Louis Richardson 120000HRWE email@example.com | | Tags:  email connections social-software collaboration | 1 Comments | 2,958 Visits
As a Social Business Evangelist, I speak to a number of audiences and one topic that probably gets the most responses is my mention of how going social has enabled me to empty my inbox each day. I've asked many audiences what they “feel” when I mention the word “email”. Most responses are of the nature of “overwhelmed”, “burdened”, sighs of despair and occasionally expletives not appropriate for print. So how does social software help alleviate our email burden?
My first awareness that it was even possible, was several years ago. I found a YouTube video "Inbox Zero" with Merlin Mann. It was a great start for processing my email. But it was only one part of the equation. It takes care of the processing of the email that arrives, but what about changing the amount of email you need to process...and I'm not talking about using just filtering. Social software has assisted in changing the amount of email as well as the place where the conversation occurs. So, first, start with Merlin's “inbox Zero” concept, then...
consider what generates email.
After speaking at a conference recently, I received an email by someone in attendance that asked for details on my comments regarding keeping my inbox empty. This email was a question. One like many that you and I receive on a daily basis. When we see these, we know we need to respond. This is where the social behavior kicks in. In which way should you answer?
Is this a question that is likely to be asked by others? Or is this a question that is probably a “one off” or just between a few select people for a short period of time. Let's say you get an email asking “What are you doing tomorrow?” Then it might be best to reply in email (or better yet best asked and answered with instant messaging). However, if the question could reach further, for instance, “What is the sales plan for Q2?”, then you should consider “going social”. Instead of responding in an email, put your answer out in your social network. If it's something like this sales plan, maybe it's a document in your Connections Files. If it's a narrative (like this one), then a blog might be appropriate. Then you simply send the link to the person with the question. That's not so hard....but it's not where the magic happens. The next person that asks the same question, they get the link. Now fast forward two weeks. You go to the file you posted and you find that 100 people have downloaded the sales plan and several have commented. That's 98 emails you didn't get. 98 emails you didn't have to “inbox zero”. They never got to your inbox. Viola...now you see them, now you don't.
I've seen email threads that should have been called spools. Someone asks you to do something. It's going to involve a number of people. You add their names and respond. They individually respond and add others as they see necessary. If this goes like most, soon you have an email snowball that has engulfed anyone close enough to get pulled into it's gravitation field. Stop the insanity...go social.
You get an email asking you to do something that will involve others or multiple steps, use Connections Activities. This can be as simple as dragging the email into your Notes sidebar onto the Activities widget. This will create a social activity. Once done, you can add tasks and items to the activity. You can assign people and add content. Your actions will generate short email alerts to those involved, linking them to the activity, where the conversation takes place. The emails are merely announcements with links. The real conversation is done outside the inbox. Now if anyone joins late, they aren't relegated to pouring through an email thread to try to discern relevant information. Instead, they find themselves in a social activity that is structured such that the information is easily found and acted upon.
Think about it. How many times have you been asked for information that you know you've answered already and you go searching about through your email inbox and archive to locate the email response you authored so you can cut/paste it to the new requester? What about those in your organization who leave and their email inbox has become the repository of their knowledge? It's most likely lost to the remainder of the organization. Instead, go social, put your conversation and your knowledge in your social network where you and other can easily find and reuse it.
While this isn't directly related to keeping
your inbox empty, it is a benefit of taking your conversations outside of
email. Think about a time when you were on the fringe of a larger conv
Take this blog posting itself. I could have just answered the email. Instead I've posted this blog. Not only that, but I've posted it where others will be able to also find my answer. And most importantly, I've posted it in a social context of this community where I hope others will add their perspective and comments...both in support and in rebuttal if necessary.
Lastly, I have to pay tribute to my IBM friend, Luis “I can live without email” Suarez Rodriguez, who has forgotten more about this topic than I'll ever know. But I waited to the end of this posting to do so, otherwise you would have just jumped over to Luis' postings without reading mine.
Enjoy yourself. Be a culture change catalyst.
