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"3 Seashells" Back Story


You may be asking yourself ... three seashells?  Or hopefully, like me, you made the same connection between the new notification management features in Jive 5 and the subtle movie sub-plot in the 1993 "blockbuster" Demolition Man, also known as that other movie Sandra Bullock starred in before Speed.


For those of you who missed out, may not remember, or consciously repressed any knowledge of this mega-movie classic, here is a quick recap: (spoiler alert)

  • Rogue hero cop (Stallone) in a war-torn LA set in the "future" (1996), gets things done, breaks the rules, framed for crime by super villain (Snipes), both are cryogenically frozen for imprisonment
  • While frozen for 40 years, society becomes civilized and aggression is weeded out; however, super villain escapes from ice cube (not the rapper), city needs rogue hero cop to stop him
  • Too many cliche scenes about how different the future is to someone from the past
  • Bad guys lose, good guys win, and Stallone eats a rat burger.  The End.


Enter the three seashells.  Looking at the above picture, it is relatively obvious as to the use of the 3 seashells.  Right?  Wrong.  And the movie racks up comedy bonus miles galore by not explaining them to the audience (or more importantly, Stallone).  In fact, in one scene Rob Schneider mocks Stallone for not knowing how to use them.  How to use the three seashells (successfully) is no doubt one of the greatest mysteries left unsolved from the 1990s, topped only by the wild success of Pogs



Notification Management with Jive What Matters



Fast forward to July 2011 and Jive 5 implements it's own version of the three seashells.  Like crop circles in the night, these three icons appear in the new Jive 5 social platform.  (see right image).  What are they?  Where did they come from? What do they do?  If the purpose of these icons isn't immediately clear, I'll go ahead and break the suspense.  They are for notification management (apologies for the Shyamalanian twist) and they are collectively referred to as "Jive What Matters".


The Problem

We all know the problem, it stares us in the face every day.  In our web browser,  inbox, and even on dry-erase boards at our desks, we all have just too much to do.  Does the following sound familiar?

Ever since I started using [INSERT SOCIAL PLATFORM NAME], I've been flooded with too much information.  And the emails!  I'm hearing too much Garfunkel and not enough Simon.  How am I supposed to get things done?  It's literally like drinking from a fire hose.  Yes, Iiterally!  There's got to be a better way!!!!



The Solution - Jive What Matters

Jive What Matters is a collection of features added to Jive 5  that, when used together, can empower users to better align their social awareness with their social readiness. These features include:

  • All Activity - Allows users to observe the fire hose, defined as an unfiltered list of all content in all places by all people that is viewable for a given user. 
    • This is traditionally used for organic conversation discovery and recreational interest across all knowledge domains.
  • Followed Activity - Allows users to define rules to filter the fire hose towards specific content, places, and people
    • This is traditionally used for refined conversation discovery around specific knowledge domains.
    • Hide Filtering - Allows users to define exceptions to the Followed Activity rules.
  • Jive Genius - Service that analyzes a user's behavior across all content, places, people, and topics in an effort to predict high-quality conversations that are relevant to the user.
  • My Communications - Allows users to focus on active conversations where they are engaged or expressed explicit interest.
    • Untrack Filtering - Allows users to define exceptions to their tracking rules.
  • Actions - Allows users to focus on what they need to do, as defined by themselves, others, or applications.



When it comes to using tools to monitor social activity, people adopt two distinct behaviors:

  • Fear of Exclusion - Defined as people who prefer to see possibly more than needed so they do not miss anything.
    • Its like watching infomercial re-runs all night long because you don't want to miss the premiere of the next big, must-have doohickey.
  • Fear of Overload - Defined as people who prefer to see as little as possible, so they can avoid unnecessary noise. 
    • Its like turning on the TV at exactly 1:33am to just catch the ShamWow "buy now" special offer because really, there's sliced bread and ShamWows...and that's about it.


