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

From the blog

The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections – Tag, You’re It!

Gran Canaria - A Winter Day in GuayadequeAlmost a week afterwards, it looks like it’s now a good time for me to resume my regular blogging activities over here in this blog once again more, as I just returned back from my latest business trip (To London, this time around, to participate in SOMESSO/Headshift’s Social Business Summit) and, where once again, getting connected throughout the entire time has been a bit of a challenge, to the point where very shortly I’m going to be blogging about another major resolution I will be adopting that I am sure is going to generate some discussion… But that would be at another time πŸ™‚

For now, I just want to let you know folks that I’m already working my way through putting together a draft blog post, where I can summarise some of the major highlights from the Summit itself, which I have thoroughly enjoyed and from which I have learned tremendously a good amount of terrific insights shared by a good bunch of the attendees. As a taster, check out the fantastic reviews of the event from Anne McCrossan, Jemima Gibbons, Ton Zijlstra and David Terrar, amongst several others. All around a wonderful event that just marked, to me, the beginning, of a long lasting conversation…

Anyway, so what will I be talking about on this particular blog post, you may be wondering, right? Well, something I think I should have written about a long time ago, but that I kept neglecting time and time again. In a way, it was triggered again by some of the conversations I had during the break(s) at the Social Business Summit, so I thought it would be a good time to finally address it, at least, with this initial blog post.

Plenty of folks keep asking me, as they start diving into the world of social computing and social software as their preferred business social tools, where and how they should get started; what would be the best way for them to start off right away and already provide good value to the good number of social interactions they would be having over the course of the following months / years. And somehow time and time again I keep telling folks that in order to go off to a good start the best option is to start with their own profile(s): that one identity profile each individual has regardless of the social tool in place. There is always a profile! (In most cases, there’s even more than just one profile altogether!)

Yes, indeed, that specific online profile people can upload in a matter of seconds and find everything about you that you would think would be worth while knowing for others: a recent picture, your basic contact information, your default social software spaces (Your blog address, Twitter, whatever other profiling sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), your reporting structure, your basic skills, your additional areas of interest, your social networks, etc. etc.). Well, to that list, which is the main topic of this blog entry, add up as well tagging! Yes, indeed, tagging, perhaps one of the least known and most un-used social objects within the social computing landscape, yet one of the most powerful ones!

If your company’s social software tools suite has got a profiling capability, and within that profile you have got an option to tag yourself (And others!) go and spend a few minutes tagging yourself (And others!), so that you make it incredibly easy for your fellow co-workers to find you and other experts in your area of expertise. That’s right, by doing a simple action like adding 3 to 5 tags about yourself and those who you work with closely, you are helping your business build a rather powerful expertise location tool across the board that would probably help you address one of the main key major pain points every single business has at the moment: finding (the right) experts (in a timeline manner)!

Here is the trick though that I keep sharing with folks all around; instead of just tagging yourself with tags related to your skills, your current job, etc. etc. (Which is a good thing as well, by the way, …) don’t stop there! Tag yourself where you passion takes you! Add tags (Over time as many as you would want to!) about what drives you to work every day, about your passion(s), about your keen interests, about what you would love to talk about, collaborate, share knowledge across with time and time again, without getting bored, for years to come! Make that tagging exercise as exciting and passion-driven as you could possibly could. After all, who would want to tag themselves with stuff they do every day, but they are not passionate about? Who could talk about such tags time and time again without going insane in the process at some point?

That’s why I keep telling folks, on a rather regular basis, if you would want to start diving into the world of social computing and wouldn’t know where to start, go right where you could provide good value: your individual profile … and tag it! Tag yourself with a passion; with those labels or keywords you are just dying to talk about over and over with your colleagues to make it contagious for them as well so they would want to learn plenty more from you!

Over time, the business will be continuing to build an essential expertise location tool that would be not just amazingly powerful, but also rather relevant to its knowledge workers’ capabilities: those skills they have been building over the course of time through knowledge sharing, collaborating and, in short, passionate learning.

Thus next time around that a knowledge worker asks you about how they can start diving into the world of social networking and social software tools, remind them to start small, i.e. with their own individual profile, build up from there slowly, but steadily, and encourage them to tag themselves with those keywords, or topic areas, they are truly passionate about, because there is a great chance that in its due time they would have plenty of great opportunities to share some of that passion with others who are looking for just that expert they couldn’t find before: you!

And now that I have shared with you folks how knowledge workers could get started with some powerful low hanging fruit as immediate benefits from a successful social software adoption, how about if we would go for a quick, short demonstration… My good friend, and fellow IBM colleague, Jean Francois Chenier, has done it again and just recently he put together another episode from the series of “The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections“, and this time around the topic of Tagging and how helpful it can well be to help you find the right experts in a matter of minutes without having to struggle with traditional methods that may not work that well…

Go and have a look into “The man who should have used Lotus Connections 7 – Tag, you’re it!“; it’s a very short animated video clip that lasts for nearly three minutes (2:47) and which quite nicely touches base on the point of how beneficial tagging people can well be for any business to help build an essential expertise locator everyone can enjoy. Just priceless!

So, did you tag yourself already? Did you share your passion(s) across?) Have you tagged others? What are you waiting for? Go and tag, you’re it!

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