Top 10 gold

Social business has gone mainstream. In global companies of all sizes, in just about every industry, companies are using social business technologies help people connect, communicate and share information. In the past four years, social technologies have transformed the way we live and work, explained Peter Kim, chief solutions architect at Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a provider of a social analytics software platform, and co-author of the book Social Business By Design.

In 2013, CMSWire authors have been on top of the concept, offering a wealth of stories on everything from email and employee engagement to gamification, collaboration and leadership. Take a look at our Top 10 social business stories of the year.

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As far back as 2012, Kim noted: "'Social business' is a term you can’t escape these days — even if your work just remotely touches on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, or collaborative technologies, such as IBM Connections or Yammer." This year, social business has become even more deeply ingrained in the DNA of company culture, as you will discover in a review of our top posts.

1) Marisa Peacock (@marisacp51) created an infographic that told readers How Gamification Can Impact Employee Engagement — and dispelled some of the myths about playing at work.

Chances are if you tell your team you're gamifying the way they work, they'll either roll their eyes or expect to play Call of Duty during lunch. But in fact, what you're trying to do is just tweak the way they approach tasks."

2) Deb Lavoy (@deb_lavoy) took a more cynical view of social business in a story that argued Collaboration Isn't Working: What We Have Here is a Chasm.

Can you feel it? It's the subtle loosening of gravity’s pull as we pause at the peak of the hype apex before we thunder down into the trough of disillusionment (with apologies to Gartner). Social collaboration isn't working very well, but must we go gently into that good night?"

3) Kris Duggan (@kduggan), the founder of Badgeville , played around with Gamification: The Secret Weapon of Employee Engagement.

Companies are under immense pressure to find new, effective ways to engage employees — and keep them engaged — to spur growth, reduce turnover, preserve talent and maintain a competitive advantage. Many have turned to software to help create the spark and transform into true digital operations, but a large number of these projects are failing."

4) Dion Hinchcliffe (@dhinchcliffe) was Looked at Digital Business in 2013, and shared his observations on the rapid transformation.

The customer journey is in the process of one of the biggest overhauls in at least a generation, yet businesses are having a very difficult time keeping abreast of the Big 5 trends that are reshaping the global marketplace today. The reasons are complex, but generally boil down to a misalignment of culture, inclination and core competencies."

5) Scott K. Wilder (@skwilder) looked at Employee Engagement: It's ROI May Be More Than You Think.

Your employees are key stakeholders in your company’s success. Several studies show that an engaged and happy worker can reduce a company’s overall health insurance costs and take less vacation time (not sure that’s a good thing).

6) Tom Lowery (@tal62) raised a provocative topic in Are Great Leaders Made or Born?

Ask experts what the most asked question about leadership is, and they’ll usually answer 'are they made or born?' There are dozens of books, decade’s worth of debates and many well-documented studies on the subject of leadership. Nevertheless, the debate rages on."

7) David Roe (@druadh20) looked at an IDC report that noted IBM, Jive Lead Shifting Enterprise Social Software Market.

Leaving aside the astronomical market growth rate of vendors like IBM, Salesforce or Jive, the market for standalone enterprise social software (ESS) between now and 2017 will be characterized by the evolution of ESS applications into enterprise social networks (ESN) and compound annual growth of 22.3 percent to a market value of $2.7 billion in 2017.

8) Barb Mosher Zinck (@bmosherzinck) talked to Rob Howard about the Zimbra Acquisition and Email's Future in Social Collaboration.

Email is not dead. Far from it. Rob Howard, Founder and CTO of Telligent believes that with the acquisition of Zimbra, Telligent is now set to disrupt the social software market in a way no other provider can. And he's staking his company's name on it.

9) Barry Schaeffer (Content Life-cycle Consulting) gave readers a look at an IBM Report: How Social Business Can Help Organizations Succeed.

One little-noted benefit of social business techniques, the report pointed out, is the integration of diverse cultures when organizations are combined through mergers and acquisitions.

10) Joyce Hostyn (@joyce_hostyn) told readers that CIOs Must Become Design Thinkers.

Delight. Beauty. Happiness. Purpose. These aren’t words you’re used to hearing when it comes to business outside of a few outliers like Disney, Apple and Zappos.