Modified on by AcdntlPoet
Hello there! @kellypuffs here. Jason has kindly invited me to guest-post, and I just wanted to share a fun little haiku deck I put together, riffing off a great article that appeared in Social Media Today, in which the author reminds us that the same simple rules we live by also apply to social media.
Enjoy and happy Friday!
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad
Editor's Note: If you will be at IBM Innovate 2013 next week, stop by the Social Playground where both Kelly and Jason will be hanging out and helping to answer questions about social business involvement. We'd love to meet you in person and have real-life conversations!
If you missed it, Community Manager Appreciation Day was this past Monday, the fourth Monday in January. As the Wikipedia link notes: Community Manager Appreciation Day is "... a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the world using social media and other tools to improve customer experiences."
While community management is a growing and discrete role in many organizations, I don't want to highlight that here. Instead, I want to take this opportunity (albeit a few days late) to thank YOU, our clients, business partners, IBMers, and extended readership for what you do within the communities in which you participate.
You may recall a "Think Friday" blog post from last year in which I expounded on how each of you are indeed community managers. Specifically I noted: "As active members in social networks, we create our own ad hoc communities every time we post content, be it a status updated about what we had for lunch or a longer missive on a facet of today's society. In each case, we own the responsibility of managing these ad hoc communities just like a 'formal' community manager would. Likewise, when we comment on other's posts, we are engaging as a member of their community and have the responsibility to act accordingly."
So, you see, Community Manager Appreciation Day isn't just about those of us working in the specifically defined roles; it is also about YOU and our appreciation for how you manage your own ad hoc communities to build value for yourself and your network. While curating your own network is often its own reward, sometimes it is also important to acknowledge how critical managing your own communities really is to not only the value you see, but the value we all see from those efforts. Your own community management activities helps us all grow, and because social business IS a community, none of us can really grow without the rest of you!
So, cheers to you all for being awesome community managers! I look forward with great anticipation to seeing what the next year brings for all of us in these spaces!
From the list below, it would appear that this past year you all were big on some of our thought leadership items. Following are the top ten (well technically eleven, but 6 fall under a single topic, so I figured I owed you at least one more) posts which garnered the largest number of views over the course of 2012:
Think Friday: YOU are a community manager
From our Working outside the Inbox series:
Preparing for IBM PureApplication System: a five part series
Happy 3 year Birthday and (2 million visitors) to us; two milestones achieved!
geeking out over grease cars
A milestone: Lessons learned co-hosting a biweekly call for 3 years
This list was built by you, and for you! Thank you all for your continued loyalty and support of this blog. As you all know we strive to get you the best support content and help you solve or avoid problems before you need us. It is you, our audience, who keep us working hard to find that content you need and who make this blog a possibility to continue. We are very happy that by virtue of your numbers, we can see that you are indeed finding value in the content we provide, and that alone makes this all worthwhile.
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by HarshLight
Over on my personal blog, I posted last week about Building a better business: Hiring ducks and eagles for the right jobs.
In that post, I explored the personal experience and positive results of team hiring practices that focused on finding the right person for the right job. The net conclusion of that post being: "Hire to your needs, but also to the candidate’s strengths and abilities. It isn’t easy, but the rewards and your future success depend upon it."
But, I'd like to take that conclusion a step further now, since "future success" is a bit too nebulous for my taste.
From the social business perspective, hiring the ducks and eagles is a critical portion of our success, as people in the right job tend to be more motivated and passionate about what they do. It is this increased level of passion that is such an important building block of success in social business. Without passion, social business just becomes activities that fall flat, and your audiences will pick up on that immediately.
Social businesses with passionate employees, however, are thriving and forging new paths in the world around us. It is that passion which drive employees, either on their own or with slight urging, to get out in the social spaces and share their knowledge and excitement with others. While the passion IS infectious, it also needs to be cultivated.
That passion is either fostered or stifled long before the employee ever has opportunity to play in the social spaces. It begins during the hiring process: identifying and hiring to both your needs and the candidate's abilities right from the get-go builds that foundation to grow your company into the motivated and passionate social business you need. Hire a duck for an eagle's job (or vice versa) and you will stifle that passion. Likewise, put the duck in the right pond and enable the eagle to soar, and that same stifled passion now becomes a raging fire driving both to spread the excitement.
