Community and social computing
BusinessWeek magazine has an interesting online article titled The MySpace Generation that talks about the new generation of people who live, buy, and play online. There's also an subplot about marketing Coke through social networks.
MySpace.com now claims 40 million registered users with 20 million logged on in October alone.
Can you be a traditional hierarchy and also an open social collaborative organization simultaneously?
rawn 100000R0P5 Tags:  hierarchial transformation collaboration transition traditional social 6,728 Views
When people think of developing leadership in social environments, they often think of it in terms of a person developing their own skills in leadership (1) versus how the group itself executes (2). These are two different things.
In particular, in my chapter on leadership models in Social Networking for Business, it is not focused on #1 individual leadership skills, but rather on #2, how to consider what the right model is for leadership in a given social experience. As said many times before, leadership in a community experience is very different than that in individual social experiences (e.g., your own blog, or profile page).
In a way, these models are much more “tactical” in the view that they are what you might apply to one particular social environment instance (e.g. the Durian-lovers community, Rawn Shah’s blog). These tactical models may still run for years, and are not necessarily short-term—what we often equate with tactical situations.
A strategic view, on the other hand, is from the eyes someone
or some team overseeing the Enterprise 2.0 ecosystem of all the social environment
instances. In many cases, they may be looking at thousands or millions of them
within the same organization. In the strategic view, you could consider how
many applications of each of the tactical leadership models exist. This gives
you an idea of how well the people across the organization are ‘skilled’--building their skills per #1 in online social environments--in
working in particular leadership models.
From an employee’s point of view, if you have never worked in a workgroup of one particular leadership model, it takes a bit of time to learn and understand how it works. It will require it anyway, because each instance may have its own particular nuances and variances. However, my point is that the employee understands the differences in working in different such tactical leadership models, so they can contribute or lead the group more effectively.
These are the soft skills of leadership that we often talk about, but here in terms of tangible concepts.
Furthermore, from the strategic view, this also shows that you can have an effective Enterprise 2.0 collaborative system with high degrees of autonomy, without needing to completely transform the structure of your overall organization. What the employees are essentially agreeing on is that within their many online collaborative instances, they will work as agreed within each instance. The overall organization is still free to change and transform, but it is possible to be both an open social collaborative organization; yet still maintain the traditional structure, as long as both covenants allow and support each other’s approaches and needs.
rawn 100000R0P5 910 Views
Marshall Goldsmith has an interesting observation in this month's Fast Company (print edition): Can you listen?
He gives the example of what differentiates great leaders like attorney David Boies: he knows how to listen.
Here's a way of testing yourself:
Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and count slowly up to 50. If you can listen to yourself only counting and not thinking of anything else, you might possibly be a good listener.
rawn 100000R0P5 1,124 Views
Right after the RSDC we went off for vacation in Key West, leaving the boy and my laptop with grandma, to get away from it all. After walking around for half an hour in the high humidity, sweating profusely we drop off our luggage at the nice Weatherstation Inn--a really nice Bed&Breakfast that we found and certainly more affordable than the hotels. We then go off in search of a good seafood lunch and find a decent restaurant. We opt to sit indoors in the airconditioning, which is much appreciated in the 80+ degree 90+ % humidity weather.
But of course, they put us in the middle with one table with three infants and children on one side, and another table where the adults spent the entire time talking about how they can take advantage of SecondLife... so much for getting away from it all.
rawn 100000R0P5 1,281 Views
The Cell Processor is the brain of the upcoming Sony Playstation 3. You can download the Linux-based development kit and start working on your next gaming masterpiece with the new Cell Broadband Engine Software Development Kit for free from our alphaWorks site. This also includes a full simulator for the processor system.
You may also want to read more about the architecture of the Cell Broadband Engine and a general overview of how it works.
I've just filled out my developerWorks Expert space for the first time today. I haven't really added all the feeds and other things I really want to add in but you can be sure I'll be adding more over time. Right now now it is a little self-centered, since that was easiest for me to find. I'll probably move my links and tags to the space rather than push too much into a particular application like this blog.
