IBM developerWorks

The technical resource choice for millions of developers

AMI-Partners 2010 award badge

IBM developerWorks is the premier web-based resource and social network for millions of developers and IT professionals worldwide. Join and participate in the developerWorks community to tap our rich set of technical forums, blogs, wikis, groups, and more—and see firsthand why developerWorks won this social media award, as well as dozens of other awards from industry observers and, more importantly, from users like you.

Award recognizes "best in class" use of social media for community development

developerWorks collected another industry honor as New York-based AMI-Partners announced the winners of its first annual Small and Medium Business Social Media Marketing Awards. These awards acknowledge Information and Communications Technology (ICT) providers who effectively use social media to inform the purchase process of small and medium businesses (SMBs).

As noted in the official press release from AMI-Partners, "Social media has become one of the hottest topics among ICT marketing and sales professionals," according to Jacqueline Atkinson, AMI’s Social Media Research Manager. "The potential to use general social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to acquire and retain SMB customers has generated enormous buzz in the industry. But buzz aside, AMI designed these awards to recognize social media efforts that result in tangible, measurable business value." Other notable winners include Dell, Oracle, Intuit, Avaya, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Cisco, and AT&T.

Check out our entry at the AMI-Partners site.

This award from AMI-Partners comes just a few weeks after we received the Forrester Groundswell Award. Stop by our virtual trophy case of developerWorks awards for details about these and other notable honors and accolades.

Challenge

In the late 1990s, IBM realized that it had a problem: Because technology changes so quickly, it was not always easy for software developers to stay up to speed and communicate with each other on the most current technologies, techniques, and standards. Since the IBM software product line is built on open standards, there was a concern that the community skilled on these standards would gradually erode and IBM software products would suffer as developers had a hard time solving problems on their own without in depth information or a community where they could ask questions. At the same time, with high costs for the average support call, the IBM software support team needed a way to cut spending as much as possible.

Solution

In September 1999, IBM connected open standards developers through an online community, to make sure that developers had a central location to visit to build a professional network that helps them solve problems while growing developer skills on open standards and helped the developer world come together and communicate to each other. developerWorks (see screen capture) enables IT professionals to make technology decisions, learn new technologies, and get help during development by providing articles and resources about open standards and IBM products, and a thriving new online community around this content, launched in April 2009. developerWorks has always been on the cutting edge of social media use within IBM; our site hosted IBM's first-ever blog, and today, we offer a cutting-edge blogging platform for the developer community.

In addition to blogs, our online community includes user profiles, forums, wikis, groups, and an integrated iPhone application, and users can also pull in Facebook and LinkedIn content to their developerWorks profile, and publish their developerWorks activities to Facebook via Facebook connect.

developerWorks stands alone in that it is a vendor-produced site that focuses on more than just that vendor's products, and dedicates a huge portion of its focus and resource to technologies, techniques, and concepts to help all developers and IT professionals worldwide. The focus on open, cross-platform standards and technologies (Linux, Java, XML, etc.), independent of commercial products, is driven by a decision to prioritize the wants and needs of the community and is unique for a corporate site. This bold move has been fundamental to our success in building a thriving online community.

Results

Since its inception, developerWorks has become the destination on the web for developers and IT professionals to stay abreast of open standards, develop skills, solve problems, and collaborate with peers. Our results demonstrate that through our forums and online community efforts, developerWorks has both encouraged the growth of the open standards development community while driving down IBM support costs. The net result of the following activities is over $100M in annual support savings.

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