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June 2003 Archives

June 2, 2003


Interesting to see Jim McGee postings on Wikis Part 2 after finally starting my own PurpleNumbers based one last week. I'd say they still have a way to go to be a whiteboard in a conference room. However once collaborating on a document goes beyond 1 to 1 then group access and edit capability on a Wiki is just common sense.

His earlier posting covers connecting wiki's to blogs and blogs to wikis. But it's more than that. Jim says "I believe Sunir understands Wiki philosophy better than anyone else I know. His contributions to framing the concept and patterns of soft security that underlie the social architecture of Wikis are what made me an early convert to Meatball.

I think there's a lot there.  Better add NexistWiki to the list.  Jack Park writes

"Historically speaking, the NexistWiki experiment centered around something called Augmented Storytelling. A talk given by me at StoryCon 2002 about Augmented Storytelling can be found here.

NexistWiki exists at the intersection of Weblogs, Wikis, and Douglas Engelbart's call for massive improvements in addressability and evolvability of information resources. Each object presented on a Webpage with NexistWiki is followed by two objects:

  • a # (pound sign or hashmark) which reveals the full URL of the object
  • a tiny blue arrow which is a link to a homepage for that object

NexistWiki, thus, provides two kinds of addressability to every information resource, also known as an addressable information resource or AIR.

From the individual homepage given to each AIR, NexistWiki provides for evolvability: the object can be edited by its original creator, and, it can be annotated and linked with other information resources.




June 3, 2003

Radical Innovation & COP's

Congratulations George on your paper "Radical Innovation with Communities of Practice" being circulated by the Knowledge Board

"It is that shift in the basis of value creation, what propelled communities of practice (CPs) in the limelight as collective players with largely untapped potential for radical innovation."  

The topic had us chatting in France.  If you've not seen it download and join the conversation. 

June 5, 2003

The One Hour Wiki

I've had wiki's on the mind recently, having installed more than one PurpleWiki based on the UseModWiki.  They are still all work in progress.  However the happening I've just been in is just like a "OneHourWiki on steroids

In the last few weeks Charles Savage has again kicked off some Mini-Dialogues / How-to's on the Entovation net.  They use the Metalayer platform which I've covered in earlier posts.  Sessions are confined to an hour.  Imagine the silent whiteboard with some starting points and a collective free-for-all. 

The topic today was “Knowledge Leadership” and the challenges of creating open collaborative cultures. The tool today was the Hall-Tonna  values approach and a broader discussion to uncover new models, approaches and skills for leadership in the knowledge economy. 

Participation has some side benefits.  While remaining quiet blogging wise for the last few weeks the hours at the PC have been hidden.  One element I've been working around is "trust" which is really a central leadership value (truth - wisdom). So in the back of my mind I was interested in inserting "trust engines" into the conversation.  After being stimulated by the challenge of a new leadership model I finished a comment with:

"....Leaders that can connect "hidden" social capital are likely to spiral learning and innovation. So will the leaders of tomorrow be "Trust Engines"?" 

Until that moment I'd never used the phrase "leaders as trust engines".  What was neat was how this meme took off.  Appears there's a notion in it that resonates with knowledge leaders. 

The discussion was great.  All over in one hour.  No words exchanged - everyone working on the board at the same time.  There's a lot to be learned from a OneHourWiki. If you google it... WikiDom already has it and minute etc.  That should be of no surprise. 

Summary: Can a OneHourWiki be productive?  You bet it can if fueled by metalayer and the right facilitation.  Metalayer won't want be defined this way I'm sure.  Still if you invest an hour and come away with a new sense of wonder, insight or new ideas to implement then it's a pretty good investment.  Get the right colleagues together and ..... bingo "leaders as trust engines". 

Planetwork Meetup

Hope to see some of you at Planetwork starting tomorrow at the Presidio in San Francisco.  Should be a good event.  More on final preparation here on Glacial Erratics

Some early fireworks.  Probably been blogged in all sorts of places ..... see Andruis and Marc  just great thinking from Andruis -- there's a document in in there just waiting for a wiki editor.  Then see Owen and Marc and hope this trajectory finds a productive path.  Then look at Marc's Community Commons map which is just brilliant - elements of have been surfacing from time to time.  Solutions will be driven into this space regardless. Let's all contribute to insure our children's liberty.