At any point in time, people adopt one of these two behaviors, but this decision isn't fixed.  As conditions change, so does the need to re-evaluate one's social behavior.   For example,

When doing research on a topic that is relatively new, it is more likely for someone to desire more content rather than less.  As they become more educated on the subject matter, it is more likely for them to intelligently select information sources that are in line with their specific information needs.  Same person.  Same topic.  Different point in time.  Different behaviors.

The funnel diagram (right) attempts to depict a user's collaboration environment, as it relates to these behaviors, Jive What Matters, and the activity fire hose.  In a nutshell,

For times when you need to be inwardly focused (high personal responsibility), Jive offers the use of Actions (just tell me what to do) and My Communications (help me keep track of what I'm already doing) to help control information overload.  For those who tend to be more socially responsible (by virtue of personality and/or job function), using the Followed Activity interface provides a great way to sift through what's going on.  Be sure to leverage the "Hide" and "Untrack" features in Activity and My Communications respectively to keep your streams more relevant.  Engage the Jive Genius recommendation engine frequently to discover new conversations, as well as to improve its understanding of what matters most to you.  Jive Genius fundamentally bridges the two distinct social behaviors offering "quality" missed conversations in an interface that is unobtrusive, and yet readily available.




When it comes to social software, notification management is THE 800 lb. Gorilla in the room.  Platforms that continue to ignore Giggles (yes, I named the gorilla) and provide sub-par tools to manage user notifications will find their longevity in the marketplace cut drastically short.  It is inevitable.  As users become more interconnected with each other, collaboration will organically flourish into a bountiful forest of notifications.  And, while that future sounds all lollipops and kittens, the reality is: notification mismanagement is the #1 deterrent to social software adoption.   Selecting a social platform capable of answering this challenge is imperative for long-term success


From what I've seen in Jive 5 and Jive What Matters thus far, I can only feel positive about the road ahead!

Some closing thoughts:

  • If you are considering a new social platform for your enterprise or community, I highly recommend that you consider evaluating platforms with a mind-set beyond the first six months to address this notification management problem head on.
    • How will the solution(s) empower users to manage this problem, when it occurs?  How many levels of granularity does it provide?
    • How will the solution(s) cater to both social behaviors, "Fear of Exclusion" and "Fear of Overload" on-demand?
    • How will the solution(s) compel users to keep them engaged in the system?  Will your users react accordingly?
  • If you are already using Jive 5 (or a previous version of Jive),
    • Take the time to provide quality training to users on the Jive What Matters interface(s), and how they can be used to promote an efficient  collaboration environment. 
    • Don't leave users stranded in a cubicle (or bathroom stall) staring perplexed at three seashells while getting overrun by excess notifications.
    • Don't mock users for being new to the future of enterprise collaboration.
  • Lastly, regardless of what Google might suggest from this article, watching Demolition Man will not make you an expert on notification management, Jive 5, or Jive What Matters.  At best, you'll want to tweet about your impromptu enchirito craving for Fourthmeal.


The more you know. 


Be well.


Ryan has over 10 years of experience in web technologies including Java, eMarketplace, ECM, CRM, Web Analytics, Email Deliverability and Collaboration. As the Social Business Architect at National Instruments, Ryan is responsible for orchestrating collaboration solutions that connect employees, customers, and enterprise systems.  Ryan is an MIS graduate of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.  You can connect with him online at @ryanrutan or on LinkedIn.


As Jive's director of events it's hard to believe that our third JiveWorld is almost upon us. Where did the summer go? Well, on my end, it went toward the million little details that ensure you have a great experience at JiveWorld. Let's just say, the Cosmopolitan is going to be smokin', and you won't be disappointed.


I just got a sneak peek at the final line-up and can honestly say that JiveWorld11 is shaping up to be the most inspirational, content rich, Social Business event of the year. Highlights include:

  • Keynote presentation by Maria Pinchevsky, SVP of Support, T-Mobile - "How Social Became Mission-Critical for T-Mobile"
  • Deep dive into gamification with expert Gabe Zichermann
  • Social Business thought-leadership on the The Decade Ahead panel with industry leaders
  • More networking than ever before through events like Old School Social Networking night, JiveWorld11 Run and Yoga Club, and a Dinner Networking Night at the Cosmo. 


