Entries from February 2009 ↓

Internal Brand Ambassadors

Recently, Chuck Hollis wrote about discovering an army of EMC ambassadors on Twitter, and I shared a comment with him about how I really enjoyed the organic growth of passionate people into a new realm.  If you read Chuck’s blog at all you’re aware of EMC’s methodology for encouraging social media use among its employees and the importance of our internal community site in that process.  As I was reading some posts on EMC|ONE this morning I realized that while we spend a lot of time talking about how we’re all ambassadors for our brand to the Internet at large, we really haven’t talked about how we’re all internal ambassadors of our employment brand (our culture) to the rest of our employees.

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Sticking together, revisited

In the past, I’ve written about how we’re all in this together.  As I read the news these days, I think it’s appropriate to revisit the topic.

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Seven people to follow on Twitter

(While I am focused on Twitter in this post, you can easily adapt this to blog subscriptions or other social networking activities)

You might wonder how I can list just seven people to follow on Twitter.  I can’t — I lied in the headline to draw you in.  Sorry (not really).  Instead, I’m going to suggest seven types of people you should follow on Twitter, and explain what I mean.

You should follow people who are:

  1. What you are: think about the roles you play in life (manager, writer, father, husband, hiker, EMC employee, etc.) and follow people who also play those roles. They will talk about things you find interesting, and pass along links which you probably want to read.  You’ll build a network of people who are in similar places as you in life, and that’s very valuable.
  2. Who you want to be: what are your dreams and goals?  Follow people who are achieving them. They will help you understand the reality of their lives, and help you perhaps achieve those goals.
  3. Who you used to be: why live in the past? To participate!  When someone follows point # 2 above and follows you, follow them back. Maybe they want your advice, maybe they don’t, but you’ve figured out something and they want to learn from it, so why not share?
  4. Educating you: there are a few people out there with thousands upon thousands of followers.  You don’t follow them to make friends with them, you follow them to learn from them. They serve to aggregate and distribute information.  Find the ones who talk about the things you are interested in, and keep an eye on them.
  5. Making you laugh: let’s face it, everyone needs a chuckle now and then.  So find someone who pretends he’s Darth Vader, or God, or whatever makes you laugh, and follow.  The worst that happens is you get tired of their shtick and remove them.
  6. Inspiring you: whether it’s a marathon runner, a champion cyclist, or a highly successful author, someone who would probably inspire you is on Twitter right now. You might not learn anything from them in a given day but seeing them in this new medium hour to hour will be a constant reminder of what it is about them you find inspiring.  And who knows, maybe someday you’ll actually make a connection.
  7. Outside your world: there’s so little cost in following someone on Twitter that it would be a shame to limit your network unnecessarily. Find some people who are experiencing a life you have very little background with, and follow them. Get a glimpse into the life of someone in a country you’ve never visited, an industry you’ve never worked in, a hobby you’ve never tried. Keep your horizons a little broadened.

Oh, and it goes without saying that you should follow your co-workers and boss, if that’s applicable :).  Does your employer have a corporate Twitter identity?  Do your competitors?  Maybe this should have been a list of ten … who else did I miss?

Five reasons to “friend” your co-workers (or boss!)

(This same question is raised over and over in different contexts.  Though I’m talking about Facebook the discussion is clearly not limited in scope to that site.)

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably had to make a decision in the past year or two on whether or not to accept a friend request from a co-worker, perhaps even from your boss.  If you aren’t on Facebook, there’s a good chance you’ve overheard people talking about it, who are, and wondered whether you should be there.

If either of those describes you, the time has come.  Go forth and connect … and here’s why.

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Online Overhaul: Knowing my goals

I blogged earlier about my desire to revamp my online habits, how I felt I was lagging behind.  Before investing too much into this, though, it’s best to step back and look at my goals. What do I want to be doing that I’m not? What don’t I want to lose? What is my desired end state? Once I started doing that I thought it would be interesting to share this here, for others who might be tackling a similar situation.

So, in one short statement, I want to be more participatory. I want to spend more time writing, commenting, connecting, and sharing. At the same time, I want to continue monitoring the online world for news and discussions about topics that interest me personally and professionally.

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Casual Friday: In defense of #25Things

If you’re on Facebook at all, you’ve probably seen the “25 Things” meme that’s been floating around. In it, people list 25 random facts about themselves, and suggest that their friends do the same. It’s so popular it was recently profiled (and trashed) in Time Magazine.  Claire Suddath says

Facebook is a loose social network; a “friend” on Facebook might translate to someone you’d barely recognize in real life. I don’t care that my college roommate’s sister is anemic or that my stepcousin’s boyfriend gets nervous around old people.

Ashley Stockett on twitter says

It’s like those email forwards that started circa 1996…”what’s your fav. brand of toothpaste…”

I’m trying to figure out where all the hate is coming from.  When these things went around via email back in the day, it was clearly a massive waste of resources.  The endless chain of forwards basically made sure you never really got to read the lists written by the people you cared about, and you often got emailed from multiple people with subtle variations, etc.  So don’t get me wrong, I always have hated and still do hate meaningless chain emails.  I don’t really like the “tag” mechanism on Facebook for trying to pressure people into writing their own lists (I used “tag” to notify people I mentioned them in my list).  But the activity itself?  It’s awesome.  And here’s why.

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Go prove yourself

I’ve been working on the ControlCenter Online User Community, which I’ve talked about here.  Now it’s time to announce another EMC Community Network, the EMC Proven Professional Community.  My colleague Gina has all the details, and has been involved in working at it for some time now.

Superheroes of Social Media

“Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super … no one will be.”

This quote from Syndrome, in The Incredibles, hits on an idea that’s been kicking around in my head for a few months now.  Whether on an individual or corporate level, lots of entities in the Web 2.0 world probably fit the “super” definition.  They are on the leading edge, engaging in customers, partners, employees, employers, and each other in exciting new ways.  There’s this feeling of being part of an “in club” when you meet up with a fellow employee who is also on Yammer, for example.  A feeling of camaraderie between two employees who connect on Facebook when nobody else on their team uses it.

There comes a time though when everyone’s in the club.  What happens then?
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