June 18, 2003

Try Blogging

From McGee's Musings "treading Softly with blogs in organisations" Jim pulls a collection of posts from John Patrick, Frank Patrick and Jonathan Peterson and ..... the message is: Get small teams prototyping these tools. Get a time commitment. Success comes from using them. These are not threaded discussions, or forums.

Buried in this is the subtle promise of blogs and RSS aggregation as a tool for knowledge sharing in organizations. The simplicity of the tools allows them to be gently grafted on to existing processes and practices with minimal disruption. The challenge is to let this simplicity work its course. The tempation will be to over-design, over-engineer, and over-control. Resisting that temptation will depend on a strong sensitivity to the dynamics of organizations. We do live in interesting times for helping organizations and knowledge workers make better use of knowledge.

The value of blogging grows exponentially over time.  Still I wonder... do early adopters have a competitive advantage or are they persecuted for changing communications rules.  A lot will depend on the culture and the early activities. 

Collaborative Spaces - Transforming Innovation Capital

How might the growing interest in linking digital identity, blogging wiki's, RSS feeds etc evolve?  How might the emergent functionalities in these tools benefit our evolution and daily experiences. How will they combine and spiral to augment our collective intelligence? How will they reframe the KM knowledge innovation paradigm? For most companies it's happening more rapidly than they think. 

There's a saying "the future is here  - it is just unevenly distributed" (William Gibson). This couldn't be more true when we start to apply it to emerging lightweight knowledge innovation tools and combine it with what we know about mobility, decentralization, hyperconnectivity, online identity etc. 

Yet using the metaphor "standing in the future" we almost inevitably find ourselves reframing the space we compete in today. 

I facilitated the chart below about three weeks ago before going somewhat silent (at least on my blog) when exploring early ideas for transforming a "systems integration business" into an innovation engine.  As the tools paradigm developed we kept spiraling back to the benefits. Each iteration breaking a new frontier, each new technology providing new functionality.   

It's a WIP (work-in-progress) and making the point that all these technologies are already available they are not just effectively connected yet.  For the most part it will be bloggers reading this.  Some have the curiosity to ask:  Is corporate blogging just noise or part of a greater shift.  What about wiki's and the broader aspects of augmented social networks? Etc. 

For my part I've seen no clear model of where corporate blogging is heading.  Yet I firmly believe that blogs are part of the emerging value creation spiral.  The recent wave on posting on wiki's, forums, corporate blogs reaffirm this interest.  Similarly thoughts keep emerging about creativity and innovaton. The underlying thread is a move from systemic innovation to transformative innovation (about which I will define separately).

A few years ago Tom Stewart wrote "Intellectual Capital" and more recently followed it up with "The Wealth of Knowledge".  I'd suggest if we really think about the chart above -- IC /KC merely set us on a pathway.  The (not new) idea of "Collective Intelligence" is just now beginning to reframe how we think about capital and the types of organizations.  We now know that organizations will increasingly compete through their collaborative networks. While it's not just asking better questions -- it's the capability to capture and harness the hidden ones.  More peer driven, more decentralized; almost certainly. 

It's transforming innovation capital (lets not get hung up on definitions of Capital here) simply because what we are now after is hidden.  It is primarily social and these new tools are helping us to uncover the wealth that was always there, always undisclosed, tacit unless tapped, and too infrequently accessed.  Even a small start would include employee who's thoughts or interests you never before knew, to teams doing collaborative manual building, and spontaneous connections enabled through who we know in trusted networks. 

This is nothing less than the beginning for framing tools and an evolutionary path to a  radical shift in the collective intelligence of teams, communities of practice and organizations.

There could be much more to this post.  A little encouragement and a few questions and I might just get back into writing again. 

