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Everyone loves making predictions, at least I know I do.  Sometimes predictions are simple, such as predicting the outcome of a sporting event (Gray's Sports Almanac).  They can also be mathematical, for example: Sir Isaac Newton's Law of Gravity predicting the existance of the planet Pluto

What's that?  Just a rock?  Sorry Isaac, at least you get to keep the cookie

And finally, they can sometimes be completely out of one's imagination (two words … Jules Verne) or  from an all-telling orb (a Magic 8 Ball of course)!

 

Regardless of the inspiration, the ability to say, "I told you so" has to be one of the most compelling motivators for humanity.  Perhaps not as powerful as "breathing" as Maslow would care to admit, but it definitely makes the top 10.  The first (and most important) step of this journey is to state your prediction in a  place that is public and easily referenced, like the Jive Community.

 

So for all of you aspiring Nostradami out there, we at Jive ask this very simple question,

What are your social business predictions for 2012?

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 11: What's Your 2012 Social Business Resolution?

Day 10: Where do you draw the line for social in your business?

Day 9:  What do you do to reward participation in your online community?

Day 8:  What movie quote best represents the state of your social business?

Day 7: What is next on your social business To-Do list?

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

Jive Social Media Monitoring Helps Quest Software Increase their Social Reach by 90%

 

Today, Jive introduced a new member of our social media monitoring app family, called Fathom. It's available for free from the Jive Apps Market, making it easer than ever for all Jive 5 users to listen to the social web. Read more about Fathom at Can you Fathom the future of the social web? To explore the increasingly critical role that social media monitoring plays for our customers, I sat down with Megan Cynaumon, Social Media Coordinator at Quest Software. Over the past year, Quest has had great success using Fathom's full-featured cousin, Fathom Pro, to get closer to their customer base and gain new insights into their market and competitors.


Hi Megan. So tell me a little about Quest and your work there.

We’re an IT systems management company, providing tools for managing databases and other systems. As the Social Media Coordinator here, I’m Quest’s point person on the social web. I monitor social media--including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, and more--for content that's important to the company. This includes comments and complaints from customers, support and sales questions, and information about our competitors and industry. I capture relevant observations and route them to key people in our various business units, such as product marketing and support managers. I analyze trends and sometimes engage in direct dialogue with social media users.

 

Why did you start using Jive social media monitoring?

We needed more visibility into the social web, and we weren't getting that using native social network tools. We also couldn’t report metrics about social web chatter in any meaningful way. We were missing important feedback about our company, our competitors and our market, and we weren't able to effectively track the impact of our campaigns.

 

So you have been using Fathom Pro for some time now, could you describe how you have been using it?

Fathom Pro is a big part of my job. It’s my primary social media listening tool. It alerts me to conversations of interest from a wide range of social media sources and allows me to easily share the information with my colleagues. It also helps me analyze social data and identify trends. Specifically, I’ve set up a large number of monitors (more than 500) using various combinations of search terms to track information important to our business units. For example, we monitor hashtags for topics related to our company, our competitors, and industry. And we create our own unique hashtags for Quest events, contests, and campaigns—this is a great way to track the response to and impact of each initiative. I share valuable observations with coworkers by posting them to groups in our Jive-powered internal community. I create monthly reports for each of our business units, summarizing statistics such as mentions of our company versus competitor mentions.

 

What do you see as the primary benefits?

We're better informed, on a minute-to-minute basis, on what people are saying and thinking about issues vital to our company. And because of that we can engage the public in more effective ways. I often reach out to people directly to clear up misinformation, resolve complaints, and connect them with someone in our company who can help them. That kind of dialogue has helped us build brand loyalty, and to spot potential problems and turn them around quickly. It's also helped me drive users to our public-facing Jive community, by directing them to resources and people who can assist them with their questions and issues.

 

Can you give an example of a customer issue you were able to resolve?

We had a key influencer—a widely read blogger—who posted that she’d had a bad experience with our phone sales. Fathom Pro alerted me to her post, and we were able to contact her and address the issue within hours. As a result, she quickly followed up with a post saying, “Quest took care of it.” That’s just one example of how Jive has enabled us to deal with issues as they arise, to become a really agile company that clearly listens to and responds to customers’ needs.

