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

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Enterprise Social Networking Tips by Luis Suarez

Gran Canaria - Fataga's SurroundingsOver the course of the last few years there has been one particular aspect of social networking for business that I still haven’t come to terms with throughout all of that time. That is, self-promoting your own content in your own blog that you may find scattered around all over the place (other blog posts, podcasts, vodcasts, webinars, seminars, online workshops, mainstream articles and so on and so forth). Somehow it just sounds a bit too meta. Perhaps it’s just me, but it’s something that I have always found it a bit too awkward, although it doesn’t bother me when people in my networks do it, because, essentially, I feel they are pointing me to some of the great quality content that they keep posting away in other places, rather than their usual hangouts. I guess it’s just me with that kind of reservation. Either way, that’s just about to end, because while I have been away these past two weeks I have realised I have been sharing content in multiple other places without pointers back to this blog highlighting the fact that as a result of it I am neglecting this blog perhaps much more than I should have and that’s not necessarily a good thing, right? 

Specially, when talking about video. Yes, apparently, 2013 is the Year of Video. Specially, if you look into the rather significant impact it’s having across the board in multiple social networking tools. Perhaps the most vocal one being one of my favourite social networking tools: Google Plus. And this is when it really hit me, because I realised I keep spending plenty of time participating in Google Plus Hangouts (Or Hangouts On Air) on multiple various topics related to Social / Open Business that they never get to see the light over here. So I thought I would perhaps change that and eventually start sharing some of those links across to keep feeding the beast, i.e. this blog. 

At the same time it’s been quite interesting to acknowledge how much more you can share through video than through standard offline text. This is something that my good friend Dave Snowden has been talking all about from the perspective of how we render knowledge (Still one of my favourite blog posts out there, by the way!). To quote: 

We always know more than we can say, and we will always say more than we can write down.
This is probably the most important. The process of taking things from our heads, to our mouths (speaking it) to our hands (writing it down) involves loss of content and context. It is always less than it could have been as it is increasingly codified”

Indeed, this is something that I can vouch for as well. I am a fast typist, for sure, have always been all along, but I actually talk much faster. Perhaps even too fast at times, as I get carried away in excitement and passion when talking about all of these topics around social networking and knowledge sharing. And that’s probably why I am thinking of giving it a try over here and make the switch from that trend of thought of self-promoting your own content in your own blog and instead consider those other snippets sort of blog entries as well to go along with the usual regular blogging. Why not, right? 

After all, I guess it’s all about sharing along all of those relevant and insightful pieces of content you think would add further up into the overall conversation. It’s the dialogue that matters, right? I would love to know in the comments what you folks think about it. Whether it’s helpful to point to those other tidbits or not. Feel free to let me know as we move further along… 

To start with though, I thought I would go back to one of my favourite social networking tools that I mentioned above already. Google Plus. And, specially, Google Plus Hangouts, where I have spent a good amount of time lately participating in a few of them with other people. One of my favourites was a recent Google Plus Hangout On Air I did with my fellow IBM colleague, and good friend, Daryl Pereira, where we spent about 18 minutes talking around the topic of “Enterprise Social Networking Tips” covering the following items: 

  • My current background and current role (For those folks interested… hehe)
  • My own motivation to use social networking tools, whether internal or external (After 12 years heavily involved with social technologies)
  • The benefits of being a Social IBMer in a digital world
  • And, finally, some key points, practical tips on how to get started with social networking (for business), in case you may not have dived in just yet

The beauty of Google Plus Hangouts On Air, and one of the reasons why I heart them quite a bit, is not only how easy it is to engage in the videoconferencing event without hardly any technical hiccups or issues or foreign software to install, but because it also provides you with an opportunity to have a recording of the event. And we did. You can find the link to it at this YouTube video, or, alternatively, you could also watch the embedded code below: 

Hope you folks get to enjoy that 1:1 interview I did with Daryl on Enterprise Social Networking Tips just as much as we did when we recorded it live. From here onwards I also just want to thank sincerely Daryl for inviting me and for conducting the interview and I surely look forward to the next one! 

And hope you folks, too!

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  1. This is a great post Luis and raises some very interesting questions about video blogging/interaction.
    It does add a very “human” element – putting a face, a voice – a person, and so much more to a blog and a train of thought. People generally respond to visual interaction very positively because they feel they are connecting with the person in a different way – a more real way!