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of listening to Doug Engelbart at the Planetworks conference.  Doug's summed up his life's work for the conference: "As much as possible boost mankinds collective capability for coping with complex urgent problems." 

As he developed his view of the world I realized there were similarities to the chart above  -- originally tracing to conversations I'm in with George Por which started and were furthered in France a few weeks ago.  In Doug's chart the frontier (cloud in mine) is constantly changing.  His concepts which I'm still discovering include... The "Hyperscope", "NIC's" - network improvement communities and "DKR's - dynamic knowledge repositories.  They fit easily within the above. 

One word of caution.  This is a somewhat generic chart.  Organizations wanting to explore this space must develop their own pathways augmenting their current competences and enhancing the culture of their organization.  Then having the "foresight" to take this forward begins with a few small bets or prototypes and a few committed individuals.  The key to motivating individuals to participate is creating the clear need for change and building the excitement for what the future might bring. 

Augmented Social Networks

What’s Coming? --- Augmented Social Networks:

“Could the next generation of online communications strengthen civil society by better connecting people to others with whom they share affinities, so they can more effectively exchange information and self-organize? Could such a system help to revitalize democracy in the 21st century? When networked personal computing was first developed, engineers concentrated on extending creativity among individuals and enhancing collaboration between a few. They did not much consider what social interaction among millions of Internet users would actually entail. It was thought that the Net's technical” architecture need not address the issues of "personal identity" and "trust," since those matters tended to take care of themselves.

This is a clip from the Linktank paper posted as part of the Planetwork conference.  Like the Smarter, Simpler, Social paper referred to earlier on this blog here it is worth reading.  For me together they provide a useful entry point into thinking about where we are going.  For me these two papers are further warning indicators that reaffirm my belief that radical innovation is being redefined by those that use ASN related tools, within their organizations, CoP's and simply with their circles (business, professional, social). 

I also just re-read a post from my earlier blogging days on Radical Strategy Innovation. (One that gave me some concern at the time for mouthing off.)  Looking at it today and thinking about the tools I've become more accustomed to using and participating in I believe the key messages still apply.  Five points for Radical Strategy Innovation.

  1. First organize your lines of inquiry to be network and community centric.
  2. Then collaborate to create compelling friction points that give your community "an innovation voice"!
  3. Seek out "hidden" connections - collaborative responsive highly connective networks are important to framing the fullfillment of unarticulated needs.
  4. Build-in collaborative community skills into facilitating markets - value creation. 
  5. (New / revised) Add to the collective and spiritual values -- without them you will have a system rather than a transformation.


In a world of increasing hyperconnectivity, how will augmented social networks impact on innovation? Is your current dogma for Radical Innovation collaborative and spiritual enough to make a meaningful transformation?  How will your communities best be served -- strategically and through what architecture to facilitate the change?


Will Blogging Emerge in Business

Last week I was involved in briefing a group of knowledge innovators.  In the lead up I found myself creating links and examples.  Rather than just leave them hidden it seems more relevant to just blog them.

There is little doubt that lists help.  The stories that go with them and the ones we pull together.  Start a list and soon you realize that one item leads to another.  So what are some examples of blogs and business?   What are the potential uses for these techniques to provide services, sell products, build brands and communicate with stakeholders. Some starting points.

  • K-logs promise to be inexpensive, lightweight, and valuable knowledge management tools, especially for teams.
  • Community Centric Communications: Steven Lundin portrays a world in which online communities are taking over the role once reserved for PR in his article The fall of PR and the rise of Community-Centric Communications. See a synosis here.
  • BLOGS IN BUSINESS: THE WEBLOG AS FILING CABINET “He says: "Weblogs could be a mechanism to coherently codify and 'publish' in a completely voluntary and personal manner the individual worker's entire filing cabinet, complete with annotations, marginalia, post-its and personal indexing system." 
  • Team Brief - Community Brief This provides a brief contrast between the "Team Brief" and B-Blogs. So far there's been little discussion around blogging and the team brief concept. I suspect there is an opportunity here to combine these concepts and call it the "Community Brief". 
  • Blogs and Forums Tom Coates article "Discussion and Citation in the Blogsphere" is a must read for anyone thinking about the impact of blogging on threaded discusssions. Great diagrams and analysis.

