EMC ONE

A little social media marketing helps EMC Break Records

EMC Breaks Records

Last week, in case you hadn’t heard, EMC launched a record 41 products. You can view the Record Breakers simulcast replay on EMC.com, if you’d like. But, I’m not here to talk to you too much about the product side of things – I’m no product expert although I think that there are some awesome new products out there from EMC. Instead, I’d like to talk to you about the social media side of things that went very well, and that I’m extremely proud of. It’s also a demonstration of how well things can go when you have the passion and drive to move them forward, budget or no budget.

How things came together

Pre-Event: January 3 – January 17

First off, we started out with a direct mailer of “broken record puzzles” to key folks around the industry. The feedback was positive on these, and the intent was twofold – 1) Invite them personally to the Record Breaking event on January 18th, and 2) Encourage them to tell others about it in the hopes that their networks would also be interested in the event and accompanying announcements – this is WOM (word of mouth) marketing at its best! (Photos courtesy of Michael Cote)

Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327583777/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327584807/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235196/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235628/in/photostream/

EMCCorp Facebook Challenge Close on the heels of the puzzle, we launched a nifty little Facebook game to drive awareness and encourage fans (yes, I still call them fans!) to break their own records! It’s still up there if you’d like to give it a whirl. Warning: It’s rather addictive!

At the same time, we launched a couple of viral videos on EMC’s YouTube channel, which have accumulated over 700,000 views between the two of them, and successfully drove registration to the EMC event.

All this time, we were also tweeting about the event using a common hashtag - #EMCBreaksRecords - to drive awareness, registration and buzz. We were sharing the videos, making folks aware of the game, and also tweeting world records that had been previously broken – asking them in the form of questions in the morning to gain responses, and giving the answer at the end of the day.

I should also mention a practice that has worked very well for us to keep EMC employees around the globe in the loop of our activities in the social space, as well as enable them to join in on the activities in a consistent and measurable fashion – “social media activation kits.” These kits contain a high level overview of the program at hand, as well as links to content and collateral (both traditional and social), tracking links, hashtags, suggested tweets/posts, social hubs and just about anything else you can imagine to participate in a truly organized social marketing campaign. These are hosted the internal employee community that I used to manage, EMC|ONE – now thoughtfully managed and curated by our own community manager extraordinaire, Michelle Lavoie. Michelle was kind enough to host a front and center widget on the home page to drive further awareness of the activation kit, as well as the overall social media plan for the launch.

In-Event: January 18

The tweeting continued around things that were going on during the simulcast – EMC actually arranged to break a couple of world records with the folks at Guinness during the event. I’ve shared the videos of each within this post – check them out.

 

#EMCBreaksRecords The tweeting during the event also resulted in EMC’s first ever trending topic on Twitter across the entire United States. Last may, we reached trending in Boston for EMC World 2010 – but this is the first U.S.-wide achievement – so you could say we set a record in social media, as well!

EMC Community Network Also, for the first time ever, we held a live Q&A session within our own EMC Community Network. Envisioned and championed by the folks on the ECN team – this was the company’s first ever live simultaneous Q&A session – so another record for us, in a matter of speaking!

Also, the day of launch, our super stellar EMC Blogroll of subject matter experts along with other industry folks produced over 40 blog posts released on the day of the launch, further generating buzz, awareness and affinity for the EMC brand.

So what does all of this mean?

Well, at the end of the day, it means that social media engagement played a critical role in generating awareness and buzz about EMC’s most important and most impactful launch!! Here are a few key statistics and milestones:

  • 1,000+ Broken Records Mailed out to key influencers >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, and ultimately registrations for the event
  • EMC’s first Facebook game generated 80,000+ tab views and over 6,500 new fans of the EMC Facebook page >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, event registration and increased our social audience and the potential realm of our future conversations with these enthusiasts
  • Thanks to our viral videos, EMC’s YouTube channel was ranked #55 in the Gurus Category on YouTube >> increased awareness, buzz, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The #EMCBreaksRecords hashtag achieved trending status across the entire U.S. during the event on January 18th with over 1,500 tweets across multiple geographies around the world! >> increased awareness, buzz generation, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The EMC Community Network attracted new users to the community with the live Q&A –in fact, 42% of the visitors that day were new users to the ECN! >> Increased awareness, affinity and exclusive access to the subject matter experts people wanted to talk to the most!
  • EMC bloggers, as well as other bloggers generated over 40 blog posts on the launch >> generating buzz, awareness, and access to the SMEs on the topics surrounding the launch, as well as the products announced.
  • All of this amounted to thousands of mentions in the social space – blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and shares, and industry articles amount to an uber-magnified awareness of EMC and the company’s offerings, messaging and plans for 2011. Heck, even our stock price reached one of the highest points in the past 10 years.