 

How about internally, has there been an effect on users? Any effect to the culture?

It's been great. I want to stress that it's not just me doing social media monitoring. We have a number of people in seven of our business units who also use Fathom Pro. The fact that it's very convenient to use and supports any number of users without extra fees (unlike some of the other products out there) makes it really easy to spread the capability around the organization. And that's really important, because the goal is to become a listening company. Fathom Pro has helped make that a reality at Quest. We've also come up with some creative ways to increase employee involvement with social media. We held a contest to see who could use one of our Twitter hashtags over a short period. We used Fathom Pro to monitor the results and pick the winner. The winner was an employee who managed to tweet 100 times over four hours!

 

What features of Fathom Pro do you, personally, find especially useful?

I like the breadth of data sources, from Facebook and Twitter to blogs, forums, news services, and even RSS feeds. The search capabilities are great, enabling us to set up a wide variety of highly targeted monitors. We have a broad portfolio of products, initiatives and acquisitions, so we need a lot of monitors to track different kinds of information. Fathom Pro’s sharing and analytic capabilities are also very helpful, letting me quickly pass key information to colleagues in our Jive community, and to generate periodic reports.

 

Lastly, for anybody starting out in a similar positions as yours, what advice would you have to offer them?

When I began, I was hesitant to respond directly to commenters on the social web. Now I know it’s imperative to respond, and to do so quickly. I try not to let anything slip by me and to respond as quickly as possible. It lets people know we’re here, we’re paying attention, and we care. It’s helped humanize us. In effect, our social media outreach has become the public face of our company. By enabling us to listen better, Fathom Pro is a big part of that.

Social-Web pic.pngI'm happy to share today that everybody using Jive across our customer base--like those working with John Summers at NetApp, or Tim Wike at Thomson Reuters, or any of the other millions of Jive users--will now have an even easier time gleaning vital information from across the social web.  Our goal has always been to make social media monitoring and engagement as ubiquitous as email and Google searches. Our newest offering, Fathom, fulfills that vision.

 

What is Fathom?  Glad you asked. Fathom is a new app in Jive's App Market (available to all Jive customers on Jive 5). It is completely free to install and allows you to monitor sources like Twitter, Facebook Fan pages, communities, and 100M+ other sites across the web. You just create the search by choosing keywords of interest, and Fathom scans the social web, collecting relevant results. This is not a 'trial' app or demo of Jive's broader social media engagement capabilities. It's a new product that brings social media listening to everyone--whether you're in support, sales, R&D, HR, or Marketing--at no cost.

 

Fathom provides access to the entire social web, including the full Twitter firehose. In addition, it's tightly integrated with Jive's Social Business platform. Results are reported to you right in Jive, making them easy to keep track of and share with colleagues. If you see a tweet or post of interest to your peers or coworkers, you can just click to turn the item into a discussion, document or blog post for others to see. Fathom also helps you analyze the data it collects, identify trends, and share periodic reports.

 

For those social media experts in your company who want to do even more, Jive now also offers the more advanced Fathom Pro through the Jive Apps Market for $49 per person per month. Fathom Pro's features include the ability to engage directly with social media: you can log into your Facebook or Twitter accounts to post, reply, tweet or retweet, without leaving Fathom Pro. Fathom Pro also also provides more advanced analytics--such as the ability to track sentiment trends and measure user influence. And Fathom Pro lets you create an unlimited number of automated searches at no additional charge--another aspect of Jive's approach social web engagement that sets us apart from most others in the industry.

 

So my recommendation for any Jive 5 customer who wants to be a hero and introduce the power of social media monitoring to everyone at your company is, start getting the word out about Fathom now!

