Taking a momentary break from the Lotusphere flow and recap, this is a very timely and useful discussion with IBM's Adam Christensen about our social media philosophy.  I get asked a lot why IBM doesn't have a few well-known voices in the blogosphere or Twitterverse.  Adam captures that with laser focus:

"Our assumption," Christensen said, "is that the employee will be a much better representation of the company than a couple of guys sitting in corporate. Our business is vast, so to represent the diversity of topics we touch and subject experts we have, we are best served getting average employees to be active in public conversations."

"We aren't interested in creating a few rock stars to be the face of IBM. Our social computing guidelines are very specifically designed to encourage and enable everyone to be active and open. This is true on all platforms, and certainly so on Twitter."
This fits with some of the questions I've asked over the last several months.  Most of you reading here consider yourselves "Lotus customers" not "IBM customers".  No matter how blue we go, you tend to resist the IBM image rather than embrace it.  And that's OK.  Our diverse businesses align in some organizations but not others.

Christensen also discusses how IBMers are using Twitter:
Twitter, he told me, removes the boundaries that have traditionally inhibited knowledge transfer.

"Because of the inherent equality in Twitter's two-way relationship structure and its low threshold for participation, it is the best platform for developing relationships with smart people wherever they are, at whatever company and at whatever level they operate," he explained.

On Twitter, IBMers can build relationships with people from whom they want to learn. They can also contribute what they each know to the collective conversation and by so doing, demonstrate a little thought leadership.
Having picked up hundreds of new followers this week during Lotusphere, both IBMers and customers/partners/industry voices, it's interesting to see the rise of Twitter as a key component of that conversation.  I think we all prefer a two-way conversation, and I felt like I was getting more feedback real-time via Twitter than the blog.  That doesn't mean the blog is no longer relevant... it's just that there are thousands of you visiting every day but a smaller contributor ratio.  

On the other hand, many of my new Twitter followers are of a new variety -- the Twitter read-only follower, who doesn't tweet on their own and appears to be following people in a mode similar to subscribing to RSS.  I welcome all, but I hope those who are not tweeting will join the conversation.  We'll all learn more in the process.

Link: Global Neighbourhoods: Twitterville Notebook: IBM's Adam C. Christensen >

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