Social media leadership is a game of balancing goals and resources. I’ve learned to “begin with the end in mind,” balancing results, cost, time, staff capabilities, and continuous innovation for optimum value.
A long time ago I asked a customer CTO how could I tell when I was buying enough software?
He grinned and said, “Well first of all, you’re on a Mac, so it doesn’t really matter. And we all know you’re not cheap, although sometimes excruciatingly frugal.
“Try this. If 100% of the software you buy improves your business, you’re probably not buying enough software.
“If 20% of the software you buy is a waste, then you might be buying too much.
“If 10% of the software you buy you can’t use, then you’re probably buying about the right amount.”
His explanation has been serving me for 20 years.
Another time at the Web Managers Roundtable, we were discussing magical social media platforms. During a lull, I asked Tony Byrne, President of CMS Watch, “Wait a minute, what about Blogger and Google Apps?”
The Drupal guys thought my question was hilarious.
Tony said, “First of all, every singleton analyst thinks Apps and Blogger is the hot setup...and it is when you're just a few bloggers. The most important consideration is to select a platform you have the resources to maintain, which is a key value for Apps and Blogger.”
And that continues to be a very useful distinction.
Working to improve your social media strategy? Learn more about BlogLab, from the Web Managers Roundtable, coming this Tuesday, August 16.
I did not realize until I read about your 'what's enough' conversation that I've been doing much the same thing.
I recall getting a multi-task application program when Windows was a single frame which could switch between programs (and you could get a coffee while you waited) - used it for a short while but found that completing the task in a program before moving on was better for me. It gathered dust (or whatever software does when idle).
Since technology & software change is moving at light speed these days and is getting both more sophisticated and simpler at the same time - the balance you cite becomes an issue. With change right around the corner, does it make sense to 'overbuy' features and capacity as a hedge for the future? I find you don't want your software to be much more advanced than your users and internal technical resources.
When I began blogging, I chose Blogger as my platform because it served my needs and I could get up & running without a huge learning curve. Still works fine for me. I know others that adopted 'more powerful' platforms and have costly downtime for modifications by outside experts to achieve what they think they need - and make the required mods when the software upgrade is pushed out by the provider.
Your point is right on target.
Best thing I learned today at BlogLab is that just as a company/product has a brand, a blogger has an online persona, which the readers define over time from reading their posts.
Dick, thanks for an informative discussion at BlogLab this week. One big thing I came away with is a much better idea of the challenges people and institutions have, or think they have, when they want to start blogging, but don't know how to do it effectively. From the questions and comments by the other participants, I gathered insights that help me as I recruit colleagues and partners to participate in our burgeoning blogging network.
The best thing I learned in Blog Lab was that Dick Davies is a very dedicated instructor. There's no substitute for someone who has the will, dedication and discipline to research and dissect the issues around blogging so that students can quickly discover pathways to becoming more productive. And, what an ROI for their organizations; a a half day session in BlogLab probably surged the organization light years ahead from where they were the day before.
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