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

From the blog

Smart Work for a Smarter Planet. I’m an IBMer, Too!

Gran Canaria - Driving on the CountrysideI am pretty sure that by now you may have heard / read plenty about the great things that are happening in Las Vegas at IBM‘s Impact 2009 event. Lots and lots of really interesting nuggets and knowledge snippets are coming through from various different places. However, there was one in particular that caught my attention earlier on today, when I bumped into it, since it reminded me very clearly of a recent blog post I put together under the title “Why I’m an IBMer“.

Yes, it is another interesting and enlightening video clip, in this case, spread around by my good friend, and fellow IBM colleague, Andy Piper‘s “Smart Work for a Smarter Planet. I’m an IBMer“, and which comes to reflect on the power of social networking and how it will shape our business relationships in the corporate world in the near future or right as we speak already for that matter!

The YouTube video lasts for nearly two minutes and it surely is a treat to go through. There are lots of very relevant tidbits on the topic of A Smarter Planet and how we, knowledge workers of the current knowledge economy we are engaging with, need to smarten up in order to get done more with less effort, i.e. keep improving our own productivity. In sort, work smarter, not necessarily harder… Does it ring a bell? (heh)

So I thought I would spend a few minutes today sharing that video clip with you folks over here. That way you can have a look on why I decided to chose the title of this blog post as what it is showing right now and why I’m still sold on the idea that social computing is going to change the business world as we know it by making it smaller, more human, more participative, less hierarchical, more authentic, more transparent and trustworthy. In short, the Enterprise of the Future!

Yes, indeed, I’m an IBMer, too!

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Identity Management on Facebook by Josh Scribner

Gran Canaria - WaterfallI guess it is inevitable, right? I suppose there is no way to stop it, either; perhaps it shouldn’t be after all. Who knows… We all probably realise though that the usage of Facebook as one of the most powerful social networking environments out there will continue to soar even more rapidly than right now, where it was just mentioned a couple of weeks back how it reached over 200 million users, as months go by and more and more people get exposed to social software in general. Yes, like I said, it is probably inevitable.

However, what most folks can do, but may not have realised about it just yet, is the fact you can establish, and control, how you would want to interact with it, specially if you are in the need of separating both your personal and your business interactions, because, as we all know, sometimes some things should remain just that: private.

So what can you do to tailor your own Facebook interactions to suit the various different groups you connect with in that social network, so that not only you can make sense out it, but also those personal and business connections you have in such powerful networking environment? I know that plenty of times folks have been talking about how you can protect your own privacy while using Facebook extensively. I could go ahead and share with you all some tips on how you can get things going, and start protecting some of those conversations, if you haven’t done so thus far.

Nonetheless, I am actually going to do something much better than that. If you need to take a closer look again in how you manage your identity in such social network so that you can split up interactions and define multiple levels of visibility, walk no further than a recent presentation that one of my team colleagues has put together and shared across in Slideshare.

Check out Identity Management for IBMers on Facebook by Josh Scribner. This is a slide deck that provides plenty of great tips on how you manage, and still make sense, of your identity in Facebook. It provides plenty of background on why we, end-users, need to watch out for what we share, how we share and with whom we share it. Because you never know how and where those interactions will turn up. Pretty much common sense, I can assure you all, but still plenty of sound advice on how you can improve your overall exposure to such social networking tool. Thus without much further ado, here you have got the embedded version, so you can take a look and judge whether it may be a good time now, or not, to re-evaluate how you are making good use of Facebook, both from a personal and business perspective. Worth while taking a look into Josh’s deck to get things going, for sure.

(A special thanks to Josh for sharing that lovely slide deck outside of the company’s firewall, so that other folks out there would be able to benefit as well from such nifty, and useful, presentation! Well done, Josh! And thanks for sharing!)

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A World Without Email – Year 2, Week 10 (Is Email Really Dead?)

Gran Canaria - Risco BlancoYou may remember my last blog post on the topic of the weekly progress reports of living “A World Without Email“, where I mentioned how I was in the process of putting together an article where I would be able to share with folks how they could kill over 85% of the incoming emails they get on a daily basis. Well, it is proving to be a little bit of a challenge to eventually share it out there, because there is just so much that I want to include in that current draft (#3 at the moment) that I doubt it would fit in within a single entry. So I keep re-editing it, hoping it would see the light one of these days… Hang in there though, I am sure it will eventually be available for everyone to read very soon!

So, what happened last week then, you may be wondering, with regards to my weekly progress report on giving up email at work, right? Well, it looks like things are becoming steadier by the week and may have settled down around the barrier of the 25 emails received per week thus far. From my follow up challenge for this year of 20 or less a week. Getting there, I suppose; slowly, but steadily. Here is the snapshot from Week 10:

A World Without Email - Year 2, Week 10

As you would be able to see, it looks like there wasn’t a single day last week where there was a substantial increase, for whatever the reason, like it happened in previous weeks, which I guess is a good sign of things going back to normal. Like I mentioned, my new mission is to eventually get under 20 emails a week and so far seeing how close I am from that target already is, for sure, some really good news!

Talking about good news … Over the last few hours I have been getting lots of offline interactions from various folks who took the time to listen to Episode 11 from The Sweettt Podcast and make some interesting comments, specially around the subject of my conversation with Matt Simpson on re-purposing the way I interact with email and how for the first time a couple of folks hinted what I have been trying to achieve all along: that is, how I am not very much in favour of killing email per se altogether, but more on fragmenting the number of interactions, or, even better, diversifying the conversations I have coming through my Inbox and make a much more appropriate use of other collaborative, knowledge sharing and social software tools that could fit in a better purpose than an email.

Yes, indeed! That’s all I am trying to do with this living “A World Without Email“. I have never said that email is dead nor that it will disappear any time soon. In fact, I still see plenty of benefits for email, specifically for 1:1 interactions. However, email is perhaps not the best of knowledge sharing and collaborative tools. Quite the opposite!

And that’s just what that upcoming article I mentioned above will be about. Not how to kill email, nor how to make it disappear from your daily routine, but certainly how to reduce over the 85% to 90% of noise that is currently coming through it. What I am trying to show everyone is how we need to think before we send that next email, because there is a great chance there may be a better tool to share that information / knowledge than through an email. In most cases there usually is!

So there you have it. The prelude of the upcoming article I hope to be sharing with you all pretty soon that will probably help you change or adapt some of your daily habits in how to get in touch and connect with your peers to share what you know. And in most cases avoiding the tool we all know doesn’t always fit the right purpose all the time. Email.

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