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Today is the final day of our blog series featuring notable trends from 2015 and predictions for 2016!


Kathryn Everest offers up her insights into corporate culture and what we should expect from business leaders who want to foster a healthy organization environment.


Take a look here and let us your plans for  employee engagement in the new year via the comments below.

Today marks the fourth day of our year-in-review and predictions blog series - and we celebrate the occasion with a post featuring Kevin William, vice president of customer support at Jive. Did you check it out yet?

We want to know what you think via the comments below...


And, if you haven't already, please read the earlier blogs featuring notable trends from 2015 and predictions for 2016:

Blog Discussion: 2015 Year in Review & 2016 Predictions - CIO/IT

Blog Discussion: 2015 Year in Review & 2016 Predictions - Marketing Edition

Blog Discuss: 2015 Year in Review and 2016 Predictions - HR/People Edition

Today, over on the Jive Blog - you've heard from John Schneider about his prediction for 2016 (hint: it's about KPIs) and what he believed to be notable in 2015 for HR organizations.


What do you think? Do you agree?

Today, over on the Jive corporate blog - Kim Celestre reflected on what she thought was most notable in the marketing industry in 2015 and served up a bold prediction about UGC content.


  • "Big data is simply not cultivated in a meaningful, contextual way."
  • "It's been proven time and time again that UGC (such as reviews, etc.) garner public trust."


So tell us - do you agree or disagree?

I came across Timothy Hales because he's a very active member in the External Communities Group. This is one of those community moments when you feel like you know the person just through your interaction in a community, even though you've never met face to face. Timothy has a fantastic (and very packed) workstyle, and I'm happy he shared it with everyone through this interview!


Leigh: Where do you work?

Timothy: I work for Esri, a mapping software company. Our technology enables organizations to create responsible and sustainable solutions to problems at local and global scales. It is based out of Redlands, CA, but I work out of our Charlotte, NC regional office.


Take a virtual tour of our headquarters -


Leigh: How would you describe your current job?

Timothy: I am the Enterprise Community Manager for GeoNet, our Jive-x community. I technically do not have a job description, but you could say that I do about everything imaginable as it relates to our community. I manage the day-to-day operations of the community including user engagement, moderation, training, technical support, reporting, system administration, product testing, and more.


Leigh: Are you familiar with the Jive WorkTypes? If so, what was your WorkType?

Timothy: Optimizer


Leigh: How do you think your WorkType plays into how you get work done in Jive?

Timothy: My WorkType helps me focus on improving the user experience of our customers. Every time I am presented with a workflow or task, I am always searching for a better way to accomplish those things. Jive provides a great platform, but I am always giving feedback on how it can be better. When Jive applies this feedback to future releases, it not only helps our community but also many other Jive customers as well.


Leigh: Did your team have a chance to take the WorkType Finder quiz? Have you all talked about your results?

Timothy: Team?!? I am supposed to have a team? I have a lot of great resources for various projects, but I am the only one dedicated 100% to the community.


Leigh: So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.)?

Timothy: Jive is an external community for our customers. It provides a way for them to ask questions and troubleshoot software problems. They also collaborate around projects and use the platform as a way to share code.
We are working hard to build other forms of engagement through the migration of our blog and idea platforms. My colleagues are very innovative in how they apply the community to their particular industry. For example our Education Team uses the community to engage students in discussions for their massive open online courses (MOOCs). We also just launched a new series called Esri Ten For where the community asks questions and an expert answers ten of them on video.

Leigh: What a great series!


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

Timothy: I just recently switched to a Mac for the first time a couple weeks ago. I've always used a PC, but was looking for a system that could increase production for graphics and video design, improve processing performance when running code when managing the community using the Jive API, and a system that travels well since it's my main connection to the community 24/7. It has taken some getting used to, but I absolutely love it. No plans to go back.

Leigh: #TeamApple


Leigh: Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Timothy: In the past, I have used the Palm Pre, Motorola Q, and Samsung Galaxy; yet the iPhone 5c is by far best and most stable device I have ever had. There is no way I am switching from Apple. Like a friend said, "Apple's walled garden may be small, but it's a very nice garden."



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


  • Waze - The best navigation app out there. Sure, I know how to get to work or my house, but this app helps me avoid accidents, road closures, and traffic jams.
  • Goodbudget - I still believe in the importance of creating a budget, and there is no better way to manage your spending than with a cash envelope budget.
  • EverNote - Although I use OneNote for work, I use EverNote for personal items. I like how I can access it on my computer, iPad, or iPhone.
  • Snagit - I am always grabbing screenshots of issues and basic how-to steps. TechSmith Snagit makes it very simple.


