Social Media at Work

The company I work for has IBM Connections.  If you’re not familiar with it, I cut and pasted a description from Wikipedia below:

IBM Connections is a Web 2.0 enterprise social software application developed by IBM. The goal of IBM Connections is to empower companies to be more innovative and help them execute more quickly by using dynamic networks of co-workers, partners and customers. It provides social networking tools for businesses to use to bring together people through online tools.

I’ve heard it called “Work Facebook” or a “waste of time.”  Actually someone told me on Friday they thought it was a joke when it was rolled out over a year ago.  Really?  The company I work for has about 5,500 people across 7 primary locations, in 140 branches, plus salespeople working remotely – IBM Connections can be a powerful tool to bring everyone together however it’s just not catching on.  Sure there are people positing on it.  My L&D group has a community for our new hire classes that run simultaneously in two locations we’ve encouraged the classes to take a few minutes each day to post about their experiences in class, share knowledge that they’ve learned each day and just open lines of communication between the two sites during class.

What does surprise me is that a dry erase board went up in the kitchen and it seems to get a lot of traffic on it.


I know it’s hard to read so the posts are below:

  • How was MUDD Volleyball?
  • Dirty!  And a blast as always 🙂  Thanks to everyone that came out!
  • Thanks for organizing this.


MUDD Volleyball was a charity event for the March of Dimes that happened over the weekend.  Associates are talking about it socially in a platform where everyone in the office can see it.  I wonder why taking 30 seconds (if that) to handwrite “How was MUDD Volleyball?” isn’t considered a waste of time when posting the same question on the Community Involvement page of IBM Connections would take the same amount of time?  There are benefits to the social network like you can post photos and everyone in the company can potentially see the good work that you’re doing.

There is knowledge in one’s social network.  I know that we can leverage IBM Connections in the L&D organization and we’ve just scratched the surface with our new hire community and our L&D community.  I started reading The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner because their sessions at ATD ICE really got me interested in the topic.  I haven’t gotten that far but I am interested to see how we can leverage the platform to improve our training.

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