The new recruits spent two days before Impact prepping and learning before they were left to go during the event to see what they could come up with on their own.
I give IBM a lot of credit for doing something like this in parallel to an event. It provides a sink or swim approach, perhaps, but really solves the biggest problem people face, namely, what am I going to write about.
While I have not blogged about every session I went to, hard to do so when you are in meetings or on calls most of the time, I do have some ideas from the sessions I did attend and no doubt so do the new recruits.
The process that Martin and his Redbooks crew have run people through is something that IBM could probably do for other companies and make some money to extend this project further. They should at least present the details at whatever conferences this could help others, maybe the Training 2015 Conference in February.
Aside from the basics like what is social media, they discuss the various ways to be social, they learn about the ways to influence and promote themselves and the products they represent. There are sessions on how to pick a topic or appropriate titles and why that is important. It is not just textual training like Twitter or blogging either, there are also podcasts, webinars and other ways for the "students" to express themselves.
In addition there is a team of editors that are managed by an excellent editor to ensure that what is published is up to IBM guidelines and standard grammar rules. Unlike my writing here and there, still not sure how they let me get away with this or this (the IBM site was unavailable for both posts at time of writing this post).
After the training there are follow up meetings, usually conference calls, where everyone gets to hash out ideas or present new topics. I miss these, aside from hearing everyone's voice, it was fun to throw around ideas and be creative.
To everyone finishing up the residency today, remember to always thank your editor for making your work better, that Martin loves doing videos so keep asking him to do them, and lastly have fun!