E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez

Podcasting

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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Blog Talk Radio – Business Value of Social Networking: Become a Hippie 2.0!

Gran Canaria - Pozo de las Nieves & Surroundings in the SpringYesterday, if you would remember, I put together a short blog post where I was mentioning how apart from having one of those days of meetings galore jumping from one to the next, I was also looking forward to the great opportunity of participating live on the Blog Talk Radio podcasting show, hosted by John Moore, and along with one of my favourite Enterprise 2.0 people, Mark Masterson, as co-guest. Well, I am happy to confirm that the recording of that podcast episode is now available for replay.

And, boy, did we have such a good fun with that interview or not? John asked us a few rather interesting, insightful and provocative questions on what we thought were some of the major key points behind figuring out the business value of social networking. That was just a blast! What an adrenaline rush of back and forth between Mark, John and yours truly! I had such a great time!

John himself has actually put together a rather nice short blog post on that podcast under the title Social Media ROI and Hippy 2.0… It all made sense... In it he mentions how the recording lasts for about 56 minutes and it starts off at around minute 5, after he spent a little while sharing some further thoughts on the news and trends of the day / week related to social media.

I bet you may be wondering, right now, what we actually talked about during the course of nearly one hour, right? Yes, I agree with you, that’s a long time to spend on a podcast, but it certainly was such a good fun that I don’t think none of us minded at all! Thus here you have got some of the headlines and an annotation of two on the topics that we covered during that live podcast show:

  • Business Value of Social Networking: Where we talked about how sometimes it’s much more effective, and productive, to focus on figuring out how to get the most of all of these social networking tools as our next generation of business tools to help us collaborate and share our knowledge more efficiently than trying to figure out the Return On Investment (ROI) of those social interactions without having even gotten things started in the first place!

    How it may prove to be much more convenient to demonstrate how social software can change the way we interact with customers, as well as with the rest of our peers, by humanising those very same business interactions helping nurture, even better, our own personal business relationships. We eventually shared plenty of thoughts and ideas of how this could pave out for almost any business out there!

  • Living "A World Without Email": Yes, of course, we couldn’t miss out on this one, could we? Most of you folks, regular readers of this blog, already know quite a bit what this topic would be about, but what you may be interested in is the part of the conversation where I shared some further insights on demonstrating the ROI of giving up on corporate email and what it’s meant not only for me as a knowledge worker, but also for the organisation I work for and for those other peers I get to interact on a regular basis.

    Reducing your corporate email conversations by over 95% and instead move those into open social software spaces is one heck of a success story, don’t you think? Specially when over 3.5 years ago, most people felt I was crazy for doing such thing in such an email driven corporation like IBM (And probably like most of them out there as well!) and today, more and more teams and groups are also seeing such substantial reduction with their incoming emails by utilising more various different social tools. I may not be that crazy after all …

  • Or, maybe, I still am! Because the other topic we talked about, during that one hour conversation and which we covered quite extensively, was a new crazy? idea that I came up with a few days back and which is picking a rather nice momentum and plenty of traction. Of course, I am talking about Hippie 2.0.

    Who would have thought about that? An initial blog post that I put together and shared across a little bit weary about it (I wasn’t sure whether it was going to strike a chord or not!), eventually has been raising a huge amount of rather interesting and very refreshing conversations on the true nature of embracing social networking beyond the business context, that is, how it is affecting us all as a society.

    That blog entry so far is one of the most popular threads on this blog and has sparked a good number of developments that will certainly keep a bunch of us buzzing for a little while longer! Who knows, perhaps for a long while…

    The thing is that we already have got a Web site up and running under Hippie 2.0 (Using Posterous at the moment and with a unique opportunity to have an open space where everyone can contribute with whatever the relevant content); we talked extensively about it on yesterday’s live podcast; a few people have already contributed some top notch content (Including some fun stuff!); and a few folks have been leaving comments already throughout the various entries and we have got a bunch of other really cool things coming up!

    I say we because my good friend Jay Deragon has been doing an outstanding job in pushing forward some of the content you will see on the Web site when you head over there. And for that, I am incredibly grateful! Thanks ever so much, Jay!! Really appreciate all of your efforts and glad you, too, feel the same way about this crazy idea! 😉

Right, there were plenty of things related to social networking and proving its business value altogether that we talked about during that live podcasting episode over at Blog Talk Radio, but I think I am going to stop commenting further on it for now. Instead, I would encourage you all to go and listen to it, by perhaps quoting one of the best live tweets that people shared across during the show and which clearly represents the true spirit behind such a movement as Hippie 2.0:

"If you focus on fear, you’ll get fear. If you focus on humor, you’ll get laughs" (Superb quote from Mark captured by Susan Scrupski)

I hope you have enjoyed listening to the episode, just as much as we did during the live recording of the podcast. Like I said above, I had a great time participating in it and from here I just would want to take this opportunity to thank John Moore for inviting both Mark and myself into the show, to Mark for being such great fun, smart, insightful, witty, and another Hippie 2.0, like yours truly, and, finally, to Eric Andersen for helping facilitate the connection over … Twitter!

Thanks ever so much, guys! It’s been a great pleasure and hope to see you all soon over at Hippies20.com!

