Posts Tagged sharing

Blue Galaxy and the future of business

Posted by on Wednesday, 22 May, 2013

IMG_5434 Blue Galaxy is an IBM idea (as @kellypuffs says in her developerWorks article: a project, movement, community, initiative; or as I say just a cool thing) to connect the subject matter experts inside and outside the firewall with others who can benefit from those connections.

I was lucky enough and honoured to have been selected as one of the first Blue Galaxy stars (and have my very own poster as seen below) to help drive the idea and enable people on the ground to really begin participating in solid social conversation. Mind you, I wasn’t selected to lead or drive from a formal project management perspective. Rather, like all of the other Blue Galaxy stars, we were chosen because we lead by example: not only can we talk about how to play in the social spaces and make the most out of the amazing capabilities to connect with some seriously cool and smart people, but we’re all walking the walk as well. Leading by example, showing everyone what can be accomplished in these spaces, really driving our own successes and IBM’s successes at the same time; that’s what makes everyone who’s part of Blue Galaxy a star.

Social business isn’t about marketing. It isn’t about driving sales. It isn’t even about improving efficiencies or bypassing convoluted process. It is about connecting people with other people to achieve mutually beneficial successes: that is social business, and that is what Blue Galaxy does.

Blue Galaxy brings together the right subject matter experts in the right channels to ensure widespread success across all clients, brands, and disciplines around the globe by simply sharing our expertise where it can be helpful and add value. I’m humbled and honoured to be involved in such an amazing initiative and to be able to attend IBM Innovate 2013 as a Blue Galaxy star and share my passion for social business.

But don’t let this fool you, this isn’t just an IBM thing… the ideas behind it are relevant to anyone who has expertise in their field and can share in the social spaces. While the Blue Galaxy moniker is IBM specific, the concepts and capabilities involve us all regardless of affiliation. If you’re a tech writer, you have expertise and knowledge to share. If you’re a long-haul trucker, you have expertise and knowledge to share. From a farmer to software developer, we all have knowledge in our realm of expertise which can be shared and help bolster successes across disciplines and in turn help us further our own successes as well.

Call it hippie2.0, but the successful businesses of the future will be the socially enabled, open, transparent businesses which share their expertise and knowledge with the world.


Improve your personal digital eminence by adding value

Posted by on Monday, 15 April, 2013

IMG_0962I’ve written on this topic before and in multiple spaces. I first touched on the idea back in January 2011 with this post over on the Notes from Rational Support blog: On Personal Digital Eminence. In that post I set for a simple call to action for “both IBMers and the public alike: Get out there and distinguish yourself in your space”. Many of you heeded that call, saw the value, and have begun sharing more in the social spaces and really building your own eminence, even taking the more specific actions of claiming your own name space to improve your digital eminence!

Today, rather than selling you on the value of creating your online eminence and thought leadership, I want to talk to you about a single small refinement that has the largest impact when sharing online.

One of the key items in the IBM Social Computing Guidelines is the idea of “adding value”. This means asking yourself before posting if this is going to add any value to the conversation, or if it will add value by creating a conversation worth having. Now, I think most of us can rationalize some sort of value into nearly everything we post today, so I’d like to touch on how to improve this notion of “value add”.

The single most effective and easiest way to add value is to provide some sort of context or commentary when sharing any link. Have you see people share only a link with no other text around it? How often have you clicked on those links? I’m willing to say rarely to never. You may also be thinking that most of what you reshare from others is self-explanatory; and in many cases it quite well could be. But, unless it is an eCard meme, I’m guessing there’s value you can add to anything you share or reshare… especially if you are sharing in a more professional context. Let’s take the following example which shows how I added value to a share that was already potentially self-explanatory:

In the example below, Susan shared Robert’s post on G+. Since I don’t follow Robert, Susan’s share gave me immediate value as the content was interesting to me… but when it comes to resharing, how could I add even more value to Robert’s post and Susan’s share? Simple: I added my own perspective as to why this post has value for me:

gplus_context_share    .

Adding your own insights or context does a few things to add value here: One, it provides a reason for your audience to pay attention and click-through to the link or content you found interesting enough to share. Two, it begins to build up your own digital eminence as people begin to understand your views and insights on what interests you. And as a third tangential benefit, adding context and commentary like this surfaces you in Google search results lending even more weight to your personal digital eminence.

