Monday, June 30, 2008

Using Social Tools to Reduce E-mail within the Enterprise

The scoop from Twitter this Morning:

gialyons Retweeting @jenrobinson: @elsua's article is TOP TEN most popular on! "I Freed Myself From E-Mail’s Grip"

Luis Suarez (Social Software Evangelist at IBM) describes how he has significantly cut back on time spent in e-mail, while simultaneously increasing productivity and shared knowledge.

We've been trying to describe a Utopia of shared knowledge inside the enterprise, but it's much better to actually have a real-world example of how these tools can be used.

Read the NYT Article: "I Freed Myself From E-Mail’s Grip"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Have Labrador, Will Travel

Today my craz(ier) Lab, Xena, plunked herself down in the open carry-on suitcase that was in my office. The suitcase is small, and it fit her perfectly.

I figure she was trying to accomplish one of these things:

1. She is looking to relocate.
2. She wants me to share her scent with whatever other Labradors I might meet on my travels.
3. She thought it looked like a good place to nap.
4. She wanted to check for drugs. Especially Excedrin, which she likes to eat.

What do you think?

Microsoft spends Millions to "Go Social"

I found this new story "Microsoft Goes Social to Push E-Mail, IM" from Twitter. GeorgeDearing writes: "always get a little scared when I see a headline referring to a company "going social" -- It's implicit, STOP"

The point of "being social" (as Maggie Fox explained at BlogPotomac) is that you begin and maintain conversations with your customers, and build a relationship. It is not about spending millions of dollars on a campaign and then ending it when the money runs out.

Hats off to the ad agency McCann-Erickson for leveraging their success from the Liberty Fillmore Campaign they did for VeriSign. It was groundbreaking for VeriSign launch a campaign like that, and it probably raised a lot of awareness for our EV SSL certificates. We know it got millions of views on YouTube. But the clear winner here is the ad agency that landed the Microsoft account.

If you're going to spend this kind of cash on your Social Media efforts (Microsoft is dropping at least 5 million on promotions), at least be sure to measure it correctly so you know whether or not you've acheived the success you hoped for. Check out Katie Paine (the metrics goddess) or call Mike Manuel at Voce for expert asistance. Otherwise, the only people who profit from all this buzz and money spent are the agencies.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The "I'm Talkathon" ( features Parker Whittle, a man in his 20s, born into a well-to-do family and now having doubts about whether he's done enough to help others. So he's holding a "talkathon" to see how many people he can get to send messages via Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger over 30 days to raise money. Microsoft agency McCann Erickson created the character based on feedback from those who have participated in the program.

An account director on the Microsoft account at McCann says "It's very important we not come across as fake."

With all this cash flying around at the shiny new objects, how will I ever convince our marketers to listen and join conversations rather than launch our next "Viral Marketing Campaign"? Everyone is looking for ROI, immediate results, and quick wins. Nobody sees any problem with launching a "viral campaign," complete with a press release.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The new "Intel Insider Program"

The Intel Insider Program sounds awesome. At first. But look a little deeper...

-- The group contains no actual Intel Employees (as one would infer from the term "insiders"). I saw a comment from an employee begging to be included in the fun.
-- They have gathered together a "group of social media activists." Yeah, that means some cool folks who posts tons of pics, videos and generally document every detail of their lives. *Especially* getting invited to Intel and getting a free MacBook Air.

The Intel Insider program seeks to discover some of the best practices in corporate social/new media and in doing so, the results can be shared broadly. There is no restriction on the Intel Insiders sharing the results of the program with others.

Our idea was to reach out to a diverse group of social media activists with three goals in mind:

-- occasionally feature their work or opinions as part of our What’s Inside effort
-- see whether any are interested in writing about Intel’s products or are following Intel’s social media efforts on their own (note: this is not a requirement)
-- seek feedback on our social media efforts, upcoming product plans, roadmaps…

And, as a PR friend pointed out, there are no laws against bribing bloggers (as there are with journalists.) Enjoy those new MacBook Air Laptops, you lucky Intel Insiders!

I commend Intel for putting together a very clever marketing campaign for new Intel products disguised as a groundbreaking thought leadership program. Hey, at least someone is giving the online influencers the respect they deserve! I have no problem with that : - )

Planning a Social Media Program: Gia Lyons gives advice

Gia Lyons took some time out of her busy day just to give me some advice and help me navigate the stormy waters of the social media landscape. She said:
"2007 was the year of Web 2.0 -- and now everyone has figured out what that is. This year is about how to use Web 2.0 tools to make or save money."

Obviously there is lots of buzz around social media and Web 2.0. The hard part is putting together a business plan and finding case studies with ROI. Gia gave me some names of folks who are in similar roles as mine at other large corporations. It sounds like they are doing some cool stuff, I'll report back on any great pearls of wisdom that they cast my way : )

She also showed me this great blog post about those who are less-than-enthusiastic around Social Media tools. My first reaction was "oh, nobody at my company is like that." But then I realized, they might be thinking some of these things and just not saying them!

“Norman Naysayer,” the Enterise Octopus arch nemesis

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tweeter blocks Twitter

I just got my new eee pc. We made a special trip into my office just to pick it up. I am off until Wednesday but i decided i could not wait that long for my new toy. So it follows that i defiitely could not wait until August for the new Dell.

