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Social Software

My Five Ws of IBM’s Lotus Greenhouse in less than 10 minutes

Use IBM’s Lotus Collaboration Products for free, including Lotus Connections for social networking.

Inside Registered Greenhouse

Who

I’ve been blogging, or, talking about IBM’s Lotus Greenhouse for a while now, but have yet to deliver a scenario that folks can relate to. So for all of you out there that have a desire to know more about social software and maybe even start testing the waters, this series of posts is for you.

Why

Most of my friends and colleagues think social software is limited to blogging. Some consider video sharing like youtube. Some know about bookmark sharing like delicious. Some may consider podcasts in there. Perhaps even fewer know about slideshare. I don’t know of any them that consider leaving comments on retailers’ site as being “social”. And again, none of them would consider some form of project management as a social activity.

Now, what’s nice about IBM’s Lotus Greenhouse is that it offers all of these capabilities and more, for free. Why? I can think of two good reasons why IBM let’s you use their production, backed-up software for free:

  1. Outside-in software development: There’s a big push within Big Blue to get more feedback from stakeholders outside the lab into the lab. Greenhouse has a whack of forums for members to provide feedback, or, get help. This goes hand-in-hand with another big push in Big Blue: Agile, or, scrum software development. In very brief terms, this means developing high value chunks of executable software in short iterations cycles – like two weeks, demonstrating it to stakeholders, getting feedback, reflecting on the experience & then moving forward. The objective is to mitigate the risk in developing software no one except the developers think is necessary. (Perhaps now’s a good time to point you to the Disclaimer on my sidebar.)
  2. As the site says:

    Bluehouse is the code name for a first-of-its-kind, IBM® software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. “Bluehouse” is an innovative and powerfully intuitive set of business services integrated with robust social networking capabilities, which enable users to collaborate quickly and efficiently work with others outside or inside the firewall.

    So my guess is, if you get hooked on Greenhouse & are reaping the benefits from it, then you would consider going for the full-meal deal with the Bluehouse hosted solution. Makes sense to me!

What

Glancing at the Inside Greenhouse image above, you can tell there’s a lot going on here. But I did say in my last The Funny Thing About Leaving Comments post that I was going to use Chris Brogan‘s Question for You While Preparing for 2009 getting started scenario. So that’s what we’re going to focus on moving forward – for now.

Where/How

Join Now In order to move forward, you do need to register by clicking Join and filling out the Self Nomination page. Now there’s a few things you should be aware of when registering:

  1. You cannot change the following after you register:
    1. E-mail address
    2. First Name
    3. Last Name
  2. I honestly don’t know if it helps any of us, but I can’t imagine it could hurt, so, feel free to use my name as Your IBM Contact

The first point really tripped me up. As a result, I now have an account with my IBM email address, first & last name and another one with my stevenmilstein.com email address with first name “S” and last name “StevenMilstein”. I’m trying to get this resolved since I have more control over the fate of my stevenmilstein.com email address, as opposed to, my IBM one.

When

Registration is not automatic. I think there’s a human intervening on the other end. So the sooner you register the sooner you can get started.

Please let me know if you have any trouble following my instructions, or, hit a snafu along the way.

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