    It “can” also be easier to “switch off” watching a video, loose a particular train of thought that you don’t when reading text. Do we actually “want to say more than we can write down”?
    Do we want to overload people’s brains that already can feel overloaded in the blogosphere? Is there “more” or “less” potential for dialogue?
    Writing has a remarkable ability to filter out the less important and concentrate the mind on the message and words in hand – no more!
    If it’s “snippets”, Q & A session and suchlike I can see it may really enhance your wonderful blogging.
    There is always a need to move forward…

    Just some thoughts (which you asked for!) 🙂

    1. Hi Marie-Louise, how wonderful! Many many thanks for dropping by and for adding those insightful comments! You bring up lots of great points and why I also had reservations in terms of including rich media where I participate myself, because I share the same concern as you described above. However, I do think voice can help you articulate better your points of view and expertise much much better than what text can do. More than anything else, because no matter how focused you may well be when you write down stuff you are always bound to leave, perhaps even more, relevant content out and the overall blog post will lose that insight.

      Now, I am not trying to justify the use of video on upcoming blog posts from myself, but I am thinking of just sporadically drop by over here and point folks to conversations I have online where I feel they could contribute to the overall messages from my own blogging over here. It’s not something that’s going to happen too often, but every now and then a sprinkle here and there to perhaps humanise a bit more the blog itself showing my face, my voice, my body language while interacting online and so forth. Perhaps it can add some more to the overall perception of my online persona. We shall see…

      What I am finding really interesting is that while bumping into a good number of videos in the last few weeks talking about all of these topics on Enterprise 2.0, Social Business, Open Business and so forth there hasn’t been a single video where I have said the very same thing twice! Which I find fascinating for how much my brain doesn’t know it knows until it’s queried about it, which is exactly the point that Dave Snowden highlights on that “Rendering Knowledge” post I referenced above.

      Either way, many thanks for dropping by and for sharing that lovely feedback! Like I said this rich media is not going to take over the blog, so not to worry, just the odd blog post every now and then 🙂 hehe

      Thanks again!!

  2. I’m struggling with this right now for my own (newly minted) blog. As much as I think I’m a great public speaker, sitting and recording video seems really tough to do. I get more nervous sitting in front of my computer, recording a video class, than I do in front of a hundred eager listeners. Any way to overcome that?

    Also, I’ve noticed that I get really annoyed when I go to a website and the only thing I see are videos with no text. Like you said above, combining both (video and text) may be the best option.

    1. Hi Fred, thanks a lot for dropping by and for the good feedback! I don’t think you are alone, to be honest, when putting yourself in front of a computer and hit record on that camera. I think it’s something we all go through at some point and in most cases it’s mostly due to our eagerness to record something good, perfect, with great quality and where we wouldn’t look like a bunch of amateurs. That’s perfectly normal.

      What I have learned about it though is how in most cases there is no need to be perfect, to have the perfect shot or everything else, unless you would want to make a professional career out of it. I think what matters in most cases is the message you would want to share across. It helps quite a bit, for instance, if, instead of just recording yourself, you would invite someone else for an 1:1 interview, or do a group video, like you can with Google Plus Hangouts. That certainly looks a lot less intimidating till you get used to it, before you go on your own. And nowadays recording through video can be very very easy. As easy as having a smartphone, hit record, and talk 🙂

      I agree with you that combining both video and text is the right balance. This blog, for instance, is not going to turn into a vlog all of a sudden. It’s going to continue being a regular personal business blog and the odd occasion with some video in the mix.

      Let’s see how it goes eventually. Let us know, by the way, when your blog is up and running, if not already, please 🙂

  3. Hi Luis, many thanks for sharing our interview in the context of the fascinating subject of video, and the effectiveness of this medium for the distribution and sharing and knowledge.

    I agree with you that video (like just about every medium) has its advantages and drawbacks. I spent some time as an SEO consultant, and in this context saw some of the downsides of video in terms of the issues with indexing and searching for video content. I also felt like @Mary-Louise that video consumption has some issues.

    Having said that, more recently I’ve found myself consuming more video. If I’m looking into a product (consumer or enterprise), I’ll often go looking for a video that explains it and shows it off, rather than trying to understand through text. I concede that this may say more about poorly-written brochure-ware than it does about the strength of good video content, but I do start grumbling to myself if I don’t see a video demo on a product page.

    I’d also suggest that the form factor of your average smartphone means it can be easier to watch a video rather that trying to read a lengthy article.

    Recently, digital marketing expert Chris Brogan mentioned that teenagers are as likely to search on YouTube as they are on Google – particularly when it comes to learning. YouTube’s recent claim to 1 billion users a month adds some validation here…

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