In conversation with someone the other day I remembered what an opportunity the Christmas season represents for people trying to get social software adopted in their organisations.
One of the most common reasons given for not becoming engaged online is time. Many people feel that time spent on blogs or forums is time wasted (I am going to tackle this misapprehension in my keynote at Online Info next week when I get stuck in to "Real Work" and some of the widely held assumptions about it). But during the Christmas season, even in the busiest of offices, there tends to be more down time and people are more relaxed about how they use it. People on shift over the Christmas period have more time to "play" when the office is quiet and often surf their way towards blogs, wikis or forums and get involved for the first time. This is a great opportunity to notice the newcomers, make them welcome and pick up on any opportunities that may be surfaced by their first posts.
A less serious opportunity is the gossip surrounding office parties which can draw people online into social spaces for the first time and so long as the tone stays well intentioned and light hearted there is no harm in encouraging these conversations. These are social spaces after all and the process of socializing goes into a higher gear over the festive season.
Don't be proud - make the most of it!