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Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work blog series! This month we are excited to present Helen Chen, a community manager from Carbon Black. She is an active member of JiveWorks and is always willing to help her fellow Jive users. She's a pro community manager not only in number of years, but number of communities she has managed at the same time! Her record is running 7 major product communities at once. That's a lot of juggling! Read on to learn more about Helen Chen and her beautiful work campus (with bees & a turkey mascot)!

 

Where do you work?

I work for Carbon Black, a provider of endpoint security software. I am so blessed to work with Matt Petrosky and David DeWald - both masters of Community and Jive technology!

 

Our corporate headquarters are located in Waltham, MA.  Here are some pictures from our campus which overlooks the Cambridge Reservoir.

 

 

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Sunrise overlooking the patio and bocce court.

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Daytime view of the reservoir.

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Water fountain and fall foliage.

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Rocky ledge on the front driveway. In the winter, the water freezes and makes spectacular ice formations.

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Campus beehives generate local honey.

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Tom, a campus mascot can be an obstacle if he happens to be standing between you and your car.

 

How would you describe your current job?

I am the Enterprise Community Manager, responsible for our internal community called Beehive.  I help our teams understand how to communicate and share information effectively using our Beehive community.  In this role, I teach community members about Jive technology. Together we explore ways to represent their messages and content so that their targeted audiences can find and the utilize information.

 

Sometimes their places are for reference information, sometimes for collaboration and sometimes about discussion. Each team creates a unique place for their audience to join together, to learn and grow. It is a fun journey understanding their individual needs and helping them to build a vibrant home for their teams and audiences.

 

 

What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

I am so proud of how our company has adopted Jive to meet communication and collaboration needs.  We are approaching our 1 year anniversary from launching our Beehive.  Looking over the past year, we struggled in the beginning to figure out how teams could use Jive, and especially how to balance use of other technologies. Now, a majority of the teams are on-board.

 

Examples of things that make me smile:

 

  • Our Executive Team does a great job coming to the community to make announcements in their own blogging space. They often jump in on open conversations and tag other company leaders on threads to make sure that the right teams are participating.
  • Our Human Resources team has a wide range of different use models, which pulls in participation at all levels of the organization.
  • Recently I was doing a presentation at our New Employee Orientation. Several people piped up how helpful and easy to use they found our community. One attendee said that if he had just looked in Beehive for startup questions, he could have cut back on 90% of the questions that he bothered coworkers about!  (That was such a proud momma moment!)
  • Teams know to reach out when they are ready for the next steps with their places or their team's processes.  One team recently invited me to present to their team. Since they do a lot of presentations, I made a point of demoing Jive for Office to simplify their sharing and collaboration. They were so happy for that tip!

 

 

What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

I use Windows laptops at both home and work. From time to time I get confused as my home machine has a touch screen, but my work machine doesn't. I find myself poking at the screen of my work laptop and wondering why nothing is happening!

 

 

Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Most of my activity is Apple - iphone 6 and an oldish iPad. I have recently added an Android tablet to the mix just to keep life interesting. (It's mostly used for Jive Daily questions and checking recipes in the kitchen while cooking. )

 

 

Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

I've recently started learning how to use Camtasia for training videos, but have found it to be quite useful making videos for my family and for editing videos for my husband's bluegrass band.

 

 

Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

I have to share my two favorites right now.  

  • I have been a Fitbit fan for about a year and a half. My primary devide is a Fitbit Surge, but I also have a Zip for those times I don't feel like wearing a watch.
  • I recently acquired an Instant Pot, electric pressure cooker. In addition to the usual stews and roasts, I also make Greek yogurt every weekend with my beloved cooker!

 

When thinking about this question, what struck me is that an important part of my use model for both of these products is community. It is always so much more fun learning with others and sharing favorite tips rather than struggling to figure things out on my own!

 

 

What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

Honestly, it's messy.  I seem to like hardcopy more than most people in this day and age. That probably a hangover from my days as an editor.  Scribbling on a print-out helps me figure things out when I get stuck. 

 

Other things you will find around here are a candy bowl for visitors who come to visit and a Buddha collection. My workstation when I work from home is surrounded by cat toys and a dragon collection. :-)

 

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My At-Home Work-Out-Loud buddy!

 

 

What do you listen to while you work?

Of course it varies by what I am doing. You can guess from my comment about my husband's band earlier that I listen to a great deal of Bluegrass music.

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My husband's Band - Moonshine Alley

 

Last week, Eric Clapton's album I Still Do was on endless loop. Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz are favorites while cooking.