 

Here are some additional details around the differences between Fathom and Fathom Pro (this list is not exhaustive of all the functionality, just an overview):

FeatureFathomFathom Pro
Number of saved searches3Unlimited
History of the social web14 Days30 Days
Analytics history14 Days6 Months
Analytics - mention trends
Analytics - compare mention trends for multiple searchesUp to 3Unlimited
Analytics - media distribution
Alerts - receive alerts in your Jive activity stream
Alerts - receive alerts in your email
Collaborate on results within your Jive community (create discussions, documents, blog posts quoting results)
Collaborate on analytics graphs within your Jive community (create discussions, documents, blog posts quoting results)
Share searches between team members
View and track sentiment of results
Analytics - sentiment trends
Engage with the social web (post, reply, retweet, favorite, like)
Connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts for use in posting
See author's Klout scores to understand their social influence
Export data to csv

 

Any questions, thoughts, or reactions?  We're listening

 

Adam Mertz, Jive Product Marketing

iStock_000018166765XSmall.jpgThe approach of New Year's Day has me not only looking back over the major Jive milestones of 2011, but more importantly, thinking about the future.  The holidays are the time of year to reflect and promise to adopt a variety of goals. 

 

Do these sound familiar?

            • Quit...drinking, smoking, over-eating
            • Start...working out, spending more time with the family, learning how to play the piano
            • Get...organized, out of debt, a new haircut
            • Give...time, money

I've found that the best New Year's resolutions are specific, measurable, and offer a reward that you don't have to wait 365 days to evaluate. 

 

So, Jive Community, I want to hear from you: What are your 2012 Social Business Resolutions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 10: Where do you draw the line for social in your business?

Day 9:  What do you do to reward participation in your online community?

Day 8:  What movie quote best represents the state of your social business?

Day 7: What is next on your social business To-Do list?

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

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One of the biggest advantages of social business is the ability for people to socially orchestrate solutions and execute with agility; saving time and money.  Not unlike its predecessors, social cannot escape the reality that it may not always be the best answer.  Whether in a primary or complimentary capacity, balancing the role social plays in the enterprise is an exercise in managing risk, reward, and cost, just like any other business decision.

 

Due to its virtually endless applicability in the enterprise, it is often more important to deflect use-cases that will knowingly not succeed (as defined by your organizational values) on social, more so than solicit use-cases where you think social is applicable.  It has been my experience that for every use-case you identify that can benefit from social enhancement, your constituents will find another 4.  As such, educating people on lessons learned and known limitations will help reduce wasted efforts down the road, but also benefit your social adoption.  Which brings me to the question at hand,

 

Where do you draw the line for social in your business?

Based on your organizational value(s) are there any areas that you consider off limits for social enhancement in your enterprise?  If so, what is the reasoning or context for this decision?

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 9:  What do you do to reward participation in your online community?

Day 8:  What movie quote best represents the state of your social business?

Day 7: What is next on your social business To-Do list?

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

Companies are now anxious to adopt all things “social”. But as many of us know, you could select the best, industry-leading tool and your community could still fail.

 

Why? As my InfoWeek blog “Who’s to Blame for a Failed Community” suggests, social software vendors may provide you with best practice advice or strategy toolkits, but the responsibility for success lies solely at the feet of the customer organization to both invest in and execute upon a well thought out social business strategy. A key part of that strategy must include investing in both community management and a strong community advocate program.

 

Kevin Crossman just covered last month The specified item was not found., so let me focus this blog post on the role of Community Advocates and why you need them.

 

It is my firm belief that a community can’t grow; sometimes it can’t even get off the ground well, if you don’t have these advocates involved early and often with you. Advocates can be your secret weapon in going wide, viral and global in both employee and market facing/customer communities.

 

The tactical way in which you locate or engage with your advocates may vary based upon the type of community (employee, customer, product support, etc.), but the principles I’ll describe below can apply to either type of community.

 

 

What are Community Advocates?

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Wikipedia says “an advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of another person”. Advocates are also sometimes thought of as an “influencer”.  Sean Driscoll of Ant's Eye View, in a recent presentation on "An Advocacy Program Framework", shared the following definition (referenced with permission):

“Advocate (Ad-vo-cate), noun

  1. one that pleads the cause of another
  2. one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
  3. one that supports or promotes the interests of another”

 

 

 

 

What Advocates Do and Why You Need Them?

