The Buzz


Sep 21, 2010

Change is Inevitable

By Natalie Boike

I’ve always been a proponent of change. Whether it’s something as simple as mixing up my daily routine by selecting a new type of cereal at the grocery store, or more complicated, like updating the look of my home by repainting the living room. The Lipstick Theory even supports the idea that we (lipstick wearers, at least) seek change even in a tough economy.

I read an article in the newspaper yesterday about a Minneapolis-based digital marketing company that rebrands itself every 150 days. Space150 has “revolved” itself 25 times already. The concept being: the reinvention keeps offerings fresh, relevant and at the leading edge of technology.

While a complete overhaul every 150 days may seem a little radical, it does make sense to take a step back from the routine and evaluate what’s working, what needs to be shed and set new goals for future productivity. Space150’s clients agree. With names like Dairy Queen and Best Buy on their resume and 10 years under their belt, there’s something to be said about this quick-hitting approach to marketing.

So how might this relate to IBM Systems Magazine? While it’s just not practical to redesign a magazine every 150 days, there are some things we can to do keep things fresh, especially in our social-media endeavors. We’re working with a consultant from Electric Jet Interactive to evaluate and improve our offerings. Please comment below and let us know what you think is working (and where there may be room for improvement).

Sep 13, 2010

New Blog Provides Client Perspective on Power Issues

By Evelyn Hoover

At IBM Systems Magazine, we’re always looking for ways to expand our offerings and print and online as opportunities arise. If you haven’t noticed social media has been a big push for the magazine in 2010 with blogs, Twitter and Facebook presences continuing to grow. This week I’m thrilled to be able to announce the latest in our blog offerings: PowerUp.

PowerUp, which launches Wednesday, provides a unique perspective in that it is written by IBM clients for IBM clients. The first entry was penned by Bill Schalck, IBM Power Systems Architect for CDW LLC. Bill raised his hand and offered to write back in June when IBMer Guy Havelick first floated the idea for the blog past members of the IBM Large User Group.

Linda Grigoleit, program manager for the Power Systems Academic Initiative, was also instrumental in getting this off the ground. After she approached the magazine with the client blog idea last spring, she solicited user group members via the Interlug mailing list and then followed through to help get writers committed to the project.

Thanks to her efforts, and those of Lila Rehnelt, who is now coordinating the blog process on IBM’s end, eight writers are on board to blog about topics which could range from cursors, Bill’s topic to kick off the blog, to trends they are seeing among their membership, etc.

PowerUp promises to be an interesting and thought-provoking addition to our website’s blogging presence. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think. And feel free to provide comments to the blog and help further the conversation. If you’re interested in writing a future PowerUp blog entry, contact Lila at [email protected].

Jul 20, 2010

IBM Systems Magazine Vested in Social Media

By Evelyn Hoover

In the spring and summer of 2009, MSP Communications, my employer and the publisher of IBM Systems Magazine, began a social media training program for its editors. At that time Twitter was new to me and most of my colleagues. Facebook was viewed as a personal endeavor and blogs, well, we already had several blogs on

My how times have changed for IBM Systems Magazine since that training was offered.

About a year ago, we launched Twitter accounts for the three areas of the website: ibmimag, aixmag and mainframemag. All three accounts are active with the editors tweeting five to six times per day using a mix of staff-written tweets and retweets of relevant information from IBM and other reputable sources.

More recently--last month in fact--we launched Facebook pages for the two magazines. At the Power Systems and Mainframe Facebook pages, you'll find Twitter feed content and a glimpse "behind the curtain" at what the editors are working on or planning. We also envision the pages becoming a strong venue for interaction with readers.

In the past two years, we have launched a total of six blogs on and plan to launch another customer-authored blog shortly. We are also hoping to add additional AIX and Mainframe blogs before the end of the year.

The digital versions of the magazines will also be socialized very soon. Our digital magazine technology platform, Nxtbook, now offers the capability for readers to comment on articles within the digital magazine. We are looking into this capability and plan to add it later this year. Nxtbook has also added a button that enables readers to "like" a magazine on Facebook. This feature should be rolled out with our magazines
very soon.

Much has changed and continues to evolve at the magazines with regard to social media. Please read and share our blogs, like the magazines on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter. We are trying very hard to reach the largest number of IBM Power and Mainframe customers possible with our message. If you have any suggestions for how to improve the magazines (print, digital, online), we are always open to suggestion. Also what social media avenue do you think we should explore next? Please comment below.