Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How To Avoid the Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business

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Thanks to Zite (my favorite iPad magazine), last week I read one of the best blog entries that I've read in a while. Judging by the number of retweets and comments, it looks like a lot of people felt the same way. It was written by a social business practitioner who I met about 2 years ago: Laurie Buczek. Laurie called her post: "The Big Failure of Enteprirse 2.0 Social Business".

Laurie highlights the biggest challenge that most enterprises run into as they go into a path to become a social business: end-user adoption. This is something that I say almost every day with all types of organizations. As companies look to become a social business it's clear that choosing one vendor over another won't necessarily guarantee their success, rather it's about how the company is going to drive end-user adoption. After all, it's social software and without any users its hard to derive value.

Laurie summarizes the big failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business as:

The big failure of social business is a lack of integration of social tools into the collaborative workflow.  

Ever since I started becoming more and more involved with social media for the enterprise, I've been promoting integration as the key to become a successful social business. At work I, of course, use our own social media platform. One of the things that's been key to drive my engagement and participation in that platform is all the integration points it makes available.

Laurie states in her blog "the biggest failure is the lack of workflow integration to drive culture change" and that's why I believe a social everywhere strategy is necessary as that is the easiest way to drive culture change. One of the examples that Laurie uses is adoption of Google+. While a lot of people seemed enamored with Google+, I still don't feel engaged in that social network. Perhaps it's because I don't use the web interface for GMail (I read my gmail on my iPhone or using Mac's Mail application) or any of the other services from Google such as Google Docs. I do use Google Search but I'm only in the domain for 5-10 seconds as I wait for the search results to come back.

After reading Laurie's post, I feel others have the same challenges. Laurie says: "(Google+) is outside of how I get my work done ; my peeps aren’t 100% present and it isn’t integrated into social aggregation tools, such as Tweetdeck".

Laurie wraps up the post with recommendations on how to avoid this big failure. The recommendations are very similar to the ones I had included in a previous article: The Key to a Successful Social Business is Social Everywhere. The key takeaway is as you are looking at different social media platforms for your business, don't look over the different integration points that each one offers. If you pick one that doesn't integrate into the business tools that your employees already use, then you have to budget enough money to do the work and the integration yourself. Don't go after a strategy that will teach employees a new way to collaborate, but rather go after a strategy where your employees can collaborate more effectively from the tools (and [mobile] devices) they already use. That way you can ensure that you drive adoption the fastest way possible. Louis Richardson recently shared a presentation called the 3 Key Considerations for Social Business :

Louis Richardson's deck also ties into this as his first recommendation is to "Make your business social; don't make social your business". In other words, don't get into the business of trying to figure out how to integrate social into business apps, instead, pick a vendor that makes this as easy as possible. This will undoubtedly accelerate adoption and help your organization achieve ROI faster.

Laurie Buczek's entire must-read post is here.

Article first published as How to Avoid The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business on Technorati.

Monday, August 29, 2011

IBM Releases BlackBerry, Android and iOS Native Apps for IBM Connections

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IBM has released 3 native mobile applications to the most popular mobile app stores: Android Market, iTunes App Store, and BlackBerry's App World. The native mobile applications bring IBM's social software platform, IBM Connections, to the mobile world. IBM previously supported mobile access via the mobile's browser, although various business partners had created their own iOS apps for IBM Connections.  Moreover, IBM has done a tremendous job ensuring all three apps have the same capability.

The release is very important as more and more companies such as Colgate-Palmolive let employees bring their own devices to work.  Employees can now collaborate on the go with their preferred mobile device.

iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad app for IBM Connections

Continuing with their Social Everywhere strategy, IBM has also made all apps available for free.

One of the things that you'll notice is that now the ideation and media gallery modules are natively available in the mobile apps. Now, you can vote on ideas, comment on ideas, and manage the ideas while on the go. As well, you can take pictures and upload pictures while at a conference and immediately share them with your colleagues through the app.

Here are a couple of screenshots of the iOS app on an iPhone. (Note: the app will run in an iPad in 2x mode).

Since I only have iOS devices (iPhone 4 and an iPad 1) I can only comment on the iOS device. I've been using it now for about 10 weeks and I really like it. I find myself more and more engaged in microblogging activities. I also like going out to customer sites carrying only my iPad. From my iPad I can access my files stored in IBM Connections, download them and present to a customer. I can even search for files which is nice because sometimes a customer may ask to see something so I can go on and search everyone's files, download their presentation and show it to them directly from the iOS app. It's a very good, seamless experience. Of course, I also like that I don't have to enter my credentials every time I want to use the mobile app. With the mobile browser experience, you were always forced to authenticate.