Your audiences can tell the difference between mere activity and authentic excitement, and they will treat your social business accordingly... Can you really afford to not hire the ducks and eagles?
I'll leave you with the video that inspired both post titles and over-arching topics: You Can’t Send A Duck To Eagle School:
Yup, we're still "working outside the inbox" here.
Along with Luis Suarez Kelly Smith and I continue driving and evangelizing the idea in hopes it will take hold and help create a new business culture of open, transparent, and collaborative work. To that end, I recently built a presentation now hosted on Slideshare to help illustrate our efforts as we documented them here in our Notes from Rational Support "WOTI" blog series. We've tried to distill the core concepts, ideals, and recommendations down to their essence and provide an easy to consume presentation. I hope you not only enjoy the presentation deck, but also find it helpful in your own quest to reduce email and increase your effectiveness.
For some reason I am not as yet able to identify, there has been a great amount of increased chatter across the internet surrounding Google's 20% time concept. Perhaps it is the ever growing need for us to filter through all the information flooding us every day and take time to focus on the things that make us happiest. While Google has formalized the idea into more structured policy, here in IBM Rational we've been doing the same kind of thing for quite a while now, albeit in a more unstructured way; a bit looser to help the creativity flow...
You may have seen some of our posts, like this one, with the prefixed phrase "Think Friday: ". This is our way of helping to drive the concept a bit more loosely among IBMers, as well as highlighting some of the things we're thinking about in a more external fashion. For us, "Think Friday" is an opportunity to take some time to devote to other projects, ideas, or research outside of our normal day-to-day work. This doesn't mean that we don't actually work on Fridays, but rather it is the umbrella concept that allows us to take that 20% time (after all, 1 day out of five does indeed equal 20%) and use it however we wish, giving us that chance to focus on some of the more innovative ideas we all have. Sometimes it occurs on Fridays, sometime it may be the last hour and half of every day, or maybe it is 20 minutes picked here and there as it is available; in any case the idea is to take that time and focus on a project of your passion.
We've even semi-formalized the idea in an additionally different way with our internal Hackdays, where we take a designated day and hack on ways to "make things better", regardless of what those things are. The hacks run the gamut from applications to process changes, from internal focus to global reach. Some hacks are code snippets, while others are as intangible as a 20% time idea or as simple as working on a thought leadership style blog post. Whatever it is we want to hack on, we have a day to do that in a loosely organized fashion with local-office events spanning the globe providing for an environment to work individually or collaborate with others.
What is a HackDay? Well, it can be whatever you wish... In IBM this is how we loosely define it (liberally taken from our internal Hackday site):
"HackDay is a loosely organized event designed to help people come up with interesting "hacks" to help make things better.
The great way to think about this is as an event where you can put pen to paper and make the ideas in your head materialize. We want to see what you can do, what you can create, what you can imagine. What would you be able to accomplish if just given the opportunity?
What you decide to do and how you do it are completely up to you. We have no rules and no clue about what people may end up submitting. We simply provide the framework and a date so that we can all shoot for something in common. Peer pressure is great motivation.
We want this to be your opportunity. We want this to be your motivation. We want this to be your hack. This is what we call HackDay."
Regardless of whether it is an organized policy like Google's, or a company value like the "Think Friday" ideal we hold in IBM, what better way to support innovation and new ideas than through allowing each and every person in the organization to take the time to think and create; to work on a project of passion? From personal experience, I'm continually surprised at the amazing things we can do when given opportunity to simply put more thought to building out our ideas and see what comes of them.
Why not organize your own Hackday, or implement the "Think Friday" core value in your own organization? I can assure you the benefits you'll see will be potentially epic in scale!
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by HarshLight
Working out loud .... and thinking out loud. I've seen this phrase several times on the internets, and I think it's my new favorite tagline for the way I like to work, and the way a collaborative enterprise works best.
It's also a great mindfulness practice, if you are inclined that way, and goes a long way toward transforming your workflow to a more collaborative open and transparent model. But what does it mean?
Simply, it means making your work visible, even when it's in that ugly semi-formed concept phase (then we call it "thinking out loud"). How else are you going to iteratively and agilely collaborate with your stakeholders to ensure your "thoughts" align with their needs?
are my new favorite way to "work out loud". Each and every project I undertake has an Activity where I record and store actions taken, milestones, hiccups, and the in-progress artifacts of my ongoing projects for collaborative and awareness purposes .... creating a documented pattern/workflow for reuse. Activities can be shared with Connections Communities, and with individuals. There is notification functionality that allows you to, say, post the latest version of your documents and let folks know it's available for review.
Compare that to working days on a file on your personal desktop, emailing to 20 individuals for review, and then learning you built the perfect wrong thing,
Or processing 20 separate revisions of the document in your inbox over the next several days (weeks?).
Or having to produce status reports for each of your projects every week.
Be transparent. Live out loud. I think you'll like it.
First and foremost, all credit for this forehead-smacking moment goes to my fearless cohort, Kelly Smith. She had posted internally on this topic and pointed out that this may make a great "Think Friday" post here on Notes from Rational Support.
If you've been reading our posts for a bit, you'll likely have noticed our typical image crediting at the bottom when we use images not owned by IBM. Both Kelly and I use the Creative Commons attribution pool / search feature on Flickr.com to find fun and interesting images to accompany our blog posts here, and as the Creative Commons license specifies, we add the attribution credit to all images we use from this pool.... but neither of us had ever done this:
As Kelly noted in her internal blog posting on this behaviour: it is...a Forehead-smacking moment. It's gracious, it's social, it's the right thing to do. It is tone-perfect, and the use of the first person makes it personable and warm. Like Kelly, I'm now smacking MY forehead for having missed such a great and simple opportunity to be a better internet citizen. Kelly and I have both agreed and added this as one of our blogging best-practices, and have begun practicing what we preach as you can see here on the image I used for last Friday's "Working Outside the Inbox" post:
As in my prior blog post on my personal site in which I discuss the "Social stewardship of sharing", to us this loop-back thank you is a great way to become a better internet citizen and a better social steward. Rather than simply take-take-take, we are able to borrow and then use our social currency to show direct appreciation to those whom have graciously shared their images for use via the Creative Commons licensing. Acknowledgement and a thank you takes so little time, but really means so much... in today's world of copyright and intellectual property thievery, I feel it is important to stand up as a good internet citizen, to credit and show appreciation for those people who allow us use of their content to share and share alike.
What are YOUR thoughts on this practice? Do you do similar things when sharing? Have you had others thank or credit you in the past in similar fashions? Is this something you'll likely to start doing now or is it a bit too "hippie2.0"?
influence: (ˈɪnflʊəns) — n. An effect of one person or thing on another resulting from ability, wealth, position, etc.
Here in Rational Support, we understand the deep value of influence and thought leadership. We work hard to make sure our experiences across the organization are captured and shared out to help all of our clients and other IBMers alike reuse and benefit from our collective knowledge. One of these ways is through our periodic "Top Content" posts which highlight the most reused support content in the prior month.
Identifying and quantifying the value of what we do, however, isn't quite as easy. This is something that we've touched on before, and something which is a huge trend in the 'social' industry today: measuring value. Recently I ran across this article from Wired Magazine discussing one of these ranking systems: Klout. In the closing of this article the author, Seth Stevenson, posits that while this tool is becoming more of a pivotal piece in the social spaces it is likely missing a key factor (or more) to really crack the nut of measuring influence and subsequently value. Seth makes an important note on his own anxieties and calling out what he has seen in terms of who the biggest score holders are: big names that appear caught in an echo chamber, versus those he finds truly interesting who tend to have lower scores across the board.
In Rational Support, we believe we've stayed away from that echo chamber effect in our social spaces, instead focusing in on the information that is critical and necessary for you, our clients, to be successful in your businesses. Sure, we may watch our Klout score with a little interest, but we don't let that drive how we do our jobs. Our core beliefs remain squarely client-first; even if that means our content isn't "viral", or provocative, or witty enough to catapult us into internet fame... we remain focused on you and getting the right information to you when you need it.
Given that influence is comprised of so many differing variables, both observable and intuitive, how would YOU quantify your influence? What are those key factors or variables that are important to you, which do you look for to identify the influencers in your networks? Let us know in the comments below!
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by acdntlpoet