Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

Twitter will be replaced

March 23, 2009

Yeah, yeah, I know everyone is talking about how sexy twitter is getting. It’s the place to be right now. If you aren’t on twitter – then you need to get with the program….

blah, blah, blah

My mom is on twitter, my wife is on twitter, my company is on twitter, mostly everyone I know is on twitter. This is all good for twitter, it makes twitter useful. In fact, it has inspired twitter to go look at selling, make some improvements, and look at making money again. Have a look at Read Write Web’s latest post regarding the proliferation of twitter. This thing is definitely going mainstream (hint: if you are mainstream – go create an account)!!

A couple years ago, we were at the same cross roads with blogs and blogging. We may be a little earlier in the cycle with twitter, but I would also pose that our culture is more accepting of these tools, so it’s still the right time to make the prediction. When we were at this cross roads last time, I wrote a nice little prediction blog post. Dated December 18th, 2006 – My 2007 Prediction: Blogs Will Be Replaced garnered a bunch of people telling me I was wrong, telling me that blogs were growing in proliferation and would be the ultimate supremacy for brand management, community interaction, etc. Yes – blogs didn’t disapear. Yes – blogs are great community interaction tools. Yes – Dave Winer is still blogging (despite his promise). Yes – the concept of blogging is great for news reporting, signaling, and information disimenation….

But Blogs were replaced – they were replaced by twitter and to some degree facebook. As marketing departments took over blogs and corporate employees (such as Microsoft PMs) began getting blog posts added to their annual and quarterly goals, the early adopters, the people who made blogging popular, the crowd that tested, evangelized, and vetted the technology moved on. Sure the bloggers still blog a bit (I still blog at this blog) – but along with everyone else (including Dave Winer), I spend a lot more time on twitter – twitter has replaced my excitement for blogging the same as it has for most bloggers who started earlier in this decade with the new cool thing called blogging.

So the question is – what will replacae twitter? Like my earlier blog post about blogging being replaced, I don’t know the answer. I do know that an opportunity exists for a few entrepreneurs. There is the space of helping people get onto twitter (some entrepreneurial consultants have started this already – but there is room for more). There is also the space of creating the next thing for all of us early adopters of social/community interactive/writing/commenting tools to use.

We need to go somewhere – our current tool has been taken over by the mainstream and thus will be replaced.

One week to go

October 8, 2007

Until Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Widemile!! There are still some seats left too!! If you want to get in or decided you won’t be able to make it – Go update your status at

This event should be good, loads of free organic food! Two great speakers who have built web marketing companies on the shoulders of their expertise in the field. Of course the usual networking with the local tech community!! All the details on bus service, parking, etc are ath the Seattle Lunch 2.0 wiki.

Also next week is the Boston Web Community Dinner that my friend Len is putting together with EMC’s wallet!! Perhaps if it’s a hit we’ll get a Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ EMC (of course we’ll have to top the HDS lunch). I won’t be in town for the lunch, that is the hard part about working remotely and being a huge fan of spending my spare time with my family….. I tend to miss the corporate sponsored fun.

Of course EMC’s internal blog platform is taking off, I have been busy getting a queue of blog posts, discussion boards, etc lined up to start feeding the Email community I am running there. I promise I’ll start dual posting some of the content too…

Community Evangelism and Leadership

June 27, 2007

I started blogging less than a year ago and have gone through the normal stages that bloggers go through as they find their voice. I meet new friends, enemies, spammers, marketers, co-workers, competitors, or potential employers almost every day through my blog. Sometimes I enjoy the conversation, and other times, well it can be a bit difficult.

Part of what prompted me to start blogging was the work that Jeremiah Owyang had been doing at HDS. He was successfully getting internal folks talking to the community, and well, I think EMC has more to offer in the information management space, so I decided to talk about it. The response was somewhat overwhelming, I talked about anything that was on my mind (including new EMC stuff that wasn’t confidential) and things that were going on around me (like interesting messaging and collaboration technologies)…..and in return I got to meet all the people who shared my interests or disagreed with my interests (including the debate about EMC blogging). Yes, moving EMC into an accepting organization of blogging is a long way from the DG crowd…that well, truly does describe the New England contingent (sorry guys)….But change is constant and the ratio of ex-DG/DEC folks to normal people is much better these days!! Because of that, the ideology is changing and blogging is acceptable. I know that I played a part in what is today and I hope that this level of interaction with the community increases.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the press dinner at EMC World and Jeremiah pointed out that it was because I was an influencer….and a Community Evangelist!

When in the world did I become an influencer and a community evangelist? I have no idea…..

