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Social Networking for Business: Choosing the Right Tools and Resources to Fit Your Needs (paperback) Paperback – January 23, 2010
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From the Back Cover
The First Best-Practice Guide to Executing Any Type of Social Computing Project
Organizations today aren’t just participating in social networking, collaborative computing, and online communities--they are depending on those communities to play crucially important roles in their business. But these collaborative environments don’t just manage themselves: To succeed, they must be guided and nurtured carefully, actively, and intelligently.
In Social Networking for Business, Rawn Shah brings together patterns and best practices drawn from his extensive experience managing worldwide online communities at IBM and participating in social networking on the Internet. Drawing on multiple real-world examples, Shah identifies key success factors associated with launching social networking projects to meet business objectives and guides you through managing the crucial “micro-challenges” you’ll face in keeping them vibrant.
• From mega-trends to micro-issues
Mastering both high-level strategy and day-to-day, ground-level management
• Defining the social experience you want to provide to your community
Clarifying how members can join together and collaborate on collective tasks
• Focusing on the crucial human factors
Building a culture of engagement in deeper collaborative relationships
• Promoting effective leadership and governance
Setting ground rules that work appropriately for the situation, without “oppression”
• Building the skills to manage and measure your collaborative project
Discovering the skills necessary to effectively lead computing projects
About the Author
Rawn Shah is best practices lead in the Social Software Enablement team in IBM Software Group, helping to bring the worldwide population of more than 350,000 IBMers closer together and to improve their productivity through social software. His job involves investigating the wide range of social computing technologies, collecting best practices, measuring the usage and behavior of social software as it impacts productivity, and advising on implementation, governance, and operations.
In his prior job as community program manager for IBM developerWorks, he led a team of operations and development staff covering the worldwide network of thousands of communities, blogs, wikis, and social computing environments supported by IBM. He also led the creation of the developerWorks spaces software tool, a multitenant system to allow individuals and teams to bring many social tools together into their own focused social environments.
An avid software gamer, he has been involved in the online gaming world since 1990, both as a player, a guild leader, and hosting massively multiplayer games. He has witnessed how these social environments have grown from underground curiosities to the billion-dollar businesses of today, with the nature of social grouping and collaboration evolving hand in hand with every new offering.
He has previously served as network administrator, systems programmer, Web project manager, entrepreneur, author, technology writer, and editor in different business environments: as a sole proprietor, in a small startup, and in a Fortune 50 company. He has contributed to six other books, the most recent being the category-leading Service Oriented Architecture Compass, which since has been translated into four languages. His nearly 300 article contributions to technical periodicals such as JavaWorld, LinuxWorld, CNN.com, SunWorld, Advanced Systems, and Windows NT World Japan, covered a wide range of topics from software development to network environments to consumer electronics.
More About the Author
He currently writes the "Connected Business" blog at http://blogs.forbes.com/rawnshah/ as well as a technically-oriented blog on social computing on IBM MydeveloperWorks http://bit.ly/rawnshah/.
He is the author of seven books, his latest being "Social Networking for Business: Choosing the Right Tools and Resources to Fit Your Needs" (Wharton School Publishing, 2010) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0132357798/.
In 1990s and early 2000s He was also a freelance columnist and editor for technical journals such as JavaWorld, LinuxWorld, Windows NT World Japan, IBM developerWorks Web Services zone.
In his spare time he is a third-degree black belt and teaches Japanese swordfighting to middle and high-school students in Tucson.
He can be reached at http://twitter.com/rawn. The contents of this blog are his own ideas and opinions and not that of his employer IBM.
Top Customer Reviews
That logic is simple but it assumes that business professionals are users of the technology rather than creators of the solutions that operate on a social network. That last piece is important as those following the advice in this book bear a high probability of simply recreating existing low value low activity intranet portals and knowledge bases in new social networking clothing.
A warning that this is a rather lengthy review in order to explain why I see the book as technically correct but not enough to address the issues fully. Shah is not wrong, its rather he is narrow in the ability to his advice to work beyond his experience and he is looking at the issue with an established techno-management lens that does not capture the potential of these new technologies. Perhaps no book can capture it all, in which case this becomes part of a social media library and body of study.
That has been my observation at more than two dozen companies I have met all of whom have the same question "We, meaning IT, have built a social network with all the bells and whistles but no one wants to use it." The reason behind the low use is in the question itself. Social networks are not built and provided by one party for others to use.Read more ›
I picked a sentence at random so you can see what I mean: "However, you can still fit this aggregate behavioral information into the context of a given framework by separating commitment into distinct threshhold levels and watching for markers of certain types of actions that fit profiles of behavior for each level."
Just a few minutes of reading this kind of thing will put you right to sleep.
I recommend the authors read Rudolf Flesch's book, "How to Write, Speak, & Think More Effectively," apply the principles of readability, and try again.
First, let me highlight some of the positives. This book is very thorough, and is filled with tables full of information about various types of social networking, and ways a business can use the Internet. Shah provides detailed information on the benefits of using social networking to address common business problems (e.g. group-think, lack of real collaboration, etc). This book makes a strong case for using social networking to facilitate better communication among employees, encourage "out-of-the-box" thinking, and involve customers and partners in decision making and project development. Using social networking in this fashion saves the company money, and contributes to a company's creative capital. I also found his real-world examples helpful. Thus, there are many good points and ideas contained within this book.
Now, let me express the things I didn't like. The treatment of the topic is so thorough and academic that he lost my interest. For someone in my situation, this book was overkill.Read more ›
This book by Rawn Shah (IBM) is a fairly technical manual on how to choose, implement, manage, and structure the various social networks in your IT infrastructure. It is not about branding, marketing, or the content of the message - there are already a ton of books on those subjects, and this book focuses more on technical implementation.
I believe this book is receiving some fairly harsh reviews from people like myself, for whom it looks like a textbook. Having said that, I hope I steer you away from this book if you're more like me (a "Dummies Guide" kind of guy on this subject), and if you're an IT professional please don't be too discouraged by the negative reviews.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Addresses the management and technical issues involved in implementing social networks in a modern top down corporation. Chapter 10 has a good summary. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Greg Silas
Social Networking for Business: Choosing the Right Tools and Resources to Fit Your Needs is a bit too thorough for the average reader. Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by J. Worth
Social Networking for Business is very specific, aimed at a subset of businesses with an online presence that has avenues for community participation. Read morePublished on October 15, 2012 by Jill Florio
There is a line between being factual and being dry. I don't expect a rah rah book aimed at a B2B audiance, but darn. This book is dry. Read morePublished on May 25, 2012 by Shawna Lanne
When you or your company begin exploring what your options our for social networking (or want to fine tune your strategy), choosing a book that discusses the tools to do so would... Read morePublished on May 4, 2012 by midnight122
I had a casual interest in social networking, this book provided me with the opportunity to dive into the world of social networking. Read morePublished on May 19, 2011 by V. Ghazarian
Although most organizations use email and web access, corporate users are looking for better ways to organize their enterprise data, manage their business relationships,... Read morePublished on March 31, 2011 by John Gibbs
Rawn's newest book exposes not just the existence of a variety of social experience models, but the direct connection to *business value* surrounded with examples and frameworks to... Read morePublished on February 1, 2011 by Dan Keldsen
When you ask most folks what Social Media is they'll say Facebook or Twitter.... Ask them how to use it for business purposes and more than likely you'll get a blank stare. Read morePublished on January 12, 2011 by Damian P. Gadal