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3 Posts authored by: lindoty

barney fife.jpgI would never tell you how to run your follow-strategy on Jive. Never.


Except that's what I'm about to do.  Yes, I am. And you are free to take my advice, or to leave it. You can roll your eyes, hit the back button, and ignore me altogether. Except I don't recommend that because this is gold right here - Gold. I promise.


I see how some of you do this Jive thing and I love you, truly, but you're doing it all wrong!


I get it - you are tied to your email. Shackled. You have a little Stockholm Syndrome going on - you think you love it.  You think you need it. You think it does something for you that nothing else can do. WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITHOUT YOUR EMAIL?


Well, if you're me, you'd breath a sigh of relief.  Ahhhhh,


Now, it's true, Jive empowers you to decide how you follow content, how you follow people.  You can follow them all in your main connections stream. You can set up custom streams to help segment and organize what and who you follow. You have the ol' Jive inbox where you will get notifications right on the platform. And at the bottom of the list - the LEAST desirable way - is by email notification. Yuck.  Blech.


This blog post is about right-sizing how you follow stuff in order to optimize effectiveness. These opinions are my own based on my experiences in what works best, but I am sure there are millions - maybe billions - of social media people who would stand behind me wearing sunglasses with their arms crossed defensively as if to say "Yeah, what SHE said."  I think I have the right of it (but bear in mind, I usually do think that.)




You should really follow people only in your connections streams.  My default follow of an individual is in my main connection stream.  That means I go to that connection stream to see and read what those people are up to.  It's a casual kind of follow - some weeks I can check in and some weeks I can't. When I have time to visit my connection stream, I often filter down to "status updates only" because that gives me a glimpse of what's going on with the people I follow.


You may want to make a custom stream for some people - maybe those in your department, your peers, those you manage, your boss. That would be OK. I'd support you in that. <nods affirmatively, gives you a pat on your head>  Good job!  There are other custom streams that may be of interest to you. Perhaps key stakeholders or customers. Keep in mind that your connections streams can be set to follow people as well as content (groups, blogs, etc.).


You don't want to follow people in your Jive Inbox or by email notification. My goodness, it makes me cringe to think that someone may be following me by email notification. That means every time I do something on the Jive platform (and let's face it - I do quite a bit) you get notified by email. If I knew who you were, I might think about taking out a restraining order. Nobody needs to follow anyone that closely. Seriously. Go turn off email notifications for any people you follow. For that matter, turn off Jive Inbox notifications too. Do it for me.


Now take a deep breath - it will settle in. You'll go through some withdrawals but you'll thank me in the end. Trust me. You got this.




Following content is a little different. You might follow some content in your streams - either your main connection stream or your custom streams.  But here is where the Jive Inbox comes in handy.  If you want to be notified, choose Inbox. I can't force you to forgo email notifications, but I'm shaking my head disapprovingly if you make that choice. Are you sure? Think about it. Think hard. Don't make me beg.


Content is a broad term. You may follow whole groups, or you may zero in on specific content, down to an individual document.  For example, if you follow a whole group via your Inbox, that means you get notified when something is added or changed anywhere in that group. Perhaps some of you don't want to follow everything in the group so closely, but you want to be notified if an important document - maybe a policy or an issues list - changes. You might decide to follow the group in your connections stream, and the important document in your Jive Inbox. See how that works? Nicely, that's how.


Perhaps there are a few witty and urbane blogs you like. You might want to follow those more closely, such as via Jive Inbox. (Still not recommending email. I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND EMAIL.)  If there is a group you or your team manage, perhaps you do want to follow that group in your Jive Inbox just to be sure you don't miss anything. You get to make that call.


What I'm saying is you need a stratified content-follow strategy. For documents, blogs, or groups you want or need to follow closely, choose Jive Inbox.  If you have one little thing that is uber-critical, like if you missed an update to that group or document the world would quit spinning on its axis, then I will not judge you for following it via email notifications.  But if you are following ALL the content via email notifications, I will judge you so hard. I'll still be your friend - I promise. I'll just try to change you, that's all.