……Does this mean that I have some greater level of responsibility to EMC, Microsoft, or the community? Does this mean that I get a pay increase? Does this mean that I am an A-List Blogger?

Not really, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot…..except of course that I have a new appreciation for my writing, the web, and corporate communications. Lucky for you I am not going to go work full time at any of these niche companies who tried to recruit me through my blog….and I’m not going to pick up and move to EMC Corporate……or pick up and go to some startup in the Valley……I am going to keep blogging about whatever seems interesting to me…..hopefully it continues to be interesting to everyone else so that we can all benefit from the experience.

I am also going to start thinking of myself as a Community Evangelist (thanks Jeremiah) and see if that holds any weight anywhere!! Although I think there is one thing that Jeremiah has missed in his countless insights into community programs….the value of distributed community ownership!!

By Distributed Community Ownership, I mean that communities need leaders, and big communities need more than one leader (or a distributed leader model….you know like the government but less corrupt and better with the vision thing). When you look at large companies like Microsoft, EMC, or IBM, you see a lot of different things happening, software development, hardware development, services development…..blah, blah, blah (go read Chuck’s blog if you want to hear that story)…..With all of these different things happening within the company more than one community pops up. For example, I personally interact with the EMC community that is interested in email and collaboration (because email and collaboration is where I personally get satisfaction). So that means I miss the Oracle crowd, the zOS crowd, the RSA security crowd, and all the other niche communities that pop up around certain sets of technologies. Each of these niche communities needs strong leadership. They need a strong voice that can interact with the community, yet give the same insight into the larger community (the corporation’s community) that any other niche leader would.

As an example……. The storage anarchist gives an incredible depth and debate on topics that relate to spindles, RAID protections, and the like. While Chuck gives an incredible depth and debate on the EMC informationist strategy. Then Mark, well Storagezilla, he gives us…..the best of the best, a unique insight into the many technical facets that are becoming the new EMC. If you read any of the three blogs, they all give a similar message though. You hear the same underlying vision that EMC is taking. Yet this does not necessarily hold true for all corporate blog entities….

Look at Microsoft….some X thousand bloggers strong, all fighting with each other about who is the next Scoble. Well….um, I’m sure 500 blog entries about the next orca CTP will be a thrilling read, but they will all say the same thing. The thing that some corporate PR nanny asked them to say….they are all getting played by one of those influence the influencer bits out of some blog strategy book the pr team read. So yes, the message is the same…..but it’s not unique enough to be interesting to a specific crowd, it’s not catered to the niche community that any one blogger has built…..and it’s certainly not assisted in a way that fosters similar messages in unique scenarios.

A strong community leader is much better at building a community of the distributed leaders that own the niche communities that naturally evolve within a corporation’s space.  Notice I didn’t say the community leader runs the whole community….and I didn’t say the community leader manages or influences the real niche leaders…..I did say that the community leader builds a community out of the niche community leaders within a company. Obviously this isn’t necessary as the size of the company gets smaller….but as size and product space increases, the niche communities increase, and the need for an over-arching community evolves to get information like what the other communities are doing and what is the corporation doing to enable community involvement during in-person events (like conferences etc).

EMCWorld: Small update

May 17, 2007

This week has been crazy and internet access is difficult to come by in EMC buildings…kind of lame (perhaps that is part of the reason the culture is so different)….but I heard something today that I wanted to share.

A lot of our internal meetings this week have been discussing EMC strategy, technical best practices, positioning, etc, etc, etc….. Of course that means we have been talking about our competitors, our partners, and our customers. The fact that EMC hasn’t been running around with huge powerpoint decks or whitepapers telling everyone how to deploy Exchange 2007 on EMC gear came up….and well we had a LONG discussion about this. Then someone commented on the decks we are going to be presenting at EMC World this year (I’ve been telling you a little about them for a while)….The comment was that customers have seen a lot of information on Exchange 2007 from Microsoft…..then they have seen that same information from other vendors in whitepapers…..then the information from vendors in powerpoints, then the same information again in a different powerpoint from the same vendors…..and again, and again, and again, and again, vendor after vendor after vendor…………but what about the decks at EMC World this year?

Well there have been a lot of long hours in the labs by a lot of people to validate and quantify all these claims….well the one or two claims that these vendors and partners keep parroting back to customers…..which means these decks will be presenting information that hasn’t been revealed in other presentations or whitepapers!! So yeah everyone in the room was pretty stoked and were begging to get the presentations to show you.

Btw, The presenters agreed to an interview about the decks (in case you can’t make it to EMC World)….now it’s just a matter of getting it done and convincing the EMC corporate folks that the interviews can be posted externally…