We’ve defined “advocates”, but why are they so important to your community? First let's look at what a few experts have to say below.

"Without advocates--people who encourage others to use social business software to enact purpose-driven use cases that solve an end user's pain, or satisfy a business need for them--expect adoption to mosey along at a frustratingly slow pace, especially in more traditional cultures and regulated industries."Gia Lyons, Strategic Advisor and Jive Software Business Community Manager

 

"Customers become advocates when they willingly advocate on behalf of your company in public. . . There are of course totally organic advocates who will tirelessly promote your company out of affinity for your products or services. If you are not engaging these people, stop reading this piece and figure out how to do it right now.” David Armano, EVP, Global Innovation & Integration, “Humanizing Business & Brands: Your Ambassador Ecosystem

So what do advocates do? And why is that important?

 

First, advocates can share in Community Work.

Advocates can help you get real work done in the community.  They can:

  • Lifeguard_chair-small.pngLead topics, discussions or smaller communities of interest
  • Show members ways to make effective use of the community to accomplish business goals
  • Help welcome new members
  • Deliver training or coaching sessions
  • Answer questions in the community
  • Write help topics for the community
  • Share best practices

 

Bottom line, advocates provide extra arms and legs you need to get community work done.

 

At CSC, we called our advocate group our “C3 Lifeguards”. They became our “strategic planning partners” in our social business journey. Our early team of 100 advocates helped us plan, seed and lead 200 use cases (or groups in C3) prior to our pilot launch. We asked these advocates to be local storytellers and deliver training sessions to their local teams, executives and business units. We attributed the early success of our pilot directly to the effectiveness of this advocate program.

 

Second, advocates can increase your community reach and word of mouth promotion.

megaphone_newsboy-small.pngOften, these advocates will not only promote, or spread word of mouth about the community, but highly engaged advocates will also vocally defend the community to naysayers and critics in areas where community managers alone cannot reach.

 

I just recently witnessed a powerful example where community advocates came to the defense of a brand in the marketplace. An industry blogger released a post that contained brand information many brand advocates perceived as inaccurate. The advocate group was so fully knowledgeable and engaged with that brand that the advocates responded in significant numbers to that industry blog post with what the advocates perceived as more correct facts.

 

Why was that so important?

  1. Well, first the brand in question did not ask the advocates to reply.
  2. Second, the collective voice of the advocates was more powerful, and truly more influential, than that of a brand’s marketing or PR team.
  3. And finally, the advocates proved to be more credible, because they provided real examples from their specific experience supporting their contrary positions.

 

At CSC, our C3 Lifeguards helped us promote both the announcement of our new employee community and the effective use of the community for business purposes. They helped run local Lunch & Learn training sessions, and promote C3 to their local project teams and executives. They volunteered to lead 200 use cases that had local or business unit applications and in many ways helped us reach more people across our company and across the globe with real work examples. In 20 weeks our member registrations grew from 100 advocates to 25,000 registered users and from 200 work groups to 2000 groups. We attributed this viral growth of both user registrations and sponsored groups to the direct result of our C3 Lifeguard efforts.

 

Third, advocates can be a powerful front line source of end user and member support.

If you nurture advocates well, train them, arm them with templates, and make them feel part of your planning team, they can be a powerful source of end user or member support. Your advocates may field simple questions such as “how do I use” the community features or they may answer more complex questions such as “how do I use a brand’s product or solution”. Bottom line, these advocates can be your local storytellers, sharing best practices and use case examples for business value. This type of user generated community support can reduce the need for direct answers or intervention from a community manager or helpbutton-small.pngmoderator.

 

Again, at CSC, our C3 Lifeguards proved to be immensely in providing member support around the clock. Our employees did not have to wait for me to wake up on East Coast time to get an answer. As advocates came online in other times zones I knew they could, and would, watch and answer community member questions.

