Archive for Tag ‘ugc‘

Living in the age of the Groundswell

Josh Bernoff‘s day 2 keynote from Forrester Consumer Forum.

Key point: Objectives, not technology, need to lead your effort

Don’t build a community just because your competitors do. Don’t just try to “generate buzz” – what is the goal you hope that buzz will accomplish? Figuring out what you’re trying to achieve will let you then measure what you are doing.

It isn’t “how do we get involved in the groundswell” but what problem are we trying to solve or what opportunities are we trying to create.

These are the main objectives:

  1. Listening
  2. Talking
  3. Energizing
  4. Supporting
  5. Embracing

Analogies to organizational roles:

Research -> Listening
Marketing -> Talking
Sales -> Energizing
Support -> Supporting
Development -> Embracing

In the groundswell (ie, in the web 2.0 era), each of these needs to be transformed a bit. He went through each of them with some examples, including vendors.

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear a single mention of the use of open source to help deliver on these objectives – each objective ended with a brief table listing approaches and vendors – but no mention of assembling your own solutions with open source frameworks, despite the reality that open source frameworks are often the best solutions in many of these spaces.

I know Forrester hasn’t historically focused on open source and I don’t expect them to – but buying product solutions from proprietary vendors isn’t the entire universe. He also didn’t really cover how you integrate these solutions together – so that you don’t end up with five siloed solutions but a cohesive strategy and integrated set of applications which exchange and share data. [Note: this did come up during the Q & A - see the end of the notes below.]

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Forrester Consumer Forum 2007 Day 1

What people learned from day 1 of Forrester:

Christine Overby and Carrie Johnson at Forrester Consumer Forum 2007

Carrie Johnson and Christine Overby just finished the day 2 opening remarks, talking about things carried over from day one – Richard Edelman’s “Windy City Rules” and “Be It, Don’t Buy It” (see Jeremy Pepper’s notes); Christine Hefner on Playboy’s use of new media (myspace, Playboy U) and organizational change (as in, if you can’t change the organization you’re in, change organizations).

Next up Josh Bernoff keynote.

Talk of the Nation on Social Networking

The always interesting Andy Carvin joined Talk of the Nation this week to talk about Social Networking. You can get the audio (36:55) or leave comments at Blog of the Nation: The Sociology of Online Social Networks.

Unfortunately I missed the original broadcast, but I listed to the audio of it. It’s great to hear Carvin balancing between the “this is all just frivilous fun” and “this is radical revolutionary potential” campes – he manages to acknowledge the activities one might call frivilous but also point to the more significant impact these networks can have:

For a lot of people, social networks are just a place for socializing – catching up with friends, flirting and the like. But that’s just scratching the surface.

Some of the examples he mentions in passing:

While you’re at it, check out Carvin’s blog or follow him on twitter.

Also on the show was Christine Rosen, author of “Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism” which was published in The New Atlantis. (Rosen’s a “fellow” at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which describes itself as having been created “clarify and reinforce the bond between the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and the public debate over domestic and foreign policy issues” and which Right Web describes as “a leading player in the early effort to discredit the secular humanist tradition in the United States. The center is one of several institutes and programs established by neoconservatives to promote an increased role of religion in public policy.”)

She focuses on the collecting of friends for status as a problem – that we’ve turned cultivating friends into collecting friends. Carvin nicely handles the discussion, pointing out that this is just one aspect which a certain percentage of users latch onto, but it isn’t the primary goal.

On the topic of online communities undermining offline communities, Carvin also does a solid job – noting the evolution of online communities from some of the more locally oriented early communities (The Well, local BBS’s) into global internet based communities, but with a return visible at the edges in the direction of localism or communities of interest.

He also points out that the culture of narcisissm can hardly be blamed on online communities.

It’s worth a listen, even if some of the callers fall pretty squarely into the stereotypical NPR “these crazy kids today with their interweb tubes” demographic.

In the last segment, Rosen trots out a Brigham Young University study which found folks felt less connected to their communities when they were heavy users of online social networks – she’s careful to point out it was too small a study to be meaningful, but nevertheless draws the conclusion from it as though it were a truth.

Anyone know the study? I couldn’t find a good reference to it in a quick search – in the article cited above Rosen writes:

Researcher Rob Nyland at Brigham Young University recently surveyed 184 users of social networking sites and found that heavy users “feel less socially involved with the community around them.” He also found that “as individuals use social networking more for entertainment, their level of social involvement decreases.”

but there is no citation to the study – the only Rob Nyland I find is a recent graduate – maybe he did this survey while a student? Nothing wrong with a student doing a study, of course, but Rosen makes it sound like a formal study performed and published by the university not something an undergrad did while working on a paper.

Internet TV – Joost and Miro

Steve Borsch at Connect the Dots has a post today titled “Two approaches to internet TV: Joost and Miro.

I’ve left a brief comment there, but wanted to expand on it here. This isn’t just a question of two different approaches to delivering Internet TV – it’s a fundamental difference of passive consumption versus active participation.

The fundamental difference between Joost and Miro is seen in these two quotes.

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YouCanHasCheezburgers; or, Employees are Miscellaneous


ICanHasCheezburger, or at least sites like it, should have a place on your corporate intranet.

So Why should lolcats (pictures of cats with captions in the imagined/projected diction of a cat who uses IM/SMS a lot) belong in your Enterprise 2.0?

Developed by two individuals known as Cheezburger and Tofuburger, is best enjoyed without deep explanation – just start visiting the web site, subscribe to the RSS feed (this is the one which works best on my phone), or follow them on twitter. For those who need explanation, start here:

Because your employees are people too. In fact they were people long before you made them employees. As people, they have interests which only partially (or maybe even not at all) overlap with whatever it is you pay them to do (gasp!).

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