Leigh: Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

Timothy: That's a hard one since everything nowadays is computerized. I enjoy cooking and so there are a variety of kitchen gadgets that I like, but probably my favorite right now is my pull-up bar. It's portable so I can have it in my bedroom, kitchen, or anywhere with a door frame. I've added a bit of bling from the past year to help with motivation. It also doubles as a monkey bar for my kids. They try very hard to do pull-ups, but more than anything they enjoy swinging on it.

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Leigh: How do you stay organized? What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Timothy: At home, I am not even close to being organized as compared to my work organization. OneNote is my friend and the only way I stay up on work. I take a scrum-style approach to how I handle my daily tasks. I have a "back-log" for random ideas and tasks that don't have to get done in the near future. My "current" list is for tasks that have a due date or must get done soon. The "today" list is of tasks that I have pulled from the "current" list that I plan to get done each day. The "completed" list helps me realize that I am actually getting things done because who doesn't like the feeling of accomplishment? I do a full review of each list every Friday morning. That helps me prepare to hit the ground running Monday morning.

Leigh: I love this approach.

OneNote Backlog.png

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

Timothy: I like having a clean desk. I may have a bit of clutter in my drawers or overhead bin, but you won't find that on my desk. I am a very technical guy at heart, hence the reason for three monitors and the MacBook Pro. I start every morning with a cup of English Breakfast tea. Yes, it is sweet! I live in the South. I keep a water bottle close by to maintain my hydration. Slightly behind me are the handprints of my children and a bridal portrait of my wife.


Leigh: What's your best time-saving trick?

Timothy: Stay off of your devices. It is amazing how much time we waste every day looking at our phones.


Leigh: How do you balance work and life?

Timothy: I work some strange hours at times, but try to keep my work during normal business hours. Outside of those hours I make sure everyone is asleep or out of the house before breaking out the MacBook. So if you work with me you may get emails between Midnight and 6AM. I love spending time with my family! I have been married for 12 years and have four children (one girl and three boys). We play soccer, xBox, board games, Legos, Nerf guns, and a whole lot more. I am active in my local church and serve in our preschool department. In my spare time I enjoy running and staying fit. This year I took on the challenge of earning my Spartan Trifecta.

Leigh: My jaw just dropped. You do so much and with such a big family. Good on ya!


Leigh: What's your sleep routine like?

Timothy: Sleep... what's that? Haha. I'm usually in the bed by midnight and up by 6 am or so. With four kids I rarely sleep in and always go to bed way later than I should. I like to think I get more sleep than I actually do, but my Jawbone tells me otherwise. I get about six hours of sleep on average.

               FullSizeRender 8.jpg

Leigh: Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

Timothy: Ambivert for sure. I have characteristics from both ends of the spectrum. I am the youngest of five children with the next oldest being 10 years older than me, so I grew up kind of as an only child. For this reason I tend to enjoy being by myself. However, this does not keep me from being social. I can strike up a conversation with anyone at any time. I really don't go out much unless it's with my family.


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

Timothy: One of the best pieces of advice came from a previous boss. He challenged me to continue my education. Not just the degree variety, but anything that helps me grow as person or advance my career. Since then, I am always looking for learning opportunities. Whether it be online classes, books, articles, seminars, or breakfast with an elder, just get out there an keep learning.


I don't know about y'all, but I'm certainly going to use some of his tips and I'm re-motivated to make the most of every day! Thank you so much, Timothy, for sharing your fantastic workstyle. Does anyone have any questions for Timothy?

Hi All -


As you might have seen on Jive's corporate blog - this week, we're kicking off an exciting blog series that highlights key industry trends from 2015 and predictions for 2016.


As you know, this time of year is all about reflecting on the past year and thinking about what lies ahead for the next twelve months. Tomorrow, November 17th, we start the series of topics with: CIO/IT: Jive’s VP of Security, David Cook and VP of IT, Mike Westlund portend AWS and the future of the cloud - take a look at what they have to say and let us know what you think via comments below!

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And stay tuned for the rest of topics:

  • HR/People: Senior Director of Product Marketing, John Schneider, peers into the talent wars and user-to-user relationships
  • Marketing: Senior Director of Product Marketing and clairvoyant, Kim Celestre, talks big data and user-generated content
  • Support: Vice President of Customer Support and soothsayer, Kevin Williams, has a few things to say about attention spans and delighting customers
  • Mobile: A duo of oracles, Director of Product Marketing, Gili Guri-Mill, and VP of Products, Dilshad Simons, stir up some insights on the app vs. browser economy
  • Culture: And finally, Jive’s Strategist of Communications & Collaboration Solutions, Kathryn Everest, will behold the entire organizational ecosystem


Buckle up and stay tuned to our corporate blog - we have some exciting topics to discuss.