 

When I need a change of pace, I turn on IHeartRadio's Country Channel. Actually, Country music is very motivating when doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn or shoveling snow!

 

 

 

What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

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My mom used to say something like this when I was small and would come home from school complaining. It holds true for every phase of life, but is especially appropriate for any community manager almost every day of the week!

 

Thank you Helen for sharing how you work with the JiveWorks community! It was a joy chatting with you and learning more about you and what you love! Keep up the great work!

2017.1.31 human analytics for HR.jpgI grew up in a different world from my grandparents. For them, job-hopping was seen as being fickle and noncommittal. Now job-hopping is seen as an opportunity to gain valuable experience. This 180 degree shift in mentality has forced companies to deal with a new kind of problem - how can they keep employees from slipping through their fingers at an alarming rate and at an estimated cost of $75 to $100 million dollars a year due to rehiring and training costs? It's not an easy task trying to demonstrate to employees that your company is THE place where they can find fulfillment and growth in their career - especially when they've already made up their minds to leave.

 

According to the article How People Analytics Can Turn HR on Its Head on CMSWire, the trick is to be available to and conscientious of your employees from Day 1 and utilizing people analytics is a sure way to succeed. People analytics use science to build relationships and understand your employees needs before they start to look elsewhere. Amy Dobler, Jive Software's Senior Manager of Employee Success, talks about how people analytics is changing the game for HR whether it's through finding the weak points in training and onboarding, identifying workers best suited to a role or pinning down what triggers employees to start the hunt for a new job.

 

Amy Dobler's article on cmswire.com covers the benefits of human analytics in HR, such as...

  • Better hiring
  • Improved onboarding and training
  • Flexible staffing
  • Identifying and addressing flight risks
  • Increasing retension

 

What do you think?

How does your company currently keep your employees engaged and feeling a sense of fulfillment?

2017.2.2_journey_growth_blocks_webinar.jpgI hit my nine-year anniversary at Jive this past September. When I started in 2007, we were updating for Jive version 1.6 (called Clearspace at the time, to be exact), and Jive had just undergone a massive undertaking to combine two formerly separate tools (Jive Forums and Jive Knowledge base) into the industry's first centralized business collaboration network. It was exciting for a lot of reasons, but especially for the end users since they would finally have a more integrated enterprise search, and agnostic groups for seeing every piece of relevant content.

 

But as the years passed, the customer journey expanded. It took on a new importance that was more than just about getting help and quickly leaving – It was about engaging at all levels. From Prospect to Purchase to Education to Feedback to Support to Advocate; and then ideally connecting those advocates appropriately with prospects or others along their own journey. By driving these new ways to collaborate or channels to create, organizations were also able to encourage users to spend more time on the site and, in turn, get more help from their peers. Something as simple as an "ideation" area (alone holding its own value to a vendor) could easily help deflect many more support questions because of all the additional – often positive – user interactions.

 

With all of this engagement though, we still saw fragmentation. Even with a centralized network, there are still other processes that need to happen and often times peer-to-peer engagement can't solve all issues. That's where a company's CRM systems come into play. This is also where the user might have to leave their branded network to jump into a completely different interface and portal to log their cases/tickets. These systems are wonderful for internal tracking but can sometimes create difficult UX/flows for end users, depending on the audience. With this in mind, and as avid CRM users ourselves, we decided that there was an opportunity to also help centralize this level of interaction. While not changing anything for the internal support rep, we aimed to bring that CRM right to the user inside of the customer community. Show them what they needed to see, allow them to create their case, interact directly with an agent, and solve the issue while staying in one place. Could this also potentially further increase the amount of community adoption overall, along with exposing them to new knowledge base articles or other user generated content? That's still to be seen, but we believe it will.

 

On February 21, I'll be co-hosting a live webinar to discuss these very issues. My colleague sterling.bailey and I will dive into the concept of centralized, network driven customer support, especially as it relates to the larger customer journey and modern day engagement methods. Then we'll demonstrate Jive's newest Salesforce Case Management Connector to show how we're continuing on our journey to be the true customer hub and offer an unparalleled UX while doing it.

 

Join Sterling and I to see Jive’s Salesforce Case Management Connector features including:

      Custom Salesforce case dashboard tile

      Ability for users to file, track and receive updates on cases from within the community

      Ability for support reps to directly communicate with customers within your community from their native workflow in Salesforce

      Custom case fields

      Case deflection search to help push customers into existing documents or discussions from the community before creating a new case

      Mobile responsiveness for all of the above

 

Webinar: Unified Customer Experience with Jive-x Salesforce Integrations | Jive Software

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

 

As part of the Jive Mentors Program, every month we'll celebrate a mentor who went above and beyond the call of duty in the spirit of learning and leadership.


