E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

The Greater IBM Connection – Bringing Social Networking to the IBM Enterprise

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine, Jack Mason, invited me to check out a new IBM initiative that is coming up later on this year (Around September / October timeframe) and which is supposed to bring social networking into the IBM enterprise. But with a twist. Indeed, the actual initiative is called The Greater IBM Connection and right at that moment when I was first exposed to it I was very excited about the whole thing. And big time! Why? You may be wondering. Well, because this initiative will actually shape a good chunk of IBM’s adoption of social software within the enterprise. Something that I weblogged about not so long ago. Indeed, The Greater IBM Connection is an IBM sponsored initiative that will put together in the same social network current and former IBMers, who have decided to try out other adventures but who would want to still keep in touch with everything IBM related. That is right, this would be the beginning of a massive social network between current and former employees who would still want to keep in touch and take advantage of the actual network. Here is an interesting quote from the weblog’s About page:

"The Greater IBM (blog) is a channel for people who have worked at IBM and want to remain connected to IBMers past, present and future in a new kind of network that will serve new kinds of relationships"

Thus as you can see from that particular quote this is a social network initiative to help get together people who currently work in IBM and also those who have left the company but who would still want to get in touch in one way or another. That is why Greater IBM will be providing a number of different venues for those folks to get together and keep in touch: a weblog, a Google group, an e-mail address, Instant Messaging and, finally, one of the most interesting and exciting emerging new social network offerings out there: openBC. Yes, that is right, Greater IBM will also be making extensive use of openBC along with a link to LinkedIn, at some point in time, but the main platform would be going, though, through openBC.

I have already got my own profile set up in openBC and have signed up to the Google group, thus I am half way there, because my next item on the list is to also take active part on the GreaterIBM weblog where every now and then I would also be sharing some insights about the initiative itself along with where we are and some other topics related to social networking in general. Thus, as you would be able to see, I have taken up the role of one of the Core Connectors and that means that I have already joined the initiative and have started working in some of the different areas, like reaching out to those of you that I know keep on reading off my weblog and that at some point you were working in IBM. Yes, I am reaching out to you, folks, who would still want to keep informed about what is actually happening inside IBM but may not have a way of doing so. Well, here is GreaterIBM coming to the rescue. Now you will have a chance to hook up. And I would be more than happy to help transition that move. Even better, if you feel that you yourself would want to become a Core Connector, drop me an e-mail and I will help you out become one, too!

Now you may be wondering what that group of Core Connectors is, right?  Well, over at More Alumni Core Connectors For Global Rollout you would be able to find some further information details on this very same subject.but I am going to share over here some key pointers as to what the Core Connectors would be like and what would be expected of them:

"Connect With Other Connectors

  • Attend one of the core connector briefing events/mixers planned for EMEA, AP & Americas in Sept/Oct 

    • Nominate alums and current IBMers who should be invited as core connectors

Drive Viral, Organic Growth Through Personal Invitations

  • Invite former and current IBMers into the network, especially those with large social networks (Super Connectors), interests in using net for business innovation (Sales/New Business Drivers) and those interested in social networking itself (Mavens)

    • Encourage new members to invite their contacts into network

Build the Network’s Practical Value Through Introductions & Advice

  • Make introductions  to connect members for business and innovation opportunties

  • Help new members take advantage of network features like events, member searches, job opportunties, and other IBM innovations we’re planning to integrate into the network

Catalyze Collaborations & Create Projects

  • Start Innovation Initiatives related to one’s work (i.e. I’m going to focus on building two subcommunities: one around nanotech and another related to virtual communities such as Second Life)

    • Start and participate in the forum dialogues, post news, share ideas"

So, there you go, that is one of the initiatives I will be spending some time from now on helping getting things together and where I hope I will be seeing some of you very soon. If you feel that you would want to keep in touch with your former colleagues and continue building up on those relationships and if you feel you have been made up to become a core connector, do not hesitate about it, contact me right away and I will hook you up with the initiative. For the time being I will be keeping you folks updated both over here and over at the GreaterIBM weblog on how we are getting along. I hope to see you soon over there ! More to come later …

Oh, if you are a current employee from IBM and would want to hook up with this social network but haven’t found a way to do so just yet inside the Intranet do let me know as well ! The more, the merrier.

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5 comments

  1. Luis:

    Greatly appreciate you spreading the word. As my current post notes, we thought ibm alums would be beating down the door to tell us what they would want in a social network that connected them to current IBMers and each other, but I guess any blog takes months to get traction and constant feeding.

  2. Hi Jack ! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and for the feedback comments ! Yes, indeed, the blogosphere is a very big and massive beast and you would need to allow for some time to be able to pick up some momentum. You know better than anyone, since you have been involved already with a couple of other weblogging efforts, that building traffic and comments into a weblog takes time. Time that could go from a several months to several years. The key message is to keep it going. To always deliver some really good content and to keep talking to people, engaging in the conversations.

    Did you know that Sun is planning to do something along these same lines where they have got their own Alumni weblogging network up and running already? Check their alumni community weblog portal for more details on how they are doing. They seem to have started not long ago and are also building up some further momentum.

    As I said, it is not easy to grab people’s attention and commitment to engage and participate. It takes lots of time and lots of perseverance. Thus let’s keep spreading the word around and try to get as many folks involved as possible.

    Thanks again for the feedback !

  3. Luis, yes I had seen the annoucement on the IBM web site but when I responded (Jack take note), I was told that it was old that it was USA only. No commitment to supporting the “I” in IBM. Apart from that I think it’s a really great idea and would like to get involved. AND thanks for reminding me and pointing me back to this posting.
    regards, Peter

  4. Hi Peter ! Thanks a lot for letting me know about this and for the feedback comments ! I am not sure what may have been happening but from what I know none of the two criteria you mentioned (age and country of origin) would exclude anyone from being a member of this particular initiative. This is certainly a social network, so nothing to do with restrictions of any kind. Let me have a look with Jack and see what happened. Also I wouldn’t say that I would classify as young enough for this or in the US when I living and working from Spain, so, as I said, there may have been a mistake somewhere. I will keep you posted on this. But one thing for sure is that I would love to have you as well as a core connector, exactly for the same reasons you have mentioned above ! Funny.

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