Up Next?

With all that activity and success, you might be wondering what’s next – how will we keep the momentum going?

RBTour1

The EMC Record Breaking Tour, of course! You’ll be able to follow the tour drivers around the world as they make stops, break records, and demo all the latest and greatest from EMC! You can follow the drivers on the Twitter account we set up for them, and keep an eye out for the Record Breaking Tour blog coming soon! There will also be Facebook components, and an invite to all EMC customers, partners, and enthusiasts to share their own record breaking moments!

I’m looking forward to seeing what this next chapter holds!

 

 

----

Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

Share|

 

 


Reblog: Coffee With Thomas Episode 8 - EMC's Social Media Maestros

Had an absolute blast catching up with Thomas Jones (aka @Niketown588) last week along with social media cohorts @LenDevanna and @ThomLytle. Check it out and let us all know what you think! 

----

Reblog: Coffee With Thomas Episode 8 - EMC's Social Media Maestros

This weeks special guests are Jamie Pappas (@JamiePappas), Len Devanna (@LenDevanna) and Thom Lytle (@ThomLytle). Jamie is the author of Social Media & Enterprise 2.0 Musings. Len is the author of Confessions of an eBiz Junkie. All three are the maestros of social media integration at EMC. Tune in and listen to this special podcast as Jamie, Len and Thom give us insight into:
  • How EMC|ONE is the catalyst to blogging 
  • How social media ties into peoples sense of belonging
  • How to make social media a value add for you
  • Social Networking and Your Personal Brand
  • Jamie's role in social media adoption among women
  • EXCLUSIVE EMC World 2011 Bloggers Lounge Update
  • Similarity between Jamie's childhood and mine
  • Thom's new blog site
  • and much much more

You can subscribe/listen to Coffee With Thomas via iTunes.

Link to Podcast: Coffee With Thomas Episode 8 - EMCs Social Media Maestros

----


Join EMC in the Social Space!

EMC Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn 

 

EMC Bloggers @EMCCorp EMC Pages EMC Corp Profile
  @EMCWorld   EMC Corp Group
  @EMC_Events   EMC World Group
  Other EMC Accounts   EMC Developer Group


EMC Videos, Photos, Podcasts, Presentations, & Bookmarks

 

EMC Corp
EMC Corp
EMC Corp
EMC Corp
EMC Point BB
EMC Software
EMC Software

 

Explore Our World of Communities



----

Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas



Share|


Do you get social? A Peek into #EMC's Social Business Journey

And, more importantly, do you “get” social?  Jive does! Conversation  

A few weeks ago, on Friday, June 18th, I had the pleasure of being invited to present EMC’s Social Business Journey to a group of friendly folks at the last session of Jive Software’s Get Social Tour 2010. I’m saying 2010, because I sincerely hope there is a 2011, 2012, and every year thereafter! This was a great opportunity to meet and converse with folks at all stages in their social business journey, and I absolutely loved it!

For those that were not able to attend any of the Get Social sessions for a variety of reasons, I highly encourage you to join the Jive Community take a look at some of the stellar case studies presented along the journey and see if they might be helpful to you in yours.

The cliff notes on my presentation are in my deck, and hopefully will provide a good starting point for you. Please let me know if you find them helpful, what’s missing, or even what you’ve done in your journey differently that met your stakeholder needs. I always love hearing others’ stories about their social journeys so that I can learn and evolve our own journey.


EMC Case Study - Jive Get Social Tour

View more presentations from Jamie Pappas.

While I love sharing EMC’s story, I have to say that the true value of such events comes from the ability to converse with and learn from others who are at various points in their own journey to a social business. And I particularly love hearing what has worked and what has not, so that I can test that our in our waters.