Why, Linda, why? You might be asking yourself. Why do you care so much? Mostly it's because I want you to optimize your effectiveness and efficiency regarding how you use this social-business platform. Secondary to that, I always think I'm right about everything and want people to do things my way - all toward my goal of world-domination. But let's not talk about that one for now.


Here is why.  I think people undermine their effectiveness by setting up email notifications for everything. They get inundated with email - and who isn't already inundated, right? So they will train themselves to ignore those Jive email notifications, maybe filter them over to a folder, maybe they just stop seeing them altogether. They probably promise themselves "I'll get to them later." but they never do, and the email notifications just keep piling up, exacerbating the problem. Eventually, they're so overwhelmed with notifications, we have to send a rescue team of volunteers in to dig them out. Please don't fall victim to this tragedy!


Maybe you're worried that you have too many notifications in your Jive inbox and you'll never catch up there. That's why you went to email notifications originally - to avoid the Jive Inbox. Who wants a 2nd inbox to manage, right?  But see - it's all connected. You need to look at it strategically. 90% of what you follow should probably be in your connection streams.  That would make what comes into your Jive Inbox very manageable and then you won't let the paranoia of missing something force you to resort to email notifications.  It's a thing of beauty, this holistic approach.


Perhaps you wonder why I prefer Jive Inbox notifications to email.  Well, first of all, it keeps a collaborative conversation all together. The message shows up once in my Jive Inbox notification list (with an indicator telling me how many new comments have been added since I last opened it). I can easily mark that one thread read, or scroll through and mark it all my Jive Inbox content read.  And I never have to reply "Please stop copying me in on this!"while trying to keep the murderous tone out of my voice - I can simply click "Hide new activity" for that particular item and - whoosh - I'm out. If I never want to see anything from that particular group or blog again, I can unfollow it or if I just don't want it to notify me, I can change my follow setting from Jive Inbox to connections stream.


I know, I know - you can mark things as read in your Outlook inbox, but you can't unsubscribe from a discussion without requiring other people to take you off their replies. And you can't easily shush a conversation in your inbox unless you're moving things to folders or setting up rules and filters.


OK, I'll stop now. It's too much already. I'm quite sure you fell asleep three paragraphs ago. (You didn't miss that part about my plan to dominate the world, did you? I'm kind of hoping you did - that was a little arrogant of me, plus it's supposed to be a secret plan.)




I know my way isn't the only way and there are a lot of good reasons to do it other ways that I've never even considered. The truth is I wouldn't be very good at world-domination anyway so it's not really a serious pursuit.  Having gotten all bossy up there, maybe the best way forward is to have some dialog - what tactics work for you on how you follow and manage messages on Jive?


Please share. I promise I'll listen with an open mind.

emoticon crowd.jpgI started my online-social-networking life back in the mid-80s before such a term existed. Heck, back then the Internet hadn't yet made it out of the science labs and universities. Windows v3 wasn't yet launched and there was no such thing as the world wide web.  Back then, we used 1200 baud modems and our regular phone lines and we dialed up to local Bulletin Board Systems (called BBS's) because local calls were free and long distance calls were expensive.


I was a BBSer.  I worked for a small computer company, and the technicians were all glorious geeks who opened up this world to me.  I took my 1200 baud modem home to my IBM XT clone with its RGB monitor and I plugged it into the phone jack on my wall.


Back then, we used :-) and ;-) and they didn't automatically turn into and .  Text smileys were all we had, so we got creative with them, and we liked it that way.


In social media today, the graphical emoticons have expanded and number in the many thousands. They are common on instant messaging platforms and other social sites.  Some people love them so much, they make their content rain down with emoticons.  Others - not so much. They see them as unprofessional, even juvenile.


Here is my confession: I love them.  I recently let my freak-flag fly where emoticons are concerned in a blog post on my company's Jive platform. I did it a little tongue-in-cheek (that means I was going for levity, if the phrase doesn't translate globally).  In fact, since I am often going for levity, perhaps that is why I feel the need to use them.  Making a comment with a and making the same comment without the can yield very different results.  I believe in using humor in the workplace and humor can be tricky with written word, so these little images help me not to be misunderstood - not to be taken seriously when I don't intend to be serious.


Following my posting of that blog, a few people commented on use of emoticons. I was all ready to take grief for it, but the response was pretty much positive - people feel they add clarity, even levity.