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Elisa Steele Jive's CEO, spoke today on CXOTalk about how social collaboration can create a connected workforce as well as connected customers. "At Jive, we believe in the power of human centricity and we make technology that helps people work better together" said Elisa.


At the heart of every company lies a passion for doing something different. For Jive, we want to change the way people work together.


Elisa explains that changing a company's culture is possible. First, accepting different workstyles and ways of thinking is important as is giving employees the tools to work across that spectrum. Next engage and empower employees at every level to drive a more transparent culture. Finally, work on digitizing and engaging with customers in order to really understand what their challenges are and how they perceive your brand.


Highlights include:

  • How collaboration technology helps build customer relationships
  • How can we transition digital technology from the personal world to the enterprise world (both internally and externally)
  • How collaboration technology can help solve business problems


Watch the interview now:




Let us know what you think!


For community managers, knowing the right questions to ask is the key to success. Why? If you can crack the code on what community members want and need from each other – and from the organization – then your content and conversations are much more likely to drive engagement. Plus, if you can meet your executives’ business needs through the community, then you will have a champion in your corner and some truly powerful outcomes to report.

With that in mind, we created this infographic to help community managers ask the right questions and deliver the right results.

10 Questions Every Community Manager Should Ask

We (Leader Networks) developed this infographic because the community manager role has recently stepped into the spotlight. Your business is finally waking up to the reality that you hold valuable insight into customer relationships – and that puts you at the center of customer strategy development! After all, who knows more about what the customer wants and needs than someone who interacts with them on a daily basis?


Your role becomes more strategic and you are no longer defined by basic metrics such as number of new members or views on recent content shares. As community manager, you will be called upon to fulfill two distinct functions. First, you will be tasked with creating a digital experience where customers are interacting with each other and your organization. Second, you must enable the community to solve a business problem or accelerate a business process online.

It’s not an easy job. However, knowing the right questions to ask is often the first step on the journey to success. We hope this infographic helps!

If you're a content publisher and use Jive, you've probably thought about whether you could make better use of Jive as a publishing platform. As the leader of Jive's technical documentation team, I've been thinking about this a long time. It's not that I don't believe in Jive for docs teams: I do! See Why Technical Documentation Needs Jive for details on how Jive helps us build technical information every day. That's why every time a customer or prospect has asked me SOOOOO, ARE YOUR DOCS IN JIVE? WHY NOT? over the years, I died a little inside. The fact is, we've been publishing in HTML webhelp, and PDF, but not in Jive. Until now.


It's with great pleasure and a lot of gratitude to Libby Taylor, Ben Walker, David Bastedo, kev.williams, sid.bos, Melanie Jennings, and Leona Campbell--and especially to Suite Solutions, who provided the technology to get this done--that I can announce that we're starting to eat our own delicious Jive-brand dog food. Look right here to see the 8.0 Admin Guide in Jive format, with full Jive functionality!




(That's Jiver dog Pickle demonstrating.)


Why Didn't We Do This Before?

Jive has made amazing progress toward supporting content authors, and we're making more all the time--we've added bulk upload, content sets, improved place curation and many other features in the last year and we're planning to ship more bulk content features in 2016. However, for documentation at scale (we publish more than 1000 topics for each version, and we know many customers have many more), we still have the following challenges, and we know some of our customers share them:


  • We need robust version control across many files
  • We EXTENSIVELY reuse content across versions and editions--our source is DITA XML, so we do that with a combination of branching, tagging, build-time filtering, and content referencing. There isn't currently a way to do that in Jive. We reuse content not only at the topic level, but down to the level of steps and table cells.
  • We need a hierarchical table of contents and inter-document linking that survives updates, because we have many topics and long-form content in chapters.
  • We need to be able to create multiple outputs from the same source.



Imagine you need to insert an identical legal notice in 45 out of 300 documents you've posted. . . somewhere in a space. Or that you need to find all the references to available bandwidth and change them by one digit--these are the kinds of updates that tech docs does routinely. In our XML editor, the first operation is a simple one-file update followed by a rebuild, and the second is a simple search-and-replace operation. Did we screw that up? Oops, let's just revert that whole change in SVN.


In Jive. . . search for some string in the content, open each doc individually, cut, paste, save--oh no, I missed a doc someone put in a different space. How did that happen? Wait, Legal changed the wording! I have to do it all over! Separately in each one of those 45 documents! This isn't scalable past a certain point.