There was definitely overlap among the persistent themes I mentioned about Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston that same week:

  • There is still a ton of interest in getting started in this space, which is great! People want to start community and collaborating efforts and are coming in droves to see what works best to get going.
  • A whole lot of companies have started their journey and are seeing positive results from enabling their employees to connect and collaborate with one another
  • There is a keen interest in learning what other companies are up to, what is working, what is not, and why.
  • The ROI question seems that it will never die, nor should it. But it’s also amazing to hear the stories of the level of push-back some folks have endured in their journey to get social. As I said before, my answer to the ever-challenging ROI question is it’s a mix of both qualitative and quantitative measures.  Separately, they don’t mean a thing, but together, you can highlight savings, efficiency, and the power of networking and collaboration, so that it’s no longer a question of whether or not it’s providing tangible business results.
  • In person conversation and collaboration is just as important as staying connected online. The buzz and conversation in the air the entire morning is the strongest testament to this reality that I can offer. People were excited to meet others going through the same things that they are and you could feel the excitement in the air! Bringing people together in person is still an essential part of learning, development and networking. I don’t believe that will fundamentally ever change.
  • Carrying on the conversation after the in-person get together is just as important – which is exactly why Jive is offering up a group for us all to continue the conversation!

 

In fact, I can’t emphasize this point enough. It’s a really, really tough job to drive forward any type of social business collaboration initiative within just about any organization. Staying in touch with those that have been on the same path for some time, and those that are just starting their journey will provide you with a network of invaluable resources and people to bounce ideas off of, learn from, and develop lasting friendships with.

Your network, both in real life and online, will be one of the most important tools in your arsenal of the journey you are about to embark upon

So, what are you waiting for? Go - Get Social now

And if you're a large company with over 10,000 employees, come get social with us at The 2.0 Adoption Council, too!

----

Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: twitter.com/jamiepappas

 

Share|


General Adoption Techniques for Social Media and Community

Puzzle We’re having an interesting discussion on adoption techniques and how to get relatively anti-social people engaged in social media and communities in our EMC|ONE community, and I thought I’d share my thoughts and response here with you, as well.

What have you found that is helpful to getting folks on-board and engaged in using social media? Any tips or tricks that work well for you? Please share them!

Here are some things that consistently work for me in our communities in helping folks to put the pieces together:

  • Identify business goals and the tools that will meet them: Don’t over-saturate with tools. The more tools you introduce, the more uncomfortable it will be for people already being asked to go outside their comfort zone. Start small with a few tools and demonstrate how to use them and their value, and then add as more tools are requested.
  • Keep it simple, welcoming and easy-to-use: The worst thing a community can be is difficult to navigate, difficult to access, and difficult to use. And it's critical to remember that just because it might be easy for us to use, it certainly doesn't mean that it's going to be easy for everyone else to use. When building a community, keep it's audience in mind and look at things from their perspective. Better yet - ask them what's working and what's not and make changes accordingly.
  • Provide tools and resources that help people get started: Don't assume that people will know what to do with a community, how they should use it, what they can or can't do and even how to get started. Start at the very beginning and remember what it was like when you were starting out exploring social media. What would have been helpful to you? Chances are good it will be helpful to others.
  • Approach community as an experiment: Flexibility is key when starting or managing a community. Don't be rigid in your expectations of its members or use cases for the community. Ask the community what they want, learn from them, and change accordingly. And above all - make sure the community members know they are valued and that you listen to them.
  • Combine business and social discussions, albeit unevenly: Typically, at EMC, we strive for an 80/20 mix, recognizing that they fuel each other. Just as people "socialize" in in-person meetings before they get started, so too, is it reasonable to expect that they'd want to do so in their online community. That is the very reason we have social "places: on EMC|ONE and why all other successful communities have them, as well - people want a place they can go to "get away from it all" and just get to know one another, without having to "work" or filter out the work-related stuff.
  • Fear of participation is normal: You must address it. What is causing the fear? Is it a lack of knowledge about the tools? Is it a lack of confidence about subject matter expertise? Is it a fear of being "wrong" in front of others? You'll need to understand the underlying cause of the fear in order to address it. Just remember that it's normal and don't make the person feel out of place by questioning it in an inappropriate setting or way.
  • Let the community manage the community: At the end of the day, one of the greatest and most rewarding things you can do is listen to the community and act on their requests, their needs, their expectations. It will not only build a relationship of trust and understanding, but these things will keep the members coming back.
  • Don’t underestimate the need for training on these tools: Just because it's easy for us doesn't mean it's easy for others. Training should always, always be a part of any successful community. And different options for training - in-person, webex, lunch-n-learn, online, CBT, should be included to address all learning styles.
  • Seek out opportunities to present value: Perhaps one hesitation is a perceived lack of value in these tools. Collect use cases and highlight them to all members as examples of what the potential is. And remember, the use cases vary from person to person, so you're going to need a fairly robust library of them to reach the critical mass of your audience. Don't overpromise what the community can do, either. Be realistic when identifying and presenting the value proposition and make sure you can demonstrate it.
  • Set expectations/guidelines for use: Members want to know what they can do with the tool. Focus on the positive things they can do and achieve. Don't give them a list of all of the things they cannot do right out of the gate. Instead, take it case-by-case and address any items of concern as they come up, and then put them into your best practices. Trust people to do the right thing.
  • Model the behaviors you wish to see: One of the best ways to demonstrate to your members what they can do is by doing it yourself. Model the behaviors, use cases, actions that they can take and demonstrate in real life what they can do with the tool, how they can interact with others, and what they can accomplish. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

