IBM was the first company to embrace social media and use it successfully in knowledge management and communication with employees and clients. IBM had encouraged its employees to use internet since 1997 when most of the companies were not allowing their employees use of internet. Social Business @ IBM is an internal site that has interactive, educational and social programs which explain IBM’s social business transformation and educates and enables IBMers in external social media participation. Employees take personal responsibility for their social media activities and the company has set rigorous guidelines (IBM Social Computing Guidelines 2008) and objectives for its social media strategy. IBM uses forums, Blogs, wikis, Jams, hashtags, and face book styled internal social networking sites in their organization. For further reading- Social Media @ IBM
IBM developerWorks is a web-based resource and social network for millions of developers and IT professionals worldwide. It has library of over 30,000 articles, receive three and a half million page views and 1Million visitors per month. It has both encouraged the growth of the open standards development community while driving down IBM support costs. Beehive has created a sense of community at IBM and help employees make new connections, track current friends and coworkers, and renew contacts with people they have worked with in the past. Over 65,000 employees have joined the site.
IBMers started blogging since 2003 and have 17000 individual blogs and more than 100,000 users that have software project discussions to discussions about IBM’s business strategies. Through BlogCentral, IBM Employees can share their ideas by creating their own blogs, or subscribe to each other's blogs via RSS. Completed in 2005, the IBM wiki platform “Wiki Central” allows any IBMer to create a wiki with two broad benefits: collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Due to Wiki central usage by employees to collaborate and share IBM had seen a measurable decrease in e-mail traffic in those areas of between 30 and 40 percent.
IBM started the jam concept globally in 2001. Jam is like a massively parallel conference. Employees post views and suggestions on the company's intranet on issues ranging from their careers to possible innovations and how to take IBM forward. Recently in February 2011, IBM hosted Jam and report synthesizes the 2,600 discussion posts and more than 600 tweets from the Jam highlight that ROI on social media is quantifiable, adoption is slow, increasing focus of integrating social activities and business processes is essential for success. For further reading- Social Media @ IBM
IBM is following a decentralized social media approach and controls the internal social media through the employee-created guidelines. IBM does not regulate employee social media activity and instead encourages employees to collaborate and share and drive innovation. Employees are educated about the guidelines and policies and are provided the necessary social media platforms. IBM has integrated social media as an integral part of its business.
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