Knowledge Innovation

Unbound Spiral: Blogs for Innovation Panels?

September 4, 2003 08:25 PM

There's a marketer in me wanting to seed blogs thoughout the organization.  I've eluded to potential Sales/Marketing synergies before and rather than raving about the whole organization my thoughts generally remain internally focused, around teams and groups that can begin with reasonable hurdles.

So today I caught Renee's post:Creativity & Innovation: New ideas, products, concepts, ideation. IdeaFlow - Corante. which turned me to thinking about "Consumer Insights" and opens:

"Do you have an opinion about the role of consumers in innovation? My company has a consumer panel (screened for creativity and further trained in creativity techniques), which we use for ideation projects. It had not occurred to me to analyze the use of this consumer panel via social network theory,"

There's a lot more there.  It keyed me into thinking about how blogs can aid in panels. I'm familiar with Communispace and the Hallmark story.  Still that's never utilized a diary aspect.  It's more focused on threaded discussions, provides profile information and the opportunity to run quick questionnaires etc.  What captures the imagination -- is the idea of giving product managers a 24/7 focus group on steriods. Some of us might say that bloggers already get this.   Renee again:

"In a social network sense, our consumer panelists can serve as connectors between small worlds, with those of us who work with the panel serving as facilitators that make the actual bridge (at least, if we do our part right). We had not really thought of our panelists as lead users…but in a sense, that’s exactly what they are.

Another approach is to mix our consumers with a company’s lead-user customers and/or internal R&D people, so that the product knowledge of the one group plays off the creativity skills of the other."

I think blogs are a good fit.  Here's another example of where a semi-structured community - of panelists will create substantially more valuable information when their thoughts, lives and exchanges get the opportunity to flow.  Panels in a modified Live Journal?  Panelist that can reach out... to RSS feeds and insert new ideas... the ones that are shaping their perspectives easily today.  Now that might make leading edge panels even more fashionable. 

So is anyone out their using blogs in consumer panels?  Anyone willing to experiment?

It is also easy to integrate the blog component with a hub with questionnaires – online profiles chat etc.  Sharing diaries… would also enable a “learning experience” for panelist… better diaries and thus insights may emerge.



Comments (1)

I am toying with the idea of using blogs to assemble expert panels in different industry verticals to provide information to Institutional Investors on companies and sectors.

Panel members would be compensated.

Posted by: Chris Harrie at October 29, 2004 2:34 PM