 

Please share your thoughts or commentary on what I've shared, and also what has or hasn't worked for you? And, how have you dealt with that?

----

Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: twitter.com/jamiepappas

 

Share|


EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study Webinar

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sharing EMC's Enterprise 2.0 story with a large group of webinar attendees.

I tried to cover the whole gammit of topics from our journey. They include:

  • Tools and Milestones
  • The Business Case
  • Getting Buy-In
  • Dealing with the Critics
  • User Adoption
  • Moderation Process
  • Creating Communities
  • Training and Education
  • Benefits
  • Defining Success
  • EMC's Key Ingredients

Here are the slides from the presentation. I'll post audio as soon as it's available.

EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study Webinar for The 2.0 Adoption Council & Newsgator

View more presentations from Jamie Pappas.

Thanks to EMC (of course!) for giving me such a great job that has enabled me to create such a wonderful story to tell! Thanks also to The 2.0 Adoption Council for all of the wonderful opportunities they provide, including being able to participate in webinars such as this one! Thanks to Newsgator for sponsoring The 2.0 Adoption Council webinar series, and providing the opportunity for many of us to share our stories. Finally, thanks to Jive Software for their great product and supporting us along our journey.

Check out the first two webinar presentations, as well!

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The "Before" (Click for audio replay)

Featuring Bruce Galinsky from MetLife, Anu Elmer from Swiss Re, and Greg Lowe from Alcatel-Lucent

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The Before

View more presentations from The 2.0 Adoption Council.

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The "After"  (Click for audio replay)

Featuring Claire Flanagan from CSC, Megan Murray from Booz Allen Hamilton, and Kevin Jones from Dynetics

2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise - The After

View more presentations from The 2.0 Adoption Council.

----

Please, share your journey - have you seen some common themes? Some common challenges? Some common success?

Share |


On the topic of Crock-i-ness

Crock Well, there’s been a lot of buzz both before and since Enterprise 2.0 San Francisco in San Francisco on the question of whether or not Enterprise 2.0 is a crock. Put another way, can Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies deliver tangible business benefits with tangible use cases in support of the tools?

Anyone that knows me knows by now that I believe the answer to this is Yes – Enterprise 2.0 can provide tangible business benefits supported with tangible use cases and I’m going to share a few with you here that we’ve realized since the creation of our enterprise community two years ago, which supports blogs, wikis, discussions and user profiles, to name a few things.

I will say right up front that we never identified success for our initiative as 100% user adoption. Not only do I feel that 100% adoption is unrealistic, but I also don’t believe that Enterprise 2.0 is for everyone. I think that a lot of people can realize benefits from using the tools available to them, but I do not believe that there’s any “one size fits all” tool for any organization. If that were the case, we wouldn’t still have people using interoffice mail, leaving post-its on our desks, leaving voicemails, sending emails, etc. We’d have everyone using only one way to communicate, and I don’t think I need to say that this view of the world is completely unrealistic.

I’ll say again what I said on the panel I participated on at Enterprise 2.0 – Enterprise 2.0 is not a cure-all or fix-all. It’s an enabler. Here are some examples of what it’s enabled at EMC in just two short years:

Collaboration Increased Collaboration

One of the many challenges that large, geographically dispersed organizations face is bringing employees together to collaborate. It’s not that employees don’t want to collaborate; it’s that they have no way of knowing who is working on similar projects or facing similar problems around the company or around the world unless we enable and encourage them to share them somewhere.

