Tagged: Social Media

Deleted tweet and heated discussions

Ok, this one just rubbed me the wrong way.

Yesterday I followed a heated twitter discussion between @MatNewman and @APACloud (Andy Pattinson – ProQuest) on Lotus Notes vs Google Mail.
I’m always interested to learn what makes/breaks the products I work with so I followed the twitter exchange although I must say it all got rather direct… (nasty?)

What I mostly got from it was that it wasn’t a real discussion. Mat, asking (in his own unique enthusiastic way) for substantiation on some statements about Lotus Notes vs Google mail was replied with  statements in which he was called a lunatic and on crack.

Regardless of the form, I think it’s always important to keep the focus on the topic, not on the person.
So, although I must admit I was a bit annoyed by the unwarranted insults (even if meant in a jokingly way), I couldn’t help but wonder whether @APACloud actually had anything to say on the topic (Google Mail vs Lotus Notes) or was just trying to get out of a discussion he wasn’t up for but doing it the wrong way (getting a bit childish instead of admitting he had just made a rash statement he was not about ready to have a debate on).

And to test that I asked him to elaborate a bit on his claims about Gmail being so much better then Lotus Notes. Something that was asked by @MatNewman as well but just didn’t seem to be getting an answer.

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Now at this point I kind of got that he really wasn’t up for it and I was about ready to leave it at that when he replied my tweet saying (something like) “Perhaps we could do a call on this, would love to elaborate”. Surprised I accepted.

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I was genuinely up for it as I love to get the perspective of someone else. I only have limited experience with Google Mail so having a chance to talk to, and get the perspective of, someone who claims having used both professionally, as well as knows something about Salesforce (a topic I’m also interested in) was something I wouldn’t pass.

Notice how I included every tweet form our little exchange except that one in which he invites me for a call?

Well guess what, this morning, reading back the exchange (yes I do that sometimes) I noticed he had actually deleted that particular tweet. Apparently it was just a way to get out of the discussion and to shush me up. So I expect no call on this and to be honest after this, I’m not even up for it either.

Next time, be a man and just say you’re not up for the discussion.

Repost IBM Insights Blog: Food For Thought – The New Player on Stage

I recently started writing for the IBM Insights blog http://ibm.com/blogs/socialbusiness. As part of a team of Redbook Residency bloggers. The aim is to write about anything having to do with Social Business or Social Media. To keep track and a personal log of it all I will repost the blogs I write for the Insights blog on my personal blog as well.

Original Publication: https://www-304.ibm.com/connections/blogs/socialbusiness/entry/food_for_thought_the_new_player_on_stage1?lang=en_us
Original publication date: February 22 2012

Food For Thought: The New Player on Stage 

by Femke Goedhart, Business Consultant, Silverside
So here’s a thought…. At this year’s Lotusphere, IBM’s annual collaboration and social software conference, during that all important Opening General Session (OGS), Who was the real star of the conference?? 
Was it the band ‘OK Go’? Or Michael J. Fox with his inspirational speech? The IBM executives sharing plans for the upcoming year?  The people demonstrating it all?  Or the customers telling their success stories? Or was there another star to this show….. the audience? 
It is interesting to see how social media has changed the role that people are taking while listening to someone on stage. They are no longer a passive audience, waiting to be impressed. They are active participants using social media to hype the event and their fellow audience members, updating those staying at home and in doing so broadcasting their personal expectations, experiences and opinions to the world – effectively becoming a presenter themselves.  
They are far from uninformed either. Social media exposes any news with lightning speed and search engines allow users to quickly proof check any statement made. The audience no longer is a passive listener; it’s a fiercely regarded critic and a channel to reach a much wider audience. A 5,000 man audience in the room easily reaches a hundreds-of-thousands-strong audience outside. A power not to be ignored! 
And a power to be utilized by those on stage as social media is also quickly leveraging the power of peer-to-peer recommendations. An enthusiastic commentary on social networks by the audience members often does more for creating a positive vibe around a product announcement than any official reporter or analyst could ever hope to accomplish with their articles. 
But the audience is also a fickle player to include in the play; one that generally has a short attention span and has a nose for set ups and over-embellishings. One that wants to-the-point information, real demonstrations, interaction and involvement. And one that can make or break an event, a speaker and an announcement. 
Something that was clearly shown at last year’s Lotusphere OGS. The audience did not like the lengthy customer panels and made that abundantly clear on twitter and other Social Media channels – bringing the overall sentiment on the OGS down to an absolute low. Only after a bright new face – Brian Cheng – entered the stage to do demos did that sentiment change — instantly elevating Brian to a Twitter celebrity. However, by that time, some damage had been done.  
It must be hard sitting back there watching all this going on, knowing that there is little or nothing you can do to change it. The scripts are set, the show is staged and you can’t just break into that. At the same time you can’t ignore what’s going on either.
 imageSo this year was different. IBM clearly listened to the critiques and tried to accommodate that all important new member of the cast. Shortening the length of the OGS, dividing it up in short sound bites, acknowledging last year’s missteps, involving the audience as much as possible  and using lots of graphics and live demos to keep people’s focus on the stage instead of on their Twitter streams. Even showing an actual representation of the audience sentiment of the event as it was going on.
And it wasn’t just in the OGS where this was felt. Instead of being afraid of the social backlash that had occurred the previous year, IBM embraced the challenge and invited the audience to be even more ‘social’. Setting up Social Lounges where people could learn how to use social tools, offering communities and apps to connect to other attendees and by actively promoting the use of hashtag #LS12  and showing those Tweets on blogs, Web sites and at the event itself. 
Not just involving the audience, but effectively making them stakeholders in the success of the event.
To unleash and actively stimulate thousands of internet savvy critics to comment on your work is a bold move to take. But Lotusphere this year showed it can work. The opening session was highly appreciated resulting in 3 positive trending topics on Twitter that day. Sentiment was definitely up and it set the stage for the rest of the week. Being heard and being taken seriously meant that the audience, that all important player, was part of the team once more.  
So what is the future of this? This new player to the stage is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Not just for major events like the Lotusphere OGS but within daily business as well. People are utilizing internal as well as external social tools more and more as a medium to not only update their friends of what they are doing but also to gather information, discuss things going on and to gauge opinions. Broadcasting their feelings to their audience and connecting to people and sources both inside as well as outside the company. They are no longer just contributors or consumers of information; they are becoming the main distributors as well.
Ignoring it is dangerous, controlling it often impossible… or is it?

