A key factor in Enterprise 2.0 is being someone in the online community, inside and outside the firewall. An important lesson can be learned from Esmee Denters. Last week we had an interesting discussion at the office how this should work. And not suprisingly a dutch newspaper wrote an article on this subject. I will try to integrate these two discussions in one post.
step one generate relevant content online and get found
when you want to be someone you have to have an opinion, just like normal life. Having an opinion and writing about it gets you an online fingerprint. People do not know you but do have questions. The trick is to associate their questions with your name. This is not something that is easy. A large number of publications in a number of online channels are needed to get found on your topic. The part where you are found by google is something you can only partially influence. Writing a blog, resonding to relevant other blogs, getting published by online magazines are some ways of getting found.
step two create a network of people in a number of communities
After you get found by people you want to connect and have a direct relationship. Most people are in one or two communities but your network may expand over many networking sites. Since most network sites are free it is easy to get in these networks. Of course depending on your subject some network sites are more relevant then others.
step three care for your relationships and share ideas
Like normal life you have to interact with your relationships in order to stay in touch. The goal is not to have a network but to gain mutual knowledge by interacting and sharing with your peers. Creating new business opportunities, new insights in existing and new problems and new knowledge will be the result of sharing ideas with your peers. These peers can be inside the enterprise but also on the outside. The last one causes some concerns about IP. Giving and taking will take these concerns away.
step four integrate this in normal life
The hardest part of them all is to do this as a normal part of life. For youngsters it is already normal. For the most of us this is a big change in our working pattern. Your boss might not like it at first when you use office time to do this stuff. At the end your boss will get something in return like described in step four. You have to invest a lot of time. The return will take some time but it will get there!
What do you think of there steps? Is this the first step to take in enterprise 2.0 inside and outside the firewall?