The always excellent John Stepper has captured the questions we have all (been) asked as we journey the social highway.
In my simple, naïve way, here are my answers to them
1. “Can we do that?” Yes we can!
Let us coopt the fervor and self-belief of Obama ’08. No hiding, no long verbose explanations. Self-declare a new reality.
2. “What if people say something they shouldn’t?” They won’t. Ever.
Of course there is miscommunication and confusion wherever we look (and lawyers, especially, look quite hard). We all make mistakes. But no-one with a name and photo attached to their thoughts, in a public and professional and my-mortgage-payment-depends-on-it situation steps over the line. They just don’t.*
3. “What’s it worth?” Less important to quantify as your community impacts are felt.
How valuable is community engagement, self-worth, self-validation, team high-fives. I don’t know, how about EVERYTHING?
4. “Will anyone use it?” Yes. But not everyone, and that’s ok.
I justify that at least 20% of your audience is lost to you before you start. It has nothing to do with the tool, your training, the business case. They are lost to you because they are lost to social. They have always been lost to community. They are just lost.
5. “Is it official?” It will be if people use it.
What’s wrong with this sentence? “It’s OFFICIAL! The CEO says you can talk to one another! Go ahead, talk. TALK!”
6. “Will businesses use it?” Yes. But not everyone, and that’s ok.
Find just one that will, support them any which way you can, make them superstars. Await the call.
7. “What else can we do with it?” Ooh. Good question!
I only hear this amongst pioneers and socbiz practitioners. If we get to there, we stop talking about the tool / app; we start talking about fundamental organizational transformation. That’s when the real fun begins.
←This Much We Know.→
*And, ok, very occasionally they do, but those that do had it coming some way or another. Maybe the ESN did everyone a favour.