Know the IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. If you have any confusion about whether you ought to publish something online, chances are the BCGs will resolve it. Pay particular attention to what the BCGs have to say about proprietary information, about avoiding misrepresentation and about competing in the field. If, after checking the BCG's, you are still unclear as to the propriety of a post, it is best to refrain and seek the advice of management. Be who you are. We believe in transparency and honesty; anonymity is not an option. When discussing topics relevant to IBM, you must use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for IBM. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be judicious in disclosing personal details. Be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks. The lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in online social networks. By virtue of identifying yourself as an IBMer within a social network, you are now connected to your colleagues, managers and even IBM's clients. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with your work at IBM. If you have joined IBM recently, be sure to update your social profiles to reflect IBM's guidelines. You may not use IBM logos or trademarks as a part of your postings, including in your identity on a site, unless you are approved to do so. Speak in the first person. Use your own voice; bring your own personality to the forefront. Use a disclaimer. Whenever you publish content to any form of digital media, make it clear that what you say there is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of IBM. For instance, in your own blog, the following standard disclaimer should be prominently displayed: &quot;The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.&quot; If a site does not afford you enough space to include this full disclaimer, you should use your best judgment to position your comments appropriately. Managers and executives take note: This standard disclaimer does not by itself exempt IBM managers and executives from a special responsibility when participating in online environments. By virtue of their position, they must consider whether personal thoughts they publish may be misunderstood as expressing IBM positions. And a manager should assume that his or her team will read what is written. Public forums are not the place to communicate IBM policies to IBM employees. Respect copyright and fair use laws. For IBM's protection and well as your own, it is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including IBM's own copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work. And it is good general blogging practice to link to others' work. Keep in mind that laws will be different depending on where you live and work. Protecting confidential and proprietary information. Social computing blurs many of the traditional boundaries between internal and external communications. Be thoughtful about what you publish—particularly on external platforms. You must make sure you do not disclose or use IBM confidential or proprietary information or that of any other person or company in any online social computing platform. For example, ask permission before posting someone's picture in a social network or publishing in a blog a conversation that was meant to be private. IBM's business performance and other sensitive subjects. Some topics relating to IBM are sensitive and should never be discussed, even if you're expressing your own opinion and using a disclaimer. For example, you must not comment on, or speculate about, IBM's future business performance (including upcoming quarters or future periods), IBM's business plans, unannounced strategies or prospects (including information about alliances), potential acquisitions or divestitures, similar matters involving IBM's competitors, legal or regulatory matters affecting IBM and other similar subjects that could negatively affect IBM. This applies to anyone including conversations with financial analysts, the press or other third parties (including friends). If you're unsure of the sensitivity of a particular subject, seek advice from your manager or legal team before talking about it or simply refrain from the conversation. IBM policy is not to comment on rumors in any way. You should merely say, &quot;no comment&quot; to rumors. Do not deny or affirm them (or suggest the same in subtle ways), speculate about them or propagate them by participating in &quot;what if&quot;-type conversations. Protect IBM's clients, business partners and suppliers. Clients, partners or suppliers should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Externally, never identify a client, partner or supplier by name without permission and never discuss confidential details of a client engagement. Internal social computing platforms permit suppliers and business partners to participate so be sensitive to who will see your content. If a client hasn't given explicit permission for their name to be used, think carefully about the content you're going to publish on any internal social media and get the appropriate permission where necessary. It is acceptable to discuss general details about kinds of projects and to use non-identifying pseudonyms for a client (e.g., Client 123) so long as the information provided does not make it easy for someone to identify the client or violate any non-disclosure or intellectual property agreements that may be in place with the client. Be thoughtful about the types of information that you share, which may inadvertently lead others to deduce which clients, partners and suppliers that you are working with. This might include travel plans or publishing details about your current location or where you are working on a given day. Furthermore, your blog or online social network is not the place to conduct confidential business with a client, partner or supplier. Respect your audience and your coworkers. Remember that IBM is a global organization whose employees and clients reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory—such as politics and religion. For example, if your blog is hosted on an IBM-owned property, avoid these topics and focus on subjects that are business-related. If your blog is self-hosted, use your best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of IBM. Further, be thoughtful when using tools hosted outside of IBM's protected Intranet environment to communicate among fellow employees about IBM or IBM related matters. Also, while it is fine for IBMers to disagree, but please don't use your external blog or other online social media to air your differences in an inappropriate manner. Add value. IBM's brand is best represented by its people and everything you publish online reflects upon it. Blogs and social networks that are hosted on IBM-owned domains should be used in a way that adds value to IBM's business. If it helps you, your coworkers, our clients or our partners to do their jobs and solve problems; if it helps to improve knowledge or skills; if it contributes directly or indirectly to the improvement of IBM's products, processes and policies; if it builds a sense of community; or if it helps to promote IBM's Values, then it is adding value. It is best to stay within your sphere of expertise, and whenever you are presenting something as fact, make sure it is a fact. Though not directly business-related, background information you choose to share about yourself, such as information about your family or personal interests, may be useful in helping establish a relationship between you and your readers, but it is entirely your choice whether to share this information. Don't pick fights. When you see misrepresentations made about IBM by media, analysts or by other bloggers, you may certainly use your blog—or add comments on the original discussion—to point that out. Always do so with respect, stick to the facts and identify your appropriate affiliation to IBM. Also, if you speak about a competitor, you must make sure that what you say is factual and that it does not disparage the competitor. Avoid unnecessary or unproductive arguments. Brawls may earn traffic, but nobody wins in the end and you may negatively affect your own, and IBM's, reputation in the process. Don't try to settle scores or goad competitors or others into inflammatory debates. Here and in other areas of public discussion, make sure that what you are saying is factually correct. Be the first to respond to your own mistakes. If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly, as this can help to restore trust. If you choose to modify content that was previously posted, such as editing a blog post, make it clear that you have done so. Adopt a warm, open and approachable tone. Remember that much of IBM's image is developed by the public's interaction with real IBMers. We all want that image to be a positive one. Your tone, your openness and your approachability can help with that, just as they can with your own personal &quot;brand&quot;. Use your best judgment. Remember that there are always consequences to what you publish. If you're about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, review the suggestions above and think about why that is. If you're still unsure, and it is related to IBM business, feel free to discuss it with your manager. Ultimately, however, you have sole responsibility for what you post to your blog or publish in any form of online social media. Don't forget your day job. You should make sure that your online activities do not interfere with your job or commitments to customers.
