For those of you who know me (and my alter ego Mike Mercado), I may have seemed a complete recluse, hiding in the hills above Silicon Valley cursing the fates for my non-designer loincloth and fully gas-powered transportation (so last century). Not completely. But I was banished to a strange place.


Yes, for 18 long, lonely months, I was without Jive, an UN-Jiver <queue GASP>


Armed with only Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, I was forced to share my thoughts with the unwashed masses - mere mortals too caught up in Pan Asian food-selfies to contemplate the power of social media as a means to accomplish real, billable, consumable, actionable, self-gratifying WORK. Yea, there were those articles in LinkedIn, but that was just me faking productivity for the power elite who might read my profile (found here....), and offer a like or a share, or the KING of Acceptance, the Recommendation. But in the end, no commerce, no budget, no sale - just the constant stream of anniversary congratulations and promotional articles written by content robots.


Flash over to Twitter and it's illegitimate step-children, SnapChat and Instagram, and it's the same. I can promote something worthy of a novel, so I'm not a fan of limited communications of 140 characters (or 5 seconds). Speak to me in full sentences, not the choppy world of vowelless words, TLA's, and emoji's. An aging hipster has his limits!


I miss asking a question in a room with no walls, knowing full well that my answer is in the head of someone more versed than me in the topic de jour. This person was willing to commit the ultimate technology sin - SHARING information with a colleague. Actually tens or hundreds of colleagues. Depending on the location and timezone, it was completely likely that I had never met my source - my Deep Throat informant. Yet somehow, this comrade was willing to take the ultimate leap of faith; sharing their expertise and tribal knowledge with a personal stranger, BUT a business brother!


And that is what Jive achieves - bringing thoughts and ideas in the open where fellow Tribesmen/women can digest, discuss, promote, debunk, and ultimately get to a BETTER solution than the hallway conversation that I will never have while working from my home office. Especially if that hallway is in Australia, or Germany, or Chicago, or NYC, or wherever that knowledge is held. Jive was the confidence currency that ideas could be shared (and dammit SHOULD be shared) with like-minded, if slightly more confused people, helping to bring a sense of clarity while promoting community.


Other media promotes the self within a community. The Ego and SuperEgo come to feed here. Who can shout the loudest? Who can give the response equivalent of a mic-drop?


Jive promotes the community and uses thousands of voices to bend an ever asymptotic curve towards an ultimate answer, relying on the weight of the community to refine and rethink. I don't have to lose my voice to make my point - my business brothers and sisters can join the discussion and help guide me towards my business goals and a better answer to my many questions.


This is the power of a social enterprise platform like Jive. It took a year and a half away from Jive (and most of civilization) to help me see the impact, but I think I finally get it.


With Valentines Day, 2016, only days away, it seems appropriate to give my heart to my enterprise software love...


Oh Jive, how I've missed you! Please never leave me again!

Forever Yours..MM