I'll confess further: I occasionally use them in business emails.  Oh, not emails to customers, not anything official. I wouldn't mind using them more, but I'm conservative in this regard.  I use them to thank someone or say good job or even happy birthday.  I have my own little folder of my favorites:


On the Jive platform at work, people see me use this one a lot, as I am the (self-appointed) queen of our social-network: Iamqueen.jpg


People closer to me have likely seen some of these:

birthday.gifcongrats.gifthank-you-smiley.gifbow.gifcheers.giffeedback.gifhelp2.gifluv.gifpick me.gifplane.gifprettyplease.gifplease.gifwow2.gifsuperman.gif


Some of the ones I love, I don't use at work much, even if they accurately depict my mood in any given moment:

  angry rant.gifbackout.gifbitenails.gifcry.gifbolt.gifdeadhorse.gifnana.giffingerwag.gifrolling pin.gifrunforhills.gifwhistle.gifviolin.giftapfoot.gifsnooze.gifslap.gifpig.gif



You can see how annoying it could be if someone overused them. Where emoticons are concerned, less is more, I think.  Use them sparingly if you're going to use them.


I thought it might be an interesting discussion.  Do you use emoticons on your Jive platform at work? Do others use them? Is there a negative perception of them when they're used? Do they have a place in business?


Sound off! Or just share your favorites - a picture is worth a thousand words, right??

saviorfare.jpgI see you, Jive employees, I see you.


I see you, Community Managers, Marketing Directors, Communications Experts, Engagement Specialists, SEO Consultants, Social Media Developers.  I see you all.


But I am not you.  I am merely a Sourcing person working for a big global company.  I'm not "in" social media.


Or am I?


The truth is, I am.  And that guy over there in IT Services who writes a blog and answers people's questions on the company's Jive internal community? He's in social media.  All of HR have been forced to be in social media whether they wanted to or not because, hey, it's appraisal season!  THE WEIRD GUY IN THE MAIL ROOM IS IN SOCIAL MEDIA, TOO.


And Geoff from Accounting? Well, not yet but watch out - we're coming for you, Geoff!


I'm in Sourcing and I manage an area called Sourcing Operations.  If you have time, I'll take you through a 78-slide PowerPoint deck telling you exactly what that means.  I'm guessing you don't have time - especially now that I've mentioned my PowerPoint deck. It's OK - you don't have to understand my job.  I'll just be over here crying in the corner.  Not even my mom understands my job.


aintnobodygottimie.jpgThe point I want to make (hey! don't rush me - I'm getting there!) is that the tools and processes my team manage touch up to 65,000 employees.  Oh, sure - we offer training sessions and e-Learning and there is a company help desk, but do you think they have time for that? Ain't nobody got time for calling the company help desk.


There was a day when a cauldron of soup cooked all day over the hearth fire. Nowadays, if we can't hit the 1-minute button on the microwave and have hot soup, we write a sternly worded letter to Campbell's, usually in 140 characters or less (fewer).


These days, we have the attention spans of gnats.  It's not our fault - we have so much coming at us so quickly!  Chicken, egg, who knows.  So those of us in the business who are not Communications or Marketing or Community Management or SEO Optimization Specialists - we're in social media too, because business is social.


Social media - it's ubiquitous!  (But you guys already knew that, because you're so smart!)


(See, Mom? All that time you said I wasted on Facebook and Twitter - it all paid off!)


The truth is I'm shocked you're still reading this.  What's up? Are you waiting for a venti mocha skinny no-whip vanilla latte with your name on it to be passed up onto the counter? Is that how I've gotten your attention for so long?  No worries - I'll not look a gift horse in the mouth.  (If you think I just called you a horse, I respectfully say neigh - I did not. But we have gone off track and I bet you'd like me to rein it in.) (See what I did there?)


The point of this blog is to say I'm not one of you, but I am, and that's why I'm here.  While I may not have any of those fancy social-media words listed above in my job title, I need to be able to reach people, connect with them, engage them, and so I am in social-business.  Just like you.


Hi, my name is Linda Doty and I work in social media. My mom still won't understand what that means, but you do.


Nice to meet you!





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