For the past several years, PowerLinux has been very active on building a "social" media program. During this time, we have learned lots and have not always been successful. However, one of the key questions I realize that we have not properly explained is our strategy. So, I thought I would take the time to explain some key thoughts.
- Point #1: The PowerLinux social media program (online presence) is anchored here in developerWorks (dW). The PowerLinux Community contains the latest news (blogs), the latest information/documentation (wiki pages), and the "buck stops here" place to interact with experts and community members to get questions answered (message board). From the information created in dW, information will then flow outward through various social media channels. If you follow our dW activity closely, you will notice a pattern -- new wiki page detailing a feature/function, a blog entry announcing the new information and pointing back to the wiki page, and various "channels" like Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn propagating a message similar to the blog entry whenever content is appropriate for the channel.
- Point #2: Community members can follow along through multiple channels. Certainly, one can subscribe to the PowerLinux dW Community activities and get informed about them. However, alteratives exist:
- Twitter remains our most common social channel. The @ibmpowerlinux channel sends out the broadest range of information and does so most frequently. If you are a twitter user, feel free to follow along or tweet/retweet about us.
- Google+ tends to be a social environment for more technical people. I have created the PowerLinux Google+ community where I post more technical information and host discussions more technical in nature. You can follow the community or me personally. Join us if your interest is technical in nature. Please also remember to "+1" G+ our content that you like, reshare items you think others might want to see, and include "+PowerLinux" in discussions where you talk about us.
- LinkedIn is our newest channel and the one where information has been most business-oriented. Although we have not yet created a PowerLinux group, our colleague Klaus Kiwi and others frequently posts information about PowerLinux. Feel free to add Klaus or me to your connections and this will help you find other PowerLinux folks and stay in touch.
- Point #3: Get involved, your interactions matter. A social media strategy is irrelevant without interactions and community contributions. Subscribe, promote, invite, comment, and discuss PowerLinux with us. As an example of how we focuse on this initiative, I frequently encourage the team to answer dW Message Board questions, with references to information. If we cannot answer a question this way, then we need to add information to our wiki. Then, based on the content in our wiki, we can improve our formal documentation. Additionally, one of my favorite G+ activites was a "hangout" where we reviewed some installation documentation on which we were working. Based on this public discussion, we were able to better understand that our (IBM) vocabulary was inconsistent and confusing for our customers in our target market. In my mind, these interactions are priceless and we need to do more. So, engage, challenge and promote. You can make us better.
Hopefully, this explanation helps you understand that we our efforts are organized and deliberate. We look forward to your involvement in our activites. Join us in the environments that work for you. Let us know how we're doing.