Oh, and get this: we're going to have more than 50 sessions lead by Jive customers and product experts. Here's a snapshot but you can find the full agenda here.

Track:  The New Way to Marketing

Session: Avon’s Marketing Makeover: Tailoring the Global Message

Speaker:  Jeanne Morton, Avon Products, Inc.


Track:  So You Think You’re a Social Business Guru?

Session: Advanced Measurement: Measuring and Acting on Employee Community Data

Speaker:  Ted Hopton, UBM and Brice Jewell, Cerner


Track:  The New Way to Work

Session: The Next Phase of Social Business

Speaker:  Andy Wang, Genentech


Track:  Best Practices in Social Business

Session: Always Learning at Pearson - Getting Internal Communities off to the Right Start

Speakers:  Kim England and Karen Gettman, Pearson



Don't forget:  Summer pricing ends on August 31st - take advantage of the savings by registering this week.


For more updates on JiveWorld11, head on over to the community where I'll be blogging regularly.


See you in Vegas!

Some people picture SXSW Interactive like this...

Screen shot 2011-08-16 at 2.09.55 PM.png

(Photo by Deirdre Walsh)


...BUT it's also a great networking, technology-pimpin' and best practice sharing conference that has a lot to offer Social Businesses.  I'm not just referring to the next hot start-up either.  Enterprise companies have a lot to gain from the 2012 event. 


Now, I need your help by voting and commenting on the following Jive-submitted sessions.



Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for helping elevated the coolness factor of REAL SOCIAL BUSINESS!


Also, feel free to add your session proposals in the comments section, so others can vote for you.

Marketing EnlightenmentWhat happens when your Marketing team is made up of folks at the corporate level, at the regional and local levels, all over the world? Or even just all over your office building? Mix in all the agency folks you work with, and you've got a recipe for a hot mess, coordination-wise.


If you're in Marketing, tell me if any of these sound familiar:


  • "Who just updated the XYZ section of our Facebook fan page?"
  • "I'm. So. Tired. Of using email to collaborate with our agencies."
  • "Which digital assets have been most effective in which markets?"
  • "Where are the damn passwords to our 14 Twitter accounts?"
  • "Can someone tell me where our last customer survey results are?"
  • "Oh heck. I didn't know our Brazilian marketing team scheduled that event."
  • "The term 'Integrated Marketing' sounds like an oxymoron right now."
  • "I need to collaborate with someone before responding to this nasty Facebook post, but I don't know who."
  • "We've got a PR crisis in Germany. Who's responsible for responding? Who do we need from Legal on this?"
  • "Why are our 27 brand managers not coordinating with our SoMe team?"


I could go on, but I'm getting depressed.


National Instruments marketing organization figured out how to use Social Business Software to eliminate these pains and even win a Forrester Groundswell award.


Sure, it took time to get there, but it was worth the journey.


How would YOU use Social Business Software to coordinate your organization's marketing efforts?

recipe pic2.jpgFor many marketers, cross channel marketing on the social web has been a dizzying, ad hoc, and all-too-often unmeasured experiment.  What many don’t understand is that the social web offers the greatest marketing opportunities we have ever seen, so it’s time to get serious.  But instead, marketers are defaulting to a Facebook-only strategy – carving out a few dollars to create a fan page, getting a college intern to manage it, and telling the CEO that they’ve got social covered.


The real recipe for success isn’t as complicated as some may think, and it works equally well in the B2C space as it does in B2B business models. I’ve personally seen it have a dramatic and immediate impact across all of Marketing’s critical initiatives – driving brand awareness and advocacy, website engagement, leads, sales, increasing loyalty, and most importantly measurability to these efforts.