The point of an expert space is really to focus on a particular individual and the multiple things they may be working on, or the multiple social tools they may be using. This differs from a group space in that it is not shared with others and you don't have to negotiate or discuss what you want to put onto the space (as long as it doesn't break the T's and C's). A group space really is intended to focus on a group activity with several folks who will be active participants in the topic. Think of it this way: in an expert space, YOU are the product. :)
If you have not come across it before, web2logo.com provides an extensive listing of companies in the social computing and Web 2 space. There seems to be approximately 1000 companies listed there in one form or another. Some logos are repeated (e.g. Google in different versions) but that's rare. Clicking on a logo will give a description from Web2list, site traffic data from Alexa, and current Technorati-tracked blog activity for each of them. It's hard to say if this data is accurate but it does give an idea of which ones are doing decent enough to watch.
If you're a fan of the genre that Sid Meier created with the original Civilization, the latest incarnation released through 2KGames was probably already on your list.
Despite the fact the game actually keeps crashing on my WinXP box due to problems in its use of DirectX somewhere during cut-scene/video playback, it's still gives the excitement I enjoyed with previous version.
Civ - original game - well-worth it then
Civ 2 - some improvements but nothing really fancy
CivNet - really lame excuse for a multiplayer version
Civ 3 - new graphics (eh so what), and only real new element is the "loyalty" factor displayed on the map. It's like they weren't really even trying to make it better.
Civ Test of Time and other off-versions - I can't tell if these were knock-offs or that while they used the Civ2 engine they were written by an entirely different team(s).
Civ 4 - TBD... at least the multiplayer aspect looks more practical.
What I really get out of it is the interesting game elements they try to layer into the game without making the process of building a civilization way too complex. (After all it is a game).
Common elements and Civ 4 adds:
It's still a game in the fact that the rules have changed but it still fun to play. Too much detail in graphics. It's hard to see things clearly with so much detail. This thing is also getting so resource demanding of your computer, it's not a surprise to me that my install is running into problems running the thing. The more complex the simulation after all... Who knew that old "cell" game from the 1960s/70s would grow up to be this...
Now if they'd only help fix my DirectX problems that cause blue screen of deaths. I guess I'll go look at Civ Fanatics.
I do get requests from others on what the notes for this couse contains. The course is definitely one "in the moment", as in, "it's trying to keep up with the latest." The topics we discuss does involve tooling but more for experiential purposes than core training. Because it's so recent, I have not found a single book that could apply across the whole topic. I found about a good 15 books or so that could do it, but I don't think the students would enjoy having that much to read. Nonetheless, there's a need for a book and the students expect it.
In the meantime, the course is a combination of :
I'll ask the public: do you think I should put this information together into a book?
I've written or co-written about 6-7 books already but they are always so much more work than the time/payoff. There are a lot of books out there but as I said, this is a how-to course and not specifically on tools or a particular category (e.g., blogging). Anyway, let me know what you think.
So far, I have not mentioned more details of the final project because we have not yet told the students--if you're reading this--what it entails. We'll probably describe this in the next week or so, and I'll post it then.
I've asked our dev team to set up a wiki for me and hopefully should have one soon. I'll see about post the notes, and files there.
It seems so old school to try to classify social computing metrics but I keep getting the same requests from various internal teams, who are sometimes not familiar with some of the metrics, don't understand them, or simply use other metrics better suited to Web sites rather than social sites. A second goal is to evaluate the qualities of these metrics to determine if they are useful (e.g. using the SMART analysis approach). A third is to see the relationship of the metrics to each other—whether there are dependencies, or if some metrics are more meaningful when reported alongside or compared with others.
To give an idea, while it's considered outdated by others, some still look for Pageviews, and Unique Visitors--classic web metrics better suited to measure how people visit pages, than interaction from social environments. Similarly, "Interaction" itself becomes another stopping point for metrics. These are the metrics most commonly recorded by social software tools: number of posts, the number of downloads, the number of connection invites, etc.
In working with
our social computing researchers we're also looking at Network Effect
metrics such as the Topics (what people discuss) that come out of the
system, or the ratio of consumption to a person's content
Other departments such as marketing teams have an emphasis on Engagement metrics, considering how much a person is becoming involved in a social environment, an event, a marketing offering, or other engagements. Other engagement metrics aren't specific to marketing only. For example, thought-leadership metrics include the ratings on content someone has submitted, or how often they have been quoted or retweeted by others. A more complex one is to determine the Impact a person has on their target audience.
To go further along on marketing metrics, these can even build up towards the sales pipeline—how many interested individuals are there, are they potential sales leads, have they actually asked for sales info, has that lead been validated, and then closed. Joe Cothrel, Chief Community Officer of Lithium suggested similar ideas in an article for Strategy+Leadership magazine back in 2000, on conversion rate from a visitor to a sale, as applied to social environments.
