Luis Suarez’s top tips for getting started with social networking

If you are just getting started on the exploration of how social networking tools can help you do your job better, what should you do?

This is the question posed to Luis Suarez, Social Business Enablement lead and long-time social business evangelist. Luis is well-qualified given that he’s been exploring this area for 12 years and spends a lot of his time talking through social business adoption with customers and IBM employees.

Luis offered the following tips:

  1. Start with noting your current processes and behaviors, and then look at how social software could potentially help improve them. As is often the advice with technology adoption, avoid the temptation of getting mesmerized by the tools and looking for ways to jam them into your work process.
  2. On a related note, look for where the productivity drains occur and explore collaborative solutions to overcome these. If you can solve some of these issues, you have the best chance of seeing the greatest returns. 
  3. Start each day by telling your network (wherever that may be) what you have going on that day. It may be that you only post one update a day, but by giving your network an insight into your working life, you will find that they will be more useful and valuable when you need help.

On the 3rd point, Luis touched on the concept of ‘narrating your work’ or ‘working out loud’ espoused by Bryce Williams and Dave Winer, who sums it up particularly well on his blog:

"Narrate Your Work is something I used to tell my team at UserLand Software, because we were a virtual team, with people in Seattle, Boston, Vancouver, Germany and California. But it would have applied even if we were all working in the same office. As a manager, I wanted to know where my people were, because if they were completing a project I needed to be thinking about their next steps and how their deliverables fit in with other stuff that was coming online. And if they were late I needed to understand why."

Sound anything like your work environment?

You can find Luis working out loud on his blog or Twitter (just for starters).

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