To download the free iOS app for IBM Connections, click here.

BlackBerry app for IBM Connections

BlackBerries with BlackBerry OS6 and later are supported. Screenshots of the BlackBerry App.

To download the free BlackBerry app for IBM Connections, click here.

Android app for IBM Connections

Android 2.2 is required to run the mobile app.

To download the free Android app for IBM Connections, click here.

What about users without an Android, iOS or BlackBerry device?  Users with Nokia Symbian devices can still access the mobile version of IBM Connections via their phone's microbrowser.

Article first published as IBM Releases Native Android, iOS, and BlackBerry apps for its Social Software Platform on Technorati.

Friday, August 19, 2011

SXSW 2012 Voting is Open - Please Vote!

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The staff at SXSW wants to know what kind of topics we want to hear at their event next March. So my team really needs your help in this year’s voting process!

But first - if you aren’t familiar with SXSW – (South By Southwest), it’s a set of film, music and interactive festivals and conferences in Austin, Texas. What started as a music festival that drew 700 attendees in 1987, has grown into a premiere set of events featuring new music and films and has earned a reputation as a breeding ground for emerging technologies. Last year more than 12,000 people attended.

The staff at SXSW is giving you a chance to weigh in on the event. You get to pick what panels make the agenda in 2012. Actually, your votes and comments account for 30% of the decision, the SXSW Advisory Board and staff make up the rest.

IBM has submitted more than a dozen topics – with six of them focused on Social Business. Pick one – pick them all! Those panels with the most votes have a much better chance of making the cut. Anyone can vote. You can vote for multiple sessions, but you can only vote once for each session. So please, get your mom to vote, ask your colleagues, inform your friends – and by all means, tweet about it! image

Here are the IBM Social Business sessions you can vote on


To vote – you will need to create a panelpicker account. If you have an account from previous years – just login. But registering only took me about two minutes:

Once you are registered, vote for your favorite IBM Social Business sessions! You can see other IBM sessions that have been submitted too.

The panelpicker is open until September 2.

(originally posted in the Social Business Insights Blog -- resharing here so you can vote for my session!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Connections Usability Study - Help Us Improve the Product!

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The IBM Connections Information Development team is piloting the addition of filters to our installation documentation, so that you receive information that pertains to your specific database and operating system environment at the right time. This pilot is a direct response to customer requests and depending on your feedback, we may introduce filtered documentation in a future release of IBM Connections.

Currently, the installation documentation includes information on all supported operating systems, application servers, database systems, LDAPs, and so on regardless of what you are actually using. The samples provided in this lab show how the documentation can be filtered based on your choice of operating system and database information.

We want to know what you think of the filtered documentation samples and get your input on what we can do to ensure the documentation is easy to read, useful, and effective.

How to Participate
Join the Filter Pilot community by clicking the Join Community button, review each sample topic, and create a reply to each topic to share your feedback.

Whether you have installed IBM Connections in the past, or are planning to do so in the near future, we want to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hands On with SocialBro - Twitter Analytics Made Easy

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A couple of weeks ago I learned about SocialBro thanks to Mashable. SocialBro, made by developers based in Spain, promises to be an app to manage and analyze your Twitter following. At first glance, SocialBro delivers, especially if you are looking to use Twitter as part of your Social Business strategy. When you first launch the app, it asks you for your Twitter credentials and starts to download tons of metrics about your following. This is nice because it allows you to work with your data offline (perhaps while you are in a plane or without free access to wifi).

Once the data is downloaded you are taken to the Dashboard. In the dashboard you'll find things like Best time to Tweet, recent new followers, recent new unfollows, inactive followers, inactive friends, and much much more:

Some views are really useful to determine who to start following or who to stop following. Notice that each view also has a "share" capability. Clicking on Share triggers a tweet such as "I'm following 4 noisy friends: @xyz, @abc, @123, etc…". Overall, I think the view that I like the most is best time to tweet. SocialBro provides different visualizations to help you understand when a particular tweet will get maximum exposure. As you can see from the following screenshot, for me the best time to tweet is 4pm which is interesting because I mostly tweet in the morning.

On the left hand side of the dashboard, you'll find different search criteria and filters that can be applied to your followers and friends. Some of the filters are: time since last tweet, tweets per day, account age, etc.

SocialBro also provides insights into who your followers are, their timezones, their locations, the languages they speak, etc. SocialBro supports multiple Twitter accounts which is helpful for those that are managing multiple Twitter accounts.


SocialBro has created a demo and has shared it via vimeo. You can take a peek here:

Socialbro - Explore your Community from javier burĂ³n on Vimeo.

Things to come

SocialBro has announced that the following features are in the pipeline:

  • Analyze your competitors or other interesting profiles: copy their lists, follow their friends and followers, etc.
  • Analyze Twitter search results by users
  • Analyze any Twitter lists
  • Import any text list of users such as: conferences attendees, your app users, etc.
  • Add notes and reminders to the users
  • Tag users
  • Export to Excel (Export to PDF is already available)
  • Manage Twitter messaging campaigns

Get it now

If you are heavily dependent on Twitter or even if Twitter is part of your social business strategy, I think SocialBro is a must. SocialBro is built on Adobe Air so you can run it on your Mac, Linux, or Windows computer. To download, go here and sign up for the beta (it took me about 1-2 hours to get a beta invite).

Article first published as Hands on with SocialBro: Twitter Analytics Made Easy on Technorati.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Quickr for Portal Integration with Connections

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A new widget for IBM Connections is now available which brings the Quickr for WebSphere Portal document library into a Connections community.

The widget augments the original Quickr widget because it maintains the user in the Connections environment, whereas the other widget would make the user switch back and forth. It's also nice because you can link to existing Quickr document libraries (or if you don't want to map a community to an existing Quickr library, you can make it so that a new document library is created and membership is synchronized). And just like the SharePoint and ECM widgets to communities, you have full access to the entire document library directly from Connections. You no longer need to go back and forth between the two.

Moreover, similar to the ECM widget for communities, the widget allows round-trip editing of documents stored in Quickr. I particularly like the ability to check-in/check-out documents directly from Connections as well as uploading documents of a specific document type and entering the metadata as required by Quickr, again all seamlessly happening from Connections. With this integration, a community in Connections becomes a place where members can come in and collaborate on files regardless of where they are stored: SharePoint, Connections, Quickr, or ECM.

Here's a screenshot that shows how it works:


To download the widget, you can get from free here in the Lotus App Catalog. Note in the instructions the additional system requirements you need to install.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Profile Completion Widget Now Available in App Catalog

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Two new widgets for IBM Connections are now available in the app catalog. The widgets are provided by JustNudge an IBM partner based out of the UK.

The first widget tracks the profile completion widget. This looks very similar to what LinkedIn provides. I believe this is great because I can see this as a way to push adoption of Connections. As people see that their profile is not populated, they also get hints as to what they can do to further populate their profile. Here's how JustNudge describes the widget:

Our profile progress widget provides visual feedback and tips to help the user populate their profile using a visual feedback mechanism similar to that provided on LinkedIn. This feedback allows the system to be populated according to the requirements of your organisation, for example, if there is a particular field within the profile that is valuable from an organisation perspective then the profile weighting can be adjusted to both advise and reward the user to populate that field.

The second widget is "Alternate reporting lines" widget. The widget aims to capture the informal relationships of a typical matrixes organization. The widget is self service and it lets the users build their own informal report-to chains. This is something that I've heard from customers in certain cases, so I'm glad that I can now direct them to the catalog where they can download and install this widget into Connections.

The profile completion widget is available here and the alternate reports to widget is available here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Should I Care About Social Media Behind the Firewall

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Last week, I delivered a webinar that was hosted by InfoBOOM. In the webinar, I talk about some of the reasons why social media behind the firewall is beneficial to companies of all sizes. As an example, I reference the value that I personally get by using social media inside the firewall.

Here's the description that we used for the webinar invite.

Social media isn't limited to external communications. It can be a powerful force for productivity improvement and morale building inside the firewall.

The payoff: People are talking, and when that happens sources of expertise emerge from unexpected places. Social networks enable people to discover information, get questions answered and find new partners in collaboration. These tools are achieving the goals that early knowledge management systems set out to accomplish more than 20 years ago. The difference is that employees willingly contribute their expertise and enable the organization to capture their knowledge when it's in the cause of helping other people solve problems and get work done.

If you couldn't join the webinar and are interested in the business value of social media behind the firewall, you can watch the replay here. You'll notice that during the webinar a storm came in and knocked out power to my apartment so that provides for some laughs and entertainment as we try to adjust midway through.

Aside from business value, I also cover an important topic: the challenge of adoption. Once you deploy the technology, how do you actually get people to use it? I share some tips based on some lessons learned.