Outside marketing and sales, there are other indicators that relate to business value metrics. Some suggestions in a recent email exchange with Dr. Walter Carl, Chief Researcher of ChatThreads and a member of WOMMA's board on metrics include cost reduction (using this tool to communicate is a lower cost than other existing ways), accelerating adoption of any business philosophies, values or company directives, processes that minimize lost revenue, etc.
Lots of Metrics, but what are their qualities?
So what should be
obvious is that there are lots of metrics, categories, subclasses,
variations, and inter-relations that different organizations or even
different teams within the same organization utilize. What
constitutes business metrics and delivered value for one team may not
even be relevant to another. So I'm still surprised when people ask
for a generic ROI methodology.
All the same, the
next step is to look at the qualities of these metrics. I mentioned
the SMART acronym earlier which are basic questions if a given metric
type or unit is:
all these qualities, there will likely be a problem with either
collecting the data in a way that is meaningful and available in time
for use in a business.
There are other qualities that I think are important to consider as well:
I'm sure there are more relevant qualities, but this is already quite a lot to think about. These qualities can help decide which metrics are the most useful or what they can tell us, independently of the others.
is to look at which metrics should be reported alongside each other,
or which ones depend on others directly or indirectly. That's where
things start to get real interesting and much more subjective.
No conclusion here because this is on-going work trying to map out all these variants of metrics, but here's to hoping it inspires others to think and work along these lines.
rawn 100000R0P5 Tags:  report enterprise-2.0 economic data europe geographic eu case-study european e20 commission 2 Comments 6,905 Views
The trio of Headshift, IDC and Tech4i2 have released their Interim report on Enterprise 2.0 in Europe. This is a fantastic piece of work in 160 pages. I had time enough go through half of it so far. It covers so many areas and compiles data on geography and economic production in countries due to e20. Thanks to @leebryant and @mikejthompson for sharing this.
Here are some of my suggestions and points:
Pg9 Table 3 - Links between participants –
For traditional enterprise aps the “peer or hierarchical” describes the structure of how people are linked overall, but for E2.0 apps, it focuses on quality of individual links.
That’s two different concepts.
Option 1: include both structure and quality in each box
- Traditional Apps – “Peer or hierarchical, if linkage with others is supported at all. Members have to accept predefined links with others in their workgroup. Strength of linkage unknown
- E20 Apps – “Web of connections. Members choose who they want to link to, and strength of connection depends on interactions
Option 2: Quality only
- Traditional Apps – Members must accept predfined links to others in workgroup, and strength of linkage unknown
Option 3: Structure only
- Traditional apps - Peer or hierarchical, if linkage with others is supported at all.
- E20 - Members choose who they want to link to, and strength of connection depends on interactions
Section 2.3 pg 10
This should also indicate sources which state that Organizational Culture and culture change is a key aspect. If you want you can link to our IBM paper on adoption which stresses that this is not just technology adoption, but actual work culture change.
I think for the Internal case, its missing: building employee loyalty, satisfaction and retention. To this take a look at Salary.com’s 2009 survey of Job satisfaction, particularly at the top reason “why people stay in a company”: “I like the people I work with”
An Internal>External or perhaps External case is keeping in touch with former employees/alumni. This is a variant on recruitment. By having an Alumni community, you may be able to rehire former employees which is much more cost-effective and faster in terms of integrating into the company. This saves time and money over hiring completely new people.
Section 2 & 3 overall
There seems to be a heavy reliance on McAfee’s research only. It’s very one sided. You should cite other sources as well. There are a whole lot of other researchers in this domain too.
Page17 Communities of Interest
A community of practice is a key component of building a “Center of Excellence” within organizations around different topics, technologies, knowledge domains and innovation directions. It identifies company-wide a select group of subject-matter-experts and organizational memory. In short developing centers of excellence within organization supports the overall innovation strategy of the company.
Pg 18 Innovation Management
IBM InnovationJam and IdeaJam system is a managed approach to ideation and discovering employees interested or committed to bringing innovative ideas to life. IBM has had various such Jams since 2001 across different populations: employees only (new product or service opportunities), employees and family (local community development, and work-life balance), and employees, customers and business partners (challenging global issues)
Pg 20 Crowdsourcing
An example is BurdaStyle by German publishing company, Hubert Burda Media. By providing a template system to allow anyone (customers) to create new clothing designs of their own. This is an example Crowdsourcing by Template; it generates new ideas that customers can sell to each other or license to the company Burda itself to produce for the mass market.
