I had the pleasure of inviting Shel Israel, author of Naked Conversations, to join an internal Sun conversation with Sun folks who own or manage various Sun social sites/participation age content (employee blogs, alumni blogs, forums, podcasts, customer reviews, etc.).
We were interested in gathering Shel’s perspectives of how we’re doing in this space. Following are a few quick notes I took about his observations (I was talking/typing at the time, so pardon the rough edges):
– Shel thinks Sun may be the “blogging-est company in the world” based on the large percentage of employees who blog
– We know how to blog and don’t worry about blogging 101 issues (fear of comments, employees blogging damaging content, etc.)
– We have a CEO who isn’t afraid to take risks in this space and is really good at blogging
– He uses Sun as an example of a company who is good at blogging
He suggests we:
– Increase our presence at social media community events (grassroots conversations like blogger dinners, developer talks, etc.)
– Join more blogging conversations
– Don’t ignore video blogging
– Increase the passion in the blog content. The example he used is he learns from blogs.sun.com content, but it’s not controversial or edgy as, for example, Jonathan’s open letter to Sam
When asked about growing communities, Shel offered the following advice:
– Don’t push technologies out to form communities, get close to the community by blogging to get to know community members and listen/learn what they want. Don’t command/control.
– Remember the community owns the content
– The shift of power to communities is enormous
…and note to self, when you invite someone super important over, don’t use his his book as a device to prop up the projector. Jen B., our Information Architect, gets credit for the innovative data architecture.