Cisco Blogs

Introducing: “The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site”

June 18, 2011 - 29 Comments

In my mind, a piece of content that is shared with a friend, or friends, or followers, or the world is the ultimate measurement of its success.  That person is validating that the piece of content they are sharing was valuable enough, interesting enough or topical enough to share with one or with many.  They know the audience they are trying to reach and they target it to that audience with the sharing technology that is appropriate (Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.).

This is the philosophy behind our new corporate news site, formerly known as “News@Cisco” and now being renamed  to “The Network” (voted on by our over 180,000 Facebook followers).  We are launching the new site this weekend and, hopefully, it will be live in your geography when you read this blog.

The Network is our effort to tell stories and share information on the topics that are the most important to Cisco, namely: Video, Collaboration, Core Networks, Mobility, Security, Data Center, Cisco Culture…and, more parochially to my team, Social Media.

We will create, share and curate content on these topics as a part of our overall Cisco voice.  We have commissioned world-class reporters who have worked at Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, AP and more to create content on our core technology news topics.  The purpose of these stories isn’t to showcase Cisco, but to create compelling content in the topical areas that we care about.  We are supporting the generation of this content in the hopes that our audience shares it and becomes more educated on the topics that are important to Cisco and to our customers.

Sure, you’ll also see Cisco stories on The Network on innovation or to highlight our smart employees and the good work they are doing.  We hope our audience finds this information compelling and “share worthy” as well.

We are also creating as many reasons as possible for the reader to come back to “The Network.”  We are doing more and more serial content so that you can come back and check out the next month’s offering.  For instance, our “Talk2Cisco” series is a very popular monthly Ustream half-hour, live video discussion with Cisco executives.  Or, our “Network Trailblazers” series is where we’ll highlight those who have helped create the network.  Our first “trailblazer” is co-founder of Cisco, Kirk Lougheed, and other trailblazers lined up are Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.  And, our “Cisco Innovators” series highlights some of the many innovators and innovations within Cisco.


This brings me to what I do at Cisco.  I lead the Social Media team within Corporate Communications.  We own and develop the corporate communications “pipes”:  Facebook, Twitter, Talk2Cisco Ustream, our corporate blog (The Platform), LinkedIn, and our corporate newsroom (The Network) among others.  We use these tools and channels for different things to reach different audiences, but all of them are there to make us accessible as a company and share information about the cool, innovative things that we are doing at Cisco.

“The Network” has been a lot of work by a small amount of people within Cisco and we’ll see if our new editorial and content philosophy resonates with our audience.  Actually, because of the measurement tools embedded into the pieces, we’ll all see.

My general editorial philosophy and our approach to “The Network” can also be applied to what I think about social media holistically.

These are the principles that I follow:

  1. Offer Value (this can be defined in many ways, but net-net “social media valuable” means it is something that someone wants to share with others)
  2. Push it to the audience you want to see it (that can be one person, that can be many people)
  3. Stick to a core set of themes (this will allow your audience to self-select whether they want to receive your information) (or, stated differently, if you stand for everything, you stand for nothing)
  4. Don’t always talk about yourself.
  5. Repeat (consistency is very important in our 24/7 world)

I hope you will visit The Network, Cisco’s technology news site, and I hope you will return.  And, please let me know what you think in the comments section or on twitter: I’m @urnhart.

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  1. John, i love the summer poetry series and would like to use them in my communicating CSR class. Is there a link that will send my students to an archive of all of the presentations/film clips? Thanks, Susan

    • Thank you very much, Professor West. The final poem of the summer poetry series was posted today and you can find links to all the poems here: Hope you had a great summer.

  2. hello john congrats..the network is awesome ...

  3. good works.

  4. Hi John!! Congrats on the new website.

  5. Hello John. Just checked the site. Loved it. Congrats. Cisco is always ahead. Any news on the feedback you had so far?

    • Thanks, Paul. So far the feedback has been great. Some good reviews and thoughtful commentary from a few social media influencers here: - ZDNet: - - Splash Media:

  6. Invitation: Tues, June 28, Enable a New Collaboration Experience with Enterprise Social Software.

  7. nice work done Cisco

  8. Cisco company is making a great opportunity to everyone who has a potential to be part of their growing company. Thanks for this post!

  9. Cisco's social media presence reflect how much importance and attention social media is getting now-a-days.I guess Cisco is so unique as a technology company that if they do not pay much attention to social media the majority of the people remain unaware of how Cisco devices are responsible for the growth of the Internet.

  10. @john, man awesome, great job....

  11. Great job, team!!

  12. nice post dear thanks for sharing this post and your web designing & development is very good

  13. Hi John, Congratulations on the site and "news network." I saw your feature on, too. As a former radio news reporter and news director, brand journalism certainly has my attention.You are spot-on. Best regards, Susan

    • Thanks very much, Susan. Innovation is always key in communications, as you know. Feedback on the site so far has been positive, but we're always looking for any critical feedback or anything we can do better. There is ALWAYS room for improvement and we'll makes changes and innovate on top of this new toy as we go. Thanks for the comment.

  14. Hi- wonderful blend of communication and innovative engagement showcase is what I can say "THE NETWORK" is .... connections will be only be made if one has a sustainable network. I would like to connect with you and would be great if you can drop me an email with your contact details. Congrats for the wonderful site

  15. John: The site looks great. The sleepless nights spent on taking this LIVE is definitely commendable. Congratulations.

  16. I like the term "pipes" , yea the site looks really clean , nice and easy to navagate.

  17. Nice one! Like the Cisco’s Technology News Site. My best wishes to Cisco's new Tech Site. Fresh Design. This one attract me much.

  18. @John, congrats on the new website. Nice and clean with plenty of white space and really like the blue plus drop down option. Great work!

    • Thanks very much. The "plus" sign to view a little more content is a little bit buried, but we hope that as people find it, they find it useful.

  19. Here's a cool video that we did when we started working on the site revamp: Although, you can erase the "coming soon" part. Here's a video tour of the new site:

  20. John, Very nice job to all involved - the site has always been valuable but I must say it feels really fresh and easy to navigate. Robb

    • Thanks you, sir. And, please keep doing great demos and producing other great content and we'll continue to highlight it!! : )

  21. John, congrats on the new Network. Even bigger congrats for embracing the current social media platforms, or "pipes" as you call them, like Facebook and Twitter. Most major companies are still hesitating to jump into it full time in terms of actually using social media instead of simply creating a basic presence on them. Question about your policies and transparency: is your social media team allowed to highlight or offer opinions about any shortcomings at Cisco anywhere in any of the social media pipes?

    • @Bes, Cisco employee guidelines for social media can be found on our Slideshare account. Let us know what you think. See here:

  22. nice blog dear , but lemme knw what r the upcoming technologies cisco planning to work upon ??

  23. i ever join test cisco but my result dissapointed... thanks keep sharing