See my book “Social Networking for Business” (Wharton School Press, 2010) Chapter 4 on further details.
Pg20 Customer/Public Engagement
Use more European focused social sites. See ManyEyes and comScore data on apps per country
Pg39 4.2 The Role of Leadership
This is missing out that E2.0 allows a variety of different leadership models as microcosms within the overall organization leadership structure. I provide a variety of these models in Chapter 2 of my book.
The significance is that it creates an alternate dimension of leadership hidden underneath the official hierarchical structure of the company. These alternate models can be discovered through Social Network Analysis, or predefined for individual communities and social environments with different groupings of employees.
Pg40 Organisational size
One of the most obvious facts most people forget is that on the Internet, there is practically unlimited population that may participate in web2.0 environments. However, within an organization, there is a definite bound of all the employees involved. What this affects is the notion of the Long Tail: with a bounded employee population adoption need not be a long-tailed graph at all, since you can determine through metrics data how many people are involved, and how involved they can get. The graph changes shape significantly. On the Internet, there is an endless supply of the long-tail on ther otherhand.
Missing is a discussion on the Dunbar number limit that suggests people are able to at most recall 150 peers or friends, and a closer look at why that idea is not necessarily applicable in E20 system.
See Christopher Allen’s post on this: http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/03/the_dunbar_numb.html
Pg77 Employee Privacy concerns
Another actor of the personal social networking is that the line between work and personal discussions is getting quite blurry. E.g., some people use their personal Facebook profile to post both personal content and work related content. It thus becomes harder to tell how people are working because it requires detailed context to decide if any content posted is work related or personal.
Furthermore often employees use their corporate social environment to casually discuss personal ideas, projects and activities. This is not a negative, because it creates opportunities for other employees to find commonality and like-minded peers; in other words it improves chances of building stronger employee-to-employee bonds.
Pg78 “Eat your own dog-food”
How about “Drink your own Champagne” – a more pleasant prospect.
Pg80 Does E20 matter
For 1) or perhaps 3) there are some existing evidence / studies on the impact of e20 on productivity and growth. See Wu, Lin, Aral and Brynjolfsson (MIT & IBM)
It quantifies exact value gain per employee from stronger relationships through e20.
Pg81 Maslow’s ROI Hierarchy of Enterprise 2.0 chart
I know Hutch based this on Maslow’s theory, but using that title for the chart is very incorrect because it suggests that Abraham Maslow (now dead) defined that Hierarchy.
A better name would be “ROI Hierarchy of Enterprise 2.0 based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory”
As I read a part of Brafman and Beckstrom's The Starfish and the Spider, it struck me how similar some of its ideas are to Douglas Atkin's The Culting of Brands (see my list of Books on Communities). I'm going to have to cross reference some of this again later but both describe at least one common element necessary for building successful peer networks (starfish), or brands (culting of brands): ideology.
Brafman & Beckstrom's book talks about having a shared ideology amongst the members of the peer network. This could mean several things from having a core sense of values to a shared sense of purpose to a shared direction (each different things). However, they do not point out the specifics like Atkin's does:
On occassion, when you get enough mass, some of them will try to write down what these are--the Apache foundation went through this, but so sometimes so do the many community folks who start to write a FAQ--but each group goes through a rediscovery process of these ideas.
My view is that communities grow by their own efforts, not on a very focused path, but evolve over time and stabilize at a certain point. Some of the really successful ones actually start off because they are not something else (as in not the mainstream), which often predicates that they do not look into how other communities form. By trying to break into a new direction, they tend to leave all other ideas behind.
The other part is that a truly decentralized community tends to follow leadership (another hard to define quality), and not only does this change over time, but not all our leaders know how to organize a loose network of people such as a community. Without this kind of understanding, it becomes a harder process of successes and failures, and rediscovery of the same ideas.
I was discussing this topic with several other friends today: when it's your turn to watch the baby, what computer game do you play?
I have a night shift from 8 to about 12 to watch the baby and the best game I can play is Civilization IV. It's a little older now but it's still a good game and the turn-by-turn basis gives me a lot of time in case I need to stop and attend to him. Also Civ IV is can be played almost as well whether you have just a keyboard or just a mouse, which is an important factor when you have to do your turn one-handed (while bouncing on a big rubber ball holding the baby). Also, the game takes many hours to finish and that is just what I need.