 

That type of immediate, front line source of support is not only beneficial, but it also shows members that member questions really do matter. When members get their questions answered quickly, they are left with a positive experience and keep using the community or even recommend the community to their network of colleagues.

 

Fourth, advocates can help you prune and curate community content. 

Prune-small.pngIt’s impossible for any one person to be able to create all the content a community needs nor be able to read, answer and engage with all members or questions in a large, vibrant community. Advocates can be an effective way to scale the work of content planning, pruning and curation.

 

Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group, addresses this phenomenon best as he describes the Rings of Social Influence . . . “Companies cannot scale for social business -customers will always outnumber you. [To solve for this companies must] Leverage all the voices in your "rings" [of influence] . . . Use the crowd to self support not just in customer service, but also in marketing.”

 

In fact, this very Jive Community is an excellent example of great community advocacy at work. Many of us have volunteered to write blog posts to benefit the larger community knowledge base. There are others among us who are great curators or awesome at posting “lessons learned” and helpful tips & tricks. And there are other members who know the Jive Community membership well enough, and each of our strengths, to know when to push posts or questions other members for them to answer.

 

Finally (although the list could go on!), your community advocates can be a trusted source of user feedback.

feedback-small.pngAdvocates are often very highly engaged with a brand’s products or services. They may also know the sentiment of the community and its members by being so highly engaged in the community. As such, this audience can be an important and trusted source for product, solution, brand or community feedback.  Brands can leverage these advocates by providing behind the scenes product previews with the goal of gaining insights and innovative ideas.

 

At CSC we continue to engage our C3 Lifeguards in release testing, feature release priorities and other programs where we value the input and feedback of our members.

 

 

What’s the Bottom Line?

In short, a community manager must not forget the essential role community advocates can play in a healthy, vibrant community.

 

“Spend lots of love and attention on identified advocates… Equip them to onboard their network, wherever it happens to exist. These people are critical to a positive, rapid and widespread adoption experience.” Gia Lyons

As a community manager, it’s important that you locate, nurture and engage with your community advocates. The effort you invest with this advocate team will pay you immense dividends in the long run.

 

In summary, advocates can:

  • Be your local story tellers to their peers, to others in the industry or with other members;
  • Demonstrate best practices for community use to be emulated by others in the community;
  • Be a powerful front line source for member support and answers;
  • Be a highly motivated voice of your brand, influencing not only the community members, but others in the marketplace as well;
  • Be a source of content and engagement planning; 
  • Be a source of feedback and guidance for you as you steer your community to success.

 

 

____________________________________________________________________

Claire Flanagan is CSC’s Director of Social Business and Community Strategy and a Jive Champion. She led CSC’s employee community C3 and is leading efforts to bring social business capabilities to other aspects of CSC’s eco-system of customers and partners.


Claire speaks regularly at industry conferences about social business and has received numerous awards along the way such as the Jive Community Adoption Award, The 2.0 Adoption Council’s Internal Evangelist of the Year Award and the Jive Champion Award. The C3 team was a CSC Chairman’s Award for Excellence Finalist. She is a charter member of The Social Business Council, board member for The Community BackChannel #cmtybc, and a member of The Community Roundtable. You can connect with Claire on Twitter at @cflanagan.


The views expressed here are Claire’s personal opinions, have not been reviewed or authorized by CSC and do not necessarily represent the views of CSC.

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Rewarding community participation is imperative to the longevity of any online community.  Most online communities follow the 90:9:1 principle, which according to Wikipedia:

The "90–9–1" … states that 1% of people create content, 9% edit or modify that content, and 90% view the content without contributing.

 

So to break this down into "lamens terms", for every batch of 7,843,113 users, you have:

  • 7,058,801.7 users who view (.7 indicates right eye is half-shut)
  • 705,880.17 users who modify / edit content (.17 indicates mouse only interaction)
  • 78,431.13 users who actually create content (.13 indicates liberal lorem ipsum usage)

 

Now that that's cleared up, standard interpretations and actions are pretty straight forward and universal: increase content creators.  If you fall below the 1% mark for creators....then theoretically your community may be being starved for content.  Conversely, having too many creators is rarely a problem as long as they are complementary.  Rewards for community participation play a key role in achieving this goal at scale, and should be leveraged by community managers who wish to keep pace with their spiking growth trends.  In fact, I've been working with laurie martin on some new ways to reward our customers in the Jive Community … so stay tuned!