That’s exactly what we’ve done on EMC|ONE – provided a platform that enables global, searchable access to conversations and content so that employees can connect with others facing the same challenges and share what has worked, what hasn’t and brainstorm on what to try next. A memorable story that has been shared with me, and that I like to retell is the salesperson in Australia who connected with the salesperson in North America about a deal on a specific product, against a specific competitor and they shared how they went into the sales call, collaborated on things that worked or didn’t, and ultimately won the deal. So, if I knew the dollar amount of that deal, I could conceivable call those dollars ROI.

 

Corporate Memory Corporate Memory & Reduction in Redundant Requests

Content and conversations that occur via email or presentations stored on people’s hard drives is arguably essentially lost when that employee leaves or their computer get fried or stolen unless they’ve happened to share that content with others and/or done regular backups of their content – neither of which always happens in a predictable fashion.

EMC|ONE provides employees a venue to share their content and have their conversations and ultimately helps to preserve that conversation and the though process behind it, along with any content that was shared in the context of the conversation. It also makes it accessible to other employees in a searchable community of information for reference, collaboration and updates, as needed. EMC|ONE has also helped many employees reduce redundant requests for information as these employees share and document their information and FAQs in the community, they have a central location to point people to for consistently requested information, and reduce their own personal email and phone traffic and free up their time to work on other things.

 

Dali Clock Quicker Response Times

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from employees is that they have to wait on or even track down information they’re looking for, which wastes time, money and effort on a consistent basis. I’ve heard, (I think it was in Dion Hinchcliffe’s workshop at Enterprise 2.0) that the average employee spends an hour a day looking for information, searching through old files, emails, etc. and boy do I believe it.

A story that I consistently hear from our sales folks is how wonderful it is for them be able to search our competitive community on EMC|ONE and find real-time information and updates about competitors. They also love the ability to ask a question and have anyone in the company be able to answer it instead of just whoever is on a distribution list they send an email out to.

Following up on the example above, folks also are very happy to have access to a location that has FAQs to various questions they need answers to without having to wait to hear back via phone or email when time is of the essence. Depending on the person and amount of time they spend searching for information, this savings could be minimal to a fairly substantial amount.

 

Innovation Increased Innovation

For the past three years, EMC had held an annual innovation conference, and it has been planned during the past 2 years on EMC|ONE and then the summary, wrap up, photos, etc. are also shared on EMC|ONE. That in and of itself (using EMC|ONE as the coordination point) has not increased innovation, but what it has done is helped to increase worldwide awareness of the importance that EMC places on innovation and it has increased access to the information, ideas, and proposals that were submitted for the innovation conference by EMC employees.

In addition to the annual Innovation Conference, employees innovate on EMC|ONE every single day by coming up with creative new ways to address problems, challenges, and concerns on a wide variety of topics (products, customer support, solutions, internal issues, software challenges, you name it) they are facing. Not only that, they work with other employees that they would not have otherwise had an opportunity to work with had it not been for EMC|ONE.

 

Questions Customer Support

At EMC, customer service is of the utmost importance. Our internal employee support forums for solving customer issues are, as of this weekend, now hosted on EMC|ONE. But long before the official migration happened, there have been all sorts of examples of employees collaborating together to make customer service as good as it can be. They work together, similar to the example above with innovation, on a wide variety of topics that concern EMC customers and creatively come up with new ideas and solutions to a wide variety of issues. Have some of those efforts kept customers and/or gotten us new customers? Yes, they have, and that in and of itself is an immensely powerful ROI.

 

Smile Increased Employee Satisfaction

I’ve read varying articles on how much it costs to replace an employee that leaves the organization and it seems relatively consistent that it’s around 150% of the employee’s annual salary to resource, interview, hire, and train a replacement employee for someone who quits.

I can tell you without a doubt, that many, many of our employees have shared stories with us (that were not solicited) about how much more connected they feel to the company since EMC|ONE began two years ago. A few examples:

Start_quote_15I cannot think of a time during my 20 years at EMC when I felt more informed, involved, and confident in myself and the business before EMC|ONE. ~EMC|ONE UserEnd_quote_11

Start_quote_15No other corporate resource gives me more value than EMC|ONE. I feel connected with what is going on, I understand our direction, and I get great satisfaction from contributing to people and initiatives across the organization that before I didn’t even know existed. ~EMC|ONE UserEnd_quote_11

Start_quote_15There has been no single resource which has added as much value to me, my customer messaging, and my understanding of EMC as EMC|ONE. I am part of the silent majority, who rarely makes the time to post, but gains tremendous value from this fantastic glimpse into the breadth of EMC. ~EMC|ONE User End_quote_11

What I don’t want folks to think is that I think is that Enterprise 2.0 is a piece of cake, that it’s easy or that it will fix all of your problems. It’s not a piece of cake, it’s not easy, and it won’t fix all of your problems. What it will do is begin to connect employees to one another that have never had an opportunity to connect before and possibly never would have if it hadn’t been for our efforts. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to even begin an Enterprise 2.0 initiative, let alone sustain it and grow it and assist in continuing along the path to reach its full potential. We certainly didn’t do everything perfectly. Tell me who has and I’m happy to listen. I am proud that we are trying, and continue to try to enable employees to get more done with less, be more connected with one another and work, and find increased job satisfaction.

Do I think Enterprise 2.0 is a crock? Nope. But what do think is that companies that don’t take it seriously and start investing in researching what it can do for them might just find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage in the very real and near future.

Crocodile To companies and individuals that ignore the potential that Enterprise 2.0 has to offer or call it a crock, I’d say – Be careful, that crock’s teeth are very sharp and it's liable to bite you when you least expect it.

---- 

 Jamie 

 Blog: http://www.jamiepappas.com

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiepappas


Social Networking Rocks EMC World

EMC World is just around the corner, and we’ve got tons of exciting things going on in the realm of social networking opportunities for attendees and non-attendees (although we hope you’re going to be there!) Also exciting are the conversations on EMC|ONE around all these good things going on at EMC World. This is collaboration in action if I’ve ever seen it!

Lounge


First off is the Bloggers Lounge, hosted by Len Devanna – a venue to show some love to our blogger and microblogger friends. 

What is the Bloggers Lounge, you ask?

Think big. Think members only. Think a place to chill, charge, and network with like-minded folks who share your same passion for blogging. Think exclusive access to EMC leadership. Think “I’ve totally gotta check this out!” Just sign up over at Len’s blog, and you’re in. So, what are you waiting for? Update: It's open to anyone attending EMC World with a blog or Twitter account - customers, partners, employees, you name it - so come on, already - no excuses!

Flip3 Oh yeah, and think Flip. As in, we’ll be giving away some of these babies to folks who stop by. Of course, with this cool new gear in hand, we’ll be expecting some wicked videos of World.




Showing our Support Forums Folks Some Love, too!

We’re also hosting an exclusive meet up for Powerlink Support Forums users to show them some love. So, if you use Powerlink Support Forums, you’ll definitely want to check this out! Think of all the stories you can share with folks who experience it every day, just like you. If you're not checking this one out...well, need I say more?



VivaECN

ECN is bringing their game, too!

And last but certainly not least, our EMC Community Network (ECN) is featuring a Viva! ECN video contest – So, if you’re feeling creative and wanting to express what ECN has helped you to do in the past year, then jump on in and get creative! And don’t forget to stop by the ECN Lounge at EMC World, as well!

Hey - maybe you can use that Flip you won to shoot your video for Viva! ECN...I'm just sayin'...





Network with EMC World Online

Here’s the quick rundown of all the tools online to check out EMC World:
EMC World on Facebook
EMC World on Twitter
EMC World on YouTube
EMC World on Flickr
EMC World on LinkedIn


Getting Word Out About Your Community

One of the challenges that our community managers often face is figuring out how to increase awareness of their community once they’ve created it and started some good discussions or collaborative projects. It's what I call the "now what" syndrome. Ok, I built it, now what...?

This is a list of things I share with them as ideas to get the word out. I always suggest that they'll need to try multiple avenues to reach a wider audience. Do you have a similar list? Have you tried other things that have worked? Please share!