The fear of the unknown and a loss of control is what is holding back many companies in really addressing this. But with millions of people joining social networks each day, it’s a force that can’t be ignored. And even though the company might not be so far, the people often are, branching out on public networks and forging connections to co-workers, customers, friends as well as competitors, building their own audience as they go. It is time to catch up and start talking. Because if there is one thing social media has made clear, it is that individuals love to be part of a social team/network….So isn’t it about time you define your stage team and make them a part of that?Watch the Lotusphere 2012 OGS. Registration required.

Social consolidating: Facebook buys Instagram

It was just announced that the popular social photo network Instagram was bought by Facebook…

Wow! With that Facebook is doing yet another major buy in social Media land. I can’t say I’m happy with that. Yes I Facebook and yes I like it but what I like most about social media is that it allows me to pick my networks and contacts for each of the situations I operate in. My contacts on Twitter aren’t necessarily the same as on Instagram or on Facebook or on LinkedIn or on Google+ and neither is the content I share across those channels. I’d like to keep it like that. Different situations warrant different posts.

So when two of my favorite social networks merge….. Yeah, I don’t like it.

I think Facebook got that message too as Mark Zuckerberg announced in his post that it is their plan to keep it completely separate and keep all current options (like posting to Twitter) intact but for how long that is…we’ll see.

I just hope we don’t end up with a Social Media landscape that is completely dominated by just 2 or 3 major players  that control it all and I’m going to make it my goal to keep supporting those independent players out there. I don’t hate the big boys, I just think we need a lot of smaller players out there to keep the big boys in check.

Yellowverse world wide social challenge yourself challenge!

I LOVE running… when I do it. The problem is: I don’t do it enough. There simply doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do so and well… I’m way to attached to my laptop / ipad / MacBook / smartphone screen. I know I’m not alone in that and I need some motivation to get going again. So when I was talking to Garett Wolthuis (@GarrettWolthuis) last Wednesday night at BLUG and discovered he was the guy who wrote an amazing blog of his personal achievement of running a 5k last November a plan grew.
We challenged each other. Literally! We set a date: The weekend of May 19th and made the agreement to each run a 5k in that weekend and to motivate each other to train for that.
It is not about the time, it is not about the distance, it is not about the place it is about setting ourselves a challenge, motivating each other and sticking to it. And as we got talking we got some others involved too who are either going to be running or doing a hike. So yes Garrett, Paul, Kathy, Eileen and Steve and anybody else who wants to join; you don’t know it yet but I am going to keep you to that pledge as I need that stick behind the door to do this :)

Great idea? Well lets see, I need some serious training to get back in shape and I know that I will need you guys to help me do this. A social experiment? You bet! What better way to test the strength of the social idea in our community then to use it to motivate each other through Social Media to do a physical challenge.

