One of the reasons that becoming a social business is so difficult for a big company like IBM, as much as it believes and wants to take that route, is that being a social business entails a lot of risk. Encouraging your people to blog and tweet and respond in real-time means losing most of your control over what they say. How many times has Steve Mills be derided for referring to Lotus Notes as a "legacy" application? Letting your executives and product managers and developers out there into the wild means owning what they all say.
Even worse than the risk is the lack of immediate, measurable benefits. No matter how they try, your bean counters won't be able to measure the force of having Ed Brill work so well with the public. To take a non-IBM example, many businesses have taken to establishing Twitter account, not for the purpose of spewing propaganda, but for the purpose of taking complaints, publicly. SouthWest Airlines, for example, has a Twitter account at http://twitter.com/SouthWest. A moment ago, I did a screen shot of the past few tweets mentioning that account. That first tweet shows the possible benefit to the social business, with a public, unsolicited compliment. The second is a minor complaint. The third and fifth are awareness-raising without any real positive or negative spin, and the fourth is a flat out, "You Suck!" complaint aired publicly.
The leap of faith is that being out there will benefit you more than not being out there. I have run a social business for years. I do almost no advertising, and never have, with all my business coming from word of mouth, plus relentless marketing and improvements.
Are the risks worth the benefit? Yes. IBM knows it, and is willing to take the risks along with the leap. Are you?
Crazy quilt of Domino 9.0.1 HTML rendering
Thu, Jul 31st 2014 10:00a Ben Langhinrichs One challenging aspects of describing issues with Notes/Domino rich text rendering is that there seem to be so many engines. Even on IBM Domino 9.0.1, there are multiple rendering engines that render rich text differently (different ones fail in different ways). See below an example of Notes rich text rendered by three of the different engines (or at least they appear to be different engines given the results). (Traveler may have yet another engine, but these are all built into the core Domino s [read] Keywords: domino
My fairytale story video is up on Youtube
Sun, Jun 29th 2014 9:00a Ben Langhinrichs I finished up my story video, and it is now up on Youtube. I put it on a new channel, TheStoryTimeChannel, as I felt like it was sufficiently far removed from the IBM Notes and Gimp and product videos I do on my channel. Of course, that means I am starting with zero subscribers and zero view, so if you like this, it would be great if you could share it and subscribe. Plus maybe let me know what you think. This one took a lot, as I am trying to learn something about music mixing, and for this sto [read] Keywords: ibm
Status of video fairytale production
Thu, Jun 26th 2014 7:00a Ben Langhinrichs Status of turning my story, Lucia's Wish, into a video fairytale (key: not started, partially done, completed) Narration of the story: recorded & editedIntro page art before we "open" the book: doneAllocating text to virtual pages: All 17 doneIllustrations for pages: 6 of 17 doneSynchronizing text and virtual pages: mostly doneMagical integration of 3.5 minute music and 8 minute story: startedClosing credits: Not donePost-production and publishing: Not donePost-publishing party: Ha! For [read] Keywords: integration
New videos using the Peter Jackson approach
Thu, Jun 19th 2014 7:20a Ben Langhinrichs No, no hobbits or elves or elaborate war scenes. Also, no CGI. But I am working on three (possibly four) separate CoexLinks Fidelity videos at one time. Each deals with a separate aspect of why fidelity matters, and each should be short enough (aiming for 3 minutes or shorter) that you can pull your boss aside after a meeting, pull it up on your tablet or phone and say, "Hey, I think you should see this." Now I just have to decide whether to release them all at once or one at a time. Well, tha [read] Keywords:
Mon, Jun 9th 2014 11:47a Ben Langhinrichs Guess what? This isn't how Seriously, anybody know why IBM's main pages would trigger this? I was just going to download some IBM Domino software, but want to be sure I haven't missed something. [read] Keywords: domino
Remembering my first PET - the Commodore PET
Thu, May 29th 2014 11:27a Ben Langhinrichs I saw Kathy Brown's post about how Ant Pruitt asked whether we remember our first computer. Or at least the first one we ever used. I remember mine, and how I eventually managed to kill it. Back in 1978, my school bought a computer that I am fairly sure was a Commodore Pet that looked something like the image below. That is, I don't remember much about what it looked like, but I remember that my good friend, Jeff, and I were the only ones remotely interested. We learned to do some things on it [read] Keywords:
I need brave voice volunteers
Sun, May 18th 2014 7:51p Ben Langhinrichs As some of you may have heard, I am working on a project to put out a rewritten and extended version of my sci fi humor serial, Judd Falcoln: Missionary to the Stars, as a series of Youtube videos. It will not be a script or movie, but it will be more than a simple narration of a story. Dialogue will be read by volunteers (that would be you, mate), and faces might be used as well in a manner of speaking. What I need are volunteers who are willing to record themselves reading expressively the lin [read] Keywords:
Fidelity: Not mission critical except when it is
Fri, May 9th 2014 9:50a Ben Langhinrichs We are releasing CoexLinks Fidelity 3.6 today, and I thought I'd address one objection which comes up in meetings with clients. Email fidelity isn't mission critical. While most people making the argument are shot down quickly by those who do actually think that how a company presents itself to its clients and customers is important, I want to show an admittedly slightly contrived example, though I think you can see how even in more realistic cases, important information could be lost. In thi [read] Keywords: ibm