  • Respond to emailed questions (where appropriate) by posting the question and answer to your community on EMC|ONE, then respond with a link to the thread you created
  • Showcase your community via an article or announcement about the community (be sure to include links!) in relevant EMC newsletters you participate in
  •  Include the link to the community in your email signature, when appropriate
  • Promote the community and provide links in any meetings you attend when the audience is relevant
  • Email SME's on specific threads you know they have an opinion on or a stake in and personally ask them to jump in and provide their expertise on the subject
  • Email an announcement to your key audience (sales or pre-sales, for example) when you have the community populated with some content and discussions that are valuable to the group
  • Post a link on your Powerlink page, if you have one, or other relevant Powerlink landing pages (Powerlink is our extranet where all sales supporting collateral is shared with the field)
  • Share it with a co-worker in the lunch line or at the water cooler

One of the challenges we always have to remember is that people are busy -- they only have so much time in the day to do everything that needs to get done. If you manage your community with the idea that they're always going to be thinking in the back of their head "what's in it for me?" and then meet those needs and demonstrate value, the people will come, and they'll stay.


3 Words for 2009

I read Chris Brogan’s post on his methodology for planning out his yearly goals, and loved the idea, so I’m stealing it for myself!

 

So, what do I want to accomplish in 2009? Initially the list felt so darned long that it seemed impossible to accomplish even half of what I had in mind…But working through the process, as Chris suggested actually made my list much more achievable and helped me to see the connectedness of my goals – a win-win, if you ask me.

 

So, I started the process, as I alluded to, by just making an uber-long list of the things I wanted to accomplish both personally and professionally. Then, reading over the list a few times on different occasions, I started grouping things together into buckets of similarity. This has gone on for the past couple of weeks, and has led me to these words: Arm, Interest, and Chill

 

Arm

I want to arm people with what they need to be successful. I want to empower them to get where they want to by providing advice and resources to give them a head-start. I want to enable self-service capabilities in the EMC|ONE community by continuing to provide and evolve the tools and resources we have developed so that they can work at their own pace instead of depending on my availability to achieve their goals. I want to find ways to improve how I do things currently in many aspects of life – the challenging part of this will be to figure out what to focus on first. I am all about making things efficient for myself, as well as others.

 

I also want to continue to arm myself to be successful, and focus in on the things I am most passionate about. Which leads me to my next word…

 

Interest

I am involved in so many things personally and professionally that I need to hone in on what I actually have an interest in and figure out polite ways to decline the others. It is becoming apparent that I am trying to follow too many things at times, and so I want to develop a way to focus in on the truly meaningful things, taking in the most important nuggets instead of drinking from the fire hose. This is particularly challenging on EMC|ONE as I feel compelled to be actively involved with all users of the platform.

 

I also want to reach out more to folks who have not yet shown an interest in EMC|ONE to get them interested, to show them the value that it offers, and to engage them successfully in the community, while also enabling them to focus in on the things that are most meaningful to them. In doing this, I also understand that some people will likely never have an interest in social media, will not be inclined to see the value, and will sometimes even consider it a waste of time. Which leads me to my final word…

 

Chill

I want to learn not to take things personally, which I have a terrible habit of doing. I find myself feeling as though the occasional rant or seemingly disgruntled feedback about the community and perceived lack of value is somehow a reflection on me, when in reality, we have thousands and thousands of users who clearly find value every day using EMC|ONE. Instead, I want to reach out to those people, find out what the real root of the issue is, and see if I can help clarify their perceptions about the community instead of thinking “I wonder if there’s something I did wrong…”

 

To sum it up, I want to learn to not sweat the small stuff. I want to let it go, keep on moving in the right direction, and even just maybe, make some people into believers in the value of social media.

 

That’s it, in a nutshell – lots and lots of things behind these words, but breaking it down this way, I feel much more confident that these are all achievable goals.

 

Wish me luck!


Lessons from the Upgrade Trenches

First things first

First of all, I owe all of you an apology. I have been operating in stealth mode these past several weeks. Ok, who am I kidding; it’s been well over a month. And for those that were looking for more from me, I apologize. My only defense is that there's a really good reason, I swear. And it's got everything (yes, really, everythign!) to do wtih the mega-upgrade we just completed for EMC|ONE. After a few speed bumps, we are up and running succesfully and I'm happy with where we are - now.

 

As you may recall, we’re running Jive Software’s Clearspace platform for both our internal community (EMC|ONE) and our external EMC Community Network (ECN).

 

The good, and it is very good

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the upgrade coming out of it with a few “wish list” items (see more in The bad below) and a really, really big “what the heck were you thinking!?” item (see more in The downright ugly below).

 

We got a lot of what we were hoping for in this upgrade, and for that, it was worth it. What did we get, exactly?

 

Well, we got the ability to easily customize our home page of EMC|ONE, whereas before it was just the out-of-the-box fire hose of content and communities. Think all 130+ communities scrolling for pages on the left, and ALL of their most recent posts mixed together on the right two-thirds of the page. Not exactly optimal, especially for new users first coming to the site. Now we can change the page whenever we want with widgets and customized layouts. Total thumbs up on adding this functionality!

 

We also got a customizable home page for each end user to design as they like using widgets. They can also set it as their default. This was a major ask from just about everyone in our community. So, total thumbs up on this one, as well!

 

We got way more people functions – more robust profiles, friends, status updates (think Twitter), and social groups.  All very good, and highly desired by our community.

 

Finally, we got a much improved and much easier to use text editor, which presents our users with a more intuitive interface and allows them to use keyboard shortcuts they already know for formatting. Very nice, guys!

 

The bad, otherwise known as my wish list

Along with the good, we lost a couple of things that I wish we hadn’t. Not sure why the decisions were made to remove them, but I’m not alone in missing them.

 

We lost the ability to easily track the number of views and number of comments on any given post within a community. This used to be a key tenet of one of the widgets available for community design, but has disappeared and is causing some major bumps in the road for some of our community managers who liked to gather these kinds of stats to see what was working and what wasn’t in their venues.

 

My personal philosophy is that it’s more important to take into account who is saying what about your content and conversations than how many people viewed it, but not everyone using EMC|ONE as their information portal for all things EMC agrees.

 

We lost the ability to aggregate more than one blog into a given community or space. As we all know, it’s nearly mandatory to follow more than one blog, and you will find more than one valuable blogger on any given topic that you’d like to enable your readers to have access to by simply aggregating a feed into the community you manage. Sorry folks – not anymore. It’s a strict one-to-one ratio now, no exceptions.

 

I miss it. I loved this functionality. Unfortunately, there’s no good workaround for it right now, either. Apparently, I’m not the only one that misses it - I did hear there might be a possible widget under wraps that may address this wish list item in the future. That would be a swell Christmas present.

 

The downright ugly, which I have recently been referring to as "what were you thinking!?"

 

Blogs were not a smooth transition. Personal blogs remained largely untouched, but boy did we get killed with the community blogs that we had on EMC|ONE.

 

The title of this section says it all – it was ugly, downright ugly, and that has not changed much. Admittedly, it was ugly enough that I lobbed off a few “what were you thinking” emails to our lovely vendor last week and this week.

 

Why was it ugly? Not only did we have to re-assign every blog to the community it was appearing in, but the process renamed the blogs, re-assigned a new URL to the blogs, and wiped out the author list. Wouldn’t have been great had I know this before the re-assignment, but at least I could have prepared for it. We launched with people not being able to find their blogs, not being able to write to their blogs, and having to scramble to fix things only to find that there’s no “undo” if we make a mistake (I’m only human) thanks to those darned software bugs we all love so much.

 

So where does the “what were you thinking” come in? Communication, my dear friends - had I known these things before re-assigning the blogs to their homes, I would have definitely thought twice about doing so. Not knowing it ahead of time has caused me to down more chocolate and coffee than one woman should ever have in a 24 hour setting. I’ve also uttered the cliché “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” more times than I care to admit.

 

And then there’s the question that I might never know the answer to – why oh why did you break what didn’t need fixin’? I loved, the community loved the old blog functionality. What were you thinking breaking it? Sigh.

 

What sayest the community?

For the most part, the feedback around the upgrade has been positive. There has been some frustration at first with the “new” functionality. But, once folks calm down, they realize all the basics are the same, and they can choose (or not) to take advantage of all the extras at their own pace.

 

Why so successful? Well, we put out a call to our community for volunteers for testing. There were some annoyances found, some personal nits, but no deal breakers. I think it’s a success because we involved our community. We asked them point blank for their honest feedback, and they gave it to us. And it helped to make this great big endeavor work. And now we all get to reap the benefits.

 

The final verdict

 

So, if given the opportunity, would I do the upgrade again? Yes. But I’d make a few changes to how I approached things. I guess that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Learning from our mistakes and improving upon our weaknesses.