Friday, July 31, 2009

And Now We Have An Official Widget Catalog!

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The Lotus Greenhouse team recently announced the availability of a new widget catalog. This catalog will contain widgets for both Lotus Notes as well as iWidgets that you can add to Lotus Connections and Portal. Some have even called it an App Store for Lotus Connections.


As you may know, I have already created iWidgets for Lotus Connections that let you easily integrate with MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, Flickr, iNotes, and others. These iWidgets will now be hosted inside of Greenhouse which will hopefully accomplish various things:

  1. provide more visibility to these iWidgets
  2. easier tracking of widget downloads
  3. you can tag widgets
  4. you can comment on widgets
  5. you can test them directly on the Greenhouse!

If you are interested, the widget catalog is available here and the Lotus Connections specific widgets can be accessed from here. While all the widgets that are there right now are mine, you are encouraged to upload your own widgets and share them with the community.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CNBC's Squawk on the Street Features IBM Lotus Social Software

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IBM Lotus Social Software was just featured in CNBC during this week's series on Social Networking. Irene Grief, IBM Fellow, talks one on one about the benefits of enterprise social software. And our super awesome Suzanne Minassian makes a cameo as well.

CNBC starts the clip by saying that "in business there's nothing more important than relationships, but now say goodbye to face-to-face networking". There are two things that I want to highlight there. First, the value of relationships. As I blogged earlier, IBM was able to scientifically calculate the value of a relationship at $900+. Thus, one great reason to improve networking by using social networking software (a.k.a social software) in the enterprise (a.k.a Enterprise 2.0). The more relationships you can have, the more money you can generate.

Second, hmm.. did CNBC read my blog post from last week where IBM predicts that in less than 2 years social networking will be more popular than face-to-face collaboration?

And I really don't want to talk about it, but CNBC hints at the ROI of social software. In the clip, you'll hear how IBM invested $80,000 in a virtual conference to save over $350,000 in travel and productivity costs. ROI? 400%+

Here's the clip:

Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Elguji launches IQJam

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Elguji Software, the creators of IdeaJam have just launched IQJam a new social space where users can ask, answer, tag, and rate questions. IQJam is a nice tool for those that want to capitalize on the knowledge of their employees. The concept is amazingly simple - people ask questions and other people answer them (think of streamlined, lightweight forums)

IQJam, built on the new XPages technology in Domino, lists questions and their answers can be voted up or down. Voting allows the IQJam community to identify questions that they would like to see answered. Voting on answers helps identify the correct answer as well as eliminate ones that may be incorrect. Once the correct answer has been entered, it is marked by the user as being "answered". As people rate and mark questions answered, the respondents get to build their reputation.

Here are some screenshots of their creation:

3759289832_367c1fa014.jpg


The Lotus community will have its own IQJam space later this year when Domino Server v8.5.1 ships and will be accessible at: http://iqjam.net . An IQJam iWidget for Lotus Connections is also ready for use.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kevin Spacey tries to explain Twitter to David Letterman

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I caught this on Twitter earlier today and I immediately shared it with the rest of the Twitter crowd. In case you missed it, I wanted to share it here as well. This video was originally posted in George Dearing's blog.

This video reminds me of another video where Jon Stewart tries to explain Twitter.

Enjoy!

IBM: By 2011 Social Networking will be More Popular than Face-to-Face Collaboration

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I'm not really sure how I missed this one, but 2 months ago, the following IBM video appeared on YouTube. The video itself contains various business statistics such as the one highlighted in the title of this blog post: By 2011, Social Networking will be more popular than face-to-face collaboration. Interesting, right ? And just think that 2011 is only 2 years away. Social networking is no longer fad, but here to stay.

The video positions social networking as a great way to improve productivity and effectiveness, especially in today's business environment where it's esitmated that employees spend 25% of their time looking for information, and 42% of employees use the wrong information to make decisions... ouch!

This video is part of IBM's Smarter Planet strategy, which you may remember I recently presented at a local event for it. I'll let the video talk for itself.

So in 2 years, social networking is set to take over face-to-face collaboration. Is your organization ready for this revolution?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'll be at the Portal Conference... as a speaker!

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Today, I got a note telling me that I've been selected as one of the speakers for this year's Portal Conference in San Diego. The conference takes place October 12-15 and it will be my first time in San Diego. If there are any San Diegoans (not sure if that's how you say it, but I think that's how "they" said it in Anchorman) out there, I would love to get a couple of recommendations as to what to do.

So what will I be talking about? Well, I'm actually going to partner with my colleague David Rosenfeld and our session is titled: Making the Right Connections: Value, Methods & Best Practices for integrating Lotus Connections 2.5 and WebSphere Portal 6.1. Here's a preview of the session abstract:

This session will first look at the incredible value of teaming Lotus Connections and WebSphere Portal. We will follow with the various out-of-box technologies for integrating LC and WP, including portlets, iWidgets, REST calls, files access and integrated search. We will discuss what IS and IS NOT available, some best practices, and what is planned for the future. Finally we will look at ways to customize the integration, using Portlet Factory, and other development tools.

