It is interesting how the Social Media Program at Cisco evolved -- it certainly did not happen overnight. One thing that fueled the fire: as the external communications team was putting together their social media program, the internal comms team was simultaneously building a robust internal community. They had several hundred internal blogs before the external program took off. Amy said:
Having internal blogs is a great way for [potential external bloggers] to find their voice, and learn how to communicate with their blog. People feel more free to ask questions.
Probably the biggest differentiator at Cisco is the culture. Social media has support at the highest level of the company -- John Chambers regularly reads the external blog posts: Cisco has 12 Corporate Blogs with more than 80 bloggers. And let's face it, even the staunchest "blog haters" might waiver when the boss reads 'em.