by Abbie Lundberg

CIO Forum on Facebook, part 2

Jan 07, 20082 mins
Enterprise Applications

We launched the CIO Forum on Facebook late last week, and we pretty quickly got a lot of requests from people wanting to join. Initially, and not surprisingly, given CIO‘s 20-year history of serving the CIO community, we thought this should only be a forum for CIOs and other IT executives. You know, IT practitioners. The people who have to make technology (often developed by other people) work inside organizations. Not vendors.

On Saturday, I turned down a request from a man who asked to join. I couldn’t really tell who he was from his initial request (Facebook doesn’t give you a whole lot to go on), so I sent him a note to say hey, and to ask what he did. He told me he was the CEO of a small technology company, so I politely told him that “in order to encourage participation among CIOs, we’ve decided not to include vendors for now,” and that I’d let him know if that changed.

Two days later, I’m here to say that’s changed.

After thinking about all the interesting people I’ve been following in blogs and Twitter and other online fora, people who work in companies like IBM and Apple, or who own their own companies, I realized just how limiting it would be for all our members to exclude that whole group of people. But I also knew how inhibiting it could be if we let technology salespeople into the group. So here’s what we’ve decided to do.

The CIO Forum is for business technology executives who want to exchange information, opinions and ideas. We welcome IT and business executives and managers (the people who use and make technology work inside organizations); academics whose work falls into the intersection of business and technology; and executives or managers at technology companies who do not work in sales, marketing or PR. We are not currently accepting as members consultants, recruiters or technology salespeople/marketers.

I think this strikes the right balance between being as inclusive as possible without scaring all the CIOs away, fearing they’ll get bombarded with sales pitches. What do you think?