The January Mentor of the Month is... Peter Broadley!

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Name: Peter Broadley

Title: Manager, Community Development and Engagement

Company: CSA Group

Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

Years with Jive & Social Business: 3 years with Jive

Comments from Peter's menteeErinn Hughes: "Peter was fantastic! He made himself available to me, was friendly, had a great game plan and we stuck to it.  We set up goals and accomplished all of them.  Our 15 minute calls usually ended up becoming 30-45 minute calls as we discussed the ins and outs of this crazy community business. I learned a lot from Peter and truly appreciate his time."

 

Peter, first things first. Tell us how you got involved in this mess we call socbiz?

I’d been working in the web marketing group at CSA for 5 years and was involved in email marketing, web development, e-commerce, social media, video, graphics editing…. Basically, you name it, I worked on it. Our then-new Jive community needed someone that had content/social/coding skills to help bring it to the next level and I was offered the role. It was (and is) a perfect fit for me.

 

Aside from all that good juju, why did you decide to become a mentor?

When I started managing our Jive community I had a lot of questions. I know it can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re taking over an established community. I had a great internal team that I could consult but it would have been better to get on a call with someone who’d been though it before. I felt like I was now in the position to be that person for someone else and wanted to be more involved in the Jive community.

 

Tell us about the mentorship - what topic did you focus on, how often did you meet, how did you connect, etc.?

I signed up to become a mentor and was introduced to Erinn shortly after, via email. We messaged back and forth on how much we love Toronto/Austin and coordinated our first call the following week. It was just going to be a short conversation, but turned into 45min discussion on our experiences managing external communities. Erinn had recently taken over a community that hadn’t been moderated in very long time, so there was a big opportunity to turn around user sentiment. That was the main focus. I took a lot of notes and ended up putting together a plan of attack that we discussed on our second call the following week. All our mentor/mentee discussion was done over the phone and we spoke twice in two weeks.

 

What did you personally gain from participating in the Mentors Program?

Besides the satisfaction of aiding a fellow community professional, being a mentor gave me new ideas on how to approach my community. For example, Erinn’s process for identifying community ambassadors made me take another look at the structure of my program. I also have someone new to bounce ideas off.

 

What one piece of advice would you share with other mentors?

Listen to the whole story and identify the key issues. In our case, there were several opportunities for improvement but one or two stood out from the rest that would deliver the most benefit. Prioritize your action plan.

 

What about with mentees?

Look at the action plan carefully and tackle any quick win items first. Some items may require more time and follow up – especially when you’re dealing with changing user behavior. Oh, and be patient.

 

Last but not least, any pets or hobbies we need to know about?

Running used to be just a hobby, but it’s turned into more of an addiction and occupies most of whatever free time I have. I’ve completed a few 50k races and will be running my first 50-mile ultramarathon this spring. Not sure why, but I’ve met a lot of community folk that are really dedicated runners. Must be the constant obsession over planning/scheduling. As for pets, I have a 7-year-old black lab/German Shepherd/forever puppy named Baxter who I take out on shorter training runs. Yes, he’s named after Ron Burgundy’s dog.

 

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Interested in joining the Mentors Program? Learn more about it here: Jive Mentors Program!

For Mentors: quickly find a mentee to work with here: Open Mentoring Opportunities

2017.1.23_AI_voice_vocals.jpgThe autocorrect function has been an integral part of our digital lives by increasing our messaging speed and occasionally turning our spelling errors into correctly spelled but incomprehensive sentences. But that's old news now. The new game changer in the home and workplace is voice-first capabilities.  Voice-recognition can now beat your typing speed on a keyboard by 300% according to a recent study from Stanford University. While it has been around a while, long gone are the days of shouting short simple phrases at Siri (who still managed to misunderstand).

 

Instead of spending a better part of your morning sifting through emails, making a to-do list and scheduling meetings, you will soon be able to do all that through voice commands. The AI will be able to understand what's important based on your network of colleagues and organize information for you from your interactive intranet which is why the interactive intranet is here to stay - the AI needs to get the information from somewhere! IBM's AI, Watson, mastered trivia on Jeopardy thanks to its access to 200 million pages of content. Just as you're always learning and staying informed at work, the AI in the workplace will need the same information to assist you while filtering out the noise of unrelated information.

 

As David Puglia points out in his article, in pairing with AI "employees will be more engaged, more productive and less stressed throughout the workday." I don't know about you, but I always welcome more productivity with less stress in my life! Read the full article to see how far we have already come with products from Apple, Amazon and Cisco, and where we are heading from here.

 

How would you like to see voice-first integrated into your work life?

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Eight years. The Community Roundtable has been doing its annual research on the landscape of community management for close to a decade, much of which has been supported by Jive because Jive realizes how critical this research is to the success of your programs.

 

We have learned a lot in that time and this research has contributed to the discipline by:

  • Consolidating and determining standard practices within community management, making it less of a mystery and more predictable
  • Documenting the complexity of doing community management well, while at the same time providing a structure that helps people understand it
  • Emphasizing the need to take a strategic, intentional and proactive approach to efficiently build communities
  • Highlighting the practices that correlate with success; practices like building roadmaps, advocacy programs, welcome processes and more
  • Defining the strategic value of community, culminating in a standard community ROI model

 

Just in the last year, we've made huge strides in adding financial and analytic rigor to the discipline - and just in time, because executives are paying attention. With strategic attention comes more scrutiny and the need to prove that communities return meaningful results while at the same time requiring education about how to make these programs successful - and the investment required to do so.

 

By simply participating you will get three important benefits:

  • Ideas about what is important to successful community management
  • Scores for each competency in the Community Maturity Model that will help you prioritize projects and compare your progress against the research
  • Your current community ROI

 

We'll also throw in a gift card for coffee to thank you for your time, as it is more than your average online survey and will take you about 30 minutes.

Please consider helping us make this year the best year yet for our research.

 

Also, please consider sharing the survey with your peers who run communities or community programs: http://the.cr/socm2017survey

 

Thank you - we could not do this research without your participation!

We've recently launched a new program here in JiveWorks, the Mentorship Program. Jive Mentors Program: Overview

 

We are rather excited about it, because this program links experts (of any level) to beginners (of any level) in a short mentee/mentor relationship. I think it's important to note what I show in parentheses ("of any level"). I say this because we are all beginners and we are all experts, depending on what we need to learn and what we have to offer.

 

Please consider joining into this program. We are in particular need of mentors at this time. The time commitment is about 1 1/2 hours over the period of a few months (three 30 minute chats). Don't feel like you have to solve all of the mentees challenges, you just need to get them pointed in the right direction! And if you are a mentee looking for a mentor, considering also being a mentor to someone who needs your expertise!  Like I said, we are all experts as well as beginners.

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What are the benefits of participating?

 

  • Build your expertise. Mentors are provided with a unique experience to apply their expertise outside of their organization and network with peers from different organizations.
  • Points, points, points! Additionally, the Jive Mentors Program is another opportunity for mentors to progress within the Jive Advocates Program. Mentors will receive 450 points for every mentee they mentor to completion. That's more than a quarter of the way towards a free JiveWorld ticket! Additionally, Advocates can receive special recognition and privileges in JiveWorks, including special rewards such as the chance to participate in industry thought leadership activities, a special badge after becoming a Jive Champion, discounted tickets and VIP experience at JiveWorld (VIP seating, Champions meet-up), and more.
  • Valuable insights. Mentees receive coaching, guidance, and the opportunity to build valuable relationships with experienced social business leaders. The true value of the Jive Mentors Program is realized when mentees achieve the objectives they envisioned.

 

To learn more about the program please read the blog Jive Mentors Program: Overview which explains everything!

 

To go directly to the sign-up sheet, see: Open Mentoring Opportunities

2017.1.25_sterling_3_communicating_with_customers.jpgHow well are you leveraging your community for content marketing greatness? Content marketing is gaining traction and relevance within marketing organizations and there is no better place to take advantage of it than within your own Jive community. Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

 

So how can you utilize content marketing within your own community without boring your audience or scaring them off with your sales pitch? In Sterling Bailey's white paper How to Leverage Customer Communities for Content Marketing Greatness, he discusses the power of customer communities and best practices for including relevant, helpful content to live in your Jive community. Find out why refraining from posting content about your product is in your best interest and what types of content will resonate most with your customers and prospects.

 

Download the white paper to find out:

  • Why your customers are the best source of content (which gives you a break from writing blogs!)
  • How to utilize advocates
  • How to encourage partners to write thought leadership pieces that customers can find value in
  • Where content should live

 

So here's my question for you: How do you currently engage customers in your community through content?

McKinsey’s industry analyses on the value of social collaboration consistently describe the preservation of institutional memory as the most important, enduring benefit of investing in these technologies.

