How Businesses Use Social Technology: Applicable to UUCA

See an interview with Gina Bianchini, co-founder of ning, the platform this site is built on.

Please watch this video for a good understanding of issues UUCAVA likely to face. Although we are not a business, we are a brand.

Jeff Jarvis on Tapping Social Media Businessweek's Jeff Jarvis on Social Media

Also good Businessweek piece on making a social site one that is habitually used by, in this case, employees is below. We would discourage copy/pasting of copyrighted material such as this article, when we are live. But for a closed use among us right now, it's ok)

Keeping Momentum in Social Media
A few simple steps can keep employees involved in a company-sponsored social media platform long after the excitement of the initial launch, advises the Corporate Executive Board

By The Staff of the Corporate Executive Board

While many companies are enticed by social media, most struggle to sustain successful initiatives, particularly when it comes to utilizing new mediums to mobilize their workforce. Companies recognize social media's potential as a powerful tool for internal communications and thus move forward yet fail to get the anticipated employee-participation levels.

Launching a new corporate social media platform typically involves a flashy marketing campaign, excited e-mails, and intranet notifications to help create an initial "pop" in participation. But that excitement can quickly die down if employees don't really see what is in it for them.

Making this failure even more acute, Corporate Executive Board research shows that employees mobilize around people, not companies—especially in an environment of uncertainty and corporate mistrust. Connecting with peers, namely through virtual social media platforms, helps employees understand the relevance of company goals, model behaviors, and share the resources they need to get their jobs done.

To harness the social media opportunity and create ongoing employee participation in internal initiatives, companies should look to create social media channels that:

Get to know each other better. Give virtual contacts (members of your network) more of a persona to recreate the social bonds that naturally motivate people to help those they know. For example, instead of limiting a profile to job title, contact information, business unit/segment, allow employees to include more personal information (such as photos, interests, past jobs) to give them a more multi-faceted identity.UUCAC can add profile questions that prompt members to say specific things about themselves. Right now, when a new member logs in to UUCAVA prototype, they are asked only one question: What was the religion or spirtuality of your childhood? More questions could be asked. The responses are listed in a box on the profile page.

• Access to the network. It allows employees to contribute and interact when it makes sense for their own projects and needs, making it more work-embedded.

• Make it easy to use and relate to. Beyond just functional ease of use, lower the mental bar for employee participation by making sure that the content being shared or discussed on the platform is relevant to their job or interests.

• Create peer pressure. Get the right people involved lay leaders, ministers, in the beginning to encourage participation on a grassroots level,(they need to fill out their profiles, write a blog post, post videos and/or documents, or start a discussion and then make sure that ongoing use of the platform is visible to all employees.

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