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There's no doubt that "social" is the new web. Over the past two years we saw businesses adopt social networking at an unprecedented pace. But what will this year bring in the social spaces? More particular, what role will social business play in software support in 2011? We posed that very question to Rational Client Support and found a myriad of ideas and opinions.
From one of our Rational System Architect and Modeling TSEs, Pritesh Patel, we get the high level view of social business: "The information highway has become a social gathering place where more and more people using it are being seduced by digital media. You no longer have to invite someone for a cuppa tea to have a chinwag and gossip. In support, we have a huge bucket full of data (gossip) that we share. We can now reach out to our clients and provide them with necessary information, which can then reverberate across our various social-business channels. All major organizations are using these tools to create a buzz and that's what we're doing also. We promote support and build a different kind of rapport with our clients."
Sumant Renukarya, a Rational Synergy and Change TSE follows on Pritesh's view with: "We already see a major shift in the way the information is spread, thanks to social networking. At support, the following points play a major role with social networking: social business provides quick access to the required information like specific product related installers, fixpacks, readmes, etc. Promoting events and hence better attendance. And it adds a personal touch with clients, developers, and support personnel."
One of RCS' Knowledge Managers, Phil Wall, points out that: "Social Media in 2011 needs to be more interactive. We have been serving up information, videos and education through our Notes From Rational Support, Twitter, and Facebook channels almost like how a Newspaper reports the news to subscribers. What will make our social business channels more interesting to our community in between relevant information sharing?"
And that, dear readers, is a great question. What will make our presence more interesting? I'll leave you with these two additional questions in hopes of finding out:
What do you think 2011 will hold for software support in social business? What would you like to see from us in these spaces?
image obtained from: flickr user Rosaura Ochoa, illustration by Gerardo Obieta
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (2942)
Personal eminence has been on my mind a bit lately, which has led me to take a few actions of my own including my individual addition of an About.Me profile (Kelly has one too ), to signpost our own eminence in the digital spaces. You're going to read that phrase (digital personal eminence) a LOT below, so let me quickly define that out for you: eminence is a position of distinction or superiority. Personal digital eminence, then, is about the power of your electronic presence as a brand; your individual distinction on the web. I'm working to improve mine, and Rational Client Support's of course, but that is easier said than done.
We all know the big brands online. I am guessing you can easily name 5 right off the top of your head without even trying. Individual -people- are a bit more difficult to identify, though I am sure you could still easily name 5 within a short amount of time. These are brands and individuals who likely have rock-star status across the globe; the ones which are known beyond social or cultural boundaries. But that is only the tip of eminence, as both brands and people need to be knowledgeable in their areas in order to really solidify their standings.
In a general context like this, it is very difficult to gain that level of eminence without being a large-scale celebrity. But what if we look at particular contexts within spaces that are important to us? The spaces in which we play on a daily basis... Personal eminence in these contexts can be seen all around you. In the support world this is displayed by those whom are always readily answering questions or sought after for advice. Personal -digital- eminence is just as easily seen if you are involved in forums, user communities, or subscribe to blogs or RSS feeds: it is found in the people you follow, the people who are visible, the people who are always learning and more importantly -sharing- in the digital realms.
Building this personal digital eminence for yourself, however, isn't overly difficult, and is ultimately important for you as well as for your company whether it is IBM or a small unknown start-up. Individually, personal eminence is a direct influence on career success. Now imagine a company which boasts a large number of individuals who all have some level of personal digital eminence... you're likely imagining a very successful company that has a solid, trust-worthy brand backing it up; a company who's name elicits that sense of reliability, much like IBM, I'm guessing.
A quick connection of the roll up from personal to corporate eminence should tell you exactly how important this can be to individuals and businesses alike. It is for this reason that I encourage everyone to join the conversations in your spaces, as yourselves; to step forward and take control of your own personal digital eminence.
