Blogging and Corporate Hippies by Luis Suarez

Gran Canaria - Roque BentaygaYou gotta love Twitter and those wonderfully inspiring serendipitous knowledge discoveries that it helps you bump into, time and time again, because most of the times they surely help you make up for whatever the tough situation(s) you may be going through. And bring you back on track, of course, to what your focus area(s) may well have been all along. Well, I have just had one of those the last couple of weeks (Which I am hoping to be able to blog out it at some point, since it’s still burning inside my brain like hell), but since we are just about to wrap it up for another week at work and move into the weekend, I couldn’t help blogging about that delightful serendipitous moment I experienced earlier on this week, because it surely has been quite an interesting learning experience and a superb reminder, perhaps even to us all: never, ever, lose track of your purpose, and your focus, on what drives your passion(s)

It’s not even worth the effort, nor the energy, being sidetracked, just because it may well all seem more enticing altogether. It won’t. It never will. That’s why I am really glad that a few days back, my good friend, and fellow IBM colleague, Ben Martin, introduced me to Bernie Mitchell, who along with Andy Bargery, they run the absolutely delightful London Bloggers podcasting series. Bernie invited me to participate in the recording of an episode around blogging, after having read a recent article I wrote on the topic under the title “Why Blogging Still Matters“. 

Of course, I couldn’t reject such a generous and enticing offer and earlier on this week, the three of us, Bernie, Andy and myself got together to record “LBM Audible #9: Luis Suarez from IBM on Blogging and Corporate Hippies” and while the main topic was around the purpose of blogging and why it still makes plenty of sense as perhaps one of the most powerful tools out there to help enhance your own personal brand and digital footprint out there in today’s Social Web, mostly dominated by social networking tools, we eventually ended up talking about pretty much everything around Social / Open Business. 

It was a rather enjoyable, gratifying and delicious podcast recording, more than anything else, because, while we were going through a rather fast pace and jolly dialogue, it helped me realise how much off track I have gotten from my core beliefs around Open Business over the course of the last few months. It felt like my own reckoning that I may have been losing, slowly, but steadily, my hippie 2.0 mojo, and that, somehow, I needed to get it back at some point. Well, that some point is exactly that podcasting episode I did with both Bernie and Andy, because they helped me recover from the back of my mind a good number of ideas I have been rather passionate about over time and that, for one reason or another, they went into hiding, because of other things.

So, what did we talk about then on that podcast, you may be wondering, right? What were some of the themes that helped me get back on track on keep on pushing for Open Business with that rather well known, by now, flair of being the outlier, the corporate rebel, the outrageous heretic and free radical optimist, and, essentially, that hippie 2.0 practitioner. Well, like I said, we talked about lots of various different subjects, but here are some keywords that hopefully will help describe what we discussed and talked about as a brief teaser for the longer piece, in case you may be interested in listening in: Open Business, Adaptation, #lawwe, business blogging as your personal / digital footprint, being bold, fear and reluctance, trust, relinquishing control, leaving a legacy (i.e. a digital footprint), executive (lame) excuses on doing both social and open, ghost writing, authenticity, honesty, best practices don’t exist for knowledge work, blogging101, employee engagement, sustainable growth, evolution vs. [r]evolution of social, servant leadership, managers vs. leaders, hierarchy vs. wirearchy … phew! A lot of topics, indeed, but above them all, we talked extensively about passion for what you do and for what you have always believed in!

The podcasting episode lasts for a bit over 30 minutes and you can listen to the podcast here, if you would be interested in tuning in further: 


Hope you folks enjoy it just as much as I did going through that interview with both Bernie and Andy, and from here onwards I just want to take the opportunity to thank them both sincerely for having me in the show and for allowing me to participate on one of the most fun interviews / podcasts I have participated in that I can remember.  More than anything else, because it’s helped me realise how I need to re-focus on doing what I know best: change the business world, one step at a time, continuing to challenge the status quo of how certain things happen in order to let that passion do the magic of realising what a Socially Integrated Enterprise is all about in a world dominated by Open Business. 

WOW! What a journey, indeed! 

