Modified by abauman
If you're planning on going to IBM ConnectED, you'll want to maximize your time so that you can soak in as much information as possible. Our IBM Champions are hosting or co-hosting 35 sessions that you won't want to miss.
Here they are, listed below, for your convenience.
If you follow me on twitter (@IBMChampions, @AmandaBauman - shameless plug), you might have noticed recently that I've been very Social/Collaboration-centric in the content I share. I thought perhaps an explanation was in order. There are probably two reasons for this. The first being that my background is in IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS). I kind of grew up there. 12 of my 14 years at IBM have been spent in (formerly Lotus) ICS, and I know the products, and the IBM Champions that work with them. So I naturally am closer to this part of our business, and we always gravitate toward the familiar, I think.
The second reason is that I just launched a pilot with the ICS Champions on a new social enablement tool that we've been using inside of IBM for a few months. The tool is Voicestorm by Dynamic Signal. For me, this tool solves several problems. As an IBM employee, I want to be social, and I want to share content, but I don't always know what's appropriate to share, or what is relevant to our business. We're all so focused on our "regular" roles and responsibilities that we lack the time to read every bit of content that comes our way. As a user of Voicestorm for the last several months, I haven't had to worry if what I'm sharing is relevant or appropriate because someone else has determined that for me, put it into a sharable format, and provided it to me on a web site where I go every day to see what's new. I read the articles, share what I think is interesting to my followers, and submit article to the site that I think others would be interested in, as well. Sounds like a win:win, doesn't it?
So my colleague, Daryl Pereira and I put our heads together, thinking about the potential this tool has to help our IBM Champions share not only IBM's information, and information about our industry and technology, but to promote their own blogs and content, too. The tool enables us to pull in their blog posts, curate them, choosing the ones that appeal to a wide audience, and post them in a sharable format for social media, so that all of the IBM Champions registered in the tool can help promote and drive traffic to their blogs, too! As an added bonus, there's an aspect of points for sharing content from the tool, and a weekly leader board. I've already been bumped from the number 1 spot by Bruce Elgort!
Just to give you an idea of how it's going after the first day (we launched it on September 16th), the ICS IBM Champions have shared 369 times, generated 1,656 clicks, 155 reactions (retweets/reshares) and over 588,000 people potentially have seen the content shared.
My hope is that we can show the value of this tool, and adopt it across the whole IBM Champion program. We have to start small, so the pilot will run from September 16 - December 31 2014, and is restricted to just the ICS IBM Champions, but that doesn't mean you can't help! you can follow any of the ICS champions and see what they are sharing. Here's an easy list for you to see who to follow: https://twitter.com/IBMChampions/lists/ics-champions
I hope that over time I will get to be as familiar with all of the IBM Champions across all of the brands. I hope I will get to meet all of you in person at an upcoming IBM Conference.
Modified by abauman
I had the honour of attending an IBM User Group Conference in the UK last week. ICONUK (formerly UKLUG). If you are ever wondering what IBM Champions do to become IBM Champions, events like this are a primary example!
The even took place on Friday, September 12th at IBM Southbank in London. To see the line up of speakers, visit http://iconuk.org/
IBM Champions Tim Clark and Tony Holder graciously agreed to take over the planning of this conference after the organisers of prior years stepped down due to a shift in focus (shout out to Warren and Kitty Elsmore for their years of dedication). Tim also
suckered roped his wife Marissa into helping to organise the event. Between them, they put on an amazing conference, enjoyed by all. The conference drew about 125 people from all over Europe, and an impressive line up of speakers and sponsors from all over the world. The keynote was delivered by IBM's own Scott Souder, who talked about IBM's "Mail Next" project.
There were 16 IBM Champions speaking at this conference, and numerous others in attendance. Getting to see the passion and dedication of these amazing people first-hand was inspiring!
You can get a feel for people's contributions via social media, word of mouth, blogs, etc. But I find that meeting them in person and experiencing their energy and spark, seeing the interaction, the sharing, the helping, the collaboration, the level of engagement, it reminds me why we have this program, and why the IBM Champions are special.
ICS Community Manager, and my friend and colleague, Oliver Heinz joined me to deliver a session on the IBM Champion program. I presented the cross-brand perspective, and Oliver delivered the ICS-specific perspective. We were joined by IBM Champions Femke Goedhart and Ben Menesi. Femke and Ben did an amazing job of articulating what they get out of being an IBM Champion, and how they support and nurture the community.
You can see our presentation on Slide Share here:
It wasn't all business, of course! Some of the best conversations were had (and overheard) over the speaker/sponsor dinner at Wilton's (London's oldest restaurant - hat tip to Tony Holder for hooking that up), and at the pub after the conference. But I won't divulge any of that because what happens at ICONUK stays at ICONUK (and all over Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, etc. ;-) )
So for my first conference in my new role as IBM Champion Program Manager, I would say that it was a huge success, thanks to the organisers, sponsors, and speakers for their dedication. I hope I get to attend many more across all of the brands, and get to know each and every IBM Champion, because YOU make my job a joy.
EDIT: I forgot to post this photo of the IBM Champion speakers from ICONUK! I appear to have bunny ears!