After the first one I realized I had enough in my own blog already to provide links, just demonstrating that blogging becomes more useful over time.  Then I also clipped out one further story. 

Library Look-up was a simple idea. When Jon Udell found himself wondering if he could save a few dollars by getting the book from his local library rather than buying it from Amazon his simple question in just a few days was revolutionizing the local library system. Library Lookup allows you an instant online check of book availability at your local library. What began as an experiment and discussion in the weblog community rapidly demonstrated the disruptive innovative potential of Weblogs, Web services, and digital identity. See also: Can the local library help meet my surging demand for books?

Within this story is a connected community, many who only know it other through their blogs. In real life many of them have never met and yet they are all finding reasons to blog and collaborate. There are many other stories like this around emergent topics, new exchanges and new personal connections. Yet this discussion should not be limited to blogs alone. For there is a whole range of lightweight low cost tools emerging dispensing with the need for large corporate structures.

What stories and example do you have?

June 19, 2003

Why CI?

Yesterday I said too little about George Por's role and Collective Intelligence in my post "Collaborative Spaces - Transforming Innovation Capital. He's influenced my thinking lately.  So when this post was picked up it was neat, but it also signals the need for a broader conversation and exploration of the CI community and their work.   

So this post is a little about sharing George.  He's an expert in CI and long time evangelist.  We have different and I believe complementary takes on the diagram and how to use it; sensing there is a new kind of operating system emerging.  I wouldn't have labelled it CI2.0 without a push from him.  I've been keen to understand the emerging tools and the corresponding benefits and provide a synthesis and premise for accelerating innovation and strategy development. I do think CI2.0 frames it.  I'm also a believer that part of very premise (of CI) - is to share and learn together.  So posting / blogging is like testing.. / prototyping. I'm hoping George that you and others will join in and take it to the next level. 

From George's Blog of Collective Intelligence: Cognitive relations, relations of knowledge production  "The main infrastructure concern of today's enterprise is still how to best use technologies for managing data, information, and knowledge, not for augmenting human intelligence, individual and collective. ..."

Separately, this links to George's workshop "Collective Intelligence 2.0" which may provide another line of inquiry and suggest other ways of exploring the path forward.

Weblog Specs

Dave Pollard writes in How to Save the World about business weblogs and five software tools needed for social networking enablement. He makes great points about making it simpler and more transparent and describes the need for the user to determine how and to whom it should be published with each post. I think underlying this is a very decentralized structure that docks with the enterprise while the lifestream is maintained with the user.  There are some very Net Deva like implications to this model.  Similarly the learning from Ryze, and Linkedin etc apply. What am I saying?  I like where this is going, just so far my experience has been that we have to deal with the trust / reciprocity and identity issues.    

I'd like to see Dave's next post around categories.  How are the taxonomy issues resolved?  While a few categories are permanent, we need to structure emergent taxonomy systems.  When fellow workers find they are working on similar questions then they become connected.  I continue to believe that this is topic map related. 

Get these things right and weblogs will be part of the innovation and trust engines that enable social networks. 

Buddy List Envy

 I have to confess... I'm envious of my daughter's (11) buddylist. I'm also fascinated how AIM adoption amongst all her friends in the last year is changing communications patterns.   I don't think I've ever had six or more buddy screens open at the same time.  Yet for her it's common place and I think she loses interest when it is less than three.   Of her list 96% are from her year which means about 50% of the kids in fifth grade are on her list.  Is it the norm?  How would I know. No matter it changes how I communicate with my kids.  IM is great and makes me more accessible. 

So when I saw this link via Many to Many and Clay Shirky.  Social Software How Instant Messaging Augments Conversations I followed it though to Stewart Butterfield.  There are more appropriate references there.  Still in the context of my daughter this helped.

"Part of this is because it is OK to not answer an IM until you are ready—a pause of 30 seconds is perfectly acceptable where it wouldn’t be in voice (and the answerer doesn’t even have to hold the question in their mind while doing something else, but can refer back to it later)."

There is also a great set of comments there.  Despite K's list and visible groups they seldom use a chat room together, according to her it not as much fun.  I'm not sure if this is just time, experience, or gossip. 

Still the italics above are consistent with what I've observed.  The kids are no longer shy or embarassed to "talk to boys" -- they have time to think about their responses.  The old phone paranoia is gone. 

From my own interactions she periodically corrects her short-hand spelling in the next post with a "*word" the asterik meaning correction.  Of course I don't have a technorati on her buddy list (although there is a program that does it from memory). Still this group has their own shorthand. and it's not just "wut u tnk"

Should I be worried? It beats having the phone tied up. 

June 20, 2003

Building Better Communities

All communities need a purpose.  I just liked this as one quick way to think about your knowledge innovation practice.  It's the type of chart one can whiteboard as part of a group discussion.  It's contained in a presentation by Cynthia Typados's for Planetwork Using her 12 principles.  Here is the link to the presentation.  You will have to scroll down to "Social Networking Sites vs. The 12 Principles"....  (Can't reproduce it here or provide a direct link.  Shame really - it is locked in frames). 

Note the importance of idenity and reputation after purpose. Also mentioned was the article "It's not what you know, It's who you know" published in 2000 on FirstMonday." I found it well worth going back and reading. 

We chose the term intensional to reflect the effort and deliberateness with which people construct and manage personal networks. The spelling of the term is intended to suggest a kind of tension and stress in the network. We found that workers experience stresses such as remembering who is in the network, knowing what people in the network are currently doing and where they are located, making careful choices from among many media to communicate effectively with people, and being mindful to "keep in touch" with contacts who may prove useful in the near or distant future. At the same time, "intensional" also suggests a "tensile strength" in network activity; we found our informants endlessly resourceful and energetic in their everyday collaborative activities within their networks.


June 23, 2003

Dissecting the ChatRoom

How does one think through new product development for chat? Last October I found this an intriguing question and with a little help developed the exploratory framework below.  Today it is perhaps more relevant to the learning required to enhance collaboration with emerging social software. The target of this chat exploration was focused on determining the consumer frameworks to aid decision-making.

I really appreciated the recent comments to the buddy list envy.  So it seemed natural to step from IM to CHAT.  May also open up some thoughts on IM. Afterall an exercise like this could similarly apply to IM.

Visit chatrooms and one soon realizes how dynamic the conversation is, even if you don't fit in. While many may delight in referring to chatrooms as a waste of time, I have a feeling that they are an emerging world. Perhaps fantasy or a warped reality, yet lump them with broader collaboration tools and new avenues open up for exploration.

So in this post I'm purposely sharing some diagrams (click to expand), without all the words.   Last October when these were done I thought there may be a mulit-client possible in this area.  (There still is - or could be.  I'd be delighted to do it! I'd add this is all inferred it's not from a statistical sample or at an x% confidence level.).

For others the model and segment names will either provide the justification or a few laughs. 

Why do this? What research objectives might you consider? (From a chat perspective).

  • To provide a dynamic framework for understand the chat /IM market, and the various need segments within it.
  • To determine the relative strengths of the various brands, how they are positioned within the market, and how they are positioned to satisfy the needs fo the various segments within it.
  • To identify what opportunities exist in the chat market for new brands / products (Use this for collaboration building, not necessary to restrict it to MSN/AOL and Yahoo!)

Chat is to the digiworld, like the street, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, diners, bingo halls, and the PTA meeting is to the physical world. It why I'm sharing a model with you that draws on my food and beer days.  (This is adapted from the Heylen Model for those in research)

Why is chat interesting

  • Rapid expansion is reaching critical mass. Like IM - CHAT skews younger.
    • Instant messaging: 59 percent of those aged 19 to 34, compared to 49 percent of those aged 35 to 54, and 45 percent of those 55 and over.
    • Chat: 47 percent of those aged 19 to 34; 37 percent of those aged 35 to 54; 31 percent of those 55 and over.
  • Access new business opportunities - growing corporate interest
  • Service not yet a money spinner --- new entrants
  • Rapidly increasing functionality around voice, video and mobility….
  • Emerging promotion and marketing opportunties.
  • Peer to Peer evolving communities… becoming more realtime…
  • And as we know instant messaging is a super e-mail that lets two or more people hold a real-time conversation online.

