SMT's IBM Case Study, Wiki-Style, Please Pile On

Robin Carey
Robin Fray Carey CEO, Social Media Today LLC

Posted on March 7th 2008

Cafeterias used to be a real problem for me.  I grew up in an age which knew little of eating disorders, and I can still hear my mother admonishing me before the line at the S&W “your eyes are always bigger than your stomach.”  Getting a handle on how 350,000 people in a company are using social media around the world may have been something of a tall order as well.  But I had heard so much from members of the Social Media Collective, and leading bloggers here like Luis Suarez and Jack Mason, about IBM's innovative use of social media that I was determined to try to pile my platter.

Thanks to the patient support of several IBMers, including the above-mentioned bloggers as well as George Faulkner and several other in the communications staff, as well as non- and former IBMers like Dave Terrar, Susan Scrupski, and Nathan Gilliatt, I've put together something of a smorgasbord (okay, no more food metaphors) and something of a point of view.

Not surprisingly, it's a report that still needs work; in fact it's probably true that this case study will never be completed, since social media at IBM is an ever-evolving and growing exercise.  Jerry Bowles and I decided to open the discussion up for a few days to get some additional input, and to welcome correction and comment, so we're posting the case study here as a wiki for a week or two to get some more detail and then we'll wrap it up in a nice pdf for you to spread around. 

And to chew on.

Please go to "wiki" underneath the logo on the home page (or click here), and you'll get right there. 

Robin Carey

Robin Fray Carey

CEO, Social Media Today LLC

In 2007, Robin Carey founded Social Media Today, LLC, one of the first companies to manage online B2B communities that connect large organizations with people they want to influence. A veteran of the big-book print media world that included Fortune, Newsweek and BusinessWeek, she had built her reputation on architecting powerful strategies that delivered to blue-chip corporate clients and their agencies ways to corral and connect with their customers, and equally importantly, their customers’ trusted influencers. As traditional media went digital, and the internet went social, Robin was one of the first to realize that the emerging social media platforms offered huge promise to corporations seeking to interact directly with, and learn from, their customers, their employees, and experts from the Ivy Towers, the Street and the Hill.

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I am not a Wiki activist. However, when I was 12, I won a  newspaper boy trip from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and it provided me with meal tickets from the S&W cafeteria near the big Garfinkel Department Store in downtown Washington,DC. I have not thought of this place for maybe 25 years, so thanks for the memories. I remember that one servers told me I was getting "real southern food" when dishing out the grits at breakfast. If I would have been in Cleveland and the grits were yellow, the server would have called them polenta. And don't forget the great 50% off on all breakfasts after 10AM at the old Scholls "Colonial" Restaurant and Cafeteria on Connecticut near DuPont Cir at the time (1963).
Hi Robin! Thanks a bunch for putting together this blog post inviting folks to come over and update the wiki space on the case study. I know I should have come around the review process on this one a lot sooner, 
but travelling and customer events and a bit of a hectic life at the moment on a personal level has not helped out much, but I am surely glad you are opening up the conversation out in the open to comment and update on a wiki space! Excellent stuff!

I will be creating a blog post later on tonight in my blogs to promote the activity and see if I can get hold of a bunch of folks to come over and contribute with their thoughts and experiences. Also, I am going to be away from the office in the next couple of days, so would probably take me a bit of time to cover it as well, but I will eventually jump in, once things on all fronts settle down a bit.

Again, really appreciate you sharing this blog post with the link to the wiki and let's get busy! Let's jam!!
You're most welcome, Luis.  Our wiki is still a bit primitive, so please offer the option to make a comment on the posts here if one feels that it's too cumbersome to do so in the wiki. 

We'll roll up all the changes and comments and turn it into a nice pdf for free downloads to all registered members.