The Solution: Write in DITA, Publish in Jive

Nope, we were not giving up our XML source--it just provides too much freedom and functionality. However, we have long thought that it would be useful to publish docs in Jive--provided we were able to write and maintain them with all that great document management functionality Jive doesn't (yet) have. This became a reality quite recently when Suite Solutions wrote a connector that transforms DITA XML content into HTML and injects it into a place in Jive--creating a hierarchical, interlinked document set complete with an auto-generated Table of Contents and breadcrumbs. It even gets automatically marked "Official"!  Voila--we create a versioned, semantically tagged source in DITA XML, and we can publish the content in three ways: as HTML5 webhelp (our regular docs at, in PDF (embedded in the HTML docs for customers who like a print-like presentation), and as JIVE DOCUMENTS IN JIVE COMMUNITY, with the full Jive capability of sharing, commenting, rating, analytics, and so on.


Here is a sample topic screenshot. Note the breadcrumbs showing the hierarchy at the bottom. These links, as well as section TOCs, are auto-generated based on the hierarchy of our source files. You'll also see that internal cross-references are neatly converted to be links between Jive documents. You'll see version information at the top right of the file: every time we ship a new inline of Jive 8, or add a significant update, we'll overwrite each document in place, preserving any comments and other information just as if we edited and re-saved it manually instead of running a script.



And here's what the nice searchable TOC page looks like. It's auto-generated from the same table of contents file we use for the HTML5 version of the 8.0 Admin docs (but here, it's expanded).





How Does the Magic Happen?

A folder gets added to the DITA Open Toolkit (an open-source library we used to transform DITA XML files into living, breathing docs). This folder is integrated with the toolkit and uses custom XSLT to create a Jive-ready output. We then install an add-on in the destination community that will provide authentication access to post files using the REST API. Finally, we run a build script against the Jive Online Documentation ditamap (a hierarchical list of files that's also used to create our other documentation formats) that builds the Jive-format files from the latest content checked into our SVN repository, and posts them in the destination community.


So, What's the Plan?

Currently, we only have the Jive 8 admin docs out in Community. Ben Walker has connected the typeahead search in Supportal to pop up our Jive-format documentation (along with KB articles) when you start typing a case description, which should get you to relevant docs faster! We already have showing statistics showing Support case deflection based on reading documentation articles.


We also recommend bookmarking the Jive 8 Community Administration Help space for easy searching. The Documentation team monitors this space and will respond to comments on documentation topics, so feel free to put your questions and comments there as well as sharing, bookmarking, and linking these docs in Community.


Deploying multiple versions of the same content in a Jive community is raising some questions about search, but stay tuned for more products, editions, and versions to have docs in Jive soon. Happy reading and keep on Jiving!


We are all members of this community because we believe in and understand the power of social collaboration. We live it and breathe it everyday. I want to share this case study because it puts into measurable numbers the power of an effective digital communications strategy that leverages the corporate intranet.

We all know that people care about money. And they part with it cautiously. Which is why one energy company couldn't understand why employees were not taking advantage of their phenomenal stock option benefits. Employees could scoop up company shares at a 40% discount!

Profits at the company were excellent, international headcount was up, the bottom line for this oilfield concern was gushing - but participation in the stock option program was flatter than a dime.

Employees simply weren’t buying in.


5 benefits in one communication tool

The moribund stock program was troublesome for the energy company because engagement was one of its key values. The leadership felt that investing in shares made employees stakeholders and participants in their own success. The program was well-supported, with a 50-page document outlining the details of the stock program to all 35,000 staff, plus yearly refreshers. Compensation specialists were trained in its workings and features.

What the energy company discovered was that a corporate-y program binder was a poor conversationalist. Teams had been trained to talk up features, but the concerns of employees fell behind.

So the energy company spearheaded a digital education and awareness effort. They placed a 4-question, 7-language, company-wide poll on their intranet which was amplified through an email campaign. They also took their communications offline by maintaining program awareness with face-to-face meetings.  The refreshed program was rolled out in just 3 weeks.



Poll Position: A 28% bump for enrolment

shutterstock_51159553.jpgThe poll blew the doors off!

  • 1,700 new enrollments were registered
  • 950 users increased their commitment


By moving the stock options program information out of dusty binders and into a digital collaboration space, the energy company achieved five goals:

  1. Education - The poll educated employees on the value of the stock option program in a greatly simplified and condensed way
  2. Engagement - Employees could pose questions (and read answers) that were both anonymous and transparent to other employees
  3. Metrics - It boosted awareness across language groups and circled areas where traction was strong or weak
  4. Alignment - It put the organization’s values right on the table. Teamwork. Performance. Learning.
  5. Savings - It saved the company $20,000 in printing costs

A key takeaway here is that the energy company wasn’t foisting a disliked idea on unwilling workers. The stock option program was generous and supported. The program wasn’t the issue, just the delivery of it.

Has anyone experienced something similar -- where your company or anyone you know tried to launch an initiative and its results only skyrocketed once it was brought into a social space?

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