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    « Photos from 2010 Digital Labs | Main | Brain size correlates to size of social network »

    November 20, 2010


    Caesar Wong

    Hi Rowan... personally I feel that these are all just labels used to describe various facets of the most important thing: "relationships".

    While I largely agree with Jerry's model (have been pitching "hub and spoke" locally since he mooted it last year or the year before), it must run the entire gamut of an organisation, not just marketing (and within it, digital).

    Can you argue with the fact that the entire organisation is in the business of building relationships with its clients? Even employees in traditionally non-customer facing positions now find themselves customer facing when they are given the latitude to blog, tweet and otherwise participate in the conversation.

    A holistic model implies some kind of "common hive mind" approach towards social media, which will never work across 400k+ employees. It will end up more like concentric circles, with the increasingly outer fringes having their own rules that differ vastly and significantly from those originating from the core.

    I think Dandelion is probably the right approach for IBM, since a single global hub-and-spoke is too idealistic, and forgoes the reality that we're dealing with many different cultures and markets. What works in the US won't work elsewhere (even in other Western, English-speaking countries) and even what works in Eastern Europe won't work in Western Europe!

    What needs to emanate from the "central" hub is non-negotiable, axiomatic behaviours and values that define what the brand is and what it's about. The outer hubs then define a local set of rules which are also incontrovertible, but different to those from other regions as local market needs dictate.


    Interesting thoughts Caesar.

    I totally agree that social, (whatever model is used) is all about relationships, and that relationships (internal and external) are relevant to everyone in the organisation (not just the people in the marketing & comms dept). Also agree social is not just about 'digital', for example we probably all talk about our organisation with friends, taxi drivers etc

    Re. the holistic model - I think we could get to a "common hive mind" approach in terms of our use of social media (just like we now have a common approach to our use of the work telephone, with well known standards of use). For this to work, everyone would need to understand how to use social, and the organisation's social media guidelines (which IBMers wrote collaboratively, rather than centrally).

    In saying it could be holistic, I am making a distinction between our use of social and the information we share via social. Some information that gets distributed via the social networks would need to be managed via channels (though these could be social media channels?).

    Do you agree / disagree? Also, I'm interested to better understand your idea of it looking like concentric circles, with the outer fringes having their own rules that differ vastly and significantly from those originating from the core. Is this in relation to content or actual use of social? What would define the core and the outer fringes?

    Fun discussing with you!

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