 

But back to the question at hand,

What do you do to reward participation in your online community?

 

P.S.  I may have found the wrong definition for "lamens terms". =)

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 8:  What movie quote best represents the state of your social business?

Day 7: What is next on your social business To-Do list?

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

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Believe it or not, movies are a great communication tool for relating societal trends and sentiment.  But not all movies are created equal.  For example, there are movies like Citizen Kane, Shawshank Redemption, and The Godfather that frequently are revered as the best movies of all-time; while rounding out the bottom we have cinematic "gems" like Mac and Me, Battlefield Earth, and Santa with Muscles (don't ask how I know this one). 

 

If you look at the winners listed above, you'll see strong elements of plot, character, and underlying motifs at play that resonate with most people.  If you look at the other movies … well … you probably just wasted $1.99 on iTunes.  But, good or bad, movies are a great vehicle for expressing yourself socially, as they tend to generate quotable phrases that can provide deep contextual meaning with very few words.

 

For example:

  • Have fun storming the castle!
  • I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.
  • You can't handle the truth!
  • Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
  • These go to 11.

(Can you name these movies without Google?)

 

So this brings me back to the question at hand,

What movie quote(s) best represents the state of your social business?

 

P.S. I'll be back … for another day of conversation tomorrow.

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 7: What is next on your social business To-Do list?

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

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Lists are great.  We all make them in one shape or another. Grocery lists, shopping lists, and even the never-ending To-Do list.   Lists give us a sense of accomplishment; crossing off items and allowing us to look back and see what we've done.  But its what's left on the list that tends to be the most important.

 

Today, Jive Software crossed a huge item off it's list, going public. (see Paving the new way to the NASDAQ ... with Social Business). 

This feat would not have been possible without our customers, and again, from the bottom of our hearts … we thank you for your vision and support for the new way to business.

 

So what's left on our list?  We turn the focus towards our customers, and ask the simple question:

What's next on your social business To-Do list?

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 6: Who is your Social Santa?

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

Today we began our life as a publicly-traded company. This marks a major milestone in Jive's history: from a small, two person company that started in Iowa to a leading global provider of Social Business software, listed on the NASDAQ. Wow, have we come a long way!

 

This event is significant not just for Jive as a company, but also for the broader market and for all of you, our customers, without whom this could not have happened. You are the agents of change, embracing social to drive not just the new way but the ONLY way to get work done. Jive's IPO is a testament to the power of social -- it's here to stay. It is clear that the market at large is taking note and recognizing its importance. As I have said many times, social business is the most significant enterprise software category in the last decade -- it is transforming how we work, making us so much more productive and driving better business outcomes.

 

As we celebrate this major achievement today at Jive, we hope that you will join us in enjoying this moment. You have been and will continue to be a vital part of this process. We simply could not have achieved this without you. THANK YOU!

 

We are on a long-term journey to change the way works gets done. This event is one, albeit, important stop on our way. Our vision is greater and our journey will continue: our focus remains on delivering great value to our customers with social business.

 

I wish all of you a happy holiday season with your families and loved ones. We look forward to continuing to drive the new way to business with you in 2012, and thank you again for partnering with and investing in Jive.

 

Tony Z

P.S. Throughout the day today, we will be posting pictures and videos of the event, so stay tuned for some behind the scenes footage!

opening-ceremony.pngtower.pngcake.png

 

 

Every year around the holidays, children write letters to Santa sending him their Christmas wish lists.  As of late, some children have adopted a more modern approach:

@SantaClaus #xmaswishlist2011 Nintendo 3DS #want, iPod Touch 4th Gen #reallywant #beengood #promise#santaisawesomesauce

Either way, the idea of Santa is established as an icon of joy, happiness, good-will, and getting us what we want.  So what is a "social santa," you may ask?  A "social santa" is the person that introduced and got you to BELIEVE in Social Business. This person can be someone you know personally, through a reference, or even just someone whose blog you've read. It doesn't even have to be a person, a "social santa" can be anything that sparks the "Ah ha!" moment for you.