Louis serves as a Social Business Evangelist for IBM and can be reached at Ric
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  event lotusphere special collaboration lotus discount registration | 0 Comments | 1,551 Visits
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com | | Tags:  social news collaboration roundup social-news-roundup social-business | 0 Comments | 1,714 Visits
Last month, at the IBM Center for Social Software, IBM hosted a group of bloggers who are nationally recognized for their expertise in enterprise 2.0 and social. Bill Ives published a third post on IBM's social software efforts honing in on IBM's Research project Social Lens. His second blog post recapping the media event was also reprinted at The App Gap.
IBM has taken a novel approach through its experimental application, Social Lens. I recently attended a media session at IBM and got a demo of the Social Lens application among others. ....I really like what they are doing here. It offers the user a role and then makes use of what a computer can do best to amplify the user’s selections.
CMSWire published an article recapping Jeff Schick's remarks on the collaborative imperative of social business during the Alfresco Developers Conference.
IBM’s social collaboration strategy is based upon the principle that people can drive collaboration and information. Inside IBM, there is the opportunity for human centric indexing. What people say and think is important and can make order out of volumes of info
CMSWire also published an article on Gartner's Magic Quadrant results for Social Software in the Workplace.
First things first: Gartner's top dogs of 2009 — Jive, IBM and Microsoft — retained their positions in the "Leaders" quadrant this year with no added company, while the same went for Atlassian and Open Text in the "Challengers" block.
And on the business partner front, CMSWire (again!) published an article about Entropysoft’s new connector for Lotus Connections, which allows users to connect to third party applications.
Providing connections between just about any third party application and Lotus Connections, the new connector has complete read and write abilities for a whole range of social media including blogs, communities, wikis and collections.
Over in Australia, business and trade media reported on IBM's announcement around survey results that indicates email creates workplace stress. The news helps drive visibility for IBM in Australia and the benefits of collaboration tools in an organization. The announcement reads "Although email is pervasive, most managers would like to see more collaboration tools available in their organisations."
Luis Benitez 120000JC6S Luis_Benitez@us.ibm.com | | Tags:  roi connections adoption enterprise2.0 forrester video youtube business-value social-software lotus-connections analyst collaboration | 0 Comments | 2,710 Visits
Forrester recently selected the winners of the Groundswell Awards and two of the winners are solutions powered by IBM's Social Software Platform: Lotus Connections. You may remember that I spoke about how CEMEX was nominated for a Forrester Groundswell Award? My colleague, Martha Mealy, mentioned it last week, but I wanted to highlight it here again.
CEMEX was faced with the challenge of a globally distributed workforce, multiple languages, and multiple timezones. In the video below you'll see Gilberto García, Director of Innovation at CEMEX, talk about how they started to look at their internal culture and ask the question: "How can we change the culture of our company?"
To become more agile, CEMEX created Project Shift, where not only they deployed an internal social network, but their social collaboration platform is now their intranet!"
I was pretty impressed by their adoption rate:
I also liked his last quote: "It can make a big company feel like a small company". That's definitely my feeling as I use Lotus Connections internally every day at a company with over 400,000 employees. And guess what? CEMEX's stock price has skyrocketed recently. Could this be related?
In the B2B Category for Supporting, Forrester named IBM the winner for its implementation of Lotus Connections over at developerWorks. My developerWorks has calculated an ROI of over $100 M in annual savings by leveraging the Lotus Connections platform as its core for supporting over 8 million users worldwide. The site currently receives 1 million visitors / month.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  collaboration sametime ibm-quickr e2conf lotus-connections ibm-connections ibm platform software quickr lotus-quickr social lotus-sametime ibm-sametime connections ucoms lotus-knows | 0 Comments | 2,242 Visits
Market Segment Manager
IBM Collaboration Solutions
We've been busy at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference this week, and with Monday's announcement of Connections 3.0 and social business services, that we haven't even updated this, our official social collaboration blog! We have some more work to do as the conference is only in Day 2, but we've already seen a lot of great tweets and blog posts over at the IBM Social Media Aggregator. And there's more to come. In the meantime, share with us some of your thoughts on how the conference is going for you, what you liked (or didn't like) about the Announcement of Connections 3.0, or share some links in the Community.