Of course, participation alone isn't enough. Not only do you need to be active in your communities and networks, but you need to be authentic as well. Don't be afraid to stand out as a subject matter expert, but don't try and pretend you're one if you aren't. Take criticisms in stride and admit mistakes when they happen (oh, and they will happen). Be open and honest with your opinions, and listen to others as well. Genuine communication is not only a key to building eminence, but also a good life skill as well! Of course, it is this kind of authenticity paired with activity which will skyrocket your personal digital eminence to new heights, improving your company's brand eminence as well as your own career.
I'll ask you now to heed this as a call to action for both IBMers and the public alike: Get out there and distinguish yourself in -your- space. Be passionate, become the subject matter experts, give back to the communities and forums you frequent, and become your own individual brand. Only you can control your personal digital eminence, but it can benefit so many more!
Image credit: (cc) flickr user RambergMediaImages
kellypuffs 06000168YK Visits (1647)
Very cool IBM commercial but perhaps you want to know more. Here's a longer (22-min), but very interesting video: David Ferrucci of IBM discusses the DeepQA Project; the technology and architecture behind IBM's newest technological innovation, the question answering and natural language processing system, Watson.
It IS exciting! And wicked cool!
And p.s. can I get of those nifty clear dry-erase boards in my office?
UPDATE: Seen on Twitter: Check out this preview: NOVA PBS Special on @IBMWatson: "Smartest Machine on Earth." Premiering Feb 9 @ 10pm EST http
kellypuffs 06000168YK Visits (2164)
Planning with Rational Team Concert 3.0
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (2099)
IBM has been driving the "Smarter Planet" concept for quite a while now, both formally as a campaign and even longer as a general ethic of business.
To drive home a personal perspective of this global focus, this week we asked: What are you doing to make the planet smarter? Here are some of the responses we received from colleagues around the world:
Umberto Ghio is focused on a very personal way of making the planet smarter: I am trying to get smarter myself. As I am part of the planet, by improving myself I am contributing to the overall "smarter planet" ideal. How? I try to do things in a different way, make some efforts to imagine a better solution for each problem I am facing, even if it is an old known problem with a old known solution. Learning; learning something new is the best way to keep your brain young, and opens doors you never even imagined. I do as much as I can not to be obvious; do you get the same question 20 times? I try providing a different (but correct) answer to each one. I try to be as polite and kind as possible; it's too easy to be rude or too focused on yourself. Fun; I try to have as much fun as possible, and I try to involve as much people as possible. Spread the fun, you will never be wrong. A smarter planet? That is one in which everybody is happy
The efforts to make the planet smarter can also be demonstrated in different ways and shapes based on roles and responsibilities people take in their day to day life. As Hamid Kalantari notes, this includes both personal and business roles and responsibilities, and in our support organization this is done by:
Nanesh Bhamkar postulates that a "thought" can definitely change lives. To help make the planet smarter he is currently growing his personal network so that the thoughts can be implemented, noting that in a developing nation like India, new technology is reaching only 5% of the crowd, while the majority of people are still waiting for it to make their lives smarter. He believes this is possible with a good network and support.
We can also compartmentalize smarter planet ideas into professional and personal as Sumant Renukarya has shown us:
At work: I focus, daily, on how to improve my own skills with assisting clients, I try to figure out what else I can improve, and of course I continue my own education.
Off work, there are a lot of small ways in which I am contributing to make a smarter planet. I teach Yoga; healthier people are a smarter planet I reach out to children and instill with them the importance of education. I use water efficiently, and in turn, save water. And here's an easy one: I switch off the power when it is not in use!
Lastly, we all know the following big industries:
They are supported by IBM Rational Client Support!!!
Howard goes on to say: I am really proud that I am part of Rational Client Support and can provide support to those companies making the planet smarter. Whenever I interact with clients and keep their business running smoothly, I know that I am making an indirect but important contribution to a smarter planet.
So.... what are YOU doing to help make the planet smarter? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section!