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Taking Notes Episode 126: Introducing Social Business with Luis Suarez

Gran Canaria - Mapaslomas Dunes' Sunset Over the last couple of months I have been participating on a number of different podcasting episodes, (Internet) TV interviews, news articles and a whole bunch of other kinds of rich media publications talking, most of the time, around the topics of Enterprise 2.0, internal social software adoption and 2.0 evangelism, and, lately, the new social term that seems to be en vogue nowadays: social business. I originally had planned to share a few insights about the most interesting ones and point folks to the original resource to watch or read through them, but then I realised that there are out there far too many to mention in a single blog post, more than anything else, because some of the conversations have been substantially different from one another. So I thought that perhaps I would drop by over here, every now and then, and point folks to the odd one or two, so you could have a look into some of them, if you would be interested, but always being conscious of trying to strike a balance on not sharing them all one right after the other. That’s why I have decided as well that I will be splitting them up half in half and share some other pointers over at my Posterous site, which would also give me an opportunity to keep things going over there as well, as I keep making a much heavier use of it from here onwards…

Thus, what a better way of kicking things off than sharing with you folks a recent podcasting episode that I participated in with the wonderful folks from The Taking Notes podcast, Bruce Elgort and Julian Robichaux. That’s right, back in November, Bruce invited me to participate in their #126 episode and talk with them about the topic of “Social Business”. Now, you may have noticed already, how for the last few weeks, probably since right after the Enterprise 2.0 conference event in Santa Clara, there seems to be a growing trend of switching away from the Enterprise 2.0 concept into that one of Social Business. Even in Twitter itself it is starting to happen… I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2011, as we get to wrap up things with this year, we would see an increase in the number of conversations around social business vs. purely Enterprise 2.0. Starting by confirming whether it does provide value or not… In fact, that dialogue has already started with a good bunch of folks chiming in already in this space. Even IBM has been coming along and jumped into the bandwagon as well…

Now, I do realise how I have shared above a whole bunch of rather interesting and insightful blog links on this very same topic, which some folks have been calling even a debate, but I would surely like to recommend you go through each of them and read them through to get some additional context of what I feel is going to be one of the main themes in the next few months, if not already. Then at a later time and, as we move forward, I will be coming back to some of those blog entries hoping to add some further insights on to the overall conversations…

To get things started with those reflections on what social business is all about from my own perspective, I think The Taking Notes podcast with both Bruce and Julian would probably be a good start, since we had a rather interesting and enlightening discussion on what social business could mean for any business out there. If you go into the original blog post you will be able to see the various show notes of all of the subjects we touched base on. I thought I would also include them over here to give you a quick glimpse of what you can expect from that podcasting episode:


  • “Social software evangelism inside of IBM, and the group of 1,600+ BlueIQ Ambassadors within the company
  • How you can possibly live without e-mail for over 2 years (a question Luis has probably answered hundreds of times before, and he graciously answered again)
  • The difference between social networks on the Internet and social networks behind the corporate firewall
  • The future of social software, and what technologies will be used to make it work across networks and vendors
  • Luis’ recent Enterprise 2.0 Evangelist of the Year Award


The podcast lasts for about 48 minutes and in it you would be able to find out plenty more what my ¢2 are about social business in general, what it is like, and how a company might be capable of reaching out that status over the course of time through a direct influence from Enterprise 2.0, etc. etc.. Interestingly enough, and as a teaser, my opinion comes pretty close to that one shared by Jevon McDonald not long ago in another blog post under the title “E20 vs Social Business?“: Social Business = People + Process + Technology (Enterprise 2.0), which, if you have been reading this blog for a little while now, you would see how it resembles, pretty close, something else, much larger, that’s been there with us for over 15 years…  But I won’t spoil anymore the surprise field that we discussed for much of the duration of the podcast…

Over the course of that long conversation we also touched based on a good number of different topics, including some of my favourite ones, like the BlueIQ program (And its BlueIQ Ambassadors community) I have been part of over the last three years as part of IBM’s internal social software adoption strategy, as well as my long time running experiment of living “A World Without Email” (Whose update, I realise now, is very much long overdue!), and the future of social software in general…

And, finally, something that I will be talking about more in a separate blog post, but which has been one of the major highlights for yours truly for 2010; the nomination and award from the 2.0 Adoption Council group as Internal Evangelist of the Year 2010, taking the baton from the always inspiring Claire Flanagan who won it last year. What a true honour, indeed!! But, like I said, I will be talking about that one at a later time as I get to wrap up a post on some highlights for 2010. For now, I just hope you enjoy the podcasting episode with the Taking Notes folks, just as much as I did recording it with them! I surely had a blast!

From here onwards I just want to take this opportunity to share across a big special Thanks!! with both Bruce and Julian for having me on their show and for always making it so much fun and dynamic to participate in it! Thanks ever so much, guys! Looking forward to the next one!

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[Podcast] This Week in Lotus 018: A World Without Email? Or Blackberries?