My temptation is to say more about why chat communities are posed to forever change marketing.  However this post is about disecting the chatroom, what goes on and the bare minimum detail to infer the life inside. 

These are stories framed around a dynamic segmentation.  One size does not fit all.   By dynamic this approach reflects that as a market evolves and chat users become much more sophisticated they may not just have one set of Chat needs solved by CHATTING in a particular situation, but can be motivated quite differently at other times. The guess is that chatters often select and act in different occasions in the same week. They may very well approach this using different brands.

Our Hypothesis There are two fundamental dynamics, which drive consumer CHAT behavior.  (click to enlarge diagrams)

  • First an occassion based dimension around usage, frequency, times etc
  • Second a horizontal based axis around social dynamics and orientation


Two additional elements. Trust / Transparency and Involvement. These provide an inverse interplay around the social dimension which affects our interpretation of usage/frequency occasions

  • First levels and types of Trust and Transparency in groups and between individuals
  • Second the type of involvement be it extroverted or more introverted; telling or listening, controlling or facilitating, testing or supportive…. Etc. >


This enables six segments to be defined.  They are not all equal in size or profit potential.  Approaches to brand, product/services and the needs in each segment are different.  Even where products should be launched, lifecycles etc can be defined.  Typically a chart like this is provided with stories, encounters, (collages help).  Examples would include names from chatrooms.  Much could be said about the use of colour, fonts, size, the impact of music, welcoming rituals, emoticons etc.  


This final chart may encourage a few to really consider the Exploring dimension.  This realm is i'm certain the largest segment --- (American SUV territory, or Bud territory) and biggest opportunity. For online auctions this space is eBay.  If one ever needed to think though the ramifications of social software it is in this realm.  For my two cents this is where "fast trust" and digital identity solutions will really make a difference.  The opportunity exists to enable this within corporate communities. 

Is chat like beer?  I can't be certain. I do believe that chatters can be comfortable in more than one environment. Just like a fancy restaurant serves a long neck beer, in another setting clearly a can or even a mug may be more appropriate.

Traditional chatrooms were limited to words yet today, voice and cam’s are becoming more commonplace. Perhaps more importantly these's a whole world here growing rapidly running 365/7/24. It different to our physical world and yet similar. It’s only now that we can begin to see how people live virtually – and accept that is part of life that we can begin to look at the sheer variety of online exchanges that a person might have. Particularly when we think consumers and traditional entertainment or out of home “friendly connections”. Think for the moment about the venues and exchanges we have day to day… from the coffee shop to RSA, and Nightclubs and Bars, to more passive theatre. Then add in online gaming etc. 

It's late.  I hope you still know where to go for a drink after playing with the Chat Map. They tend to serve them up in room 9.

June 24, 2003

More Corporate Blogging

Allan Karl The Digital Tavern  picks up on corporate blogging following the weekend's weak NY Times article.   I hear an underlying cry for retaining  personality in posts through the synthesis rather than cumbersome  staging of the message.  His O'Reilly example reinforces why highly structured corporate blogging is going to destroy creativity and leave posts "flat". 

... corporations need to embrace weblog technologies, methodologies and find a way to create a synergistic relationship with PR, advertising, marketing and internal communications in an effort to leverage and extend the corporate brand while refining and enhancing the voice of the company. Even more, when these blogs can open up the dialog between company and customers, employees and suppliers/partners, then we'll start to see corporate blogs take off.

