You are currently on IBM Systems Media’s archival website. Click here to view our new website.

POWER > Web 2.0 > Social Media

Over-the-Fence Conversations

IBM Puts Down the Megaphone to Engage Individuals

IBM Puts Down the Megaphone to Engage Individuals

Q. You mentioned clients providing feedback. Didn’t IBM just introduce a ratings and reviews website (
A. Yes, and we’re encouraging clients to take advantage of that. It’s a very simple way that a client can share thoughts about doing business with IBM related to a particular product. It’s very similar to what you see in a lot of consumer sites like Amazon, for example. It’s a five-star system that indicates if we’re doing exceptionally well or not so well, and it has room for comments. You just go to, navigate to the product you want to rate, click the link and let us know what you think about the product.

Q. Why did IBM start a ratings and reviews site?
A. Ratings and reviews are important in the total conversation. People who are trying to solve a business problem often start researching online. They might read some case studies where other clients like them have experienced that problem and see how they’ve solved it, or they might read some analyst reports about what a particular industry analyst thinks about something. They’ll read information about offerings from suppliers, software/hardware services, IBM, ISVs and business partners, and so forth.

Ratings and reviews fill, I think, an important chunk of space in that continuum. It’s less formal and probably less polished than a full-blown case study. Because of that, you know that it’s just honest, off-the-cuff feedback. It’s not scripted, it’s not edited, it’s not formatted. It may be less thoughtful, but it’s more direct. I think it helps people really narrow down some choices so they can do a little less reading and still get the value of that kind of online research.

Q. You mentioned IBM engaging with significant people to contribute to social conversations. Would that include the IBM Champions ( you mentioned earlier?
A. Champions are a very important group of people. They’re non-IBM community leaders who really have a wealth of skill and experience plus very strong networks on solutions, products and offerings from IBM and our solution partners. Clients can look to IBM Champions for an experienced and honest point of view about doing business with IBM or choosing a particular product. They’re people who are socially engaged and provide well-informed and experienced external opinions. They’re not focused on a single agenda so they have no internal motivators to have a conversation about anything in particular. They’re there as a service to their online community, helping to share knowledge and build a stronger community.

Q. What’s the benefit of IBM’s social media aggregators ( and why should people use them?
A. The benefit is that it aggregates the conversation about a particular topic into one place. It makes it a lot easier to find all the pieces of the conversation. We’ve got one for Smarter Planet* and we’ve just deployed some aggregators that we’ve built for Power Systems, AIX*, Power Linux* and IBM i. There’s even an aggregator on becoming a social business.

The way our aggregators work is that people inside and outside of IBM can register their venue. If you run a blog or if you’re on Twitter or LinkedIn or something like that, you can register with the aggregator the online locations where you post content and have conversations. People can now go to a single page and get a very large percentage of the total conversation around that topic. It brings all of the blog posts, tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook posts, Tumbler, SlideShare, YouTube videos—everything—together in one place. It also shares who the IBM and non-IBM experts are and where to find the best forums and communities around your topic of interest.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



2019 Solutions Edition

A Comprehensive Online Buyer's Guide to Solutions, Services and Education.


Follow Us

Power>Web 2.0>Social Media

Help From Afar

Haiti earthquake tests Crisis Commons' disaster response

IBM Systems Magazine Subscribe Box Read Now Link Subscribe Now Link iPad App Google Play Store