Why be normal? Why do you ask?

On December 1, CA Technologies officially launches the “Why Be Normal” promotion on ERwin.com at the Modeling Global User Community (MGUC) fourth quarter webcast. “Why Be Normal” is a fun and non-threatening way to introduce social networking to members of the ERwin community. CA Technologies has designed a program with some competitive spirit that rewards participants with cool ERwin collectables. If you are already a social networker, the program offers you some interesting incentives to become more actively involved in the modeling social network communities of ERwin.com, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

The basis of social networking is to expand the number of your contacts through connections with other individuals. My first thought was that this is a new Internet concept, but it isn’t. Do you remember the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon from the 90s? Well, the Six Degrees of Tom Bilcze works the same. Select any data community member and though 6 network connections at most you can link the person to Tom. Better yet, it works when you substitute your name for mine. Actually LinkedIn is setup in a way that eerily supports this six degrees of separation theory.

The use of normalization is an interesting tie-in of social networking in the modeling community. I asked myself, “Tom, How can data modelers be normalized?” Taken in the context of data social communities, it implies that data folk need to expand the size of their personal data community by making connections with other data community members to become more socially normalized. Expanding your personal community yields numerous benefits to you and your career. Given that fact, social network normalization is a very good thing. I highly recommend you become of more socially connected individual.

Let’s look at social network normalization as defined on ERWin.com.

  • At first normal form, 1NF, you just need to join ERwin social networks. This is pretty simple step you can accomplish in less than 30 minutes. You need to start somewhere, and this is the place.
  • At second normal form, 2NF, you get to dabble in the social networks. Read some blogs and leave a comment, help someone with a problem they posted on a message board, or share a modeling news item on one of the social networks and you have it made.
  • For third normal form, 3NF, you expand the scope of what you learned on 2NF. Warning: social networks can be addicting and you will find yourself at 3NF quickly, and it will become a comfortable place to live on the social networks.
  • Fourth normal form, 4NF, is when you elevate yourself to an ERwin social network expert. At this level you have built a strong and respected social networking presence and use social networking to expand your network while helping others in the data community expand their network and knowledge.

If you follow my blog, you know that I am a strong proponent of social networking. I use it both personally and in my business life. In both instances, I have grown as a person through my interaction and involvement in social communities. I enjoy the daily interaction with colleagues from across the globe that I would have never experienced outside of the social network. I learn a lot from my social networks. I am not shy about posting questions or posing scenarios. I am open to receiving feedback of others. I feel that I am better connected with my friends and colleagues through this interaction.

As the MGUC President, I see the exploitation of social networking as one of our community’s primary means of growing and becoming more effective. The effectiveness of a global community can be easily geographically challenged. Social networking transcends those boundaries and facilitates instantaneous discussions and faster consensus than in-person or conference call meetings. Routine actives that the MGUC performs such as collecting and prioritizing product enhancement requests and a user community knowledgebase can be enabled faster and more efficiently using social media tools. Of course, the most critical element for this to work is the active involvement of our community members in the ERwin social networks. Without this involvement, the network will not exponentially grow or evolve into the powerful tool that it can be. You see, the power to build better ERwin social networks belongs to you.  

You can find out more about “Why Be Normal” at http://erwin.com/whybenormal/. Details on attending the webcast can be found on the MGUC portal at https://communities.ca.com/web/ca-modeling-global-user-community/.

I’ve reached 2NF in “Why Be Normal?” How normalized are you?

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Twitter: @ERwinModeling and #YBNormal

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