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Follow Button.jpgif you are interested.
Track in inbox button.jpg

if you are responsible.


Following

Groups that you are interested in but just want to check out from time to time is the primary reason you would "follow" a group (You can also follow a person or piece of conent).  All of that followed content will show up in your activity stream and you can review it when you like.  You can't "work the stream" like you would a set of read/unread emails so you probably will miss a lot of content.  But your not responsible for the work in those groups (or from those people you are following).  You just want to have an easy way to check out a few posts from time to time as you have a general interest.  So, if it is not critical for you to see every single update and post, then this is a good option.  Conversely, if you must see every piece of content from a person (your manager) or a group that is related to your day job "following" is not enough...read on

 

Track in Inbox

jive inbox button.jpg

Inside every group, profile and piece of content is an "Action item" that looks like the above graphic (Track in Inbox).  Select this if you can not afford to

miss a post, update or comment.  It could be a manager, peer, subordinate or client.  Maybe a group that is for your department or project.  You want to be selective with what content you track in your inbox as you don't want to flood yourself.  Once you start tracking you will then see a number show up in the <Jive> header/banner as shown here.  This is an easy reminder that you have some items to review.  You get the chance to "work your <Jive> inbox" similar to email.  So you can keep items marked as "unread" and come back to them later if you like.,

 

Fine Tuning Your <Jive> Inbox

stop tracking button.jpgEvery now and then a piece of content will hit your <Jive> inbox that seems to take on a life of its own. Comment after comment that don't seem to stop.  Often it is a promotion announcement or life event (marriage, baby) that is followed by 100 "congrats" comments.  You want out!!  The way you can avoid this is when you decided you had enough, simply click on the content and select the "stop tracking" button found in the action bar.  It is in the same location as the "Track in inbox", meaning you will see just one of these button but never both so you can't make a mistake here.  If this piece of content is in a group you were tracking, you still will see all update and posts in your <Jive> inbox.  However, for this particular piece of content, you will not see another post.

 

Social Content has some similarities to managing email but there are many improvements and differences.  With a bit of trial and error you will find what works best for you to maximize business value and reduce the noise.

 

Note if you want to use this....

If you would like to leverage this tip for your own internal community, simply change out the <Jive> references and place your own jive community brand name.  You may also want to change the images if your theme has changed them.  Out of the box, the inbox is called "communications" or "What Matters: Communication" or "Track in Communications".  Many have followed Jive's lead and changed the word "communications" to "Inbox".  So as they say, your mileage may vary. 

 

See you all at Jive World.  Come visit our booth when you are there Social Edge Consulting | Corporate Collaboration

I had planned on speaking about this at JiveWorld 2012, but unfortunately had to bow out. If not the stage - then the blog - here goes! Since the advent of Jive at Swiss Re, since the platform we call "Ourspace" went live in 2009, I've been an advocate of leadership blogging (I personally had actually been blogging for Swiss Re since 2007 - but cumbersome technology stopped me from getting leadership into blogging then). Since then I've talked to our leaders about blogging again and again - here are some of my learnings.

 

Leaders are human beings, too (sometimes hard to believe, but it's true!) - and what applies to you and I applies to them as well. To start with in 2009, I often went with the good ole WIIFM (what's in it for me) approach. I showed them that their traditional leadership communications would be hugely augmented by the use of personal blogging on their part. Here are some of the talking points I went with:

 

  • Engage > with your leadership blog, your communication isn't simply down-down information pushing anymore - it becomes active and open.
  • Empower > wether people comment/interact or not, they see that they CAN and they see others who do.
  • Increase trust > The more openly you communicate, the more employees will trust you.
  • Be accessible > Your blogs gives staff a sense that you're there and that your door is open.
  • Strengthen > With your personal engagement you help foster a stronger community spirit (especially also with dislocated teams)

 

Now, three years later - we have highly prolific C-suite bloggers, we have experts and dabblers and we have many still on the fence. And today I have another arrow in my quiver when talking to leadership about blogging. I can use the lovely "peer pressure". With excellent examples to show, I don't have to claim this and that anymore - I can show them "what happens if" with concrete examples by their very own colleagues. In my talks with dozens of our top leadership, I've picked up a few insights along the way:

 

Not all leaders are born to blog

Some will be naturals, some can be guided to become good at it - and for some the idea of writing personally, of sharing in a more personal way, goes completely against their nature. There's no point in forcing someone into blogging because that person will most likely not engage personally. Employees spot fake blogs a mile off. Some of our top leadership felt compelled to blog because other leaders were successfully doing it. But they had Communications people craft their texts and those texts ended up as polished and corporate-y as traditional email messages. They were read, of course - after all they were still leadership messages - but emotionally, the resulting effect was zero. Best practice is clearly "If you decide to blog, then YOU blog". Blogs should not be polished.

 

Corporate readership is jaded

They've seen the corporate speak a thousand times over. Even though I could fix grammar, typos etc. in leadership blogs - I tend to leave it (unless it's something glaring that makes the blog unclear). Leaving typos etc. in place gives the employee that sense that it's genuine - that the leader actually did write it, that no communications person has crafted and polished ... in effect, it helps to make the leader more human (the usual "we all make mistakes).

 

Size matters

Leaders usually are not born writers. I still regularly preach to them that brevity is what they should strive for. Leaders are comfortable hiding behind lengthy statements, writing out every aspect, 10 paragraphs instead of two. They are used to misusing email this way and they are likely to misuse blogs the same way. But this is online reading - short is great.

 

Don't leave your personality at home

Corporate leaders are, again, comfortable hiding behind corporate speak. Our best leadership bloggers are the ones who bring their personality into their blogs, that share their thoughts, opinions, impressions - "leave the leader out of it and just be yourself" kinda thing.

 

Location, location, location

Different leaders use different places, some use their personal blog (on their profile), others blog on a space - but my best practice is really for leaders to create their own group and center it around their blogging activities. Leaders like to say that their door is always open ... but since most staff is elsewhere in the world ...! For one of our C-suite leaders I've created an Ourspace group - a virtual office - where anyone anytime can come in, read his blogs and ask questions, too. The good thing about groups is that people will join it - which again makes them feel a stronger part of something.

 

Responding to comments

Leaders tend to be pretty busy and are always afraid of getting to many comments - I tell them that they don't need to worry about comments. If there's something I feel they should respond to, it will alert them specifically - it'll make them look good and it'll be empowering to the employee (and all readers) if something is noted and addressed by the leader.

 

Leaders like numbers

Once they get into blogs, they want those blogs validated by numbers of views and comments. Explaining the numbers is important. A topic, an image, a snappy title, the day of the week, the time of day, public holidays etc. etc. can all lead to either 500 or 2000 views. It helps to explain it as low viewer numbers might turn a leader off the idea of blogging. Key is consistency - keep at it, keep the blogs coming and the loyal followership will grow organically. But the numbers will always fluctuate.

 

On we muddle!

Cheers

D

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