My friend Eric is/was quite into World of Warcraft, but when the baby cries, he put his priest character into "follow" mode. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work so well, when the others need your help. E.g., they're off fighting a creature and you're just standing there while others are begging you to heal them. So, I won't mention what his character's name is...
Another friend plays a version of Half-Life--I think it's Team Fortress--where you can turn your character to Observor mode, thus essentially making your character invulnerable but ineffective in the game. Your teammates still probably won't appreciate you taking yourself out.
Anyway, I've played Civ IV to death and new I'm looking for another building/management strategy game. I hear good things about Caesar IV, so its next on my list.
Conference season is in full swing now. I have three of them to attend/present at.
First up, Web 2.0 Expo next week in San Francisco. I went to the Web 2.0 Summit in November which was a much smaller crowd than what's expected this time as a full exhibition. We're getting ready for it with a booth for a number of new things from IBM, including both a developerWorks and an alphaWorks pedestal. I will be at the booth much of the time alongside several others from our development team. We also have a nice min-theater at the IBM booth, to present at.
Then comes an internal IBM summit on Web 2.0 at the beginning of May, which means more presentations and good chance to meet up with the many folks across IBM working in this area.
Then in mid-June I'll be at the Rational Software Development Conference (rsdc-2007), again with the developerWorks booth. I believe our Editor in Chief, Michael O'Connell, may be presenting there.
Somewhere in there is all the regular work. I'll be gone on vacation after the Rational conference spending some time in Florida just to relax.
I think it's best described by Karl Hyde of the music group Underworld, it takes Two Months Off to really relax and be on vacation. I don't think I can convince my manager to let me have that though :)
There are a number of events on online community management, social software and communications coming up this year. I'm glad to see the topic of community management is thriving even after decades of existence. These are the live meetings in the beginning half of the year or so; I left out the online events and webinars since they are quite numerous.
The Online Community Report indicates events in:
I'll add more as I find them, but as you can see it's a hot topic this year.
Laptops are the ubiquitous tool of Networked Man. It's also how you identify them in the wild.
I'm a very heavy laptop user. I take it with me almost every day when I leave the house. Hence, I need something that won't drag me down in terms of weight. I've been using one kind of Thinkpad or another for years, honestly, because this is what they provide me at work. It seems to do the job well and isn't too heavy (current one is about 5 lbs).
On the other hand,I really like the idea of convertible notebooks or Tablet PCs where you can flip the screen over
and lay it flat on the keyboard and then write on it. IBM's PC division (before Lenovo) had one for a brief time together with a notepad, but that went away. In fact most Tablet PCs were similar size (12" screens), which was a little too small for me.
The one I see out there now is Gateway's 14" widescreen version. However, they haven't made a good docking station for it, just a port replicator.
I'd like to a tablet PC with a docking station you can just plug into vertically to turn the unit into a sort of
all-in-one monitor-PC. There'd be a keyboard, mouse and cabling connected to the dock of course. But the core idea would be to have a dock that works like an adjustable monitor base (turning it, raising it, etc.)
When you're on the go, you could simply suspend, unlock and lift it off and put it into a locking hard case/shell rather than having to strap into a laptop bag.
Honestly, the five minutes it takes for me to hibernate my computer, undocking, and pack it; then do the reverse when at my location turns out to be about an hour a week I've lost. That's 40-50 hours a year; i.e., a whole week of work.
We talked about crowdsourcing as a particular community use-case. It definitely counts as a use-case because of the use of multiple community services, tools and need for potential CMs.
(I looked up Wikipedia but there's no entry right now, so perhaps I'll have to add one)
The concept itself is far from new but the delivery is. The core idea is that you pick a topic, invite a crowd to discuss or brainstorm on it, pick top ideas, let people vote on it. The way it's being applied in online communities is interesting. Take a look at a recent Businessweek story on this (and an earlier one from July).
The following is from our slide on this item that draws some from this:
There are plenty of other examples I'm sure that I left out.