 

Personally, my social santa started with my interest in the power of people in mass.  It's amazing how much people working towards a common goal can accomplish.  I mean, just check out these guys:   Any "force" that can motivate this many nerds has got to be substantial.  That is the power of social, and the power social business software can unleash for an enterprise (in my opinion).  This is what keeps me excited, and more importantly … what keeps me believing in social business software.

 

So give a shout out to those people, things, or events that inspired your social business passion, by answering:

Who is your social santa?

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 5: Where is your social business beard?

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

Social business beards.  Really?  Never heard of them?  Well here at Jive, we just wrapped up a pretty epic "Novembeard" contest. Every year, as one of the many ways we keep things fun while we're working hard, a group of us get a clean shave on November 1st, and then grow our beards as fiercely as possible until Dec 1st. It's similar to the Movembeard movement, but our angle is that we're going for full beards during the month -- neck shaving only! We want to get those facial manes nice and scraggly. Then, come December, we have a furry canvas upon which to practice the fine art of shaving.

 

This year, 41 brave folks entered the fray (which we of course managed on our internal Jive network). Here's some of the beards after 30 days:

IMG_1564.jpgbearded.jpg photo.JPGPhoto+on+2011-11-30+at+12.13.jpg20111130_154754.jpg

sturgeon-beard.jpgbeard-4.jpgBill.jpgphoto (1).jpglumberjack.jpg

2011-11-30_16-28-52_671.jpgnov-30.jpgPhoto+on+11-30-11+at+8.27+AM.jpgpic.pngbeard_week4.jpg20111130.jpg

 

And here's some of what happened in the post-shave aftermath - style points!

DSCF2382.jpgmonkeytail_side.jpgIMAG0113.jpg

Did your company get in on the hirsute antics? Who won?

 

 

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 4: What social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...


iStock_000015286640XSmall.jpgIt's inevitable.  With as much emphasis that is drummed up around festivities, cheer, and "low low discount prices", it surpasses comprehension how anyone can make it through life without developing some sort of holiday tradition. 

 

Perhaps you are a bit more traditional and opt for caroling, volunteerism, and white elephant parties.  Others have adopted newer more extreme traditions, such as Black Friday marathons, polar bear clubbing, and extreme Christmas lighting (long live Mannheim Steamroller!).

 

In some cases, as documented by Clark Griswald, people will go to extraordinary lengths to honor holiday traditions.  My question:  How did these traditions evolve, and what drives people to keep coming back?

 

One of the largest barriers to social business is getting people to take the first step and continue taking steps until it becomes habitual, instinctive, or dare I say .. a tradition.  I propose that if we can dissect the most popular holiday traditions, not your 1-off "sky-dive in a chicken costume" tradition, but truely honored traditions, that there will be a common thread that may be relevant to not only help  drop  barriers to social business adoption, but also make social stick.

 

So what social traditions do you participate in during the holiday season?  Online, offline, even zipline ... we're interested to hear what you do to make your holiday season special!

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 3: How social are you at your company during the holidays?

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...


IMG_0444.JPGEveryone has their own opinion of what it means to be "social".

 

Wikipedia defines social as:

a characteristic of living organisms (humans in particular, though biologists also apply the term to populations of other animals). It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.

 

But if you asked actual organisms humans people around the office, these are some opinions you might hear:

  • Jimmy (Mail Room)
    Playing office pranks on people.  You know to keep the office mood lively and entertaining.  Nothing too big though. *snicker
  • Mary (Project Manager)
    I regularly allocate 20% of the remaining  float time to shoot the breeze with my team and hear what's going on in their lives.  That's before resource leveling though.
  • Tobias (Engineer)
    Social to me is smiling, nodding my head, and not saying what is really on my mind while I'm at the mandatory office white elephant exchange.

