Social networking, IBM, Microsoft etc: the Twitterverse debates

Charles Cooper's article noting the rise of Twitter as part of the media fabric is a cue for surfacing a long conversation I had yesterday with some of my 800 Twitter followers. The pretext was my post about the end of software and the number of thanks folk posted on Twitter.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

Charles Cooper's article noting the rise of Twitter as part of the media fabric is a cue for surfacing a long conversation I had yesterday with some of my 800 Twitter followers. The pretext was my post about the end of software and the number of thanks folk posted on Twitter. On this occasion I donned my CIO suit of armor, complete with tin lid for what turned into an entertaining discussion. You may (or may not) agree with all/any/none of what's said but even so, it gives insight into how the edge case people who turn up at Twitter are thinking and how the medium works.

The players (in no particular order):

  • @elsua - Luis Suarez, IBM evangelist for social networking, Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • @suw - Suw Charman, social media change agent, London, England
  • @samlawrence - Sam Lawrence, CMO Jive Software, Portland, Oregon
  • @olivermarks - Oliver Marks, innovation consultant with large Japanese gadget maker, San Fancisco
  • @dominiccampbell - Dominic Campbell, change management consultant to UK government
  • @jackiedanicki - Jackie Danicki, beauty blogger and social media maven, Cincinnatti
  • @dan_mcweeney - Dan McWeeney, Adobe code jock and Enterprise Irregular member, Palo Alto
  • @njames - Nigel James, SAP consultant, London, England
  • @amandachapel - Amanda Chapel, non du plume for Strumpette, online PR scourge, NYNY
  • @aqualung - Ric Hayman, software consultant based on Australia
  • @vanderwal - Thomas Vander Wal, principal, InfoCloud Inc, Bethesda, Maryland
  • @hortovanyi - Nick Hortovanyi, Toast Technology, Australia
  • @jangles - Neville Hobson, social media maven, Thames Valley area, England
  • @folknology - Al Wood, technology inventor, UK

I've had to re-assemble the conversation from Twitter on the web so there may be a few posts that are out of alignment. Most of the conversation occurred before 6am PT so it is mostly EU centric. Like all Twitter conversations, you have to read from the bottom up.

elsua @dahowlett RE: GreenDotLife, hey, Dennis, you aren't talking crap, mate! You're keeping me real. I'm just trying to rebel against it all! :)

dahowlett @elsua OK - read GreenDotLife and tell me I'm talking crap. Or read the PWC, KPMG blogs.

elsua @dahowlett RE: http://is.gd/2sm, yes,because the focus is shifting from tools/processes to people, where it should have started in 1st place

dahowlett @elsua you've said it yourself! Paraphrase your blog: "The KM solutions we put in the past haven't worked. But this will."

amandachapel @dahowlett the open corporate model will be as accepted as open marriage someday.

elsua @dahowlett RE: My tip: Hummm, if I take people where they are at, they will never move, nor leave their comfort zone. Is that a good thing?

dahowlett @elsua agree- but people are not like that in the real world. My tip: take people from where they're at, not where you want them to be.

vanderwal @dahowlett I have been using this stuff does what KM tools promised, but never delivered, but this time by doing not promising.

vanderwal @dahowlett I am finding many in IT are frustrated with Sharepoint as they have moved from a handful of manageable silos to hundreds unmgbl

elsua @dahowlett RE: GenY/M/Z, I don't buy that crap either, Dennis, but most people under my age I connect with don't use e-mail, but IM/socnets

dominiccampbell @dahowlett the bureaucrat dinosaurs of the corporate world complicit with the dinosaur bureaucrats of the public world. corrupt.

dan_mcweeney @dahowlett To change design you don't need to turn the oil tanker(and shouldn't), just change the cockpit controls.

elsua @dahowlett RE: this is what I hear from IBM: sorry we got it wrong but do this and it will all be OK. Good message? > Context please?

elsua @dahowlett Honestly? I'd gladly give up my job, get to do something else. As opposed to have to jusfity time & time again why change is good

elsua @dahowlett RE: Evangelist, believe me, I wish I weren't. I wish people would just be open to try new things & become more productive.

olivermarks @dahowlett sharepoint & Lotus Notes=typical IT solution

dahowlett @njames true and do I love what those guys do? Ab-so-lutely - but they're just as much edge cases as the rest of us here.

njames @dahowlett sap should have smaller little speedboats that can turn on the head of the pin. isnt that what imagineering is for?

jackiedanicki @dahowlett nothing worse than a Microsoft-addicted CTO. "We should just use Sharepoint" are my five most dreaded words.

dahowlett @dominiccampbell who advises government? The same idiots that gave us ERP as a cure all and who preside over continuing failure.

dominiccampbell @dahowlett there is a mad scramble in government to sharepoint at the mo believe it or not. Popping up everywhere. V depressing.

dahowlett @SamLawrence I agree but that's been pretty elusive over the 35 years I've been in this game.

