Reviewer's Guide, which details out all the major capabilities!Interested in learning what's in Lotus Connections 3? Take a look at our
IBM Social Software
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 472 Visits
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G email@example.com Tags:  ibm-connections social-software 519 Visits
read of CEMEX recently in the news as a winner of the Forrester Groundswell Award for "Shift", their popular social collaboration platform build on IBM Lotus Connections. In this video, Gilberto Garcia, Innovation Director at CEMEX, discusses the motivation for social software, their adoption metrics, and the impact of social in the CEMEX environment.You may have
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 478 Visits
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G email@example.com Tags:  ibm-connections social-software 800 Visits
Best Practice: Online Business Network connect.BASF
View more presentations from BASF.
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 458 Visits
Lotus Connections Learning Widget. The Lotus Connections Learning Widget is a free widget that can be deployed directly to the Lotus Connections Homepage and it includes reference cards, online self-paced courses, demos videos, and product tours. Read the interview and then download and install the widget today!Today, we share an interview with IBM's Sharyn Richard. Sharyn works in the Information Development Center (IDC) and works on the team that maintains the
What's your role in the IDC team?
I am a Multimedia Architect responsible for creating multimedia to help our customers learn how to use our products. In this role, I look at how our customers can access our multimedia (through the product user interface, through the Lotus product wikis, through the Learn Lotus site, and through the Learning Widgets).
When and why was the Learning widget created?
The Learning Widget was originally created as a Learning Plug-In for Lotus Sametime in 2007 by a now-retired IBMer. It was first released to customers as a Lotus Notes plug-in in 2008, and then re-released using a widget architecture in 2009. We currently have Learning Widgets available that work inside four products: Lotus Connections, Lotus Notes, Lotus iNotes, and Lotus Symphony. The Lotus Learning Widgets provide "just right" training and information for users right in their product allowing them filter and find videos, reference cards, tutorials and "what's new" information.
Do you know how many customers are using it?
We make the Learning Widget available from the Lotus product wikis, and our metrics show 550 users have viewed the Connections Learning Widget page in the last 3 months since it released, 2,200 users have viewed the Symphony Learning Widget page in the past 15 months since it released, and over 40,000 users have viewed the Notes Learning Widget page in the last 2 years since it released.
What are customers saying about it?
Customers love the Learning Widget! It provides their users with a place to view learning materials right from within the product. It helps make users more productive using Lotus products, and can reduce calls to help desk support.
Lotus Connections 3.0 was announced last week. Will new 3.0 content be available soon?
The Lotus Connections 3.0 videos and other learning materials will be added to the Learning Widget within the next ~20-30 days.
Once the new content is available, what's the effort to upgrade the learning widget so that it contains the new 3.0 specific content?
Here's the good news: If you install the Learning Widget now in your Connections 3.0 environment, you will automatically get the new content when it becomes available. You won't have to do a thing!
Wow! That's pretty cool. What's next for the learning widget?
After customers tell us that they love the Learning Widget, they tell us that they see so much potential for extending the Learning Widget to include their own custom learning materials. So, we are currently developing an application for customers to host the Learning Widget on their own servers and add their own content for their users.
Is there a demo of the Learning widget somewhere?
Yes, here is the demo:
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G email@example.com Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 282 Visits
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 392 Visits
One of the key design points of social software revolves around this design â€œanchorâ€�...and that is, social, in general is itself NOT a destination. It's in the very fabric of the things we do, the destinations we go, the tools we use.
A concrete, if â€œold fashionedâ€� example of this (and I know you'll cringe with the technology choice here, but bear with me) is the simple web site action â€œEmail thisâ€�. You go to your favorite news website, read a story and it's there, â€œEmail thisâ€� or â€œEmail this to a friendâ€�...you go to a cooking website, read a recipe and there it is...and so on. Simple. You are in some destination and with one simple gesture, you have this touch point into your social world. The web site you're on doesn't need to know one damn thing about you, and it can give you this simple gesture which ties their content into your social network.
Of course, there are more â€œstate of the artâ€� things on these websites too, like â€œDigg thisâ€�, â€œTweetâ€�, not to mention letting you Recommend on Facebook and more...really useful, really easy.
Of course, there are lots of other patterns too, but rather than turn this blog into an inventory of the various adopted social software patterns out there, I want to bring our focus to Connections and it's Social Everywhere patterns.
The Business Card.
If you've used Connections you've seen it. On every page wherever a person's name appears in Connections, you can mouse over that name, and you'll see a tool tip - â€œClick here to view business cardâ€�. You click it and voila, you see a business card for that person, like this;
Contact information, photo (ain't he handsome?), and then the social threads for this person...
And here's the cool thing you may or may not know about this nifty little card...if you have connections you can very easily incorporate the business card into any html page you've got.
Here we have a div of class vcard, the microformat the semanticTagService.js is looking for, and when it finds it, it looks for the identifier, in this example, we are using the email address, called out by the span of class â€œemailâ€�. This is what ties the name to the unique information so that the business card for this person is invoked from the Connections Profiles server.
That's it. Two simple things that you add to people's names on any web page and you have added the Connections Business card to your web page. Social Everywhere now touching your web page from your Connections deployment. Cool, huh?
So two things here â€“ first, I want to hear ideas about other ways we should start thinking about this, out of the box kinds of things...and second, no worries, I plan on writing a series of blog entries to show you more and yes, there are a bunch more ways Connections provides Social Everywhere functionality.
And remember, this is really how social software works best, not as a place you go so much as the glue or fabric of the universe you live in. Stay tuned, I will follow on with more examples like this in upcoming blog entries AND I'll also start talking about new ideas we'll bring to this core concept of social software.
