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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.


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
  • 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 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 »

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…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

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. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 5 Comments »