As things are starting to settle back in, after a couple of hiccups with WordPress plugins here and there, following the hardware upgrade debacle of my hosting provider over the course of the weekend (Thank goodness everything turned out all right eventually!), here we go, once again, getting immersed on that regular blogging schedule. And today I thought I would let you folks know about a couple of interesting podcasting episodes that I have listened to or that I have participated in, that you may want to tune into as well. Because you do still listen to podcasts every now and then, right? Yes, that’s what I thought. Me, too! They still play an important role in my day to day knowledge sharing and collaborative activities, whether discussions in real time prime above all, while watching them live, or participating as one of the guests in the various conversations.

So last week Friday, my good friend Stu McIntyre and his partner in crime, Darren Duke, kindly invited a couple of folks, and good friends as well, Bilal Jaffery and Jon Mell from the Dachis Group / Headshift, along with yours truly, to participate in their weekly podcasting show “This Week in Lotus” where we spent a bit over one hour talking about a whole bunch of various different topics, including some of my favourites ;-) hehe

Yes, that’s right, last Friday, Stu, Darren, Bilal, Jon and myself had a blast recording “This Week in Lotus 018 – A world without email? Or Blackberries?” [Link to the podcasting episode], where we talked, amongst several other things, about the recent product launch of IBM’s Northstar as well as IBM Customer Experience Suite, that I have talked about over here, a little bit about “a bad week for the opposition and, of course, my favourite topic as of late, living “A World Without Email“.

Like I mentioned above, the episode lasts for a bit over one hour and towards the end of the podcasting episode we had a chance to talk about the experience of giving up corporate email and, instead, rely, plenty more, on social software tools to collaborate, share your knowledge across. In short, to get the job done. Now, this particular conversation with those folks was slightly different than the one I recently participated in at TWiT net@night, since I eventually continue to build further up and add more insights on the overall experience that I may not have shared elsewhere before. More than anything else with the purpose of helping those folks out there, who may be interested, to find out some more the various reasons why I started, how I do it and what’s meant for me, and the teams and communities I hang out with, so that perhaps you may also have a good chance to give it a try for yourselves.

I am not going to expand much further on the topic, since you can go and have a look into the accompanying blog post that was put together [Link here], and check the extensive show notes that have been provided where you can get a good glimpse of what we talked about, as well as checking out plenty of the links that we mentioned during our conversations. If you go there, you will also find a brief section of Tips where each of us pointed folks into some interesting hints and tips, tools, blog posts, applications, etc. etc. Worth while a read, if you are an avid iPad user as well! :)

I am sure you would have a good time listening to it, just as much as we did recording the session altogether; I think you would enjoy it as well if you are also an IBM Lotus user or are interested in IBM’s Lotus products, because we also talked about them a little bit. And, while talking about this very same subject, if you didn’t have enough, or if you would want to find out, plenty more, what it is like hacking stuff together with IBM’s Lotus Connections social tools suite or how IBM is helping accelerate the adoption rate of social software, both inside and outside of the company, I would strongly encourage you all to have a look and listen to the latest podcasting episode from the fine “The Taking Notes Podcast“.

Because in “Taking Notes Episode 121: 2010.09.17 – Evangelizing Lotus Connections“, and over the course of 37 minutes, you will be able to listen to co-hosts Bruce Elgort and Julian Robichaux, interview two of my favourite IBM people, and really good friends, Sacha Chua and Luis Benitez (Yes, my twin brother!), talking away for a large chunk of time on some of the really cool, and pretty neat, things they are both involved with hacking together Lotus Connections as well as their great work as social software and Enterprise 2.0 evangelists. You can grab the episode itself from the following link and start playing it right away…

Lots of golden nuggets in there, including a lovely discussion on how microblogging helps drive business value within organisations. You gotta listen to that story to realise the true power of enterprise microblogging behind the firewall. Flattening the organisation in a matter of minutes would be rather an understatement, to say the least! But quickly go through the show notes as well and hit play to start listening to it. I am sure you will enjoy it, even more of you are a techie yourself hehe

Ok, that was it! From here onwards, I just want to take this opportunity to share a special thanks! with both Stu and Darren for inviting Bilal, Jon and myself to such an entertaining and enlightening podcasting show as This Week In Lotus. Oh, remember as well that, every week, there is a new episode to listen to! So take the dust away from your favourite .mp3 player and go ahead, subscribe to the podcast. There will always be something new to listen to… and learn, I can guarantee you that!, which is just wonderful. That’s the whole purpose behind podcasting altogether, don’t you think?

Well done, guys!

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