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How To Deploy Google Gadgets to IBM Connections

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The concept of deploying Google Gadgets to Connections is not new. I've shown you how to do this several times (going back 3 years ago!!). There are even articles on that have been posted on IBM's webpage describing how to do this.

I recently stumbled upon an article written by Chuck Connell which describes how to very quickly develop widgets for IBM Connections. This is actually the approach that I usually take when creating my widgets. It's funny because when people ask me which IDE I use to code the widgets, I typically repy: Notepad.

Fast Development For IBM Connections Widgets

Chuck then takes that a step further and shares another approach on how to deploy Google Gadgets to IBM Connections. If you follow this process, you should be able to add a Google Gadget into Connections in 1-2 minutes.

Google Gadgets for IBM Connections


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mac vs PC for College 2011

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So turns out that I've received a lot of questions around Mac vs PC from family and friends who have kids going to college this fall. I also interview students for the college I went to and this question comes up (specially after they see me using a MacBook Pro to do the interview). I figured I would capture some of the thoughts on the topic and provide my take in the matter. This by no means is meant to be a comprehensive look at the options that are out there. If you are interested, there are plenty of discussions out there.

Off the bat, I usually recommend the 11" MacBook Air and undoubtedly the first thing I get back is "but they are so expensive". I figured I would look at the numbers and see how it would pan out. The comparison is against an HP machine which is the cheapest I found in OfficeMax.

There's also the question of iPad (w/ bluetooth keyboard) vs full laptop. I believe students still benefit from a full laptop (I'm thinking about writing those 40 page papers and gamers). I'm willing to be proven wrong, though.

Here's what I came up with:
Feature MacBook Air 11" PC
Price $899 (typically there's a 10% discount for students) $399
Weight 2.38 pounds 5.5 pounds
Screen Size 11.6" 15.6"
Office Productivity
Suite (1)
$59.97 $149.95
Anti-Virus (2) Not needed $159.96 (you have to renew virus license every year)
Memory 2GB 4GB
Processor 1.6 GHz Dual Core 1.6 GHz Dual Core
Storage 64 GB (flash drive; up to 2x-4x faster) 500 GB
Backup $0 (Time Machine included) $80 (typically $20 / year)
OS Upgrade (3) $29 (at least the last 2) $119 (at least that's what it was for Win 7 Home Premium)
Battery Life Up to 5 hours (30 day standby) Up to 5 hours
Screen Resolution 1366 x 768 (up to 2560 x 1600 w/external monitor) 1366 x 768

Total $987.97 $907.91
(1) You could save by using the free versions of Office like Symphony or OpenOffice . I'm assuming students will need a word processor ($19.99 for Pages), spreadsheets ($19.99 for Numbers), and presentations ($19.99 for Keynote). If students only need a word processor, Pages is enough and it's ~ 1/8 the price of MS Office)
(2) Some colleges have a site license for anti-virus. Used Symantec Anti-Virus at $39.99 / yr. Update 3/Aug/2011: Apparently, Microsoft has a free solution for anti-virus. Not sure how good it is or how it compares to the paid ones.

(3) I'm assuming that in 4 years Apple will release another update to their OS and Microsoft will release one as well.
So the Mac is costing you about $80 more over a 4 year period. Yet, it's about 2 pounds lighter and it's up to 2x faster. Personally, I would recommend the 13" MacBook Air which would come up to about $1258 over 4 years (vs $907.91 for a PC). The 13" MacBook Air gives you 7 hours of battery, it's still under 3 pounds, a 128GB SSD of storage, and has a faster processor at 1.7 GHz.

Of course, cost is not the only consideration.  Some tools will only run on a Windows environment so it might be good to ask current students in the prospective major what they are using.  

There you have it. Hope this helps.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Infographic: What Happens In The Web in 1 Minute

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Earlier this year I blogged about an iPad app to get the latest Social Media statistics. And speaking about the iPad, one of my favorite apps to launch every day and discover content is Zite. Using Zite, I stumbled upon this info graphic (and you know how much I like info graphics!). This particular one captures what happens in the web in 1 minute.

Neville Hobson blogged about it and suggests it might be good to include in a future presentation. I'll certainly try to include it in my next presentation and see what kind of feedback I get.

Here's a quick summary. In 1 minute there are...:

  • … more than 1,500 blog posts
  • … more than 600 new videos on YouTube
  • … more than 98,000 tweets
  • … more than 695,000 status updates on Facebook
  • … more than 168,000,000 emails sent

I noticed that Google+ is not there so maybe it's too new. The infographic makes me wonder… are there any stats on what percentage of those 168M emails are generated from social media sites like Facebook.