Archive for June, 2009

Jive SBS Rollout: Worst Practices

June 19th, 2009

OopsI had the best time writing these. Enjoy.


  • Make the login process as painful as possible.
  • Assume that your Jive Social Business Software (SBS) environment is only about delivering and consuming content, and not also about connecting and collaborating.
  • Ignore the fact that adoption happens virally – make your SBS environment an unwelcome and confusing experience for ad hoc joiners.
  • Create a space for every permutation of your organizational hierarchy – try to mimic your intranet structure.
  • Assume that structure is immutable.
  • Assume seasoned participants look at the All Content page or space hierarchy a lot.


  • Never let executives express their support publicly or repeatedly.
  • Don’t get the word out to executives or general users – just build it, and let them come.
  • Ignore middle managers – they will put a stop to all this “social nonsense” and tell their employees to “get back to work.”
  • Just send out one email to everyone. That should do it.
  • Call it a “collaboration tool” and not a “collaborative networking environment.”
  • Be secretive.
  • Don’t involve your Legal department until you’re about to launch.
  • Avoid the Sharepoint zealots in your organization.


  • Don’t bother showing users when to use Jive SBS vs. some other application. Give them too many choices. They’ll just use email that way.
  • Make sure all the help content is in extremely long text documents, and doesn’t include any images or videos.
  • Don’t bother mapping “how we used to do it” to “how we do it in Jive SBS” in any of your help content. Users love change, and they pick up on new ways of doing things overnight.
  • Actually, don’t create any help content at all.

Managing and Monitoring

  • Don’t bother with real use cases – fluffy goals, like, “collaborate and innovate better” are just fine for measuring business value.
  • Make sure to enable moderation on everything. People love it when they’re micro-managed.
  • Disable blogs. Nobody wants to share their opinions, anyway.
  • Force participants to request new groups. Self-serve capabilities are too enabling.
  • Don’t do anything about lagging participation metrics. Let things slowly die.
  • Never report on progress to anyone. They don’t think what you’re trying to accomplish is important.

Follow me here

June 4th, 2009

A fundamental value of maintaining your social network is the ability to encounter people who your trusted peeps recommend, and to confidently make those recommendations yourself. Need to find a good plumber who wears his pants properly so that your kids aren’t traumatized by ass-crack while the shower drain is snaked? You probably know someone who can recommend one.

Let’s take it to the Interwebs. You’ve got your LinkedIn recommendations, Facebook suggest-a-friend, and I’m too lazy to list whatever else is out there. Thinking inside the corporate box, I’m not aware of any commercial social networking applications that do a good job of enabling recommendations, other than the backdoor method of bookmarking their profile, then including a description about why and for what you recommend them. (For a very interesting look at the recommendation phenomenon from a Jungian dude, check out Michael J Pastor’s (@michaeljpastor) discussion about a related topic, reputation.)

Then there’s Twitter.

I asked Twitter: Is following someone in Twitter similar to recommending them?


  • Macker: it means they have something to say that I want to hear/read. so I guess that’s a tacit recommendation.
  • rickysays: Not for me. I just follow people I know or who have similar interests. Wouldn’t necessarily recommend them all tho (no offense)
  • turoczy: Not exactly. Follow some people on Twitter to hear their opinions, opinions with which I disagree. I don’t “recommend” them.
  • tselrahc: It would be a recommendation for twittering, but I would not extend that to other domains. That’s my criteria for follows.
  • stickfight: sort of, that and a mixture of the fact that they are one of the interesting animals in the zoo
  • passepartout: Follow means ‘you interest me, for now‘ If I follow someone FOR A WHILE, I could recommend you.
  • IainColledge: For me a follow does not have that high a status, I follow because I want to but not sure it is the same as a recommend
Couple of obvious “duh” points here:
  1. People are stingy with their recommendations, and rightly so, since they reflect upon their own highly valued reputations.
  2. Context is everything (as usual).

Incidentally, it would be cool if Twitter let me briefly explain why I follow someone, if I wanted to.

P.S. I don’t know why I wrote this post, other than to report the results of my Twitter question. But, if you can make it mean more, please comment.