I came across an internal blog post about making sense of the intranet social networking tools. Joseph, a communications assistant from the UK, asked us to help him make sense of the overwhelming choices we have in terms of Web 2.0 tools. When I checked out the wiki he created, I found out that Joseph was doing his Ph.D. dissertation on social computing in the enterprise. This just happened to be the area that I got my masters in, so I sent him an instant message and I shared a copy of my thesis with him, in the hope that my bibliography might save him some time. He had read some of my blog entries, but he hadn't realized I had done my master's research in the same area. I then proceeded to brain dump a whole bunch of tips, such as:
- Blog about your research. This is the single best thing you can do to get the word out and to find people who are interested in this kind of thing. I can't begin to describe how helpful people were. And if you end up falling in with the way the company does social networking (like I did!), people will help you find a great job too!
- Build relationships. Again, the internal blog's a terrific place to do that, particularly for this area of research. Invest time in scanning the blogs and commenting on things you find interesting.
- Don't worry about disappearing off the dashboard. Plenty of people use feed readers and subscribe to specific people or tags, so once you get on their radars, you'll stay there.
- Use a feed reader that lets you create keyword searches. That way, you never miss discussions that you are interested in. Feedreader, Omea, and FeedDemon all have this feature.
- Get to know people. I recommended a whole bunch of people who are interested in social computing. =)
- Read these books: Crossing the Chasm, The Diffusion of Innovations, The Tipping Point, and Influencer.
- Check the blogs for news about interesting tools. Our internal early adopter program is good, but the internal blogs catches the coolest hacks from all over.
- ... and other tips! =)
I tried to squeeze as much as I could in half an hour, but I'm sure I'll think of other tips! I loved just passing on everything I could think of. It was the best way to give back to all the people who helped me with my research, and I was happy to have stumbled across someone else who could learn from what I did. Besides, it was the Right Thing to Do.
Thank you, blogs, for this opportunity to help!