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Blog Talk Radio – Business Value of Social Networking with Mark Masterson and Luis Suarez

Gran Canaria - Pozo de las Nieves & Surroundings in the SpringWith meetings and activities galore happening at work right as we speak, and with the usual catchup of the daily routines in multiple social spaces, I think that today is going to be one of those days where blogging will be rather light, as opposed to keep sharing some additional insights on that topic that keeps coming up over and over again on Social Computing and business processes. So, you will have to excuse me for a minute till I get back into my usual swing of things. Or, alternatively, you could go ahead and join my good friend Mark Masterson and yours truly, later on today, at 3pm EDT – 8pm UK – 9pm CEDT, at the Blog Talk Radio show, with John Moore as our host, talking about the "Business Value of Social Media".

Yes, that’s right, later on today, in just a bit over an hour, both Mark and myself will be spending a few minutes with John talking about the business value of Social Software. I know, indeed, one of my favourite topics from all along: the good old ROI of Social Networking. Now, if you have been reading this blog for a while … you will know more or less what we will be talking about, but, in case you may not have, here is the link to the details of the show itself.

As you may have noticed already, Blog Talk Radio is one of those shows where folks can participate live and as such you would be able to join us as well by dialling in using this call-in number: (347) 324-3248. We would very much like to have you on today’s show and participate with us in, I am sure, what promises to be some pretty interesting and exciting conversations around business value of social computing, and, perhaps, even a bit of the little movement a bunch of us got started with a few days back: Hippies 2.0.

Who knows what else we would end up talking about… Either way, knowing the subjects both Mark and myself have been talking about for a little while now, you would realise that if you are into Social Computing in the Enterprise, you are in the right spot! So, come and join us later on today! And be ready to share your thoughts on what you think the business value of social networking is all about! Happy to engage in a, for certain, enlightening and insightful conversation where we will all learn a thing or two. For sure!

Can’t wait to be on the show already! And you? Will you join us as well? … We hope so!

See you there! :-)

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The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 12 – Sources of Quality

Over the course of the last few months a bunch of folks have been asking us why The Sweettt Podcast, that weekly podcasting tertulia I used to co-host with my good friend, and fellow colleague, Matt Simpson, went into a dormant status and whether we would be picking things up again any time soon. So in the last few months we have been revisiting the opportunity to re-vive the podcast and after a few conversations here and there, we are very pleased to announce that The Sweettt Podcast is back!

Yes, that’s right! It’s been nearly a year ago since we published the last episode and during that period of absence both Matt and myself have been getting together on and off to check whether we would be ready to come back to it or not. And after a few conversations we have been having, we decided that we are just benefiting far too much from that dialogue, so we decided to re-vamp the show and get back to it, after the rather long hiatus, on a weekly basis, although perhaps with a few changes we hope folks would appreciate as well.

I am sure, at this point in time, if you were a regular listener of the podcast, you may be wondering what were the topics we discussed on our welcome back, right? Well, not going to reveal much of it for now, since you can start listening to (Or downloading) the podcast right away from here, but I will certainly share with you some of the highlights of what we tried to cover over the course of 1 hour 48 minutes:

  1. Flaming excuses for not posting our discussions for the past year (bonus – clean the inside of your computer screen!)
  2. The iPad experience, and what it takes to achieve quality (bonus – a cartoon!)
  3. Web Filtering – pros, cons, goods, and evils
  4. Employee happiness as a source of quality and productivity
  5. And then… Luis turns into a Robot

As you may have noticed, we touched base on a whole bunch of topics going from some flaming excuses as to why it took us so long to come back, along with explaining a little bit the new format of the podcasting series; then we talked about some of the various different reasons as to why I can’t wait to get my hands on an 3G iPad to, finally, be able to ditch both my 3G iPhone and iPod Touch (Diving into what user experiences with mobile gadgets should be like, or would be like very very soon! </stop drooling>).

From there onwards we touched base on some pretty interesting topics we keep hearing, or reading about, out there on the Internet around Social Computing and how some businesses are starting (If not fully on board by now!) to introduce Web Filtering. We covered the pros, the cons, the good, the bad and the ugly of filtering or blocking content for knowledge Web workers and, eventually, we started off a conversation on what employee happiness means and whether the motto "Happy People Produce Quality" (From the first project team I was part of when I started working for my current employer IBM over 13 years ago) would still stand in today’s corporate reality or whether we should be focusing on something else.

Some pretty interesting conversations that would take most of the actual podcasting episode, till the very last few minutes, when my Skype connection decided to play funny and make me become an automaton, a robot, which is funny, because that’s the main conclusion I have reached over the years on the main dangers behind Web Filtering. Oh the irony of technology some times … !!

So we stopped recording at that point and I am sure we would be covering that very important topic, once again, in the near future. For now though we thought it was a good welcome back! and we are surely looking forward to the next one! Like I said, you would be able to listen to the episode directly from this link, or download it for later playback with this other link. Alternatively, if you are using an .MP3 mobile device you would be able to subscribe to our iTunes podcasting series link and grab that and other future podcasting episodes.

We hope you will enjoy The Sweettt Podcast, just as much as we do when we record the episode(s) live! And, remember, if you would want to participate in any of these episodes feel free to reach out and get in touch with Matt or with yours truly. We do certainly treasure having guests in our tertulias and we hope to see you soon again!

(Gosh, it’s *good* to be back! It’s been far too long …)

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