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

From the blog

When This All Gets Cool, It’s All about The People and Your Passion

Arriving in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - By Ferry (From Tenerife)After a couple of rather hectic days at work, I guess it’s time again to update my blog over here sharing with you folks a couple of thoughts that have been lingering around in my mind lately and which, more and more by the day, have continued to demonstrate what, to me, is the whole thing around Social Computing, Social Software, Social Media, Enterprise 2.0, Social Networking, Web 2.0 or whatever other "expression" you would want to use: it’s all about the people; and it’s all about passion, your passion!

Yes, I know most of you would be able to differentiate between one and the other, if I would ask you to go ahead and define them all; however, two of the key characteristics that will define them all would those ones I have just shared above on all about the people and passion.

And this is not the first time I blog on this very same topic; when most folks are talking about how social computing / networking is all about a new wave of social tools on the Internet that would help us become more productive while sharing our knowledge across and collaborating with our peers, I keep thinking that we should probably not make the same mistakes we have done over the decades in trying to justify such kind of movements as technology / tools based, because they aren’t. They are all about the people behind them, and tools are just that: tools. Enablers. And that’s where it all ends for them.

And that’s when it gets really fascinating and exciting for us all! Did you have a look into my good friend’s, Chris Brogan‘s, blog post titled "When This All Gets Cool"? If you haven’t, I would strongly suggest you take a look, because he has put together one of those articles that would surely resonate with you all quite a bit and won’t left you indifferent. Yes! It is that good!

Chris shares on that blog post pretty much basically what I have said above on where the real focus should well be all along, as more and more businesses are starting to explore various different efforts on social software adoption, both inside and outside of the corporate firewall: not on the technology, nor on the tools, but on where we could get the most out of the whole experience. To quote him:

"Social media are a bunch of tools. They let us see things a bit differently. They empowered new ways of working together. But they’re just the tools. When this all gets cool is when we start really turning this stuff on our own passion projects, on our bigger goals, on what COULD happen."

What he has managed to do with that blog post is to inspire tremendously a whole bunch of folks into doing (Or continuing to do…) things 2.0 related in a completely different way: i.e. making a difference! So if you did enjoy some of the brilliant suggestions he made on what other things we could do with social software tools (Other than thinking they are the primary focus), I would suggest as well you take a look into the extended commentary where plenty of folks have been chiming in and sharing plenty of golden nuggets of what passion for what they do would mean to them and, most importantly, how they are attempting to make a difference in how they interact with things! Just brilliant!

Yes, it’s all about the people! It’s all about the passion your let permeate through every single part of your body, and brain!, wanting to share it across with others. And make it contagious! That’s exactly how I felt yesterday when I did go through one of the suggestions Chris offered in his post: "Give your local school teachers or library a free class on how to use the tools for their projects".

Ok, it wasn’t my school, but rather ESCOEX International Business School in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; it wasn’t a talk with the school’s teachers, either (Nor the library!), but instead it was a rather energising two hour event with a bunch of amazingly talented group of youngsters wanting to make a difference and surely preparing for themselves the way to do just that!

I bet when they saw me coming into the classroom, they were expecting to hear about this strange guy who telecommutes, has got his bosses thousands of kilometers away, works for a rather, perhaps too large, corporation making trouble for living "A World Without Email" and just probably wants to tell his story and go back home. Funny enough I had other plans for the session … and for them…

I didn’t use a single set of slides! In fact, I didn’t bring with me any gadget whatsoever other than my mobile phone, which I didn’t even use at all during the entire time; they were probably thinking they were going to learn some things from me on what it is all about using social software tools in a business environment. Yet, I was the one who had an opportunity to learn so much from them all that I am still digesting most of the incredibly cool things that we discussed during the entire session.

I am working already on a follow up blog post where I can share some of those various different insights with you folks. If you would want to take a peek, ahead of time, into some of the stuff we discussed during the session I would highly recommend you have a look into today’s blog post that my good friend Víctor Ruiz put together under the title "Luis Suárez (IBM) y su lucha contra el correo-e" (Yes, it’s in Spanish!).

In it he details, very nicely!, a good chunk of what we discussed and comes to conclude whether I live in a parallel universe, or a different world altogether, since it looks like things within local businesses are going rather slow at the moment, and perhaps for the next few years still, with regards to their own adoption of these social tools to try to keep making a difference.

Yet, there I was! With all of my passion for the topic, focusing on the people, on their conversations, on each and everyone of the students knowing we may not be that far off from that reality I seem to be living in. I won’t be disclosing further details on what I mean by that (In an upcoming blog post you will see what I mean…), but one thing that I can certainly share with you all, and which resonated with Chris Brogan’s blog post I originally mentioned above, is that "To me, the cool stuff has very much yet to happen. We can do SO much more".

And yesterday I witnessed, and experienced!, the sheer talent behind those younger generations who surely are passionate about what they do, and who certainly want to make a difference in this world. They may let them do it; they may not, but one thing that surely came out from yesterday’s event at ESCOEX International Business School is that they are going to try it damn hard and I am surely going to help them succeed! Will you?

Will your passion help them make a difference at whatever they truly believe in? Not sure about you, but they certainly have mine! For a long while …

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    1. They may well be, but then again, like I have mnetioned above, it’s never been about the social tools themselves, but the behaviours they help provoke and inspire 😉 (And that’s where our focus should well be…)

      1. Couldn’t agree more! Tools are and will stay only a means of transporting the message. I am quite sure, that there will be plenty of them coming and going in the near and far future.
        Luis, I’m sure we will have great conversations around this at http://somesso.com/london10/! Looking forward to your thoughts.

  1. Damn, Luis. If this isn’t a hint of what we’re going to be talking about, I’m an insensitive clod incapable of understanding what the hell is going on. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I haven’t read Chris’s post yet, but you can bet I will. When I told you I wanted to bone up on my Spanish, I didn’t expect to be challenged so quickly, but I’ll try reading Victor’s post as well (maybe I’ll use Google’s translation tools 🙂 I don’t know if you have ever read my profile in FB, but I hinted at this myself. Now I can pursue it in ways I couldn’t even imagine a couple weeks ago. Thanks again. Hasta la proxima.


    1. First, thanks again to Luis: I totally enjoyed his talk. He was very clear and persuasive. By avoiding the slides and gagdets, and the questions he asked to students, Luis guided to students to conclude by themselves how useful are social tools, not how to use them. He nailed it.

      Rick, you can read my post in English (or something close to English 😉 I have translated at Luis Suárez (IBM) and his war against email.

      Luis, you have a point: passion is crucial in business. And often passion is something people think to experience when the work day is finished. And the root cause is probably in poisonous corporate culture, through poor management education, which prevents both talent development and innovation. Let’s hope things improve in the not so distant future.

      1. Victor – Thanks. I just read your post. I have no doubt your English reads far better than my Spanish would :). Thanks so much for pointing me there. Luis has a great deal to teach any of us who care to listen. I am!

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