Here’s an example: A post from Virgin Media’s internal community demonstrates the breath taking power, utility and reach of a Jive document. It describes how a person created a useful set of instructions on how to get Jive set-up on an iPhone and iPad. The post was created in October 2014 and is still active over 20 months later. It's clear that the information has become increasingly useful to the community long after the original author left the company. It demonstrates the power of viral, networked sharing and social collaboration.

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Here’s how it works.

  • People share the document with their colleagues.
  • People share the document with groups. Some groups have thousands of members.
  • Every time there’s a comment or share all members get an update in their news stream.
  • Some people will even get email notifications (if it’s switched on and they are following the document in their inbox).
  • When the author updates the information thousands of people are exposed to the change in a non-intrusive, non-invasive way via their news stream.
  • When the author is sunbathing on the beach people are still commenting, liking and sharing the content.
  • Even after the author exits the company, the document lives on and actually increases in value because more people are joining the community over time.
  • The document was first shared with 6 people and over 18 months later it’s exposed in the news stream of over 4,000 people and is still in active use today.

 

Think about this for a moment:

  • You can’t email 4,000 people every time someone comments on a ‘how to’ document you sent them.
  • You can’t email 4,000 people every time you make a small change to the original content; in this case 18 different versions.
  • People can’t access valuable content in your inbox, let alone when you’re on holiday or have left the company.
  • You can’t go back to people you sent an email to 18 months ago and ask them to note a small change in what you sent them.
  • If you had been lucky enough to send it to thousands of people first time round, they certainly won’t appreciate 18 more updates at various, random times over the next 18 months

This alone is worth the investment in social collaboration technologies.   A former CEO of Hewlett Packard said many years ago, “If HP knew what HP knows, it would be three times more profitable.”   That was back in the 1990's when preserving institutional memory in this way wasn't possible.  Today, Jive makes it a simple reality.

January 23rd is Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD) and we'd like to share a little about ourselves and learn more about you! Plus, we have a community manager JiveWorld17 special offer as a thank you below.

 

In JiveWorks, the majority of our members are on community teams (and we consider these people community managers) so it's an important day for us! Let's take a moment to reflect on what it means to be a community manager from two perspectives: a new community manager and a senior community manager.

 

Tell us your story! Fill in your own "Profile of a Community Manager" so we can celebrate the unique variety of community managers we have!

 

Profile of a Community Manager: The Baby
sarah nuts.jpgName:
Sarah Chaney

College degree: B.A. in English; B.A. in Japanese

Past experience: High school teacher, administrative assistant, blog writer, editor, translator/interpreter, cash control, theater attendant, babysitter (just like every other teenager)

Skills: Microsoft Office, basic HTML and stuff, Japanese, can eat a lot of food

Unique traits: Borderline unhealthy passion for studying and learning new things, traveler, has double-jointed knees

Time as a Community Manager: 3 months,  2 weeks and 5 days

 

Learning what it means to be a community manager

The biggest hurdle I faced as a new community manager was trying to solve the puzzle: Why is everyone calling Libby Taylor a unicorn? As much as I love anything related to horses, it seemed a bit excessive. When I finally cracked and asked the story behind unicorns, the pieces fell into place. Why had Libby Taylor hired me? Why was I a good fit as a community manager despite the lack of "related" experience? Why do I love my job SO much?

 

Do you know why community managers are called unicorns? Because we are as rare as unicorns. Community managers do it all. We write, we edit, we design, we know about code and how to fix it, we are spreadsheet mavens, we are well-connected with a variety of people across departments or companies, we are leaders of the community, personable and truly care about helping people. We are a variety of jobs all rolled into one. We aren't horses, we aren't donkeys, we are gosh darn unicorns.

 

Not many kids grow up wanting to be a community manager. I certainly wasn't one of them. While my resume of dream careers include flight attendant (until I discovered my fear of flying), horseback riding instructor, writer, magazine journalist and Japanese/English interpreter, I have had one desire in mind: To help other people. I wanted a job where I could help others, stay busy and always learn new things. I don't think a community manager is a special set of skills, I think it's a special type of person. As much as I enjoyed all the different jobs I have done, I was never really satisfied until now. It just took me some time to realize I am a unicorn.

 

Profile of a Community Manager: The Senior

20140301_170349_weirdo.jpgName: Libby Taylor

College degree: B.A. in Rhetoric and Communication

Past experience: (Not including all 30 years' work experience here...) News reporter, desktop publisher, event manager, graphic designer, advertising production manager, publishing manager, logistics and fulfillment manager, printing services manager, innovation program manager, and finally community manager.

