CTO Dave Mccann takes you through Bloomfire step by step.
By Dave Mccann, CTO/Co-Founder
However you have found us, Bloomfire is now available to add to your arsenal of weapons to fight off the repetitive email strings, lost content, content without context, lost productivity and the inability to onboard people in the organization or even partners. Bloomfire was created to assist in the “knowledge” problem every organization has. Here are a couple simple steps that I have found useful in fostering Bloomfire into the eco-system we call the “workplace”.
First, Bloomfire is sharing knowledge between the right people at the right time–videos, screencasts, office docs or the latest and greatest presentation– that your crack sales and marketing teams have already created in a simple to use forum. Unlike Social Business Software its not about pushing 50 threads of information at you until they become irrelevant or ignored; its about connecting the people in your organization that have the knowledge with the people that don’t have the knowledge, all at the right time for them (which is some times late at night when no one is online). While it’s a simple idea, it’s hard to do, and something I have personally seen companies (in my case tech companies) struggle with for over 15 years.
Our Ambassadors and I want you to be successful, so I poled the team that’s assisted thousands of customers in launching Bloomfires to put together a couple tips, tricks and best practices for you. Enjoy, and please as always post something to our Community or Blog Bloomfires, I would love to hear from you myself as well, just ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
Getting started with Building On Bloomfire (BOB):
Be Greedy, complete your profile:
A complete Bloomfire profile lets your teammates and new hires know who you are, your expertise, what you do in the organization and best of all places a name with your pretty face! Warning: Pick a profile picture that fits your expertise and your personality; don’t be afraid to have fun with it, you don’t have to have a stuffy “I am important “picture.
Personalize Your Notifications:
Bloomfire is built for all of us, not just the admin, so you have a couple simple options for notifications based on your taste. You can receive email notifications every time everyone posts (my favorite), you can receive notifications only from the folks you “follow” or if you want, it can be a simple daily or weekly digest of what’s going on in your community. This is a fantastic feature; it reduces the amount of email you get from co-workers dramatically but keeps you in the “know”.
Own it, love it and control it the way you want to simply by going to your account settings and selecting the toggles that fit your business-style
We all have it– It’s the content and questions we want everyone to see: The company is launching a new product, updating the marketing plan or posting directions on how to do an expense report for that new guy or gal in the new office in China. Let’s create/upload/post some content and questions so that our co-workers know as much as we do (and stop bothering you with the same questions 50 times).
- Post a question to the team – Believe it or not, a question and the answer to that question being at our fingertips, stored indexed and searchable, is probably one of the most cost effective, productivity- enhancing things that can be done in an organization. This is the root of all things “learned” not taught. Creating questions and answering them are easy. Simply click the big blue ASK button and you’re on the way. Two great features of the ASK feature are the ability to tag questions with keywords, and then the ability to answer questions with not only text but also content such as videos and screencasts.
- Post a piece of content: — a question, an update on your current prospect, an interesting article that someone on your team would love to read or even a YouTube video on how to do something. Don’t be afraid to share content from anywhere, including third party material. If you see an interesting article on your company or a competitor it’s a fantastic way to share and archive the information
- Create a video – My favorite way to answer a question or even start a discussion thread is to create a video and solicit my co-workers advice on the next big thing we should do. With Bloomfire it’s like having your own little recording studio at your fingertips all the time!
- Create a screencast of something you do every day – Someone asking you the same question about how to do something every day for the last five years? Cure it once and for all with the Screencasting tool that’s imbedded in every instance of Bloomfire. Never have to answer how to fill out an expense report again!
- Answer a question: Answer a question from a co-worker.Once you have done this it will encourage others to do the same and you will see the Bloomfire blossom. Answer it with content or just straight test. But be creative
- Share Content: If you have created a piece of content or simply like someone else’s content, click the share button and send your co-workers a notification of the great new content that’s available for consumption
- Store Information – Throw away your old file storage systems, we don’t need them any more. Bloomfire can be used to store all that content (There is no storage limitation), and provide the search and context around the information as well instead of a place to just park files.
- Get Social: If your Bloomfire community is set up for public sharing you can Tweet, Facebook or G+ all of the content by simply clicking the buttons on the left hand side of the content pages. This is a fantastic way to show the world your expertise on a subject if you are using Bloomfire as an external knowledge community such as a Blog or Wiki.
- Search: Try searching for content, questions and answers that have been populated into the Bloomfire. It’s the quickest way to gain productivity and tribal knowledge in your organization, hands down.
- Follow Someone – Simply click the “follow” button next to someone’s profile and from now on, you will get notifications when someone posts relevant information such as content, questions and the associated answers! Never miss a beat with this fun feature!
Connect with your favorite CRM, Google or Application Set:
Bloomfire has a done extensive work in the last six months around integration and making our API more robust. Try out the native Saflesfore.com or Google enterprise integration or if you want to, use the RESTful API and get crazy coding your own system level integration with the Bloomfire to make it your own!
Last but not least, have fun with the product, its intuitive and easy to use, yet provides enormous value to not only you but everyone else in the business. Over the last 15 years I was forced to use countless productivity enhancing toolsets by my employers, Bloomfire was built by the people, for the people, it’s not a top down solution! Its mission is to help drive access to knowledge not create more work for you!