Posts Tagged ibm

Change is the only constant

Posted by on Monday, 10 August, 2015

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It is somewhat of a bitter-sweet day for me:

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Yup, today I officially resigned my ownership of the Notes from Rational Support blog, and all other associated social accounts. I had actually transferred duties to a new team of colleagues over the past month, in part to help cover for me while I vacationed last week, but in a larger part to take the space and bring it to even higher levels of value. But today it all comes to a pivotal point where I’m letting go of my ownership access to the blog as part of my continued transition in to the IBM Internet of Things support organization where I am working on social business strategy and logistics like I did for Rational Support since 2008.

As you may have already noted from prior posts on that blog, I am leaving it in the very capable hands of Denise McKinnon and Naomi Guerrero. I couldn’t be more pleased to leave this institution in their hands, much like Kelly Smith did for me a few years back. Kelly started the blog in 2009, and drove it to great heights in the beginning, so much so that when I took the lead in 2012 (and then the reins when she transferred to newer opportunities in 2013) I was quite daunted and unsure if I could keep the blog as valuable and relevant as Kelly had. Thankfully, I saw the value climb as I pulled in other authors to aid in content creation and to provide deeper technical topics for our clients. This helped us continue the climb in value and finally saw the blog hit and maintain the #2 most viewed blog on developerWorks for the past two years running with over 17 million views to date!

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My pride in what we’ve achieved with that particular blog space is hard to miss, and of course makes it even harder to step away. Even harder still is the fact that it has been part of my daily life since I began helping Kelly in 2010. But, as I noted in my farewell post on Notes from Rational Support and in the title here, change really IS the only constant, and with that I have to acknowledge my time to move on…. Thankfully, I’m not moving far!

While I no longer run the IBM Rational Support social accounts, I AM still involved in social at IBM. More specifically with the IBM Internet of Things support teams. Now I hear you asking… What IS IBM IoT Support? And THAT, my friends, is a great question!

IBM IoT Support is a team of IBMers who are now part of the new IBM Internet of Things organization supporting the tools makers like our clients need to build components and connected devices. IBM IoT Support is focused on helping our audience, the makers, with their product questions by providing content relating to the various products covered by our new division.

Through our focused support of asset management and continuous engineering tools, we are here to provide our clients with the best support in the industry; to help them be successful with the applications and components to ensure your work on the connected devices in the Internet of Things brings you the right value.

To that end I’ve been working the past few months to create a few new social channels like our Notes from IoT Support  blog, our new Twitter account, and our new Youtube channel So you can see, I’m still doing the same job just in a different division of IBM. Of course I still have my hands deep into social support strategy as well as the day-to-day administration and content curation of our social channels and often act as a consultant helping colleagues in similar spaces navigate some of the speed bumps we all encounter in social business. Turns out, that is one of my favourite parts of this job: helping others be successful in their own areas of focus, which I guess is a trait that helps me be successful in my own areas as well.

Social Media; Who’s doing it right? Forrester? The BBC?

Posted by on Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

How about neither?

This week has been fairly busy in the Social Media world when it comes to shakeups. First it was the news that Forrester (an independent market research firm) began telling its analyst employees to either take down or redirect their personal blogs to the Forrester main site (as referenced in the article here: http://thesocialcustomer.com/Home/15561). The idea Forrester was going with here is that market analysis is intellectual property owned by Forrester and that should be under the control of the company. We’ve seen this corporate behaviour before when ESPN cracked down on its employees in the same fashion, stating that “Personal websites and blogs that contain sports content are not permitted” (reference the BrandBuilder blog for more details).

What we are seeing here are corporations overly worried about governance, and looking for the easy way to control perceived property. Rather than embracing the employees who are displaying a passion for the industries they represent, allowing them to flourish, and drive forward as thought leaders in their space, these employees are now being constrained and stifled by corporate mandates; driven through the funnel of their governance into a single space where the company has its security blanket of control in full force.

It won’t take a genius to figure out how I feel about that. But that doesn’t mean I want the pendulum swinging to the other end either.

Take today’s news of the new BBC Director -mandating- that all journalists employed by the BBC begin using social media. See Mashable’s coverage here for the story and links to sources: http://mashable.com/2010/02/10/bbc-social-media/

While I appreciate that Mr. Horrocks believes in at least using the content with attribution, I can’t imagine how his staff feel about being mandated to use social media now. Yes, I believe there IS a place for social media in the newsroom. Yes, I think journalists should be paying attention here and not ignoring the information trending through Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etcetera. But I don’t believe that should warrant a mandate either.

Any policies which demand action on any side of the spectrum here are destined for failure; either you will fail at controlling your employees with a tight enough reign, or you will fail to ensure they are engaged in the spaces you want them to be paying attention.

I have said this before about other things (like tattoos, TV shows, or even working from home), but Social Media isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean Social Media is the devil either. People all learn differently, work differently, and consume information differently. When corporations adopt policies allowing their employees the freedom to engage in the venues and areas in which they as individuals find passion, THAT is when you will see great successes. Not everyone will be excited by social media outlets, just like others are not excited by more traditional avenues of content consumption. But when you allow those people with the passion to find their niche, your company will grow as the thought leaders in your industry, and as the communities grow and each individual you employ becomes those respected subject matter experts in their related fields… soon, your clients will see your brand as the knowledge experts.

THAT is something you can not force through policy or mandates. That is only something that can come from the social communities in a purely organic fashion, and only with proper care and cultivation over time. Stifling your employees on EITHER end of the spectrum will not empower them to excel in your controlled space or adopt new methods of working. Empowering your employees happens when you allow them to follow their passions and work in their own ways.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t call out my own company’s brilliant policies surrounding social media involvement. Yes, I work for IBM Rational Client Support as a knowledge manager with a focal role in social media/web2.0 initiatives, and yes IBM has what I consider to be one of the best social media guidelines around: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html

And others seem to share my respect for IBM’s progressive policies, like Olivier Blanchard from his BrandBuilder blog article referenced above, and Casey Hibbard in her article on the SocialMedia Examiner here.

I figure, if a company as large and diverse as IBM can successfully implement such open policies surrounding social media, why can’t yours?

And lastly, a disclaimer as is appropriate: The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions. The words I write are mine and mine alone, please don’t attribute them to any person or company other than me.

A decidedly work centric post…

Posted by on Wednesday, 4 February, 2009

Gasp! Yup, that is me coming up for air…. So what HAS Jason been doing all these months you ask? Let me tell you, from a very highlevel, generic perspective (so as not to totally bore you, I even included pictures!):

Cut for dull explanatory work stuff.