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Week of May 19th

May 17, 2008

I suppose my blogging is evolving, and I would hope for the better but it isn’t always the case.   In the past, I thought my approach would be to construct posts that were a mix of things going on in my life, which mattered to me, with a bit of philosophy thrown in.  I fear the smarter sounding bits are falling by the wayside.

My day job has become focused more on social media endeavors, and has consumed more of my creative energies, but perhaps that pays greater dividends than trying to sound clever on a personal blog.

Monday, I’m presenting to an SVP on the state of our social media efforts – the highlights and lowlights.  I suspect in many companies, those driving social media must feel like sole proprietors, working long hours to forge the fundamentals of their little business within a business, to demonstrate the value, to develop volumes, metrics, goals and accomplishments in order to secure more funding and resources and cross that tipping point whereby the processes become ingrained throughout the business.   Social media becomes not a thing, but a way – a set of doors and windows through which to shorten the path, to increase clarity, and amplify voice.

Tuesday, I’m off to a conference and will meet many of my peers who work in other large companies and manage online communities.   This trip will take me across the continent to parts of the country I’ve never visited.   I think this will be one of those career milestones, and a definite add to my life resume’.   Lot of potential on this trip.

Going into this, I have some thoughts about how communities can be leveraged both upstream and downstream of a business.  In most cases, the focus is only downstream – a company launches a community (forum) to interact with it’s customers.  Why not participate with suppliers and partners as well?  I’m going to come back to this in a future post with some details on how that works out.

Those thoughts are reflective of the macro level under which I, and I’m sure my colleagues aspire to be operating.  However, the daily reality is also filled with applying metaphorical band-aids to many skinned knees.   The humble shop-keeper not only charters the growth of his business, but provides service with a smile, and remembers to take out the trash.   As a good friend and colleague once told me, “startups are flat”.    Work boots, not wingtips.


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