Rawn Shah

Rawn Shah (2012)

I have had the rare privilege of practical first-hand experience at launching Social Business across the enterprise for half a million employees and contractors at multinational IBM through a lifecycle of years of growth and development. I have also managed the program of the 7 Million member IBM developerWorks community. It has helped me to develop a wide perspective of how Social business works in reality versus ideology across many issues: governance, advocacy, software functionality, community management, influencer relations, employee development, talent development, and official and ad-hoc organizational processes.

I have worked in several different careers: (a) a Startup Internet and network technology company; (b) a technology journalist through the Dotcom boom and bust; (c) in the marketing group of a mega-company; (d) and in the operations and sales group of a mega-company.

In parallel, I have also authored books and articles across a diverse set of topics. In 2012, I marked my 500th article published in national/international publications. In the 1990s,  my feature articles helped to launch JavaWorld, Network Computing World and LinuxWorld magazines. I have also written for SunWorld, Advanced Systems, CNN.com, Windows NT World Japan, Network World, and several other technology publications. I have collaborated on or written 7 books with the most recent being Social Networking for Business (Prentice Hall/Wharton School Publishing, 2010). My prior work co-authored with several others, SOA Compass (IBM Press 2006) is a betseller that has been translated into 6 languages.

Today I focus on what challenges companies face today and in the near future as social business reshapes both the structure of organizations, the roles of leaders, and perhaps even the structure of society. Most of my publications are on my Forbes blog, but I also publish here and on other sites and publications as well.

I have been speaking when time permits from work on the topics of my current interests at various conferences internationally, as well as lecturing at major universities including Carnegie-Mellon University, Notre Dame University, and University of Arizona. Please see my Calendar for speaking and other conference appearances.

3 thoughts on “Rawn Shah”

  1. Christian Perez said:

    Hello Rawn,

    My name is Christian Perez and I’m an intern at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. My question to you is, “How are companies with internal social networking outlets reaching out to their employees at remote locations?” Jo-Ann has 22,000 team members throughout 800 stores. How can these team members use our internal outlet? Thank you so much for your time.

    • Hi Christian,
      Consumer retail chains are usually at a conflict on this because for example they do not provide hourly employees with any kind of web access device. However, if they accept a Bring-your-own-device strategy then employees can use their own smartphones or other devices to connect to the web (while serving customers).

      One approach is that they set up an external social customer experience site with some forums or discussion groups specifically for employees to interact with each other. They can ask each other for help. Great examples of this is Best Buy’s Twelpforce which uses Twitter publicly. Other companies like Home Depot and Lowe’s set up their own social commerce or internal social sites, respectively, to allow employees to help each other.

  2. Christian Perez said:


    This was extremely helpful. It is nice to see what other companies are doing. I was worried about hourly employees using the site at home, but I see Home Depot and Lowes have user agreements which state terms like, “voluntary use, not compensated, etc”. Thank you so much for your help.


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