I'm reading the chapter in Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams' Wikinomics book on Prosumers. (see my book list). It makes a particular point that I should highlight:
The old customer co-creation idea was simple: Collaborate with your customers to create or customize goods, services, and experiences, all while generating a built-in market for your wares...I couldn't agree more with them on the intentions of the company. However, I still have to agree that the same examples they give in other parts of the book are still similar to this idea. For example, even digg has basic limits on what you can do: write a short port, or vote. Even though digg allows anyone to submit a post, it still sets the parameters on when people can innovate. Fine line? Possibly, but the reality is that short of giving a complete blank slate for anyone to do anything, the real value actually comes from giving guidance and parameters on how people can participate on a social site. If you make it too open ended, it may end up becoming too unfocused on purpose. In other words, if the leaders or owners of the community/social site define the purpose and focus area, then the users have an idea of what to expect and what to do there.
This is the company-centric view of cocreation. We'll set the parameters by telling you when and on which products to innovate. You'll give us your ideas for free, but we'll choose the best of them...
The model for prosumption that Wikinomics talks about is more about mashup culture, and the idea of enabling consumers to freely interact to create their own versions or interpretations of products. This means that the prosumers--a distinct subset of your overall users, and possibly even a relatively small percentage depending upon the complexity of the product--should be allowed greater freedom on how to use the products and share their ideas.
Wikinomics' suggestions on how to harness prosumers is very good:
It's easy to give a hugely inclusive environment like Wikipedia and then say that wiki's can apply to everything, but it simply doesn't work that way. Participation in wikis, or for that matter any social service, depends upon the number of participants in the system, and more importantly, how many really care to be there. For that to happen, the users and potential prosumers need to easily see the value of being in that community. The simpler or more evident the purpose, the easier it is for people to decide if they want to be in that community or not.
Beyond just reading or consuming the info in the community, you need to find ways to engage or challenge the community to invite participation; and make it easy for them to participate. The more immediate it is to interact, the more interaction you will get. From simpler interactions, you can start building more complicated interactions and generate that recurring following. These return participants are what help to spur prosumption activity, or at least bring that activity into the context of your community. This is where more the abovementioned suggestions from Wikinomics can come into play.
This looks like another busy day for phone calls, but an excellent time to test out the battery life of my new Moto Q and Plantonics pulsar stereo headset (see my previous post).
Yesterday, I tested out the phone to visit our podcasts and listen to some of our recent interviews, downloaded to the phone. I then left the phone in a spot and walked around for a while with the stereo wireless headset and it worked like a charm: the high-speed wireless network, the cellphone's browser, the freedom of wireless, and sitting on the hammock watching the stars listening to the podcast. The sound quality was excellent, both in terms of focusing the caller's voice (over background noise), and listening to audio playback from the net, the laptop, or the ipod. Next test today is skype and long hours of calls, to see how uncomfortable it can get and which dies first the battery in the cellphone or the headset.
Next week's trip to Rational Software Developer Conference 2007 in Orlando should be fun (quick infomercial). They have some great activities planned, including some new things by our own team:
I missed out on Secondfest, a music festival on SecondLife that Intel recently sponsored together with the UK's Guardian newspaper. There were so many performers there, I'm surprised at the size of it. Even one of my long-time favorites, The Pet Shop Boys. This is a fairly large online event to organize and I'm pretty sure it takes a good concert promoter on the side of the bands too. It's hard to call this a UK thing when it's on SL. I think the promotion for it I'd like to try to find out who helped to organize this.
PS: Does the group Hadouken have anything to do with the old Capcom Street Fighter II games?
I'm at the Rational Software Development Conference 2006, taking a break between sessions. If you haven't seen it already, there is a lot going on. You can start on our blog and podcast page for this event.
The first interesting session I found was on Building a Strong Software Business on Open Source, by Palle Pedersen, CTO of Black Duck Software. His company works on testing compliance in software products. In particular, they have taken a look at the issues around licensing, usage and behavior of teams who use open source software or incorporate them into products of their own.
Interesting factoid: there are now about 600 different variations of open source licenses. Can you imagine checking compliance of code/products that incorporates that kind of range/possibility of OS software?
More interesting to me is his point that there is a common best practice to how to incorporate OSS into your own line:
This is oversimplification of the whole thing but its step two of this business model that obviously catches my eye. In fact, there were a few questions about how to do Step 2. This is in fact exactly what our Community team in dW is tackling. I'm just glad that people are starting to recognize the importance of this as a required part of the open source business model.
