#2. Write about your passion, passionately.

Today I participated in a wonderful introductory webinar for some of our CIO and IT director customers. My role was to talk broadly about what is happening in the blogosphere. Part of my task was to identify the do’s and don’ts of blogging. I put together a list of about a dozen, borrowing from other blogger’s suggestions, and adding a few of my own. I re-ordered them at the last minute and gave “passion” here a higher ranking. Passion is sticky in the blogosphere, so it has a lot of benefits to readers and bloggers alike.

elsua2To exemplify passion, I need to point to my good-friend-whom-I’ve-never-met-in-the-blogosphere, Luis Suarez who has just completed a seven part unpacking and analysis of the the McAfee-Davenport debate. The effort took Luis several days to publish; he released each “chapter” separately over the period of about a week while he was traveling from his home in Spain to NY for a conference. Luis’ passion is knowledge management, collaboration, social media, and enterprise 2.0 among other things related to these general areas.

Luis ends his seven-part article with this:

I couldn’t have agreed more with that statement as perhaps one of the most representative ones that describes not only Enterprise 2.0, but the entire movement behind Web 2.0 as well. With it, things have gotten a whole lot more exciting and interesting, because, for the first time in many years, knowledge workers have got the opportunity to have a voice, an opinion, and share it with everyone else collaborating with others, exchanging knowledge, improve their social capital skills and their subject matter expertise and, as a result of that process, innovate at a higher rather than in the recent past. And all of that dealing with their own passion for whatever the topic!

That is why, to me, Enterprise 2.0 is not only revolutionalising the Enterprise, but also our own ways of life, because, after all, social computing is a philosophy, a way of life you breathe and learn to nurture, that inspires constant change that you rather embrace … or not. And at the end of the day, whether we like it or not, it would be a matter of choice to adopt it or not. And that choice is yours. And yours alone. So it would be up to you (And not higher up in the management chain), whether you would want to change your organisation or not, whether you would want to change your life or not. And if I were you, I would not wait for others to tell you about it… Make it happen!

Make it happen now!

Now I know not all bloggers are passionate, but I think passion is a pre-requisite to good blogging. Luis is a great blogger and has a strong readership and following. I know all bloggers don’t express themselves with gusto and emotion, but beneath the surface of their writing is a driving passion and basic hunger to communicate and connect. When I look at the folks I’m proud to list on my blogroll, it’s the one unifying trace of blogger DNA that links me to all of them, and every other committed blogger in the hood. Like a wise English poet, well songwriter, once said, “Passion is no ordinary word.” (Graham Parker.)

The Art and Science of Social Media Analysis

I had a terrific chat yesterday with Nathan Gilliatt, fellow member of the Social Media Collective. I’m preparing for a webinar we’re hosting tomorrow with a large number of our CIO and senior IT clients on “Early Wisdom from the Next Generation Enterprise.” I was looking around for expertise on slicing and dicing metrics on the blogosphere and I recalled David Tebbutt pointing out Nathan’s research, so I reached out to him. Nathan published a report this year that profiled 31 of the leading vendors who do blog monitoring and measurement worldwide. Interestingly enough, aside from the expected PR and Marketing folks who are interested in this information, he has found willing buyers from the HR, legal, competitive intelligence, investment, and due diligence communities, as well. The bottom line on crunching through the numbers on making sense of the blogosphere is, it’s still early days and no one really knows what the real import of it all is and how influential the New Influencers really are. According to Gilliatt, the whole area of metrics is still immature and there are three basic areas that everyone does: influence, topic identification, and sentiment. The good news is, however, the vendors who are tracking the online phenomenon are increasingly adding more sophistication to their craft.

As I’m writing this post, I’m recognizing that some spider is combing this content and declaring I have “no influence” on this matter whatsoever based on the criteria they look for… that I’ve only referred to what others have written, for example. 🙂

New Influencer's bookSpeaking of New Influencers, I have recently (finally) finished Paul Gillin’s excellent book. Paul was at IDG around the same time I was writing my first newsletter which was published by IDG. Paul’s book, first published last year earlier this year, is now going into its second printing. The book is thoroughly researched with generous heapings of personal anecdotes drawn from Paul’s long history in the technology publishing business. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I recommend you pick it up.

Incidentally, both Paul and Nathan did podcast interviews with Maggie Fox on the Social Media Collective regularly weekly podcast series. If you don’t have the time to read books or reports, try the podcasts.

I know throughout this basic prep research I’ve been doing, the most promising work I’ve seen is being done in monitoring the nested relationships of social networks and trying to analyze how relationship capital ignites tipping points for brands or opinion online. Weird science, but strangely fascinating.

Experimenting and mashing up social networks

In various forums, internal and external, I’ve found myself arguing for the business justification for using Facebook. I even looked up when it was I first discovered I was surprised that Euan Semple was using Facebook professionally. That post was barely 60 days ago… May 1st. Before then, I was Facebookless. (Thank you, Euan, for turning me on, man.)

Jeff Nolan started a Facebook group for his Venture Chronicles blog recently. I joined it, not knowing what to expect , but I love Jeff’s blog, so I thought… humm– this can only lead to something good. I asked Jeff what he expected to get out of it. He said,

“I didn’t really have any expectation and was pleasantly surprised to
see that 50 people joined my group over the weekend. I’m hoping it will
become more discussion forum and persistent “posting” for things like photos
and files. Mostly I’m trying to keep an open mind to see where it goes
before having a POV to push toward.”

So, like Jeff, I decided to start a “Friends of ITSinsider blog” group on Facebook. Who knows who will show up and where it will lead… but, it’s a layer closer to the reader community that may be interesting. I’m definitely open to it. Plus, it’s not a stretch to predict that my regular readers (the hundreds of readers on feeds, for instance) who like my blog would probably like each other. In this way, I can act not only as a communicator, but as a facilitator or gateway to others who share similar interests.

social network diagram This diagram to the left is an example of a social network diagram. It comes to us courtesy of Hal Richman who has started a group on Facebook called “Convergence of social and business networking.” It shows the interrelationships between social networks. This group is doing some interesting work, and I’m curious to see where their research is headed. Dennis McDonald, one of my favorite bloggers, is a part of this group and has recently posted a graphical map of his online networking tools he is using for personal and business use.

Now, there has been some discussion lately about whether bloggers are the new popstars… I don’t advocate that we all start our own fan clubs, but taking community to the next level where we can really start making the connections go deeper and further– that just makes a lot of sense to me.

Hope to see you on the Facebook group (first 25 members get to see that secret video of the Enterprise Irregulars hotly debating 70s rock bands…)

UPDATE:  Psyche!  Just a c’mon.  That video is in the vault.  Those guys would surely excommunicate me in a NY minute…

Facebook for Business – the garage band interview

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=IDDGIBBlJlA">http://youtube.com/watch?v=IDDGIBBlJlA</a>

Dennis Howlett who is now going to be writing a blog for ZDNet summing up Google Group discussions on Enterprise Irregular musings, recently penned a great post on Facebook. Here is a video of Dennis and Loic LeMeur who runs leWeb3 discussing the benefits of Facebook for business professionals.