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?
Out Of Notes Part 1: The Challenge
Wed, Jun 19th 2013 1:53p Ben Langhinrichs This is the first in my new series, Out Of Notes, which shows how the Midas Rich Text LSX can be used to take data out of complex, structured Notes documents and use it elsewhere. Whether a company needs to send small snapshots of documents usable outside of a Notes environment, or needs to export all of its data to an external system such as Sharepoint, they need the data in some different format. Midas allows high fidelity, flexible exports in a variety of formats. The one shown here is the Mi [read] Keywords: lsx
Starting a series of Out of Notes videos
Tue, Jun 11th 2013 10:10a Ben Langhinrichs The videos will show the Midas Rich Text LSX used to export either a single document or a collection based on formula, view or category, along with an exported view of the collection. Export formats will include HTML, CSV, MHTML, EPUB, EML and more, all including rich text as well as other data.. I wanted to explain in advance that I am not either for or against taking data out of Notes permanently, but I am in favor of high fidelity exports regardless of whether you want a snapshot for a client [read] Keywords: lsx
Internet Site Rules and accessibility to videos
Wed, Jun 5th 2013 8:10a Ben Langhinrichs I realized that an inherent issue with video tutorials on Notes/Domino and other topics is accessibility. There are people who don't hear well, people who don't understand me easily, and people who don't speak English well enough to understand what I am saying while also trying to follow the logic of my fast-paced tutorials. With this in mind, I am adding closed captions to the videos. I have already added them to a couple, most notably my popular Hide Your Unmentionables: Domino's Internet [read] Keywords: domino
Colorful transparent 3-D frames in Gimp 2.8
Tue, Jun 4th 2013 7:00a Ben Langhinrichs One more quick Gimp 2.8 mini-lesson. The next few I am working on are for Notes/Domino and for Midas, but this is a fun and easy technique I worked on during the weekend. The full mini-lesson is at http://mini-lessons.info/Gimp15. Watch until the end to see how frames can be made with irregular shapes as well. [read] Keywords: domino
Gimp template for Youtube One Channel graphic
Thu, May 30th 2013 12:00p Ben Langhinrichs Over the next few weeks, Youtube is going to switch people to their new One Channel design. If you care about the branding of your Youtube channel, I created a Gimp template you can use with layers to show or mask the various parts which will show on different size devices. You can find the template file plus instructions at http://mini-lessons.info/Gimp14, but I have included the video in case you want to understand how it works first. [read] Keywords:
Cross Reference Smartlinks from view to rich text
Fri, May 24th 2013 11:10a Ben Langhinrichs My latest mini-lesson is Midas#7 Cross Reference Smartlinks, which shows off a sample database that is both very new and very old. I created an earlier version for Lotusphere 2002, I think, and have modified it and used it in a couple of other places, but never made a public sample for our website. I decided to update it more and release it now, as I have had people ask for the functionality in one way or another recently. I helped one customer build it into an XPages app, so when I get a chance [read] Keywords: lotusphere
From Spy to Try to Buy
Mon, May 13th 2013 12:20p Ben Langhinrichs One good way to introduce people to the features of a product such as the Midas Rich Text LSX is to build samples. I originally thought of this as Try first, then Buy. Or to be that simple: From Try to Buy. There are 24 available on the Midas LSX samples page, which is a mixed blessing. Sometimes it is overwhelming. The biggest problem though, is that people have to request a Midas evaluation license, download the software and sample and install just to see if it is worth it to them. If they kno [read] Keywords: lsx
Looking for Notes/Domino books for free advertising
Tue, May 7th 2013 5:50a Ben Langhinrichs As part of my new Mini-Lessons.info tutorial site, I use the sidebar to list resources (mostly books) that are related to the topic. While I have some of the obvious IBM Notes/Domino books already, I'd like to add any others that people feel are a good fit. Also, if you've written or helped with one, let me know and I'll add that as well. If you have written or know of a good book in the other categories, GIMP, ePublishing, Web Design (esp. CSS and HTML), please let me know as well, of course [read] Keywords: domino
Mini-Lessons.info - tutorials on Notes/Domino and more
Mon, May 6th 2013 10:58a Ben Langhinrichs I wanted to introduce my new site, Mini-Lessons.info, as a place to find brief but useful demos and tutorials on a number of topics. There are a number of mini-lessons on Gimp 2.8 (a free open source alternative to Photoshop), as well as a few on IBM Notes/Domino and on our Genii Software products. I'm not sure whether I have worked out all the issues with leaving comments yet, but there are useful tutorials there. Of course, I am always open to suggestions. I want to do a series on XPages, as [read] Keywords: domino
Time for you to revisit Google Plus
Sat, Apr 20th 2013 9:30a Ben Langhinrichs While a number of people I know in the IBM world are active in Google+, there are many others who clearly tried it out for a while but gave it up after last posting in early 2012. It's time to revisit your profile and see how things like Communities and improved Hang Outs have made Google+ more and more useful. There are IBM-related communities such as XPages and IBM Domino Developers and IBM Connections Professionals & Power Users, as well as many, many more active communities on other top [read] Keywords: connections