If you haven't yet, sign up and register for the Portal Conference today! See ya there!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Update your status in Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn and others from Lotus Connections via ping.fm

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Back in May, I told you about how I had created a custom plugin to update your Lotus Connections status from ping.fm. After reading your comments and the ones left in my internal blog, I decided there had to be a different approach. That's when I modified an existing Adobe AIR application to microblog both in Twitter and Lotus Connections from the same place. That microblogging application has taken off inside IBM and I can see a LOT of IBMers are using it.. (I can tell because I see RT's from Twitter in Lotus Connections and vice versa).

Talking to one of my favorite customers, they still had a need to just update their status in multiple sites from a single place. Brainstorming some more with them we agreed that a good approach would be create a widget that simply pushes the status update to Lotus Connections and ping.fm at the same time.

So off I went and created a new iWidget for Lotus Connections.


When placed in the Lotus Connections homepage (or wherever an iWidget can live), end users can very easily update their status in Lotus Connections and in ping.fm, which would in turn update the status in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the other sites that the end user has configured.


Very cool, huh? The widget can be installed just like any other widget. The only extra step that you need to do is configure the AJAX proxy:

  1. Go to: <WAS_PROFILE_ROOT>/config\cells\<cellname>\LotusConnections-config
  2. Save a copy of proxy-config.tpl
  3. Open proxy-config.tpl with your favorite text editor
  4. Look for the following line: <!-- BEGIN CUSTOMIZATIONS HERE -->
  5. Just after that line insert the following code

    <proxy:policy url="http://api.ping.fm/*" acf="none">
     <proxy:actions>
      <proxy:method>GET</proxy:method>
      <proxy:method>POST</proxy:method>
     </proxy:actions>
     <proxy:headers>
      <proxy:header>User-Agent</proxy:header>
      <proxy:header>Accept.*</proxy:header>
      <proxy:header>Content.*</proxy:header>
      <proxy:header>Authorization.*</proxy:header>
     </proxy:headers>
     <proxy:cookies>
      <proxy:cookie>JSESSIONID</proxy:cookie>
     </proxy:cookies>
    </proxy:policy>
    


  6. Save and close the file
  7. Restart the Lotus Connections homepage

And that's it! The widget URL is http://blog.lbenitez.com/widgets/ping.fm/pingFmWidget.xml or if you want to download it and host it locally on your server, you can do so from here.

Enjoy!
PS. I've only tested the widget in the Lotus Connections 2.5 homepage.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Using Social Software to Market Yourself Inside and Outside the Firewall

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I recently found this presentation created and shared internally by my colleague Ian McNairn, Program Director Web Innovation & Technology. In this "short" 45-slide presentation, Ian walks through why we need to use social tools (hint: partly in part to low trust in advertising), problems and risks of social software, and best practices for marketing 2.0.

Ian also shares some stats on IBM social software adoption inside of the firewall. I truly believe one of the business value for Enterprise 2.0 is the ability to easily re-use intellectual capital (and reduce costs from reinventing the wheel). Therefore, I actually used parts of this presentation recently as part of my presentation to the local SMB organization on how to use Twitter and Blogs to generate more revenue.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Embracing Social Media To Win Customer "Mindshare"

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A colleague sent me a link yesterday to a report recently released by Social Media Academy titled: Mindshare Report. The report, generated by students of the Academy, used publicly available data available on the social web to analyze the social media status of global enterprises such as: Dow Chemical, New York Life, Toyota, and Vodafone.

The report outlines how social media is used by businesses in all industries, but also that it poses a significant threat to companies who do not understand how publicly available information can be used by their competitors to create devastating effects. Specifically, it demonstrates how a couple of social media savvy consultants can compromise a global enterprise based on publicly available data. For example, it highlights how a Twitter user commented recently: "Yes, we are moving to 21 acre farm and looking for a tractor. A used John Deere would be ideal I think. What do you think?". This is a great opportunity to service these users, otherwise, the competition surely will.

You may remember my blog entry When I Use Twitter, IBM Wins... where I told my story on how I use Twitter to pick out prospective customers and provide some customer support for existing ones. I believe this is something that all companies must do, or they risk losing customers.

Go ahead and read the Mindshare Report from the Social Media Academy. If your company is not engaged yet on the social web, take a peek at the IBM Social Computing Guidelines, which outline the rules that all IBMers must abide by when using social software (in and outside of IBM).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GigaOM ranks Lotus Connections #1

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Last month a blog entry from one of the vendors in the social media space came into my feed reader because I subscribe to everything the world is saying about Lotus Connections. In it, Lotus Connections is called the "Big Daddy of enterprise collaboration software". And being the Red Sox fan that I am, I don't mind being called Big Papi..

But the blog entry was really about a report recently released report by GigaOM called Social Media in the Enterprise. The report is authored by Rachel Happe, Principal & Co-founder of The Community Roundtable. According to the blog entry, Lotus Connections is ranked #1 in Strategic Potential for Enterprise Social Software and KickApps is ranked #2.

Rachel adds in the blog entry:

Even within the leaderboard, solution providers in this market have some pronounced differences, and depending on the model and needs of a particular customer, their short list will look different, despite having similar end-user feature sets.

The Social Media in the Enterprise report is available for download. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Rachel at the Enterprise 2.0 conference last week in Boston, but hopefully next time (actually there was a LOT of people that I didn't get to meet, and those that I did, I barely spent 5-10 minutes talking to them... but I digress)

Congratulations to the Lotus Connections team and I'm looking forward to more analyst reports (specially given all the cool new things that we are working on... shhh!)