Archives for the month of: May, 2012

I’d never heard the term ‘coworking’ as opposed to ‘working’ until I read this article. Interesting viewpoint.

Gigaom

Last week we pointed out a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting a trend towards larger startups sticking with coworking as they grow. Various experts warned there could be downsides, from the community aspect of the space inhibiting the formation of a company culture to other coworking companies poaching your talent or ideas. But not everyone it seems sees eye to eye with the WSJ’s experts.

Since its launch last September women’s career advice site The Daily Muse has been run  by a largely remote team. However, the company recently opted for a change, moving together into San Francisco coworking space StartupHQ. Rather than growing out of coworking, this is one startups that’s growing into one, and in a recent post for Forbes, the Daily Muse teams explain why, for them, coworking beats a remote arrangement. Besides a swankier kitchen and more opportunities for bonding, they explain that their…

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News: Yammer has just been acquired by Microsoft.  Interesting development!

It hasn’t just been one client who’s mentioned that their internal social media site is a dying wasteland.  After the initial excitement of creating a profile, following others, and making a first post, sites like Yammer peter out.  Why?

  • You already communicate with coworkers daily via e-mail.
  • There’s rarely enough time during the workweek to research and post interesting new insight about your industry.
  • You can’t chat about dramatic topics like you do on Facebook.
  • If nobody else uses it, why should I?

These issues are similar to any workplace adoption difficulty.  If you want your internal social media site to flourish, it’s going to take the same steps used to manage a procedural or cultural change in the office.  Try these tips on for size:

  • Post company announcements on the site.  Send a company e-mail with a link to the internal site.
  • Ask for weekly volunteers to post industry news (and give them a headstart by providing some topics).
  • Post monthly pictures from around the office, such as company parties, conference presentations, and everyday interaction.
  • Encourage employees to post project success stories as well as lessons learned with difficult clients.
  • Ensure that department managers are commenting on posts at least weekly.  Buy-in from leadership is critical.
  • For minor company decisions, consider using the polling functionality.  (Where should we move the vending machine?)
  • Let employees use the site as a professional sounding board. Don’t discourage participation by heavy moderation, within reason.

If you try any of these tips, I’m eager to hear the results.

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