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How Would Social Media Help You in Your Job?


I’m having a ball with social media out in the consumer web. Blogging, FriendFeed, Twitter, Facebook. I’m learning so much about technology, new companies and people’s attitudes regarding Web 2.0. Along the way, some collaboration and a new job actually happened out of all this fun.

Now why can’t we see some of these same effects in the place where most of us spend a third of our day? We’re seeing live implementations of social media inside organizations (aka Enterprise 2.0). It’s a good sign.

I’m now in a job where I’m thinking about this a lot. And I figured I’d start with myself. Where would social media have made a difference in my two previous Big Corporate jobs:

Both companies were examples of today’s modern company, with a heavy information orientation. It’s been years since I worked at either, but here is how social media could have helped me in my jobs.

May Department Stores

The buying office of a retailer is responsible for picking the merchandise you see on the floor. Buyers also plan and execute promotions, set prices and ensure optimum amount of inventory on the floor and in the warehouse. We also had to communicate with the department managers of dozens of stores.

Here are the social media that would have helped me (if we had the Web back in 1990-1994):

  • Twitter: Yup, I would have loved Twitter. An easy way to fire off updates out to the field of department managers. And they would have sent back news of things they were seeing. Would have been a huge help during the crazy Christmas season.
  • Blog: I would have blogged about the weekly promotions. There’s a fair amount of work that went into them (promo prices, signage, focus of the ads), and documenting all that would have been useful. New products that we bought would have been good to discuss as well.
  • Bookmarking and notetaking: Assuming we had the world wide web back then, I would have bookmarked and noted a number of things for the job: competitor ads and pricing, product promotions I liked, new products I’d seen elsewhere.

Bank of America

At BofA, my group raised debt for corporations. Deals could run anywhere from $25 million to $6 billion. It was an information-intensive job.

The work consisted of three primary activities: (1) win the deal; (2) sell the deal; (3) close the deal via documentation. You had to stay on top of comparable deals, industry trends, capital market trends and general market chatter. Our group was divided into Structurers (me), who worked with clients to win and structure deals; and Distribution, who sold the deal to the market. Distribution always had the best information.

Social media I would have wanted:

  • Twitter: Again! I really would have wanted to see the ongoing chatter of the Distribution guys. They picked up all sorts of incredibly valuable market intelligence during the day. They used to IM. Now I’d want them to tweet.
  • Wiki: Every deal should have had a wiki space, with its “win the mandate” phase, its “sell it to the market” phase and the documentation phase. Wikis would have been good for handling the whole deal cycle.
  • Feed Reader: There were market data publications to which BofA subscribed. Getting a feed of deal information would have been a huge help. We were chasing information down in paper publications.
  • Bookmarking and notetaking: When deal, market or industry news came through, I needed a place to save it. I was always going back to find stuff I’d seen earlier. Bookmarking would have helped a lot. Note taking too – capture some information or thoughts, tag it and come back to it later.
  • Blog: My group wouldn’t have had much use for a blog amongst ourselves. But a blog that updated the rest of the bank as to what was happening in our particular capital market (syndicated loans) would have been perfect. We had other groups asking us often about market conditions.

I’d Love to Hear About You

Maybe you’re already using social media inside your company. Or perhaps you’ve been thinking, “my company really needs…”

If you’ve got any ideas to share, I’d love to hear them.

*****

If you want an easy way to stay on top of Enterprise 2.0, I invite you to join the Enterprise 2.0 Room on FriendFeed. The room takes feeds for Enterprise 2.0-related items on Twitter, Del.icio.us and SlideShare. To see this room, click here: http://friendfeed.com/rooms/enterprise-2-0

*****

See this post on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22How+Would+Social+Media+Help+You+in+Your+Job%3F%22&public=1

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About Hutch Carpenter
Senior Consultant for HYPE Innovation (hypeinnovation.com)

8 Responses to How Would Social Media Help You in Your Job?

  1. Great post Hutch. As someone who is very much immersed in the web, it’s great to hear about how people in other industries feel they can use what we sometimes now take for granted.

    I’m not going to go into how I use all of the above because frankly you’ve probably heard most of it before…I’ll stay tuned to your FF post to see what other people’s ideas are.

  2. I think wikis count as a form of social media, and they’re growing in use across corporate America. They’re accessible to non-technical users, making them a fairly high-tech knowledge management tool that’s accessible to the enterprise, not just the IT department. We also employ internal IM to supplement help desk/answer desk duties, and to assist in the diffusion of knowledge among peers. It won’t be long before the entire enterprise is using unified presence management, and all this stuff is fully integrated and entirely seamless.

  3. Geraldine Gray says:

    I love social media (although I admit I prefer to meet IRL and it can be hard to keep up) but I landed a great job through linkedin before I even had my profile up just because I do sfdc in the right time and the right place. Company owner (not an HR person) just pinged me and here we are. Sweet.

  4. Hutch,
    Why do you have the picture of the moon on your August 20th blog? The same picture of the moon is in the 2008 Caldecott Award Medal winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selnick. I was wondering what your reasoning was for the picture and if it had a connection.
    Congrats on your job.
    LHC

  5. Best if you link to my current blog post location at http://column2.com/2007/06/enterprise-20-reports-from-the-frontier/ instead of the old ebizq location, I’m not sure how long they’ll keep that content there.

  6. Thanks Sandy – link updated.

  7. diggma says:

    Great post Hutch. As someone who is very much immersed in the web,

  8. Great post…
    thanks for share this.

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