Five Years Is A Long Time In Social

Three of my own professional ‘memories of summer’ resurfaced over the last week.

Five years is an eternity in the history of ‘social / technology business.’ What were the conversations and conundrums in my professional life back then?

It was all about how do we make organizations more human(e), how do we unlock the value in the relationships and conversations inside our networks? How can technology help?

(It still is, of course. But back then, it was more unchartered territory. There was more angst and uncertainty.)

Firstly, Noah Sparks shared a throwback presentation of Adam Pisoni introducing the idea of the Responsive Org. I recall getting on conference calls to discuss the #ResponsiveOrg manifesto. It was an exciting time – urgent. It is still a good read.

Secondly, people I remember from the early (pre-acquisition) Yammer years reached out pitching Workplace by Facebook as today’s solution to these intractable issues.


Today, I met up with Swoop Analytics’ James Tyer, an old Responsive Org acolyte from when he lived in Vancouver. We used to crunch social learning and collaboration conundrums together. James works with Workplace and Yammer and others – and their customers – to provide usable insights into enterprise networks and organizational outcomes.

We spent a productive hour rehashing common ground, and also noting where we and the conversation had changed over time. We talked about being a Corporate Disorganizer, or as James pointed out in this article, an Organizational Engineer. James is writing a book about social learning – looking forward to it.

Finally, my beloved Change Agents Worldwide network is having to deal with VMWare closing Socialcast – where we have 5 years of rich, rewarding conversations housed.  15000+ threads of pure, unadulterated #SocBiz gold, about to be lost to the social business graveyard, unless we port them to another interface. The community will carry on, but there is a collective exhale, reflecting on the community’s depth and heft, our deep shared learning experience.

As we have death, we have rebirth.

My own social journey has meandered around technology, collaboration, and organization effectiveness to culture and deep storytelling, to people as brand movements, and back through tools and transformation.

Caught in between, as momentary eddies in the high speed streaming of life, I have memories of summer.

←This Much We Know.→

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