Skills: Graphic design, writing, editing, logistics, planning, program management, people management, kid raising, kitten fostering, volunteerism, can eat a lot of food

Unique traits: Super empathetic, weird sense of humor, obsession with rescuing kittens, voracious reader, health advocate / researcher and borderline hypochondriac

Time as a Community Manager: 4 1/2 years using Jive, longer with other technologies

 

Learning what it means to be a community manager

Anyone who has to manage a company-wide program across geographies and departments in an online world learns what it means to manage a community. That's where it all began for me. If you look at my work history, the path to community management was being built, one job experience at a time, even though community platforms didn't exist in the 1990s or early 2000s for the most part. I remember visiting Microsoft in 2001 and seeing their vision for Sharepoint and I almost lost my mind - I was so excited by what it had to offer. By the time Jive showed up at my workplace door, seeing what the community product was about, they had me at Hello. See A love letter to Jive.

 

Like Sarah Chaney, what brings meaning to my work is helping people. My volunteerism has always reflected that but it has been hard to find it within my jobs. When I came to Jive, it was the first time in my life that I lived and breathed the product of the company: Jive powers human connection after all! In addition, this position allows me to help people every day, not only that, we have the power to actually help people get the information they need to really be successful with their own communities! It doesn't get better than that. You will have to pry my cold dead hands from this job, I love it so much.

 

Our thanks to you: special Jive 101 Boot Camp offer!

Every day, Sarah and I get the chance to be community managers to community managers. It's like making ice cream for people who love to eat ice cream and no one ever gets fat. It's not all sparkles and rainbows, but when it's good it's soooo very good! I've met people in this community for which I feel genuine warmth and loving respect but not in a weird way (am I right, Patty McEnaney and Jessica Maxson ?). It's not weird. It's real. Because community truly is about connecting to people. It's about all of you.

 

To welcome our new community managers to the mix, we'd like to offer any community manager a 50% discount for Jive 101 Boot Camp. Jive 101 Boot Camp is a JiveWorld17 pre-conference day that will teach you the basics of community management, launching and re-launching communities, and get you connected with each other. It's run by myself and Sarah, along with professional services super stars and community experts (from right here in JiveWorks!). If you are interested, the Promo Code for the Jive 101 Boot Camp sign up is JIVE101CMAD. Simply enter that code at the time of registration and you'll get the discount applied!

 

Come join us!

2017.1.11_blog_handshake.jpgJust like you don’t teach someone to ride a bike by handing them a bike and a manual, you don’t hand your partner your product and a manual on how to sell the product. Well – at least you shouldn’t. While a dedicated few may learn to ride a bike through self-perseverance and repetition, your partners shouldn’t have to and in the end may be detrimental for your business as they learn through trial and error.

 

Partner enablement is a vital part of many companies to improve their scale and reach and extend relationships to other companies through their partners. The success of their partnership is heavily reliant on the sales enablement process – information, communication and staying up to date. As Sterling Bailey points out in his article, “Partners who receive strong enablement from a brand are much more likely to sell the products from that brand.”

 

So how can you drive successful partner enablement? Sterling outlines three key points in his article, including best practice tips for each point. He highlights onboarding, training/certification and building effective, bidirectional communication. The bottom line? Drop the megaphone approach to reach your partners. Bulk emails will go unread and they won't be up to date on the latest product features, upgrades and news. Read the article for more information on the importance of partners and how to build and maintain those crucial relationships.

Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work blog series! This month we are excited to present an Enterprise Community Manager at Hitachi Data Systems who you may recognize as last quarter's phenomenal Peer-to-peer Community Manager or onstage as a panelist for Moving Beyond Forums – Integrated Marketing for External Jive Communities at JiveWorld16. She has a long history working with Jive communities at her current and previous jobs, which has made her an invaluable resource on JiveWorks. Read on to learn more about the wonderful Jill Ross (and her gorgeous dog)!

 

 

 

 

 

Where do you work?

I work for Hitachi Data Systems headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, but I work remotely from my home office in (usually) sunny San Diego, CA. 

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How would you describe your current job?

As an external community manager, I wear many hats on any given day. I would describe my role as a combination of customer relationship management, marketing, data analysis, communications, and technical support. Aside from day-to-day community operations, I work on both technical and strategic projects – from platform upgrades to change management initiatives. My team is very small, so there really is no task that is outside of my job description. I like the variety (there is never a dull moment!), but it’s important to prioritize effectively, otherwise it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  

 

So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.); what use cases does it serve for your company? or what use cases have you helped other people solve with Jive?