 

As a user of a social business platform,

How social are you at your company during the holidays?

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 2: How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...


iStock_000014702097XSmall.jpgThe question of how to make a company more cost effective has been around since the beginning of ... well ... business.  It's only in  "recent history" that a focus has been made on improving company collaboration to gain efficiency at scale.

 

In the 19th century, companies turned to telegraphy, a technology that allows operators to send messages via hand-tapped Morse Code.  This method quickly fell out of favor, as a single office-wide forward regularly caused substantial operator backlogs.  Any profits gained were subsequently erased by spiking overtime pay.  Thanks a lot, Mr. Telegraph!

 

Moving on to the 20th century, we discover internet and electronic mail (a.k.a email for those technophiles).  Before email, an office patron would have to:

  • Walk to the mailbox (exercise)
  • Walk back to the desk (exercise)
  • Open envelopes (killing trees + paper cuts)
  • Read the letter (literacy required)

All this taking upwards of at least 5-10 minutes a day.  If they have to do this up to 6 times daily, that's nearly an hour every day just checking mail!  But now there's email, which makes the process so much simpler:

  • Click on Inbox (exercise)
  • Liberal SPAM Filter (message deleted)
  • Read Subject-Line Only (literacy optional, emoticons instruct when to open)
    • Double-Click (exercise) and Read Message (only 1 in 20 messages actually read)
  • Click back to Solitaire  (exercise)

Now office workers can check mail in less than 10 seconds, as many times a day as needed.  Not only are they informed, but they can spend less time obtaining knowledge.

 

What are historians going to say about Social Business technologies?  Only time will tell, but you can share your thoughts now by answering this question:

How has your social business platform helped your company "tighten the belt"?

 

Previous Days of Conversation:

Day 1:  Why did you choose your social business platform?

Introducing the 12 Days of Conversations ...

iStock_000018159142XSmall.jpgIt may feel some what like a broken record question,

"Why did you choose platform X, or what were the use-cases behind product Y?"

 

But the truth of the matter is that these questions are the 2nd biggest questions asked in today's social landscape.  Only topped by the predecessor:

How do I justify investing money into something as new as social business?

 

In a way, answering these questions is a lot like a box of chocolates (and no I didn't say it like that). 

 

Here are just a few parallels, I've been able to put together these past few moments:

  • Similar factors:  Which brand?  Pre-packaged vs. custom?  Expiration date? 
    • Ok maybe that one is just for us last minute shoppers at the local convenience store.  #rule_of_thumb, if the chocolates say 1990s and dont sport the words vintage, authentic, or preservatives ... best to probably move  along.  =)
  • It's something that you tend to give to others, rather than buy for yourself.
    • This isn't to say that eating a 16-count gourmet box of chocolates by yourself on your first Valentine's Day dance alone because your date decided there were better things to do is a bad thing, but in the end ... I think that's why Haagen Daaz and Ben and Jerry's were established; for these extenuating circumstances (at least this is what I tell myself).
  • It's usually good to read the card that tells what each chocolate is and what to expect. 
    • Sometimes you can get lucky and choose something great, like #smoky_chocolate_bbq_ganache, or something a bit less pleasing, like #coconut_tripe_truffles.

 

So back to the question(s) at hand,

  • Why did you choose your social business platform? 
  • What made it stand out above the rest?
  • If you had it to do all over again, would you make the same decision? Why?

It's that time of year again, and by that I mean December.  The month of holiday music, black friday hangovers, and chocolate-covered goodness (not necessarily in that order).  Since we can't play holiday muzak, dip your avatars in chocolate, or absolve your guilt from aggressive holiday shopping, we wanted to find a way to bring the holiday spirit to our community. 

 

And this is what we came up with:

The 12 Days of Conversations

 

Over the next 12 (business) days, we will post a series of anecdotes and icebreakers (with a fun twist) to help our users engage in open discussion about their social business experiences.   Our goal: To unite people in conversations that may benefit their social business initiatives in 2012 and beyond.

 

Keep an eye out for the first conversation!

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