Let's look to decentralizing the experience.  I'm not sure thinking communications silos will work for corporate blogging.  Rather providing every employee with an RSS feed and enable Kuro5hin type reviews.  Then corporate bloggers build reputation (individually and collectively).  Both are important and reinforce the need for collaboration.  Important posts must not only be projected into the ether (without a corporate rating they are of no consequence) but accelerated around the organization.  Blogs work at the fringe and at the center. 

While the desire is there to take corporate blogging and doing it publically, building brands... I believe in focussing on small team internal blogs first behind firewalls.  Please keep it simple.  Corporates need to crawl first, and the independent blogging by the few will not define "Collective Blogging" or the organization.  Only then will corporate blogging really begin to evolve and embrace "Living the Brand". 

The perceived model for large organization is very different from a smaller private company with 25 to 125 employees.  (Large org  perceptionsmakes the reality harder.) Small operations will "Corporate Blog" first and their speed and stories will build brand equity far faster than the big guys can.  The key difference -- the little entrepreneurs can think dynamic brand communities.  They tell stories and easily adopt a conversational tone. 

RSS Feed Full Posts

A couple of reminders recently to provide readers with what they really want.  RSS Feeds that contain the full post.  It's now done - isn't choice wonderful?  You can choose.  If you desire a full post rather than the excerpt, please change your subscription to:

Full Posts (XML) http://www.henshall.com/blog/index2.rdf 

Why is it that MT's default setting is excerpts?

Makes me think about my own newreader.  I wish I could toggle between full and excerpts.  Even better scan quickly on excepts and then toggle to full posts.  Early on I tried AmphetaDesk and currently just use the Radio one.  Except I get posts that blow its formating from time to time.  Is there a newreader that can improve my experience?  Is there one I can install on my server? That is also easy to do?How does a group go collective newsreading?  A my, yours, ours subscription file? Are there tools mapping subscriptions in this format? 


June 26, 2003

BlogPaste Wisdom

I had to have a little fun with the title. Allan gets his wisdom teeth pulled for the sake of clarity - The Digital Tavern and then allows me to draw new parallels that suggest "see Corporate Blogging 3" is like pulling teeth. So I've finished on a more serious and practical note. 


Actually rather than thinking extraction alone we should think orthodontistry, more art for a smile than techniques to cure infection and disease.  Then there's the odd piece of bridgework required, perhaps a few implants and bingo even corporates will blog with pearly whites.  Then P&G or Colgate will produce some new fangled brightener while OralB puts some bent bristle brushes into action. That could confuse things unless the correct blogging technique is maintained.


Still most corporates will be required to lose their "wisdom" teeth. It's affecting their bite and they're leaving no room for growth.  The sooner blogging becomes daily the more rapidly plaque and gum disease will come under control --- not to mention the dreaded halitosis.  There's a stench when corporate communications fail to be transparent. They are not compelling when they lose their smile and character.  Yep we need engineering.  Full plates are not in vogue.  Toothy tattoos may be in.  Possibly every org needs new blogging hygienists and dental technicians.  Yet it's not only hygiene that blogpaste is working on.


Like the emerging PictureRolls, with faces, we want real smiles and real people when we dock with an organization. Blogging, like FaceRolls is more transparent.  Organizations that learn to blog well will do more good than evil.  Blogs will also engender more competition, and cooperation.  Those employees that fail to visit the bloggist when their colleagues begin their daily routine will find they get more than their teeth pulled long term. 


Really seriously Allan isn’t into dentistry and may be a little concerned about his remaining wisdoms.  I do sense something new in the making.  There’s an opportunity for an agency developing Collaborative Live Brand Communities. There’s a lot from Brand Marketing, Advertising, PR etc that could be merged.


From my days leading sales and marketing teams, “good news”, was part of improving both the batting average and raising the team bar.  Start with core groups from brand marketing, key accounts sales and customer service.  A blog a day could really keep the doctor away. 


It may be too late to add a serious angle to this post.  Yet I feel I’m challenging myself too.  I know if I was again running a sales marketing organization we would be blogging.  I’d start with some core categories.  These are top of mind. I'm sure in a group discussion and appropriate context we would come up with something better.  