I am a little concerned that it could not seem to handle a streaming YouTube video. We're going to try again now.

The funny thing is that we came to Panera to try out the wireless network. There is a Tweeter Store nearby, and I was on their wireless network. The first site I tried to go to was Twitter. I got this message:

Oh and BTW i did this whole post on my new EEE!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm ready for that Star Trek Transporter Thing

Travel has gone from bad to worse. I think that the problem is that now that people have to pay to check a bag, they carry everything on, which causes delays at security. It's no surprise that millions of Americans refuse to fly. At least I'm stuck here with a good friend who is making the time fly (even though we're not!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Power of Commenting on Other People's Blogs

I found this post as I discovered "ProBlogger. When you find an interesting blog, it really affirms their influence when you see that 7,000 other people follow them on Twitter. I click "follow" so I don't have to subscribe to their RSS feed because I never check Google Reader.

ProBlogger created this video about "The Power of Commenting on Other Blogs" that I want all our Corporate bloggers to see : )

How did I find ProBlogger, anyway? With all the various ways to find someone online, it's getting quite difficult to remember how you find things. I found ProBLogger this morning through Tweetburner. Tweetburner is a "short URL" service that not only lets you shorten an URL and create a redirect, it:
1. Lets you post directly to Twitter within its interface (even if they do need some usability tweaks)
2. Lets you login to your account (which is tied to your Twitter account, so it's the same login) to track your traffic.
3. Shows you how many people clicked on each link you posted (over all time, does not seem to break it out by past day, month, etc.) But with Twitter, if people don't see it in the first hour, they'll probably never see it anyway.

I was checking Tweetburner out of vanity to see how many clicks I got on a few links I posted last night, and ProBlogger had gotten 37 clicks in the past hour on his post about the birth of his new son.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

ROI of Blogging: Cisco's Social Media Program

Figuring out the ROI of bloggging has become my quest for the Holy Grail as I try to educate my company. But the best part about working in social media is how open and helpful everyone is. We’re all on the same boat, being tossed violently in a perfect storm. But everyone is willing to share their lifeboat (in this metaphor, information = lifeboat.) The New Media team at Cisco is no exception in this generosity.

Cisco’s New Media program started out as a grass-roots effort in late 2005 with two people working part time on it: Amy Paquette and Jeanette Gibson. When I first did research on blog programs in October 2005, Cisco had nothing. zippo. nada. And then A year and half later, their director of New Media (Jeannette) is presenting at Web 2.0 in April 2007. Through various modes of online stalking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) I managed to connect with Jeannette. I even modeled my own title after hers ("New Media").

Here is a great story from Cisco that illustrates the value of blogging:

In Jan 2007 Cisco engaged in a lawsuit with Apple on the iPhone. Cisco owned that trademark. The lawsuit was public and there were a lot of questions around the specifics. Mark Chandler, Cisco's SVP and General Counsel posted JUST THE FACTS around the lawsuit (he was probably tired of all those phone calls.) It was not conversational in tone, just factual. They “just wanted to get it out there.”

In one day his post got 77,000 hits and got 344 comments.

Out of 344 comments, the sentiment was a 60 / 40 split between Apple and Cisco. (Which is surprising, considering Apple’s rabid fan base.) People expressed their support of Cisco protecting their trademark. Now, I want you to take a minute and think about the corparate legal folks you know. How many of them would take this kind of risk and post the facts of a lawsuit on a blog? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, ya gotta hand it to Mark Chandler for putting it out there.

(This reminds me of another great "controversial" post on Yahoo’s corporate blog: the day Yahoo turned down the Microsoft Deal. But that's a whole 'nother post.)

Chandler's post around the iPhone proved to Cisco that a blog can be a great way to disseminate information. This was the first time that a blog had actually helped with Cisco’s PR efforts. It is not surprising that after this event, Cisco’s blog program really took off in 2007.

The icing on the cake is this great commentary on around Chandler’s blog post:

From Jan. 10 2007

“It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out given the transparency Cisco is approaching this situation with, and Apple's notorious secretive nature.”

-- Scott McNulty (“The unofficial Apple Weblog”)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Great end of week: Social Media Conference and Presentations

Today the inimitable Katie Paine (communications measurement guru) is honoring our offices with a visit. The meeting started out small, but there are so many people across the company who are interested in social media. They are excited to be able to measure the results of their campaigns, whether they are on YouTube or other social media. (Now that I think of it, they're mostly on YouTube.) I'll be recording her presentation and then hopefully I will figure out a way to edit it in iMovie.

Tomorrow I am attending BlogPotomac, a bloggers conference that is right here in Virginia! Yeehaw!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Meeting "THE Gia Lyons" ...

Yesterday we had another presentation from Jive on their Clearspace app. Definitely a promising tool for our company, something we would like to leverage both internally AND externally.

But the best part of this week (so far) was meeting Jive's Social Software evangelist, Gia Lyons. Here is how she was introduced in the meeting maker:

"Introduction of THE Gia Lyons:
Gia is a collaboration guru and industry pundit. She was with IBM for the last 10 years working directly with their largest clients on social productivity software initiatives. She's well versed in industry and technical knowledge and can lead an interesting discussion on how Jive's products map to your requirements."

Listening to her talk was like music to my ears...and the best part is she has agreed to chat with me about Social Media Evangelism. I can use some encouragement right about now.