Bloggers love comments, especially ones that provoke further discussion. People just don't do it enough. Don't be negative, constructive criticism is great. Nicely pointing out that information needs to be corrected with a link is nearly always met with appreciation. Make one comment a day and see how your network grows. Revisiting the same blog and commenting can build a relationship quickly and is often as good as blogging yourself. Many sites now use specialist commenting tools that allows your profile to be recognised by many different blogs, while you build up a profile and can also track replies to comments you have made. Look out for them as they will save you time and also let you do things such as “Like” posts.
Niche topic Find a gap – general blogs are great but if you have the aim to be known for something then you need to focus on that (without being a robot) Restrict the content you write Smaller, more engaged audience Less competition Be known for something You'll know what you are writing about Go off topic occasionally ~5-10% on things that are happening to you, but don't be self obsessed.
Very popular and easy to use blogging platform that allows for easy customisation and development to the level you wish. New themes are developed all the time but it is easily possible to make your own or customise existing ones. There are hosted and self-hosted platforms with a variety of widgets and plug-ins from 3 rd party sites to enhance and individualise your site. Quite easy to set-up your blog in 2 minutes. Built in stats tools to allow for tracking of visitors and where/how people found you. Most IBM external blogs are built on this platform but self-hosted. Community built around the platform is strong and searchable. You can follow and like other Wordpress blogs and posts.
A staple of the tech community this site is used by people from a variety of backgrounds, including non-techies, with an interest in technology. Rather workman like in style it allows for your content to be plugged into an established community and put in a category of related sites. Good community tools and following allow for well maintained blogs to pick up a good level of audience participation. The site allows you to connect to the community much like LinkedIn establishing your own network of influence. You will find similar types of services for other industries, such a ragan.com for people in communications
Share the content you like, build a collection of videos, images, quotes, news, links, thoughts, that show your deep interest in a certain area. This is all about curating content that is out there. Anytime you come across an article that is of interest added it to your site with a couple of clicks. Allows for tagging, Twitter integration and for you to easily change the style of the blog through themes. As we know there is way too much info and we can never get through it all but if you find someone that you trust that is collecting together interesting and thoughtful content in one place it can save people searching around for it, you become a trusted adviser. This format can also be used as a traditional blog to capture your thoughts, not just content from elsewhere. Indeed merging the two can provide a valuable resource for yourself and others as an archive and repository on your specialist topic. Similar sites: posterous.com
Tell your friends, colleagues and twitter followers. Incorporate into other comms you do – email
Telling people won't work alone, ensure you make your site findable too. A great way is to share blogs via Twitter and/or LinkedIn. Also in Twitter add in your blog url in the profile and with LinkedIn there are also widgets for some platforms such as Wordpress. There are also things like making sure your profile is complete, all posts are tagged and the title accurately reflects the content. Some platforms allow you to provide an excerpt, make sure you fill that out. You will also want to link to other blogs – citing others will hopefully mean they will return the favor at some point. Also commenting, as mentioned, will help too if the commenting profile that is used contains your details in it's profile. WARNING: Don't go around commenting on unrelated posts and randomly adding links back to your site. You'll not do yourself any favors. Comment where you have something to say and where the content is genuinely interesting to you. Comments like, “Great post, check out my site” will be sent straight to spam.
This is how my work flow looks. I post onto my Wordpress site which I then share on tumblr if it fits with my content, otherwise I will post a link on Twitter directly. Within my LinkedIn profile I have the Wordpress widget which shows all my recent posts and a link to the blog. Anything I post on Twitter goes to Facebook, via an application. If I am busy on Twitter and posting may updates I will disable the application so my Facebook status is not flooded, then re-enable it later.
The default business network for many. There are others such as Xing which is popular in Germany and other parts of Europe. Fill out your entire profile: Related links Bio Summary Jobs Make connections with people you know right away. Recommend people that you find genuinely helpful or skilled that you have worked with.
Select a couple of groups and make sure you get the daily digest. Start discussions, ask questions, answer questions, provide links to relevant content – not just your or IBM's content. Find the best answer, not the IBM answer. Build and earn trust. Be helpful, be honest.
Transcript of "Start blogging, comment first"
Using External Social Media Blogging Karl Roche WW STG Social Media Communications
The how not the why.. you get the why already, right?
“ What sets blogs apart from other online writing … is their dynamic nature (as opposed to static Web pages) and their voice (style).” The voice of the writer of the blog, in a successful blog, is unique to that blog . Susan Ward, About.com Why Business Blogs? Blogging definition
Getting Started Please read the Social Computing Guidelines http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html
Read first <ul><li>Find some blogs </li><ul><li>Search Google
Where to blog? Depends on your skills, topic and audience <ul><li>Traditional blogs </li><ul><li>http://www.wordpress.com/ </li></ul><li>Community blogs </li><ul><li>http://it.toolbox.com/ </li></ul><li>Micro/re-blogging </li><ul><li>http://tumblr.com/