We have both internal and external Jive communities at HDS. The internal community (theLoop) is the where our employees collaborate on projects and documents, and the external community (HDS Community) is largely used by customers, partners, and developers to get answers to technical questions, gather insights from IT thought leaders, and learn about new products and solutions. The HDS Community is also our primary blogging platform, so it’s a key component of all of our marketing initiatives.

 

What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

I’m proud of the HDS Community’s growth and transformation over the past two years. When I first came on board, it was challenging to get our internal stakeholders to participate in the community because the value of the community was not obvious to many teams at that time. Now we have dozens of global teams in a variety of functions actively leveraging the community to achieve their business objectives and engage our customers and partners.

 

What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

I made the switch to a Mac two years ago when I joined HDS, and I’m never looking back!

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Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

iPhone 6 Plus. I used to be one of those people who carried around two phones - one for work, one for personal use. That got old pretty fast.

 

Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Efficient. I’m always looking at ways to optimize workflows. 

 

Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

  • Trello – All of my tasks, projects, and quarterly objectives are planned out in Trello. I love the drag and drop interface and the ability to easily reprioritize since I have so many irons in the fire on any given day.
  • Wunderlist – I mostly use this for personal to-do’s and shopping lists.
  • Streaks – I use this to track my health and fitness goals. Working from home requires a lot of discipline, so this app is super helpful for sticking to a routine. It’s also integrated with Apple Watch, which I love!

         

  • Uber or Lyft
  • Spotify

 

Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

My Bose QC 35 headphones – I don’t know what I was doing in life before I got these!

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What do you listen to while you work?

I don't often get to listen to anything other than conference calls, but when I do have some open time, I will usually listen to Pandora or Spotify. Lately the new Kings of Leon and The Weeknd albums have been on repeat.

 

What's your best time-saving trick?

Turning off pop-up email notifications. Also, having more than one computer monitor really helps with certain tasks.


How do you balance work and life?

During the work week, I try to stick to a routine and schedule as best as I can. I block off my calendar when I need to, and since I work from home, I have a dedicated room in the house that is used for work only.

 

On the weekends I try to spend time outdoors as much as possible since we have such great weather in San Diego.

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Torrey Pines - A favorite hike by the ocean.

 

Also, given our proximity to Mexico, my husband and I recently got our Sentri cards so that we can take weekend trips down the Baja California coast without the long wait at the border on the way home. There are some fantastic crowd-free beaches that are seriously underrated. We rent a house just south of Ensenada every year with a big group of friends around Memorial Day weekend. Over the holiday break, we visited the Valle de Guadalupe wine country which was incredible!

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Pictured from left to right: the view from our VRBO in Ensenada, a vineyard in Valle de Guadalupe, the Encuentro Guadalupe hotel

 

What's your sleep routine like?

I usually sleep from 10:00pm until 5:30am, when my fur child, Sonny, jumps on the bed and is ready for his morning walk.

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My office manager, Sonny.

 

Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

I’m an INFJ according to the Myers-Briggs personality test (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). Apparently INFJ's are the rarest personality type, but I don't know if there's any truth to that. Given that I am an only child  and I spend a lot of time alone working from home, I definitely identify as an introvert.

 

What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

A former colleague of mine once said, “People buy what they need, not what you want them to have.” This is so important to remember when you have a hand in any customer experience -- community or otherwise.

 

Thank you Jill for sharing how you work with the JiveWorks community! I enjoyed learning more about the Myers-Briggs personality test, and especially learning more about you!

 

Portland is home to our largest office, where our spirited Jivers work hard and enjoy the city’s gorgeous urban parks, world-renowned craft beers, famous food cart scene, unusual doughnuts, and, well, yes... this guy, too.

 

Ask many Portlanders what truly defines the city though, and they’ll tell you it’s their hometown heroes, the Portland Trail Blazers. The NBA’s Blazers are a Portland institution; and it was quite exciting when they chose to team up with Jive!

 

The Trail Blazers organization wanted to cultivate a unified culture across its front office employees and part-time event staff. They selected Jive to implement a collaboration hub for internal communications, project collaboration and employee support. Mike Janes, the Trail Blazers Vice President of Engineering and Technology told us, “We partnered with Jive to launch this solution because of your proven success in delivering communication and collaboration best practices.”