So this is day 1. And I am heading for my first #YellowverseRun training run. It is going to be a challenge I’m sure but I’m up for it knowing I’ll have some supporters who will kick my butt if I don’t and give me an encouraging (virtual) arm around my shoulder when needed.

It’s time to man up and start doing, social running here we go!

Repost IBM Insights blog: Super Bowl, the power of connecting

I recently started writing for the IBM Insights blog http://ibm.com/blogs/socialbusiness. As part of a team of Redbook Residency bloggers. The aim is to write about anything having to do with Social Business or Social Media. To keep track and a personal log of it all I will repost the blogs I write for the Insights blog on my personal blog as well.
Original publication date: February 10 2012

Food for thought… Super Bowl, the power of connecting

by Femke Goedhart, Business Consultant, Silverside
Last weekend I experienced my first ever Super Bowl. “First? Where have you been??” I hear part of the audience thinking now, but yes, my first. Because American Football really is, well…. American. And, as I am, really European….a place where American Football is, at best, a niche sport. So I had no clue about Super Bowl Sunday and everything it stands for in American culture.
That is, until Twitter
In my social network I’ve accumulated a large number of American contacts over the last few years and a part of that group are avid Giants fans. So when the Giants made the Super Bowl, my Twitter stream exploded with NFL-related content. Not afraid to get into a conversation, I mingled in and before I knew it I was being educated on the merits and fascinating aspects of the sport… eventually getting invited to a real American Super Bowl party. Not one that would require me to hop on a plane and fly over, but a virtual party, through a Google hangout (multi-person video chat) on Super Bowl Sunday watching the game together (while apart) with a bunch of other American and Australian football fans.
Of course I accepted! This was just too much of a chance to skip. Not just to watch the game (I really had no clue about it anyway) but more as a great social media experiment. Plus I’m always in for trying out something new and uncommon, and doing a virtual video Super Bowl party with people from three continents certainly qualified as such.
But I also quickly realized that I needed to at least get a basic knowledge of the game, and so I dared my Twitter friends to train me.
For the next two weeks I got relevant information and links through Skype chats, pop-quiz question tweets and even LotusLive meetings with diagrams full of arrows and marks. By game night, I was prepared to watch my first ever American Football match.
I loved it!
So what does this have to do with social business?
Well on first face, probably not a lot. But what it showed me was that by building a network and interacting with people, I was able to get information and training (in this case on American Football) in a way that made it accessible and manageable to me — personalized to my needs and geared to the info I was going to need (I surely didn’t have time to learn all NFL rules in less than a week).
And, interestingly enough, also from sources that weren’t always obvious. One of the people to get involved in contributing to my knowledge turned out to be an Australian – not the first person I would have turned to for knowledge on something so typically American! It turned learning sports rules (something I’m usually absolutely not interested in) into a great adventure.
But how would this apply to a social business environment?
Finding relevant and to-the-point information in the vast amounts of information that is offered to us today can be daunting. Lots of people nowadays struggle with information overload. And distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information can be a problem. It’s not just a question of getting information. It’s often a question of getting the right bits of information. I found the NFL rulebook on my first query, but dismissed it more or less right away because I was never going to be able to finish it, let alone understand it, in less than a week.
And that’s exactly where social business comes in, because it offers ways of connecting to people who know where to get information that can be relevant to you and that know how to prioritize the information you are after. Building networks and making connections is invaluable to tapping into that knowledge. But it also means creating a culture where not only sharing, but asking too, is stimulated.
From sharing to interacting
The mistake sometimes made is thinking of social business as a culture of sharing.
It is, without a doubt. But it’s only part of the equation. It should be just as much about a culture of feeling safe to ask for help. Sharing alone is not enough to start a real dialog. You don’t want people to just share information; you want them to interact on that information with others: with peers, but also, and maybe especially, with those who need the information to learn from. That way it gets challenged, tested for relevance and enriched. To get that interaction, however, people will need to feel comfortable asking for help and admitting they lack certain knowledge —something that isn’t natural to a lot of us, especially in highly competitive environments with strict role divisions.
But, it’s also where companies stand most to gain. Getting people to step outside their own little bubble and learning from others directly, eventually enriches all involved. It makes inventions and process improvements possible and encourages personal growth. It does, however, involve changing the culture. And that is something that won’t happen overnight…something that was clearly demonstrated when years of training, and instinct to always go for the touchdown, caused running back Ahmad Bradshaw to make the most awkward and unwanted winning touchdown ever…
So, is your company ready to change the rules of the game?
For a more detailed account of my Super Bowl initiation, go to my Virtual Super Bowl party.