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

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Case Study Using Wiki and Social Software in the Enterprise – Conversation with Jon Mell

Third bank holiday in a row and still enjoying the gorgeous weather out there! Too nice out there to be sitting in front of the computer, but I just thought I would share a few lines over here to point out to you folks something that I am sure you would find interesting and relevant, specially if you have been following my experiment on giving up e-mail, i.e. work related e-mail.

Remember Jon Mell, from Trovus, who I have talked about about a month ago and who put together the superb blog post "Wikis as alternatives to email – find the ROI" where he built up a rather compelling business case for my new mission on giving up on e-mail? Well, just the other day I finally got to meet up Jon through Skype and we have a superb conversation about how the experiment was going and the kind of impact social computing is having within the enterprise in order to drive new ways, perhaps better, to share your knowledge and collaborate with other peers.

As a result of that conversation we decided to put together a podcast, where over the course of nearly 35 minutes, we discussed a number of items based on a good set of questions that Jon put together and which clearly detail some of the extended commentary I have been receiving from all over the place. To give you a sense of those questions we cover during the podcasting episode, here you have got them:

1. What has the reaction been from colleagues and friends in the industry?
2. Has anyone got frustrated / annoyed (said “why can’t you just send me an email?”)
3. How much time do you spend using social media tools?
4. Given you mostly use IBM’s internal tools, how do you communicate with customers / colleagues outside of IBM?
5. Do you think it’s possible for a 100% customer facing individual (eg. a brand sales rep) to reduce email so drastically as well?
6. Have you gained any net time? Is there value in using these tools even if you haven’t?
7. Aside from time-saving have you gained any insight / learned new things from interacting with social tools that would not have been possible by email?

You would be able to download the podcast from this particular URL:

Case study podcast on escaping from email in corporate world.

And at the same time you could also have a look into Jon’s related blog post on that very same subject under "Case study using wiki and social software in the Enterprise – conversation with Luis Suarez", where he gets to detail as well some of the key items he took away from the podcasting episode. I am not going to detail all of them, you can surely go ahead and read further from his blog post, but, as a teaser, here you have got a couple of them, which I found really good and very relevant as well as incredibly descriptive of what I am trying to achieve with giving up on e-mail while at work to still get the job done:

"- The main incentive for the content provider (Luis) was to prevent the same question being asked of him over and over again via email
– Instead of getting answers from a person, he believes in getting answers from your network. This way if Luis is too busy to reply instantly, someone else will
– There was emotional relief and reduction in stress level of having to face a sea of unread email after some time away
– Email still has its place – private and confidential exchanges of information between two parties"

There are a few more insights from Jon over at his blog post, but I am just going to leave things as is over here, so you can head over there and read some more and then, perhaps, over a lovely cup of coffee / tea enjoy the conversation we had together and which trigger the creation of such podcast.

One thing for sure that I am really glad about this particular experiment I have started a couple of months back, is that fact that not only is it helping me become much more productive than ever before, but it is also allowing me to get to know some other folks out there who are also very much involved with social computing and its adoption within the Enterprise. Lots of incredibly smart talent out there, not to be missed. Like Jon Mell’s. I am glad I decided to get things going way back then and share my experiences as well outside of the firewall, because thanks to it, I have now subscribed to one really good blog and met someone who is bringing forward lots of great ideas into provoking that cultural change we would all need to go through, at some point, if we would want to talk Enterprise 2.0.

And really really glad to finally being able to share and exchange ideas with Jon! Great conversation!

(But not to worry, there is just one other little surprise I will be sharing in the next few hours. For now … getting ready to go and enjoy live Il barbiere di Siviglia)

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1 comment

  1. Grrr … not sure what happened on this one, but it looks like this comment from Albert Buendia has just been eaten up by the spam filter I have and now I cannot get it back! Thank goodness for the on the spot notification… Here is the text of the comment that was originally posted:

    Hola Luis, A los miembros del ESLUG nos encantaría si en un par de párrafos, hicieras un resumen de tu experimento/campaña  anti-email en español, para que los jefes de las empresas se concienciaran de los beneficios de los softwares sociales (wikis, blogs, etc). Muchas gracias, Albert Buendia (Spanish Lotus User Group)

    And here is my answer to it:

    Hola Albert, muchas gracias por los comentarios y por toda la información del comentario que nunca llegó a ser pero que al final he podido rescatar.

    Sí, no sería ningún problema el crear un blog post en castellano donde podría compartir un poco las experiencias de cómo ha ido el experimento en sí y también destacar lo mejor de lo que ha sucedido hasta el momento y de cómo empezar en ello.

    En estos momentos, estoy bastante ocupado con viajes a conferencias y varios clientes, pero que en cuanto pueda lo cuelgo aquí en el blog y probablemente te doy un toque también. Aunque como nos vamos a ver dentro de unas horas lo podemos comentar ahí también.

    ¡¡Gracias de nuevo y nos vemos pronto!! ¡Un saludo!

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