Community and social computing
rawn 100000R0P5 926 Views
From slashdot. In the US, the federal legal establishment has decided that some bloggers can actually be considered as journalists. This is quite specific to a political blogging site called Fired Up and specifically on journalistic freedom of access to information in government elections, but is a good step. The slashdot article has more info.
Ian pointed this out that you can now Blog from within SecondLife using BlogHud. (connecting back from Virtual me to Real me, or is it? Who am I again?)
Also, the Eightbar bloggers went to a baseball game, complete with afull diamond & stadium, foam fingers, and fun.You have to see theirpics before and during the game. Even MLB.com likes it.
rawn 100000R0P5 671 Views
I was discussing with my enlightened other about fiction versus non-fiction books in particular business books versus fiction stories. The argument is that non-ficiton books have to be filled with facts to be of use, versus fiction which has to be entertaining. This means that fiction books take much more work to create because you have to think out a lot more of the plot in detail while a business book usually has a point and what you need is a proper series of facts to lead there. I beg to differ in that I feel that most business or technical books tend to achieve the "lower levels" of fact-filling but that doesn't necessarily make them a "good" or interesting book. The interesting ones are those that not only get the facts right but also have to tell a story in an interesting and appealing manner. To that regard, "good" non-fiction books of the like are in my view harder to do. The writer is hampered by details of facts, figures and sequence of events, which are, truth be told, sometimes as gripping as glossy paper covers the books come in.
Unfortunatley, I think this is lost among many business writers. I can consume probably about a 300-page business book in a week or less if it is really interesting, or a month if it not so, or even never if I find it just downright appalling. It seems like writing style is becoming even more significant these days with blogs, forms, and other social software. I'm not sure if anyone is teaching that beyond the do's an don'ts but I suspect is probably a new form of being an English major (not something I really know about).
That being said, I started working on my next book last week--I tend to have a "next" book in the works every other year--and already have about 55 pages in about 4 days; that's about 15% of the total page count that I feel a decent book should be. Now some people look at that as a sign of productivity, but I beg to caution folks that it matters more how useful that is versus how long it is. I'll probably end up with 2-3x the amount of pages than what I'll actually use.
Is there a point? Maybe what they say is true: more is not always better; better is always better.
IBM, Strikeiron, Kapow and Dapper are supporting a new mashup camp and contest on July 19th in Silicon Valley called the Business Mashup Challenge. The goal is to have a two day event where developers can get together for the camp and create different mashups right there and then using the Contest Development Environment (CDE) to do the assembly and publishing of your mashups. There is money and prizes for the winners. The assembly and consumption of services and some of the widgets apparently works through the QEDwiki project (try it out on alphaWorks Services) which is part of the CDE.
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 6,415 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 769 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 982 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 1,127 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:  economic enterprise-2.0 report data europe geographic eu case-study european e20 commission 2 Comments 6,560 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.