Tag Archives: Facebook

Don’t focus on the new “it” tools to understand what social media is all about

The list of social media tools is long and constantly growing longer. New “it” are being released every few months and older tools reaching maturity very quickly. Given this mercurial environment, it doesn’t seem productive to focus on the tools when trying to understand social media.

The Conversation Prism, by Brian Solis and JESS3, as seen at http://www.theconversationprism.com/

In his book, Social Media ROI, Oliver Blanchard offers a wonderful metaphor that I have used many times when explaining social media to others:

The term social media describes the pipes; social communication and social interaction describe what people do with them.

Instead it is best to focus on understanding the sorts of interactions people have when using these tools and how that knowledge might be used to create better communication experiences and facilitate improved access to information

Focus on building relationships and connecting with people,  then choose the best tool for the job.

The difference between using these social media tools in addition to or in place of more traditional communication tools, will be in your message’s velocity and reach.

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As My Yammer Project Begins, I’m Counting My Blessings

 

 

With an endeavor as challenging as this Yammer work group project it’s important to count my blessings.

Blessing #1: Starting with a clean slate. Every single member of this work group is new to Yammer. A few of us have logged in and used it casually in the past, but none of us had any real experience using it in a project-oriented setting. While this inexperience presents certain challenges, it also presents some real advantages. We have little or nothing to unlearn. All impressions are first impressions. No habits are old habits. This is as close to a control group as I’m ever likely to get. This is a real boon for my research project.

Blessing #2: Diversity.  Kudos to our leadership sponsor for managing to corral such a diverse group of employees. This is truly a cross-functional group; I don’t think there are any areas of our organization that are unrepresented. In addition, we have managed to attract participation from a broad demographic group (or as broad as we can achieve, based on the level of diversity in our organization as a whole). We have a wide range of ages represented and even a decent range of ethnic backgrounds.

Blessing #3: Everbody’s GGG. Every single member of our group is open to trying something new. Some may be more comfortable with our experiment than others, but everybody displays a positive attitude and willingness to learn. That’s good, giving and game…in a business sense.

Blessing #4: Cheapitude. I’m so thankful that I managed to pick a project that requires few additional resources. The software is effectively free, as it had already been licensed by the enterprise and our use of it incurs no added costs. In addition, thus far, most of the group communication we’ve engaged in via Yammer simply replaces communication that would have occurred via email or meetings. It is my hope that, over time, our Yammer communication will become more efficient than other methods of group communication. If that happens, that would be a big win.

 

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The Yammer Work Groups Project

Periodically, my employer conducts an All Staff Survey. The last one was in 2011. The goals of the survey are:

  • to shape change at the workplace at all levels of the organization
  • provide a way of measuring how employees feel about their work and their work environment
  • to provide opportunities for open communication

Several weeks ago, I was invited to join a work group to address the results of the survey in my particular work unit. It’s not often that an employee is given a chance–in fact, charged with–becoming an agent of change in the workplace. I can’t say I jumped for joy (my mountain of work is just as high as everybody else’s). But under my load, I hopped a little.

An Opportunity to Introduce Social Communication into the Workplace

Ever since I returned to school to finish my Master’s degree in Communications in June, I’ve been casting about for the right work project to double as a Master’s capstone project. Something related to business applications of social communication (using tools like Facebook, Twitter, etc…). This new work group seemed like the perfect opportunity to conduct a trial run of Yammer Premium Groups.

For those who may not have heard of it, Yammer is an enterprise social networking tool that functions like a cross between Facebook and Twitter. Users can share information and collaborate across the enterprise using this tool. With Premium Groups, users can set up special work groups (private or public). Members of the group can collaborate on a project in this space, sharing files, asking and answering questions, and posting announcements. It provides a sort of virtual meeting environment that can often take the place of in-person meetings and email. The potentials of this tool are very exciting.

I was thrilled when our project’s leadership sponsor agreed to allow me to use this group to run a pilot of Yammer work groups.  I was still more thrilled at how supportive she was of the scholarly side of my goals.

Wish us luck. This promises to be a very challenging and rewarding project.

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