  1. Daily Update (Everyone! How did you build the business today?). A minimum amount of structure. Give those sales guys camera phones and micro keypads. Make it real basic. They have done daily reports for years… this is a minor change. Help them bring their customers and channels into the business.  Marketers, help me build categories, stories elevator pitches.  If there isn’t a business building action /insight per day then the business is in trouble.  Etc.   (Improve the bite!)
  2. Team Brief (a weekly hierarchy driven piece to begin). I’ve written on Team Briefs before.  In the beginning they are top down. I do believe in the end they will be bottom up. If we aren’t encouraging / doing enough appreciating each other in 1 above then start here! Similarly over time weekly summaries will become easy. (Encourage the Smile)
  3. Key Projects (These have corporate wide impact – no more than 4). When they make corporate news daily something happens.  We are back to the boss only has to read it. I’d be looking for good posts, real action, and quality of thinking.  These are win-win blogs.  Their beauty also has to be more than skin deep.  (Enhance Visibility)
  4. Measures / Expectations:  Enable everyone to blog on “our blogging performance”.  I’d start this with names optional. (Routinize - Develop Blogpaste)
  5. Dashboard:  Enable all these pieces to be brought together.  And quickly sorted. Comments and trackbacks need to be very visible.   (Mouth the Results)

The ad agency, the PR co etc are involved from the beginning.  Get them writing some summaries.  Providing some points of view.  Give them access.  Let them comment on competitors, great campaigns, idea, etc.  Get them involved in the design discussion, the dashboard and messaging. At the moment this is all private – behind the firewall. They will begin pressing early on for going public.  Resist this temptation, it’s not worth it and bloggers don’t go public they emerge.  Similarly the agency will try to speak with one voice.  Don't allow it.  You need them from creative to media planner.... visibly impacting involved and sharing on your business.  Get their commitment to your blogging --- make it part of their contract. Blogging should not increase their charges to you! Still I'm yet to see the agency that says "blogging with you is synonomous with our business model.  Yet we are close.


If your agency won't go this way they will never take you Corporate Blogging!  So make the decision now.  Get a new agency!  Or hedge your bets short-term... find an agency thatwill take you blogging. I may just know the one.    


Frankly this is all much easier than pulling teeth!  




June 30, 2003

Social Software and CI?

Is the current Social Software meme really just part of something much larger? Will the ideas behind Collective Intelligence shape the future development and direction? Sometimes I look at something and intuitively know there's something relevant but perhaps not ready for transmission or simple to translate into plain english.  I have a suspicion tonight that Britt Blaser, Flemming Funch and Xpertweb may just be an illustration - an early indicator of this style of model. 

From the University of Ottawa and the emerging Collective Intelligence Lab.  The top half of the chart represents our collective Intellectual Capital in the virtual world.  Contrast this with the lower quadrant which more closely represents the collection of structural capital, social capital and process capital found in the physical world. 

I find this model interesting for two reasons. 

  • First there is no real mention of financial or customer capital.  This is a real departure and a major shift re "collective". If delight exists... then it is in the top half...and experienced on a higher plain.  
  • The second, is more an observation.  The debate around social software continues to focus too often on the physical manifestations rather than the virtual - spriitual elements that enable - augment and benefit real collective intelligence.  

Note the following charts can both be found via the link above. 

This second chart suggests for each pole a two way relationships.  While this looks incredibly complex I believe it could be simplified into a short questionnaire and then provided in a radar format as a development tool.   

One item is certain.  Unless they all interplay together --- spiraling value creation is a pipedream.  There is also an underlying thread in these postings.  Pierre Levy talks about informational capitalism which includes; Cooperative competition Competitive advantage to the inventors of the most cooperative games. Well Xpertweb is a cooperative game.  While contrasting this with conscious consumption controlled by a transparent cybermarkets could bring with it unexpected communism.

This is worth following for: Knowledge Innovation, Strategic Foresight, human tools development and the evolution of our desires.

About June 2003

This page contains all entries posted to Unbound Spiral in June 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2003 is the previous archive.

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