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G email@example.com Tags:  ibm-connections social-software 479 Visits
Go to Bookmarks, and then do a search. I did a search for "Soccer" and got back a list of results...like this
Scrolling to the bottom of the page, I see a link, How to Embed these Bookmarks...
clicking it gives me this nifty little UI
Ok, one more thing to look at here - go to a view in Connections - you'll see this little gem everywhere -> or in general, "Feed for these
Yea, the whole thing is wired to use Feed Syndication - and this means you can grab these things and put them into a feed reader of your favorite choice. That's cool, so I can hook up my daily feed habit of checking stock prices, news items, my favorite soccer team and also add all my connections action here too...but there's even something more interesting here...
The Feed format supported in connections, is ATOM and this is the object model that connections uses to represent all of it's objects - ATOM is just a special form of XML, a really simple object model language. So, if you can write some code and you get your hands on an ATOM parser (or XML parser, or roll your own)...you can read all manner of Connections object data. Go here to learn more about this... http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/ltscnnct/v2r0/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.connections.25.help/welcome.html
Now, I've been thinking about a lot of different ways we can continue with this idea - in next week's entry, I'll elaborate on these thoughts - and meanwhile I'd like you to think about it to...because I really want to hear your feedback about what areas/features you'd like to see brought to the light of Social Everywhere so you can make use of them.
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 1,410 Visits
We talked about the business card and bookmarking embedded links. These represent two important design patterns.
First, the business card. This represents three key design concepts - first that a person can be "represented" via this notion of a self-contained card and is tied to some artifact on a page that uniquely defines that person (Display name or email address). Second, that the card shows a concise "abstract" of information/meta-data for the object it's tied to, in this case a person, and you can see things like the picture, and contact information for that person. Finally, the third concept has to do with the links that appear on the card - making the card a "navigational pivot". This pivot let's someone inspect something on a page (a person in this case) and learn a little about them and then follow threads out from this point to some related point, pivoting on the "person".
To summarize, the patterns are;
1. Encapsulated Card
2. Meta-data content view in the card
3. Navigational Pivot centered around the object represented by the Card
Now, where else could we make use of these kinds of patterns?
For me, I think there are one, possibly two really useful ones. And they stem from this first implementation of the card...
A Community card - this would be great for things that surface that have a relation to a community - like, search for Forum topics with the phrase "Gruyere" and a bunch of results come back...one would be Forum Topic, my favorite cheese and an icon, "Community Forum". Imagine that you could hover over that icon and get a Community card, just like the business card for a person.
What should that Community card have in it? And the links?
Now, while we're on this card concept, are there other "entities" that deserve a card? One that gives you some contextual information and links out to the things related to this "entity" - certainly things like "Business Units", "Corporations", and "Organizations" would seem to fall into this category. Can you think of any others?
Ok, the second pattern. The bookmarks embedded links reflect two basic concepts. First a list of content items and second, customized query - related to a keyword or tag. Even though this was something that came from Bookmarks, in essence, since so much of the user interaction with Connections comes in the form of lists of things, this concept could really be expanded to include information from any service. And could be used in one of two ways, either as a way to add/enhance information on some page with data from the Connections social universe OR as a way for someone to pay attention to concepts/topics/trends that they are interested in. And all we have to do to capture this provide a simple html list, going against one of the list views of any of the connections service, and optionally add some keyword or tag specifier. The applications of this seem endless - what do you think are the most compelling? Forum topics? Communities? Files? Wiki Page? Blog Entries? Blog Comments? Entries from your favorite Activity? The membership list of your community?
To summarize, the pattern here is;
1. html list that is dynamically composed for items from a service
2. optionally can have keywords or tags associated to "scope" the list
Ok, we didn't talk about this Social Everywhere aspect in a previous entry, but I want to bring it up. If you've used Connections you may be aware of the "Bookmarklet" browser plugin. It's really cool in that it has a couple of "features" - First, installation, just go to the Tools link which you can find in the footer of any Connections page. Here I went to the public IBM connections service, and at the bottom of that page it's been renamed "How to Bookmark"
Click that bad boy and you'll see this
you simply drag a drop the thing into your browser..and then, on ANY web page you click that tool bar button and you'll get prompted to save the bookmark, as shown here
it even pre-populates the form with title and url...and then you can save it to one or more places in connections...anyway, what's cool is this is another pattern of the Social Everywhere idea. Now we've given this to users of Connections by enabling it in the footer and then letting users install...and it allows them to connect any URL to their social world...this is a pattern we've seen a lot, with many of the popular social computing sites - think about when you read a news item on some website ,invariably they've got these "share" icons that let you push links and comments into your favorite social software tool...and this is exactly the same pattern here.
So, what else could we do with this "bookmarklet"...well, a hell of a lot, right?
Here's some of my thoughts - first, connect up the URL with a tiny URL service to get a tiny url, and then, instead of Bookmark you can post a Profile Status message including this tiny URL....and even, as a side effect, also save the URL into bookmarks, etc. Another - call this thing "Discuss this" and you'd start a Discussion Topic in your favorite Forum and it would also include a link to reference this thing, or "Create a blog entry for this", or, Start an Activity for this...etc....the list goes on and on..., Now this is a really cool way to bend the bookmarklet idea into a more universal kind of tool.
Cool huh? Ok, let's hear what you have to say on all of this...tell me your ideal Social Everywhere action, application, thought...
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G email@example.com Tags:  social-software ibm-connections 334 Visits
Suzanne Livingston 110000F23G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  ibm-connections social-software 462 Visits
We're looking forward to sharing with you a set of Social Everywhere tools and use cases you can leverage now and in the future. Joe Russo will be leading a series of design blog posts on the topic, and you can follow them here and also using the tag "social-everywhere".