We've known this for a while but many groups tend to just gloss over this. The assumption is that if you start a discussion group, you've satisfied that step. It's not as simple as that. In fact, there are many OS products with discussion groups but that still never take off as a success. What is needed is a more scientific way of performing this overall step (which is what I'm hoping would become the outcome of my current side-project to create a course for Community Management at the University of Arizona MIS dept. More on that later).
In any case, I think there's a story there in what Palle said around this OSS business model and community development to pursue.
Okay, it's really Day 3 but I'm posting on yesterday's events.
I took a bunch of photos. Unfortunately, they're all off a 5MP camera so I have to resize them each time. Maybe it's time for me to get one of those cellphones that can post photos directly to your blog. Anyway, I'll have photos back-posted soon.
The blogger meetup went well with some analysts, execs and tech folk all around. It was mostly a leisurely meet up with folks we work with but rarely see. We signed a big get well soon card for Grady that's being sent out today as I speak.
I spent part of the day manning the booth (okay only an hour or two compared to the other dW staff members) talking to different people as they come by. It feels like there are a lot of first-timers to the RSDC this year, and we had about 50-50 split on people familiar with dW and others not. I had an interesting conversation with a gent from Amazon Web services and there's a session later today on Mashing with Amazon Web Services that I intend to visit.
I'm heading back to the booth again for now.
Day 3 came and went quite quickly.
The interesting event of the day was Amazon's sessions on its Web services. Amazon Web Services is the software side of the company, sort of separate from the main sales/retail site that they are so well known for. The retail side uses some of these same Web services within the site, but they are also available to external customers as well. I listened to Jeff Barr from Amazon describe them some of which include:
and many more... You should go to aws.amazon.com to find out more.
After about 4-5 hours of sleep the previous night, I was still in reasonable shape to do my presentation at the 3rd Developer Relations Conference hosted by Evans Data Corp. This is a gathering of the folks who run developer programs at different technology companies, with speakers from Sun, Nokia, BEA Systems, Eclipse, Motorola, Yahoo!, HP Software, Intel, Borland, AMD, and many more (and of course ourselves from IBM). It seems an anachronism to have an event where all these companies that are competing for many of the same developers to share knowledge but I think it opens minds and views all the same.
My presentation was Extending your developer network with Web 2.0 communities, discussing what you need to know about communities to pick the right kind of Web 2.0 tools for yours. For all the organizations that may go headlong into setting up blogs, wikis, etc., and even multiple competing instances, without really understanding the communities they are trying to create, I hope this talk gives provides some food for thought. (The powerpoint works best in slideshow mode: F5).
I attended a few of the other sessions but the one I found refreshing was Chad Dickerson's talk about Hack Day at Yahoo! Chad's a Sr Director at Yahoo and responsible for organizing the internal Hack Days, and more importantly, the external Hack Day last June. I had missed this event entirely (busy with my then-8-month pregnant wife). They essentially opened up the Yahoo campus to 400 developers from all over who agreed to come and spend 24 hours developing new projects and mashups using Yahoo's many APIs. The format was what intrigued me:
I have been looking at online-to-print publishing services lately, or alternate formats in e-books, lately. Even with so many online forms, dead-tree formats are still preferred by far. Part of it is a question of format and such, but right now I'm more interested in how people feel about a book.
Stability - It's ironic that in a business world where fluidity and change are pressing forces, that printed books with a fixed set of information are still preferred. It is not as much the permanence as the stability in knowing that the same information is still there, not changing. For a lot of information that does not require adjustments or fluidity, this makes books first in mind. This is also its weakness in books: the more variable information needs to be the less significant the value of a book.
Exclusivity - It is the fact that not everyone can get their work published that adds value to books. This doesn't mean that the best info always gets out there, but it does mean that people have to work harder to get their info published. In the traditional process, this was to encourage excellence (but I don't think that's always the case)
There are other values, but those are being eroded (slowly) with the rise of digital formats: portability, visual impact, artistic value, etc.
Therefore to some folks, its that feeling of exclusivity of having a published book that makes it worthwhile. Which is why I think the idea of vanity publishing used to be compelling enough to keep a cottage industry going. Today however, with key innovations like HP's Indigo press system, it becomes so much cheaper to print low-quantity runs of books.
Take a look at Blurb.com, which allows anyone to get their photos, words, blogs, etc. put into print format at an affordable level. Having written so much over the years, I wouldn't mind taking some of my old online work and having it published into a print format, if nothing else to just have on my bookshelf.