 

Although the team is renowned for their exploits on the court (which include 32 playoff appearances and an NBA championship), they’re nearly as well-known for their community involvement in Portland. Former Blazer great Bill Walton said, “Basketball is one of those rare opportunities where you can make a difference, not only for yourself, but for other people as well.” The Blazers organization has taken that sentiment to heart. Its stated mission is to “positively impact under-served kids and families where they live, learn, and play,” which includes the environment, education and sports. The Trail Blazers Foundation works with local nonprofits such as Girls Inc., Black Parent Initiative, and Latino Network, as well as Adaptive Sports Northwest and Community Cycling Center to help kids of all backgrounds, ethnicities and abilities to achieve their dreams. While it’s an honor to be working with a high-profile sports franchise, it's even more gratifying to see its collaborative spirit cross over into the organization's commitment to the community.

 

In business, as in sports, outstanding teamwork is the difference between moving the ball down the court or getting sidelined. To follow all the way through, your organization’s players must be aligned and driving toward the same goal. At Jive, we’re proud to be able to assist the Portland Trail Blazers in achieving their inspiring goals; especially when they hit so close to home. For our friends and colleagues at the Blazers, Happy New Year --this picture of Jive spirit and support is for you!

 

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2017.1.5_usergroup_people_meeting.jpg93% of communication is nonverbal. Our conversations, reactions and decisions are heavily driven by facial expressions, body language and tone of voice, which is why even in the digital age there is still no replacement for face-to-face interactions. This is just one of many reasons why user groups are so important – and yet they are still overlooked.

 

User groups are an invaluable opportunity for your customers to interact with you, build relationships and understand you and your product better. Not only can user groups be used as an educational opportunity to further customer knowledge and satisfaction, but also build customer success as they mingle with fellow customers who have stories and experiences to share. Getting the most out of user groups and ensuring long-term benefits requires careful planning and setting advocates up for success.

 

Sterling Bailey, a Solutions Consulting Director at Jive, gives 5 tips on how to run successful user groups, from concept to follow up. In this article you will find out why ownership of user groups are crucial, why providing tools to communicate and collaborate can make or break a user group and how to incorporate your advocates. No one knows your product better than your customers, and providing them with opportunities to share their success and obstacles are a great way to help other customers succeed in taking part in the success or avoiding pitfalls.

 

You’ll read about the benefits of including partners but also stressing the importance of not using user groups to sell to your customers. User groups are for networking, relationship building and assisting customers as best as you can. As Sterling Bailey points out, “this approach establishes to your customers that you’re interested and invested in their success.” Read the full article, whether you are looking to start a user group, strengthen the mission of your user group, or revive flagging interest in your user group.

For Christmas I received a journal called The 52 lists project. Unsurprisingly, the very first prompt is "List your goals and dreams for this year."  There's something about being prompted to answer this question every year for as long as I can remember that has scrubbed out any sense of obligation to fulfill any of my "resolutions." However, I do love journaling, so I dutifully went to work scribbling down a list.

 

After jotting down a few, my fiancé peered over my shoulder and frowned. "These aren't goals for 2017, these are things that you are going to DO."

 

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                                               My New Year's "Resolutions"

 

My (not so) clever retort was: "At least I know these will come true!" To be honest, I was so excited for 2017 that I didn't want to start out the year rehearsing all the ambitious promises I made to myself (the journal provided two full pages for all my goals ). I wanted to dive into the new year with excitement, anticipation and a healthy set of things to DO (not goals).

 

Here are some personal things I'll be doing in 2017:

 

  • Becoming an O'Meara (Hint: expect a name change in May! )
  • Visiting Kentucky for the first time
  • Taking up knitting again to make homemade Christmas gifts for next year
  • Turning 26
  • Studying Japanese at LEAST one hour a week
  • Getting a puppy (to be coming in June)

 

As a community manager here are some things I'll be doing in JiveWorks in 2017:

 

  • Assisting in launching and running new online learning courses for new members (or old members!)
  • Consistently writing helpful blogs in JiveTalks (let me know if you have any blog posts you would like to see!)
  • Making sure all ideas with over 50 points in Ideas for Jive are seen and considered by the right parties
  • Responding to questions in a timely manner OR finding someone who can answer the question
  • Connecting with as many of you as possible in JiveWorks, through blog post interview (such as How I Work blog series) and/or at JiveWorld!
  • Continuing to enjoy engaging in JiveWorks with the incredible collection of people from an array of companies, places and backgrounds

 

2016 was a great year, but I'm not too sad because 2017 is going to be even more awesome!

 

 

Okay, now that I've told you all about my year, how about you? What will YOU be doing in 2017? We'd love to hear what you are looking forward to in 2017 (work-related or not) so we can celebrate with you!

 

Now last but not least...

 

Happy New Year JiveWorks community! I look forward to this year with you!

 

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