Welcome to JC and the wonderful world of #cmgr (if this is your first gig). I'm sure Max Calderon will be along real soon to show you around.
One way you might use custom streams (an idea from Josh Richau via Oudi Antebi) is to set up a custom stream for stuff you want to check every few hours (from any place or person), then another stream for stuff you need to check at least once a day, then another for stuff every few days etc. This could make you feel more in control However this is probably good advice for regular users rather than a community manager who really should read everything, everywhere if that's possible - but you don't need to always respond as that will dissuade your community from jumping in. In that role I tend to live in the Activity Stream so I see everything and need fewer custom streams (and I pretty much follow everybody).
Then the next thing for users to master, once they've got connections stream and custom streams set up, is to understand how Hide lets them fine tune the traffic. You don't say which version you are on but as we start to use add-ins to streams in 7.0 in places then it becomes more important for a particular user to be able to mute selected activity that is not of interest to them. See https://community.jivesoftware.com/ideas/4431
Excellent, thank you for your input. At least now I have a better idea on how to use it
Uses here can really range, but I think primarily that custom streams can be broken down in to three methods:
- Time/importance (as John described above)
- Based around trying to segment streams on level of importance or required frequency of surfing. Ones to check every hour, every day, every week, etc.
- I think this is more common for a community manager or power user. As John touched on, a CM definitely wants to see or be aware of a large majority, if not all content and conversations going on in the community. This allows someone the ability to absorb content at scale (required skills: skimming/fast reading, organizational knowledge)
- Project based streams
- I've recommended breaking these out based on big projects and following the cross-functional teams and places to each stream.
I always recommend having these two to three essential streams, regardless of the above focus:
- Executives - follow only your executives to this stream. This keeps you up to date on your relative or global leadership team and strategic decisions
- Peers/Direct team - follow only your team, your working group(s), your manager to this stream
- Email watches - for folks still highly attached to their email inbox, this is the best way to track things that are truly important
One of the most common things I've run in to between my sales enablement role and my current with both Jivers and customers is folks following people to their inbox.
I always recommend - Do not follow people to your inbox - not even your manager!
Following a person to your inbox not only floods a person's Jive inbox, but with default email preferences floods email inbox too. This is one of the strongest ways to deter engagement, and so I always recommend to follow places or content to an inbox, or a user's blog - never a user. As much as you may love some of your coworkers, you don't necessarily need to be updated on every like, comment, update of a version, status, etc. This forces people to really use the platform and not rely on their email inbox for updates from a platform they now do not have to engage in.
Just saw the spritz thing last week and I'm psyched about it -- that approach will make reading on small devices SO much easier! Especially as wearable technology becomes more popular. Reading an email on your watch? No way unless something like this was in place.
Having said that, I definitely agree with Max and I tell people ALL the time not to set up email notifications. Inevitably, they do and then they just filter or ignore them and get overwhelmed and disengage. They are holding on more tightly to that than my grandma held onto her handbag, though. I can't pry it away from them.
I follow groups my team monitors and manages (customer-facing) to my Jive inbox. I follow people only to connection streams. I follow a few blogs I like to my Jive inbox too. Nothing - NOTHING - is sent to me via email. It defeats the purpose. I'm glad Jive gives the option for people to get it as they wish, but I sure wish they were savvy enough to set it up in an EFFECTIVE way instead of a paranoid-and-disengaging way.
I feel a blog post coming on...
At last week's New York user group meeting, Oudi Antebi suggested that the best way of organizing custom steams is by prioritisation (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly) to Max Calderon's point earlier. Apparently this is best practice at Jive. I haven't tried this yet. My streams are currently set by groups of people; internal clients, social peeps, leadership team, etc.
He also suggests following groups, not people.
- Time/importance (as John described above)