Ingredients to a successful social web strategy –


1) One part Facebook

With 750 million users, whether you sell to consumers or business, engaging on Facebook and creating a fan page or pages is a no brainer.  However, just creating your fan page isn’t enough, because with hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups and fan pages already existing there are likely many other areas on Facebook that you need to be monitoring and engaging in conversations.


Having a process and tools in place for multiple people (not just one or two) to easily monitor all these Facebook conversations and engage consistently are what your customers, prospective customers, and partners are now coming to expect.  In a moment I’ll describe why it’s also critical to mix this well with ingredient number three.


2) One part social web

This is where social strategy can get dizzying.  What about Twitter?  YouTube? The blogosphere? Forums?  Discussions occurring on relevant publication websites?  And now Google+?  Did you know that Google+ accumulated 10 million users in just a couple weeks into their closed/invite only beta!?!  Ultimately all of these conversations can be huge areas of both opportunity and risk. Ignoring these channels is equivalent to ignoring the web itself back in the late 90’s.  It’s simply a fundamental shift that demands marketing attention and strategy.


However, for most if anything has been done in this area, the keys to the castle have been placed in the hands of a very few ‘specialists’ – typically the brand police.  Their only thought is to manage risk.  Don’t be foolish.  Do you let every marketing team member do Google searches?  Enabling social web monitoring should be equally ubiquitous.  The only reason it isn’t is because virtually every social media-monitoring vendor today (other than Jive) makes it cost prohibitive and too complicated for everyone on the team to be monitoring and engaging across the social web.  If market managers are running cross channel campaigns, tracking the effectiveness, word of mouth, and staying engaged with influencers is essential.  In fact, they can leverage the social web to extend the reach of campaigns, get ideas for future campaigns, and more quickly make adjustments based on real-time feedback from target audiences and influencers.


3) Three parts community

Why is having your own community on your web property more important in your social strategy than Facebook and the social web combined?  Simple, you own it.  You have 100% control over the look, experience, SEO benefit, and most importantly the data behind the interactions.  In addition, the broader social web has one other major challenge – it’s virtually all ‘short form’ conversations.  Brand advocates need more.  People needing support help need more. Partners need more.  And you should want to give prospective customers lengthier ways to engage with you and their peers.


The best way to approach your community strategy is to tightly integrate it with both your Facebook and social web strategy.  Any community provider worth investing in should enable you to expose community conversations within Facebook as an app living alongside your Wall.  This exposes people on your fan page to your community, and in addition, when people post on the community app there’s a double bonus. First, that conversation gets exposed to your community; and second, technically speaking that thread is now helping drive your SEO. Many people don’t realize that since Facebook uses what’s known as ‘no-follow’ links, conversations on your wall aren’t indexed by Google and therefore don’t help drive your SEO.  But your community of course would be visible to Google’s crawlers so your fan page app would ultimately be helping drive SEO.


In addition, ideally your community technology should make it simple to pull conversations from the social web into the community itself.  It’s a way to keep people engaged, show that your listening, and enable people to expand on their conversations and thoughts.


4) One part measurement

Every part of your social strategy should be measured, just like for every other marketing program. Admittedly Facebook’s fan page reporting is quite minimal.  However, if you’re doing it right and integrating your community into the fan page experience, then your community tool should be much more robust at reporting engagement and every social interaction.  Across the social web, every person (which should be every team member) should have easy access to a set of dashboard metrics that pertain to the searches that are created, including sentiment around those conversations. Without reports and dashboards of key data, you can’t communicate results and ROI of efforts to others in the organization and you won’t be able to know what to adjust to maximize future success.


Just like any good recipe, if you miss one of the key ingredients, your efforts will be in vein. However, different than your kitchen recipe, if this one turns out bad it could cost a marketer a job.  So think holistically, use this recipe as your plan for success, and become a student of social because there’s no doubt that a fundamental shift has occurred in the way people connect, share, and learn. If you’re not embracing it, know that for sure your competitors are. Start now in thinking big and broad when it comes to social and your marketing results will definitely be rewarded.

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