SamLawrence @dahowlett Some people believe that the way to win is to convince IT. That and give it away like AOL CDs (I still find those).

dahowlett Final word: SAP thinks design wise takes 2-5 yrs. Do I think that sux? Damned right. But how quickly can an oil tanker change course?

dahowlett And on the technical front, does anyone seriously believe Sharepoint is the way to go except the IT shops? Skirmish 1 methinks.

dominiccampbell @dahowlett I'm with u on this one.20yr+ change cycle easy,as Clay Shirky says tech needs to pass the "your mum uses it" test b4 true change.

dahowlett @olivermarks I mean working reasonably well across the board. 1st job, break the silos. 2nd job, break the silos. 3rd job: equip for war.

olivermarks @dahowlett depends how you define 'completed' and who you talk to ha ha long this thread

elsua @dahowlett inter-connectivity of multiple disciplines, &, much more importantly, a crucial focus on people vs. tools / processes.

dahowlett @elsua right - no-one's implemented that yet. It's a fallacy re: GenY/M/Z whatever. Greasy pole - who's there now? How to get there? Conform

dahowlett @elsua Ok - this is what I hear from IBM: sorry we got it wrong but do this and it will all be OK. Good message?

elsua @dahowlett hehe, that's the whole point. I am not talking about KM. Traditional KM is just *so* dead. Needs to evolve into openness

dahowlett @dominiccampbell believe me - nothing would please me more. It's a topic I've been involved with since '99. But I also know harsh realities.

dominiccampbell @dahowlett @elsua its like watching war of the worlds - hard edge realism battles it out with social utopian!

dahowlett @elsua Fair enough, but that's not what people hear. Suggest checking this out: http://snurl.com/2283y

elsua @dahowlett Yeah, so do I. I still deal with people who use email, but that doesn't mean I'll respond to them in their medium for open Qs.

dahowlett @elsua Ok - but then if you're talking KM then that's the tip of the iceberg right? What happens when you want to action?

dahowlett The programmes I am seeing now that ARE genuinely successful are those that face outwards, not those that face inwards.

elsua @dahowlett Hummm, never said socnet is a cover all, on the contrary... it's an augmenting all & re-purposing what wasn't working before

dahowlett @Suw - use cases that weren't force fit and are beyond the department? Happy to hear. Seriously.

Suw @dahowlett: i manage to change programmes all the time... say, Grand Designs to Relocation, Relocation, or even Numb3rs.

dahowlett @elsua I didn't say email changes things. I don't use a printer but it doesn't stop me having to deal with people who do.

elsua @dahowlett & you know I trust you on that & many other statements. I just keep failing to see how e-mail can change things. It won't. Never

dahowlett @elsua yes you are - it's the mindset change issue and the assumption that socnet is a cover all. It's not.

elsua @dahowlett More value creation out than in open, public, protected spaces, than e-mail? Boy, I'm missing something here. e-mail doesn't cut it

dahowlett Hands up all you experts who have successfully completed a change management programme.

jangles @dahowlett not a bad analogy. But I bet it can be done.

dahowlett @jackiedanicki True - but reprieve doesn't cut it in business

jackiedanicki @dahowlett heh, nice one. there is something in the idea for all businesses, though, of having a daily reprieve...

folknology @dahowlett does that mean there is an AA group for ex social networkers ? Maybe it should be a SNA group ;-)

dahowlett I liken the changes required by social networking to curing alcoholics - can't be done.

dahowlett @elsua I know all that but FUD doesn't sell - value creation does. Trust me on this - I'm seeing it in action

elsua @dahowlett ... with cricical files lost, archives of years of info completely wasted, confidential files through attachments now buried away

elsua @dahowlett RE: ERP, I, Dennis, but the same thing is happening with email. Any ideas how many millions of $$$ have gone because of email... vanderwal @dahowlett seems about right for open sharing, selective sharing I am finding much more openness toward. It is a cultural & cognitive shift.

vanderwal @dahowlett do you have a link for the 90% peeps don't want to share stat? SamLawrence @dahowlett I'm way too stupid to read the Economist.

elsua @dahowlett Oh, and people may not want to share, agree, but if we don't push it they won't change. This is all about changing behaviours

elsua @dahowlett ... for what it was originally meant to be: a 1on1 private, sensitive, confidential communication. Everything else should go out!

elsua @dahowlett No, I haven't, Dennis. Got a link for me, pls? Ta! Again, not saying e-mail is dead. Just saying it needs to be re-purposed

aqualung @dahowlett and the local IBMers seem to leave smaller business to MS (where I think they have a story to tell with Lotus stuff)

dahowlett @elsua Did you see Economist article on SN? Email might not be dead. I've seen new research: 90-95% peeps don't want to share.

dahowlett @hortovanyi IBM is the bigger market from what I know and see in terms of deals

hortovanyi @dahowlett My observation WS seems to be Tier 1.. outside of that and within departments dominated by MS.. which is the larger market?

hortovanyi @dahowlett hmmm does the Channel add Value with Sharepoint.. hard to evaluate if alternatives aren't benchmarked

dahowlett @hortovanyi I can't comment on that as WS seems to do well overall.

hortovanyi @dahowlett i'm a WebSphere Portal guy.. might have made the wrong bet a few years back??

dahowlett @hortovanyi what about M$ being v.good at supporting its VARs who in turn are v.good at selling to IT shops?

hortovanyi @dahowlett everyone in the MS Channel is making a lot of money at the mo with Sharepoint.

dahowlett @hortovanyi is that the same as delivering value?

hortovanyi @dahowlett The sales pitch seems to be you don't need IT support.. its not complex, you can do it yourself???

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