Social Connections – what a conference!

Social Connections Logo Wow, the work is over. We (H2Omaniaks) had the pleasure to record the Social Connections conference which took place at Prague in June. Thanks to that I had the opportunity to see every single session over and over as I cut the recording. And I would say each of them was fantastic and several were really awesome.

I took some notes, so if you don’t have time to see all of them, you can be happy with this.

It is about trust

Infoware spoke about it, when Rafael Braz said that their partners have access to the same information as their employees. He mentioned that it requires appropriate NDA which makes sence, but keep it just on trust sounds much better.

And trust is also one theme from Luis Suarez session. For him being social doesn’t mean just sharing and oversharing – which usually happens to those who are not really open. They just share other people content and hide their own work. When you think that everyone is your competitor, the whole social idea just doesn’t work. But when you open yourself and start thinking about other people as your helpers, then the magic happens.

How do we trust people? By knowing them. How do we know them? By knowing what they share and what we share. What happens when we share? We have a conversation. What happens when the conversation takes place? Magic!

And Luis also had two numbers from some studies. When your salary is 70 000$ and higher you don’t longer care about money. You start to care more about your power inside the company. Why not after all.

The second number was just bigger shock to me. Worldwide just 13 % of employees are engaged at work. In Czech Republic it is just 8 %. But thanks to social software this number rose 2 % in last few years.

Change of Behaviour

Firas Yasin extend the phenomen of open even more in his (to me the best) presentation full of stories. Do you know how GPS was invented? By sharing knowledge across teams. And he had much more stories like this. So put all ideas together, don’t lock them in different teams.

If we exchange apples each of us will walk away with one apple, do the same with ideas and you walk away with two ideas.

And I like one idea from his presentation really a lot and must try it as soon as possible – pay for the person behind you in a queue. It should be a wonderful experience.

Simon Vaughan mentioned, that Connections implementation isn’t just about ROI, much more important is ROB – Reworking of Behaviour. People need to start thinking a bit differently and get used to the whole idea of sharing and openness. (BTW how many people do you know who aren’t afraid to share their knowledge?)

Tomáš Holec also recommended to break hierarchy, put people in different teams and make them not to listen to one boss – it should force them to collaborate with provided technologies. And Stuart McIntyre had some tips how to remove objections people can/will have.

Related idea from the Pardon the Interruption session – you should (thinks Luis) turn off the notification emails from Connections. People need to live in it, otherwise they will not use it.

Start small doesn’t work

Great presentation about social software implementation, which is mostly valid for any other implementation, so you should really check this one.

Start small and in restricted use means your project will fail.

You can start small and support just some area of company, but you have to enable everyone to use it and try to fight it on their own. And you would be surprise when they would want to be the next one for implementation.

Don’t forget to define guidelines such as what tags to use and when, what to share and what not and so on.

Be social

There were two presentations about social managers and I took two notes.

First one – when tweeting use two tags at maximum and if you mention someone you have much higher chance that at least one person will see your tweet 🙂

The other one – IBM is prepared to host your Connections if you are a usergroup. Bloody hell why we spent two years implementing them on our own at Sutol and pay monthly to someone who cares about them?

Mail Next

Yeah, there was the presentation about Mail Next and what all it can do for you. I just don’t care that I can tweet from my mail client or do this and that. I’m happy if it just sends my emails quickly and without pain.

But there was very interesting point. Hans Petter Dalen thinks that technology in near future will be able to answer 80 % of our emails because it just knows the answer. What the fuck? He wanted rather to say that 80 % of emails are just useless? The openness and all the social which Luis propagates makes much more sense.

After all, the demonstration of IBM Notes capabilities were really cool. As Hans Petter said – „5 minutes in the demo and the Head of IT was sold“.

Developer or Admin?

I mostly skipped these sessions as they were really above my head. But these are worth mentioning.

Claudio Procida and his Extensions and Themes Demystified (request documentation, it’s really powerful!), Martin Leyrer’s 90 slides in 30 minutes about debugging IBM Connections installation (when DNS do not work, stop!), Padraic Edwards and IBM SBTSDK (you will develop mobile app in 5 minutes), Andreas Artner and filling Connections‘ activity stream through TDI and Christoph Stöttner and WebSphere administration scripting (be careful, it’s quick then).


There were plenty of sponsors and each of them had their session. Well, I usually don’t like them, but Kudos Boards and Ephox editor look really cool.

Social Connections Sponsors

Be a family

The conference is going town to town, continent to continent, different speakers, different presentations, same topic. And Stuart would love to have about the same audience, so don’t skip it next time, when it’ll be in Stockholm, but follow the conference as well and think how to do it. Be again just a visitor, became a speaker or even a sponsor!

OK, sounds good to me, we can do the recording next time as well 🙂

Otherwise, it is time to submit abstracts or register for next round – Stockholm on November 13 – 14.

More links

You can find all videos on Vimeo, all presentations on SlideShare, photos on Flickr and Twitter stream.

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