted in Social Enterprise, Social Software | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »