Social Software

Focusing and Scaling Your Activities with IBM Lotus Greenhouse Connections

How to better focus and socially scale your activities using IBM Lotus Greenhouse Connections Activities

Sample IBM Lotus Greenhouse Connections Activities using Chris Brogan's New Marketing Bootcamp
Sample Activities using Chris Brogan's New Marketing Bootcamp
Who would use Activities

For those of you would-be social networkers out there, here’s a simple post about how to use Activities as a collaboration tool.

What is Activities

While many of us use email for many of our collaboration efforts, Activities may prove to be more efficient and effective. Aside from sharing many of the same attributes of email messages, one of the advantages of Activities is that its helps you focus on a common goal, or, objective. Similar to an email thread but more focused like a mini-project management tool. Just like email, Activities can have attachments but they should simply provide supporting data and would not be the focal point. The Activity is the focal point.

Where are the Activities

In my earlier The Funny Thing About Leaving Comments post I discussed the reasoning for using Chris Brogan’s Bootcamp as an example for my subsequent posts. As a result, I created
New Marketing Bootcamp in IBM’s Lotus Greenhosue Activities. At the time of this writing, the Activity is Public (I’ll ellaborate more on that later), which means once you’re registered in Greenhouse, anyone can access the Activity. See my earlier My Five Ws of IBM’s Lotus Greenhouse in less than 10 minutes post for some more background and registration.

How-to create the Activities

Here’s my yourtube video which through the magic of copying & pasting from Question for You While Preparing for 2009, Camtasia editing and clip-speed, I managed to reduce the effort to 2 minutes.

Why would I want to create Activities

So why not simply create a document or spreadsheet and email that around? Well,

  1. For starters, I may want to share it with my community of followers in my social network & I just may not have all their email addresses.
  2. My email may not be welcome by all, or, interpretted as spam
  3. and perhaps most importantly – versioning. There’s a direct correlation between the effort required to manage a document’s version and the number of contributors it has.
  4. Signal-to-Noise Ratio: Garr Reynolds, describes this in his presentationzen book on slide creation, as

    … the ratio of relevant to irrelevent elements or information in a slide or other display. People have a hard time coping with excessive cognitive strain.

    For our purposes, replace “slide” with “email message”. How many times have you seen someone hijack an email thread, taking it in a different direction than the original subject text?

So why would I use Activities when I can simply post my activities in my blog & read the feedback? While blogging is a great way to publish information, its not the best collaboration tool, nor can it scale socially.

When‘s a good time to create Activities

Personally, I would use start using Activities once you intend on collaborating with others. With the mechanism in place, you can start scaling not only your activities’s content but ownership as well. In my post, I’ll introduce you to a few communication tools that will certainly contribute to your social scaling efforts.

As always, all comments are welcome. I’d love to see your comments about similar platforms like – Yammer,, Basecamp, Central Desktop, and Producteev. Thanks in advance to Dom Derrien for pointing these out to me.