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

From the blog

On Governance and Compliance – IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines Webcast

Gran Canaria - Roque Nublo & SurroundingsIf you have been following this blog for a while, you would know how I have been blogging for a good number of times about one of those topics that people keep asking me about to share my two cents of the conversation: Social Software Governance and what IBM is doing about it. My short answer has always been IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines.

However, the long answer has always been a story of how a good number of us had been using social software behind a firewall for a while and how, in 2005, we all got together around a wiki and started working over the course of a couple weeks on the initial IBM Blogging Policy and Guidelines document. Yes, that’s right! A bunch of bloggers gathering together to define what would be the blogging policy and guidelines for an entire corporation. Talking about blunt moves!

From there onwards, the guidelines were sanctioned by both Corporate Communications and Legal and the rest is history: years went by and those user guidelines pretty much "regulate" how IBM employees make the most out of blogging. Then, in 2008 we went through a revision of those very same guidelines. Again, a bunch of incredibly active social software evangelists and enthusiasts who, through a good number of various different social tools (Lotus Connections Files, Cattail, Blogs, etc.) finalised that revision (Got the approval from both Legal and Communications again) and we had today’s IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines.

Well, I think it is time to take things into the next level. Although still dealing with that IBM governance model of the user guidelines for social computing tools, I am really glad to point you all to a recent tweet to my good friend, and fellow IBM colleague, Adam Christensen, shared in the last few hours:

"Have you seen the new education companion to the IBM Social Computing Guidelines: http://bit.ly/2SBUlt ? Thoughts? There’s more 2 come"

Wonderful stuff! What Adam announced yesterday through Twitter was the availability of a new video that talks about governance models, and, in particular, IBM’s social computing guidelines. If you head over to the main link you will see now a new section on the right side titled "Best practices for social computing" with the following text underneath it:

"Many clients and organizations have expressed an interest in learning more about IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines and how we communicate them to employees. Here’s a short video example of one of the ways IBM’s online community educates itself about these guidelines"

And, of course, from there, the interesting part is the link to the video itself, which would launch an interesting webcast featuring Harriet Pearson (IBM’s VP, Security and Chief Privacy Officer) and Adam himself. Over the following few minutes you would be able to go through plenty of sound advice ("Common sense guidelines", as Adam mentions in it already) that both Harriet and him share on what it is like engaging in the social computing space, both inside and outside of the corporate firewall, while being aware of three key main areas:

  • "Confidential Information
  • Privacy
  • Disclaimers"

From there onwards, both Harriet and Adam get to explain, very nicely, some of the fundamentals behind each and everyone of those key areas with some very common examples on "good practices" that clearly match the values from the company, as well as some other interesting data. All done in very simple, yet, very effective terms. The clip doesn’t last much more than two to three minutes, but it is certainly indicative of how important those social computing guidelines are for all of us, as IBM employees.

I know that a good number of companies have been leveraging and reusing some elements from the original guidelines and I’m sure they would also enjoy this new one. And the good thing is that this is just the beginning. There will be plenty more to come! So whenever folks would ask me about what IBM is doing in the area of governance and compliance with regards to social software and social computing my answer is probably going to be not just the guidelines themselves, but also, from here onwards, this short webcast, as well as the story behind it all, probably, because it is just as worth it, don’t you think?

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  1. The content is relevant to me, but I find the medium even more interesting.

    When I had consulting training (circa 2004), we were taught to create slides in font sizes larger than 18-point … with 16-point only if necessary … because business executives don’t read documents in dozens of pages. The key was to convey ideas as graphically as possible.

    The slide presentation — with voiceover and rolling transcripts — is an evolution of that. It’s not just having the message, but getting the message across that counts.

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