Regular readers of this blog know that, among other things on the docket, we're in the midst of deploying Social Media across the enterprise. EMC has some 36k employees. Like email 20 years ago, introducing invasive technology requires some level of cultural change.
With such a large employee base, awareness of all things social ranges from extreme power users to those who really aren't sure what Web 2.0, Social Media, Social networking, E2.0, etc - is.
We've gone back to basics to help get the word out - and it's working...
I'm fortunate to be part of a very talented and creative team of people working to make Social Media a fundamental part of how we communicate. Without any formal launch of the site - without any fanfare at all - our internal community now has 4k active participants and upwards of 7k lurkers. Growth is about 200 people per week. In a word, it's been fantastic.
To my earlier point, we have those who dream of wiki markup languages in their sleep as well as those who haven't a clue what WML is. The challenge on the team - drive awareness, help users become proficient, take the mystique out of Social Media and help drive adoption.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when Jamie and Chris (two superstars on the team) approached advising they'd put together a lunch and learn program. No prompting... They just identified the challenge, dealt with logistics, posted a note on the internal community and *poof* were done.
We have three under our belt. I was able to attend todays session where about 50 people signed up. Fantastic questions... Everything from -
"What's the difference between a wiki and a blog?" to "In an Web 2.0 world, how does your audience determine what's authoritative content versus opinion?".
This was supposed to be a 30 minute session. We ended up getting kicked out of the room an hour later as someone else had it booked. There's clearly great passion and demand from people with varying levels of experience.
My point here - if you're working to transform a culture as we are - go back to basics. Set up some time and have an open invite for anyone that wants to attend. In my experience, rooms fill fast... There's a strong desire to learn - and, if you're reading this - you likely have something to share.... Seize the opportunity and help people understand what you already know. If done right, you might be surprised how quickly the community starts to gel on it's own.
If you're in a similar position - share your experience. What are you doing to help build your community?