Don’t believe me? Need a real world example? Try Google searching on the phrase “digital eminence” and you’ll find that my content is not only one of the top 3 results, but two of the highlighted images are also from my own posts. Results which have come directly from adding value when sharing these posts from myself or by others.

If you want those same kind of results (or better) for yourself start adding your own commentary and context to the content you share. Soon, you’ll find your own name popping up in search results like this too! It really is the single easiest and best way to build your own digital eminence around the topics which interest you… you’ll thank me when a hiring manager does some quick searches and hires you into that new role because YOU show up in the results.


The ethical treatment of data

Posted by on Wednesday, 11 July, 2012

Subtitle: When shared public records are no longer lost to time.

With great freedom comes great responsibility. – Eleanor Roosevelt 

A published author and long-time friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to the following article noting that, as a writer, she was elated to have access to such a great resource for research and to help reveal a plotline she is presently working on:

Are Police Records Available to the Public Online?

From the article:

“Police files are retained indefinitely as they are loaded onto electronic databases and can be accessed by a person even if they date back to the 1800’s. The best way to find old police files is through online sources; that will give you comprehensive and accurate details. Once a person has been convicted of a criminal offense; this will remain on the person records until it is cleared. These records have invaluable information concerning a person and can be used as a source when doing a background check.” Article Source:

In one perspective, this is an absolutely fantastic resource, for writers or anyone needing information relating to police records. But, all nefarious purposes aside, I can also see how this same data could become problematic, even if used with only the best of intentions or needs. In the original Facebook post I commented: “Imagine as a photographer, I am improperly arrested for photographing a protest (a common occurrence these days, many examples exist of this). Even though I am well within my rights and have done nothing wrong, I may now have a long-lasting record which was outside of my control or any wrong doing. That information could now adversely affect my ability to be hired given the commonality of companies using Google to research applicants.”

From my perspective, as someone who works in social business and sees article after article depicting the perils of over-sharing, I can see the long-lasting memory of the internet causing problems when data like this is not treated ethically. Long before the internet, this information was at best obfuscated from general public visibility via physical access to the records, and even though it is public information, the general populace would not be likely to see it, even when doing background checks. Now, with the ease of access brought to us via the internet, we no longer need direct physical access to the records to find the information. While this provides for much better transparency, it also provides for interesting dilemmas surrounding how the data is maintained.

Gone are the days of easily forgotten youthful indiscretions, escalated misunderstandings, or wrongs eventually righted and then easily moved past. Thanks to archival sites, even if a record is expunged, that information can still be found and intentionally or unintentionally misused. At the very best it can taint perception with the fruit of knowledge not intended to have remained public. Unlike inappropriate Facebook posts that have caused detriment to individuals’ continued employment, these public records are outside of our direct control and can cause damage to wholly innocent parties as in my all-too-common photographer example(s) above.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you likely know that I take very deep and personal ownership over my words, as well as any damages which they may inflict or for which I am culpable. I own everything I post and accept the ramifications of my words or actions. What, however, can we do when confronted with misinformation or items that have remained long past their relevancy outside of our own control? Reaction is, by definition, after the fact; typically long after the damage has been done. What previously may have been a simple youthful mistake lost to the winds of time can now haunt you until your dying day.

As we move forward into this new world of ready access to information both historic and present, the freedom of such access demands great personal responsibility in how we both consume and reshare it out. The world has changed, my friends; no longer can we ignore the complexities of life for the ease of assumption. It is up to each one of us to become more critical thinkers in our daily lives and consciously look to all sides of a given situation before judging others or ourselves. Each of us now own the responsibility to handle information in a more mature, intelligent way; understanding the potential ramifications and our own culpability if we do not.

Beyond our own personal ownership of action and words, we must also strive to ensure that our information is also treated ethically and with respect when it is in the hands of corporations and governments. This means doing all we can to protect not only ourselves, but others when sharing online in the form of social networking, or granting unfettered access to public information in searchable databases. As citizens of the corporate world and citizens of the global internet, it is our great responsibility to protect the great freedom which we have built and entrusted to ourselves.

In the particular police files example above, this may mean potentially restricting search engine access to the data, protecting the details behind vetted access permissions. It means ethical content curation is even more essential now than ever.

The ramifications of this information being hosted online can be widespread and must be ethically dealt with to ensure the long-term effects of short-term data are properly mitigated or wholly avoided.


image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by Vectorportal