By now, you've probably figured out that I'm not all that involved in the day-to-day of EMC's social media efforts. I mean, I still know what's going on, I'm just usually the spectator these days.
That's good. Frankly speaking, I wouldn't want to be the bottleneck in something so important. At some point, you have to get out of the way, and let things take on a life of their own.
Thought I'd share with you two interesting developments on how we're improving our overall proficiency -- one formal, one informal.
The Importance Of Proficiency
If you've been following our journey, you'll remember from early on that I made this all about social media proficiency: that we had to help our employees become comfortable and proficient at all this social media stuff -- not only the tools, but the skills, behaviors and attitudes that are oh-so-important.
Simply being able to know what Twitter does is one thing; understand the role it plays and how to use it effectively is quite something else.
The EMC Social Media Club
Yes, a club for people who are simply interested in all this social media stuff -- nothing more. Turns out that there are a lot of people who are curious about all of this hubbub, and they want to learn more simply by hanging out with people who already do.
I was asked to speak at the first club meeting, which I did. I gave a quick recap of how EMC got into all of this, some of the original thinking, and a few of the big milestones along the way. Got great feedback from many people that sharing that context was very useful indeed.
As I watched the commentary on the club's group space, it was pretty clear there were all sorts of people who were glad that they could connect with others who were more proficient, ask their newbie questions, and generally feel supported.
What better way to help overall proficiency than establishing a club or group of like-minded people?
Congrats to Stu, Jamie and a few others who put this together. I would have never thought of this on my own, but I'm glad someone did!
Community Development 101
Again, if you've been following all of this, you'll remember me moaning on just how hard it was to teach people the basics of community formation. It's hard, gritty work. It takes a lot of time and effort. It's not easy, and you need help from others. And so on.
To this day, we patiently explain to group after group that simply posting a bunch of crap on a web page with a discussion capability is not a community; it's a web page with a bunch of crap on it and a discussion forum.
Our external community team (ECN) had established a nice methodology for community building a while back. They've got checklists and guide documents for each phase of the process -- something to behold in and of itself. And it's been quite useful to point an eager-eyed prototypical community developer to their space and say "have at it!".
But now they've done one better -- they'd established coursework and a curriculum for these same prototypical community developers. You can now actually take a class at EMC on this topic, and receive a bit of certification in the process.
People tell me there's strong interest from across the company in taking these classes. I'm hoping that the people who do the formal educational stuff at EMC take notice, and offer to make this a formal part of our professional development curriculum at the company.
Imagine making community development a recommended course for aspiring career professionals at EMC?
That'd be quite cool indeed.
The Journey Continues
couldn't have predicted either of these important developments a few
years back when we started focusing on all of this. However, I did
expect that we'd get all sorts of creative and passionate people
involved, and they'd come up with clever ideas and capabilities none of
us early pioneers would ever contemplate.
And that's exactly what's happening now.
We've built a social computer that innovates, and comes up with self-improving ideas to expand and refine what it does, and how it does it.
It's absolutely fascinating to watch all this ...