The power of social software, please help me out!

Ok, if you are reading this then I know you will take the next 10 seconds, click on the link below and vote for my brothers photo. What I want to see is if social software will come through. Of course this means the relationships I have built via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and of course my blog must hold water. What I would really like to see is this post make a difference, as it stands right now, my brother has 22 votes. Let’s blow this thing through the roof!

Link to photo voting.

I really appreciate everyone who takes time to do this. Thank you!

Personal Email – I’m not dead yet!

If I analyzed my daily personal behavior in the social world, email still plays a big part of that but it is slowly losing ground to Facebook and Twitter. The main thing I look for in email now is for things like shopping receipts, confirmations, and notifications from the social networks – for me, specifically LinkedIn and Facebook. They usually tell me someone sent me a message or commented on a post. So really, email is becoming more of a centralized place to get my “other” notifications from different software.It’s almost like email is my river of information…

I can’t say the same thing about work.

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One of the best blog posts I have read in a long time

So I woke up this morning and started reading on PlanetEclipse and I found a blog gem – Meet Butterflyzer Part I: Is this any way to develop a product? by Miles Parker. Miles hit on so many interesting points that I will only cover a couple here, read his article if you want to see the rest of them. Informative, provocative, and well written!

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Coshopping is a cool feature

Just watched one of my last IBMEA training videos on Websphere Commerce and I thought this one feature was pretty interesting. I have never seen this implemented on a site but I think it would have been useful in the past like when I was shopping online near a holiday – my wife and I could have co-shopped together! The co-shopping feature comes with Websphere Commerce version 7 with feature pack 2. The feature of course uses Dojo and the demo/sample widget can be used across the site as a widget with just a few steps.

Coshopping enables two shoppers within their own browser to shop together
– explore a store
– take control of a session
– highlight web page elements
– view products
– chat about products

link

Is Twitter driving your brand, product, or company?

I find it amazing as more and more areas in the world are using Twitter to drive something. My latest observations have been around Jeff Probst and the American show “Survivor”. You can follow Jeff on Twitter and Facebook and you can also go to his blog. If you are in the technical world, this is really not anything new. What you can see is how Jeff promotes his brand (namely himself) and his product (the show Survivor) on as many social sites as possible. Jeff is spending a lot of time on his blog, facebook, and twitter. I find him writing snippets here and there and many posts on his blog that make the show that much more interesting. I have been a long time Survivor fan since day ne and the value these social tools adds is incredible. It is like you get to connect with the real deal and not just show up on Wednesday nights to be entertained for an hour. This is exactly how a business or brand can take advantage of social software and use it to drive interest and ultimately sales. I also noticed he uses Google Ads on his site – I wonder how much he makes from them…

Jeff Probst has 57,573 followers on Twitter

I realized something very cool tonight after following Jeff Probst on Twitter. Survivor is filmed and Jeff and the survivors are all seeing the show for the first time. Watching these reactions on Twitter live adds a lot of value to the show because they are seeing for the first time all of the background conversations and back stabbing.

“I’m dealing with a bunch of bitches.” — Russell Hantz

It also made me think of the last post I made about the social tool not cutting it. So the occasional interesting post I see when I randomly go on Twitter is somewhat annoying but what is great is when an event is happening and then you monitor Twitter. It’s like being in a bar during a Syracuse game – everyone pitches in and gives an opinion or two.

It is also a lot like the Sametime chat window during an eMeeting. Those chats are invaluable to the meeting and end up being an excellent reference after. So maybe the key is, Twitter and the other social tools are more valuable at different times and for different reasons. I don’t know, I need to keep thinking about it.

Why Twitter and Facebook don’t cut it

So I have dove into the whole social network stuff pretty heavily, like most anyone related to technology. I now find myself following many people on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The information for the most part is interesting at best but to be honest about it, most of the information simple stinks. The “rivers” of information are just that, uncontrollable rivers that have no structure or guidance. Someone you follow posts great stuff then all of the sudden has a flurry of useless posts and information, only making the river harder to navigate. When you wake up in the morning and there are over 200 tweets or 300 plus new facebook events that is pretty hard to consume and navigate.

So yes, there are filters, search tags, and a couple of other ways to limit the feed but the reality is the information is inconsistent and not reliable. Twitter is even more of a nightmare to follow for long conversations between people. I spend most of my time in Facebook deleting messages and stop following posts by people or applications than actually reading anything fun, funny or business related.

Then you throw in LinkedIn. I am actually beginning to favor LinkedIn over all of the rest because of one simple element – the professional groups. I can easily navigate to a group and see “what’s going on” in that particular space. Almost like a news section of a newspaper. I also enjoy seeing the job changes, profile updates, etc of the people I follow because usually that information is interesting.

Lastly, there is PlanetLotus and PlanetEclipse. I think there is something here with controlled aggregations. I can go to a centralized place to read things related to a given product or technology or at least be guaranteed the content is somewhat related to the community.

So yes, this is a rant as I sit here tonight and find these social networks more frustrating than useful. Maybe I will feel different tomorrow when I wake up and see 800 things I have to ignore.

When a site has social overload!

Ever since I posted the entry about IBM.com “being social” I started looking around the net for how exactly other sites are social.  I noticed most popular blogs and sites have a section in the article where you can share the article on your favorite network. To be frank, most sites offer LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter the most with Facebook and Twitter being the clear leaders.

I then looked at my own site and I realized on my front page (the main blog index), it just looked like a bunch of buttons everywhere! I use WordPress and that share toolbar is the Sexy Bookmarks plugin which allows me to specify what social sites I want icon links for in my posts.  Well, I decided to keep the toolbar but hide it when you simply look at the page.  I used the CSS technique to hide the bar until the “Share:” section is hovered over by the mouse.  I think the site looks a lot better, I am just not sure if this is the right approach or if I should expose the “Share:” in a different way.  I did however, in a single post always show the bar – which is really where most people end up on my blog.  While I get a lot of hits to the main page, most of my hits are from feed aggregators to the specific entry.  I am interested to hear peoples thoughts on the main index approach.  I just think that page needs to be “simple”.  Thoughts?

Lotus Professionals group is where its at

I have been a member of this group on LinkedIn for a while and I think it is an excellent place to help others and seek opportunities.  People are often posting questions and jobs.  If you are a lotus consultant then you should join the Lotus Professionals Group on LinkedIn!

IBM.com IS social!

Wow, I stand corrected!

As Craig pointed out in the last post, there are icons at the bottom of the page.  Not sure how I missed that outside of it being passed all of the legal jargon and the colors are not in your face.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page on the original post I referenced you will in fact see the social plugins: