Monday, July 26, 2004
# 2733 10:15:47 AM G! DayPop!. email
Ted Shelton: "Frankly I felt that BlogOn was a waste of time and money."
I think the BlogOn conference was overproduced. In the name of professionalism the organizing firm turned off potential speakers, oversubscribed sponsors, etc.
I would have liked a debatable topic (aside from *blogging = journalism*. Two people slugging it out. Or a devil's advocate taking challenges from the floor.
I would have liked more hard numbers. Facts. Charts. Diagrams. We have the analytic tools to BS-check them; harder on vague opinions and single-points-of-observation.
I found it disturbing how much money was being commanded (from both attendees and sponsors) for a conference at a university. Maybe it was because it was at Berkeley? Maybe we should have taken over a community college or a Cal State or a DeVry. The facilities costs would have been cheaper at least. I heard an organizer apologize and say the next one would be at a hotel, like that would have been better.
Cost wasn't the whole problem. We're at a stage where early adopters are meeting folks who want to leap the chasm. Huge gaps in knowledge, experience, context, culture, vocabulary. It's the gap.
There are huge ideas to be explored, even in the world of applying blogs to media strategy and the enterprise. And most of the big ideas weren't even on the agenda at BlogOn. Probably because it was catering to those who want to commercialize, fund, and otherwise exploit (excuse me, "get in on") the emerging medium.
Let's fork these conferences so advanced topics on business and technology and culture fit the participants.
[a klog apart]
Saturday, July 17, 2004
bloggers for hire klogs staffing
# 2731 6:23:48 PM G! DayPop!. email
This is not a peak hiring season. But there are jobs to be had in blogging.
IMN is hiring an inside sales rep to work in Newton, Mass, selling blogging and newsreading tools.
Siemens is looking for a contract ActionScript developer to work with Microsoft's Social Computing Group on Wallop-related stuff. Blogs + Social Networks.
Amazon.com’s Customer Content Team is hiring a senior software engineer. "We are the “discover” in “find, discover and buy.” Current features and projects include the world-wide deployment of features such as Customer Reviews, Listmania, Buying Guides, and Blogs, as well as workflow, customer service services and web services for all of the above."
IBM's hiring researchers into a team that's worked on weblogs in the past.
And the Ebay Developer Community Manager is expected to post to their public weblog.
SixApart has openings for a Web Designer/Developer and a Software Engineer. You too can make MovableType and TypePad better. Technorati has jobs for a Analytics Engineer, MySQL Administrator, and a LAMP Software Engineer.
Or how about a six month blogging user experience contract in Dulles, VA.
And then there's Monster's Rebecca who blogs pseudonymously.
events klogs life
# 2730 4:51:13 PM G! DayPop!. email
The Social Tools in the Enterprise Symposium had fewer corporate attendees and more academics and consultants than I expected for a business conference. Then again, it's mid-July.
Stowe Boyd was a great host, a cross between David Letterman and Columbo. If you've never seen him in person, he has the voice and affect of actor Robert Patrick. (congrats on the brown belt, Stowe.) In the run up to the event, Stowe wrote an piece for Darwin on the convergence of social tools, blurring the lines between "the four co's": coordination, collaboration, communication, and community. This theme came through in the symposium.
Some high notes.
My presentation (maybe a low note) was a recap of the positive feedback that conditions blogger behavior. A collection of aha! moments that promote expression, control, ownership, sociality, and introspection in a blogger. Before managing a fleet of bloggers (always looking for that plural), let's understand that virtuous cycle and create tools and behaviors that support it.
It was great seeing George Por again. He extracts layers of depth with quick comments, often from his collective intelligence view. [note to self: I think this fits into the third layer of maturity in collective blogging.]
Marc Eisenstadt showed some of his team's tools for knowledge workers: hacks of maps, presence integrated with a video wall, and instant messaging. Marc Canter would have been yelling "Dude! That's a Digital Lifestyle Aggregator!" if it wasn't so workplace focused. This brings home the hard fact that most blogging tools are still too hard to use. Industry needs a ten-fold improvement in user experience in writing, reading, and navigating blogs (imho, especially the writing). Why is UserLand the only vendor using WYSIWYG authoring?
I enjoyed the Q&A about Lee's presentation. It's a great case study, one that will be repeated.
Martin's write-up of the sessions is thoughtful, although I think there are 40,000 blogs in China, not 400,000 (but give them a two minutes).
After the show, Allan Engelhardt said content is the slug’s trail in social software:
But the real value of social software in the enterprise is not in the content. Content doesn’t do anything. People do; and what makes a difference to the enterprise is people coming together innovating and changing the organisation. The value of social software is in creating social connections where none existed, or in strengthening existing connections.
No Internet connectivity during the conference because the local tech/facilities guy didn't know what a proxy server was.
Doc Searls was in town, showed up for the night-before and night-after dinners. Between Doc and Stowe I'm starting to look harder at low-carb, or at least looking at my sugar intake. Shots of Doc and others lost while attempting upload.
Talking blogging, small business, etc. with Matt Mower on Friday, during an extended walk from Holborn through the city center. Matt knows why I no longer trust him to pick random pubs for a beer. Suffice to say I didn't pack my leathers.
The Bonnington Hotel in Bloomsbury
is a three star hotel with five star service. Dozens of problems, only a few from the hotel, but all of them addressed promptly with cheer, courtesy, professionalism, and concern. I'd stay there again.
All the walking and tube hopping helped me connect areas I'd thought of as disconnected. It's reassuring that long time Londoners still carry or consult street/underground maps.
Most of the underground network is intentionally bright, with extra lights and white tiles on walls and ceilings, to stave off claustrophobia. It was sad that emerging from the Holborn station on Saturday, it was darker outside midday than inside the station.
During my UK visit I forgot to:
Visit with the Big Blog Company
folks. If I haven't said it before, great blog, great work, spread the word.
Hit the museums. I just wasn't in the mood, too nice outdoors.
Visit Oxford. They had three guys at STES, so they must be up to something.
Walk. I walked for a bit, took the tube too, but there was much more to do.
Take time in the country. England isn't London, though it likes to think so.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
community events klogs life strategy
# 2729 11:26:20 AM G! DayPop!. email
Dear Phil -
Why should we conference in person when the virtual has been so enriched?
- The virtual's not that rich.
- The virtual's mainly broadcast.
- And you miss the interactions that occur during breaks, meals, pub crawls, and the other cracks in
an official programme.
So I leave my computer, my home, my city, my country.
Recently, AD:TECH ("Eyeballs for sale! Fresh steaming eyeballs!") and
(Kumbaya embraces digital identity), both in San Francisco.
going to try for the Bio 2004
conference exhibit hall, this week. Especially interested in new bioinformatics
and the publications systems that try to promote innovation without giving away
secrets. Innovation World's Michael Boland and Mary Kate Stimmler are
blogging from the
This week and next are full of
East Bay Kerry stuff. A
Democratic Party Meetup where East Bay Kerry
recruits volunteers. Committee meetings for
Media Relations, Visibility and GOTV,
We're having our first
Speaker Training & Kerry Teach-In. And a big bunch of us are going to the
Oakland A's vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game to show Kerry love to all those
Pennsylvanians watching the game.
Gary Hart is signing his latest book. And we're sending envoys to other
political meetings, like the Lamorinda
Democratic Club and the MGO
Dem Club. All the time compression of a startup, none of the cash flow, and
I've started going to
Future Salons. Smart people,
challenging topics. Next one June 18th at
SAP Palo Alto. Saw him at Planetwork, first time in daylight. You owe yourself a
venue to talk about 10, 20, and 50 years out. Great context and fodder for work
and life planning.
In two weeks I'll attend the first day of
blogging a technical and policy
discussion of today's convergence. Time to bone up on
spectrum allocation, grid computing, WiMax, and more. I'm glad the
wiki (thank you, SocialText)
and rss feed (thank
you, TypePad) are up.
I'm spending July 4th in Vienna, Austria, for
BlogTalk 2.0, the conference by
Thomas Burg and the Center for New Media
at Danube University. Getting there a little early to spend time with the
Actionable Sense Troupe ("How do you switch between Discussion and Action?") and
BlogWalk 3.0 in
to Bloomsbury Square for the first
London Symposium on
Social Tools For The Enterprise, 12 July. This scans like etiquette and finishing
school. It's really about blogs, wikis, social networks, IM'ing, and the like.
And turning them into workplace tools.
Evectors Software put it together.
Stowe Boyd's there too. I'll have a week in London. Favourite pubs,
bookstores, museums, clubs, bordellos? Blogger events?
Back in town for the
BlogOn conference. Read
Susan Mernit's post. They have a
camp, similar to
workshops I proposed for London.
What do bloggers know that others don't? To understand social software, managers need the insights that make blogging and
other social tools "click" for users, and to frame those "Aha!
moments" into a useful context.
What should I do this fall?
Sunday, May 16, 2004
design klogs public policy strategy technology
# 2727 6:24:49 PM G! DayPop!. email
I wrote Rapid Response: Memetic Engineering in the 2004 Presidential Campaign, my assessment of a new project from the John Kerry campaign. It's a recap of the political Rapid Response model, an analysis of the John Kerry Media Corps version of that model, and a checklist of things for the JK campaign to work on.
Not included: the idea of the grassroots web site network.
When you blend:
- "all politics is local" with
- "the edge of the network has the power" and
- "nobody trusts campaign commercials"
You turn to free media.
John Kerry HQ is doing it with Media Corps, but not to weblogs.
Both the Dem and GOP professional staffs are resisting publishing decentralization.
Otherwise they'd host the biggest network of blogs in the world. Blogs for each county, each precinct, every meetup, each working committee. Aggregators that tie local groups together. Both content and event/activity syndication. And promotion of those sites to the local news media, community groups, and political clubs.
The ROI? Better communication, coordination, cohesion, and collaboration. We need it as groups form, as citizens swell their ranks, as we commit time and energy to making momentum. Tools to help them follow the campaign's lead while making local sense of issues and messages.
But they're not. The people who understood and supported this vision are no longer part of the Kerry staff. Instead, we're seeing incremental marketing. 3 of 5 Cluetrain Points.
Maybe next time.
[aka public policy]
Friday, May 14, 2004
community klogs strategy
# 2726 10:45:11 PM G! DayPop!. email
Other metaphors I like...
California bans smoking in office buildings. People slip out for a smoke and huddle around the doors or the ashtrays in smoker exile. For those 5-15 minutes, your small group of fellow addicts shares the moment. Sometimes you break out in conversation. Usually casual, sometimes deep, occasionally the start of a labor union or a new product or a lawsuit. Despite yourselves, repetition of exposure fosters trust. And people take it from there.
Sometimes I think of blogging like amateur night at a comedy club. You step up on stage for your five minutes, probably at one in the morning, greeted by a random audience who laughs at you and maybe your painful story told in a funny way. You thank the audience, who were just barely awake anyway and who were never vested in your barely coherent ramblings, and you leave the stage. Until tomorrow. When you come back for more. And the next day you look at the world a little differently, noticing things that could be material for your set, and you rush home, write them down, and that night you try it out on a mostly different audience. And your material gets better, and you start to build a reputation, and you relax into the doing of it and start to pay attention to the two-way conversation that takes place between a performer and those cheering and jeering on the other side of the microphone. From utterance to rapport.
Company cafeterias or regular happy-hour spots are as much about being seen, and with whom, as it is about the conversations you have. Food? It's a heartbeat check, a status reinforcer, a clique definer. Depending on your role, it may not matter at all, or it may be everything. Presence is everything.
An automotive supply store (tires, I think) had a big sign by the street. Each night the owner put a new witticism, twisted proverb, or insightful comment on the sign. And commuters on Atlantic Ave chuckled or thought on the way to school or work each morning. 10 words or less, but those "posts" became a landmark amid the drab clutter of an interchangeable commercial district. Now in Oakland, California, about 500 miles away, the owners of the Grand Lake movie palace put one side of their historic marquis into the hands of their movie programmer. He writes strong messages about blackbox voting, the Patriot Act, a possible military draft, the Iraq war. Some people think he's an ass, others applaud, but everyone slows down to see it on the way to the market. In both cases, the author had no control over readership. A consistent voice, regular updating, and strong points of view defined both personal and corporate identities.
Dina, Ton, Peter, Gary, Scott, Drakaal, back to you.
# 2723 11:08:18 AM G! DayPop!. email
Capping the number of users at 20, the new Movable Type 3.0 release pricing structures me out of its market.
Enterprise blogging is a team sport. So are grassroots, educational, and community blogging.
And teams have personnel turnover. New people replacing departures, temps filling in. So the total number of user accounts grows over time. The average person changes jobs every four years, more frequently when you're younger; 25%-50% new faces a year, assuming you're not in a troubled economy, facing personnel problems, or coping with growth. Did I mention no more guest blogging?
I can no longer, in good conscience, recommend MT to small businesses, workplace teams, or any of the 1000 Kerry grassroots teams any more. They'll max out any of the five MT licenses in six months. Or minutes. My East Bay Kerry communications teams (writers, speakers, media relations, rich media) have more than 100 volunteers. Repeat that for every county in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, etc.
I'd love for MT to offer a parallel pricing structure for non-governmental organizations, for unlimited numbers of users/blogs.
What are my alternatives? Scoop and its derivatives are looking better. So is Traction, which, while more expensive per user, doesn't cap the number of users on a server. More choices.
Monday, May 03, 2004
community klogs public policy strategy
# 2722 2:50:02 PM G! DayPop!. email
I received this email from Anne Collingwood this morning.
I am frustrated about the lack of attention the Internet is being given by the national campaign.
I see the need, but I am clueless. I am interested in your thoughts about both the following questions and about how to improve the Kerry Internet Effort.
I’m working in Ohio with a grassroots organization called Cleveland for Kerry. My friend Matt is working in California with East Bay for Kerry.
The following issues came up during a phone conversation we had tonight. Would you be able to help us think through the solutions?
1. Is it too early to see the (state-of-the-art) potential of the Internet realized? How significantly can the power of the Internet diminish the need for television ads in this election? In 2008? In 2012?
2. Are bloggers more rigid in their thinking than others? Would you equate it to letters-to-the-editor in real time? Can there be actual debate online?
3. Are moderated discussions valid? Can a moderator censor some comments and still claim that they are listening to the people?
4. Did the Internet help facilitate the apparent cult of personality with the Dean folks? If so, was that kind of emotional investment wise; did it alienate folks not previously on the bandwagon?
5. Do bloggers feel betrayed if their advice is not used? Do they tend to extend trust to the candidate? How can a trustworthy candidate gain trust with new folks through use of the Internet?
6. What were the differences between young people attracted to Dean during the primary and attracted to Kerry during the primary?
7. The Internet offers campaigns the posting of data, mail, conversations, live broadcasts, tax revenue (just kidding :), and…?
There is no paid staff in Ohio. There is no staff that Matt knows of in the East Bay other than professional fundraisers. We see the Kerry Internet team working on live webcasts, fundraising drives, and the website. There are, however, "local websites" popping up all over the place, and we have no clue about what we can do with them.
If you don't have time to respond directly, we certainly understand. If you can refer us to someone or to websites, we'd appreciate it.
Thank you for your help.
What are your answers to these questions?
Thursday, April 29, 2004
# 2721 12:41:31 PM G! DayPop!. email
I'm sure the folks at Pyra and MoveableType were winners with their own elevator pitches, but those were for tools. Lee LeFever won for the internal pitch, for the hey, boss, let's try this thing.
First, think about the value of the Wall Street Journal to business leaders. The value it provides is context — the Journal allows readers to see themselves in the context of the financial world each day, which enables more informed decision making.
With this in mind, think about your company as a microcosm of the financial world. Can your employees see themselves in the context of the whole company? Would more informed decisions be made if employees and leaders had access to internal news sources?
Weblogs serve this need. By making internal websites simple to update, weblogs allow individuals and teams to maintain online journals that chronicle projects inside the company. These professional journals make it easy to produce and access internal news, providing context to the company — context that can profoundly affect decision making. In this way, weblogs allow employees and leaders to make more informed decisions through increasing their awareness of internal news and events.
First off, read it out loud. Take a moment.
This is an OK pitch. Say what you propose, frame it, and say why it matters to the listener. Use the language of the pitchee. Terse language is good, flowing is better. This pitch hangs together.
LeFever's pitch does some things well. It explains what weblogs are. How they're used. How they affect daily life and the bottom line. It's focused on the workplace and the specific problems of harnessing intellectual capital, of herding cats, of decentralizing decisions. There's a nice analogy to the Wall Street Journal as a context baseline, and that you need one of your own.
Do you think LeFeber made his case? Is this the right case to make? Would you buy a blognet from this man?
Sunday, April 18, 2004
# 2720 10:52:12 AM G! DayPop!. email
I edit EastBayKerry.com
, a TypePad
weblog. It's a dual-use site: evangelism with a public face for our group and political cause, and a work coordination site. From a September 2003 help desk ticket to TypePad support:
I'd like an event typelist.
First, I want the fields described by vCalendar, RFCs 2445 (iCalendar), 2445 (iTIP), and 2447 (iMIP).
I want to be able to import events from my desktop calendars (outlook, palm).
I want to display upcoming events in my sidebar.
I also want to be able to show recent events or events in a time range.
Each event should have a permalink.
I want to sort by date/time of the event, not the date/time the link was posted.
I should be able to control day/date/time displays.
I should be able to emphasize some events as important, so they get an alternative CSS style (so I can pick them out of a longer list of events).
I want to be able to group or categorize events.
I want the option of providing a link to a .cal file so I can drag an event link from a page into a desktop app. Outlook and the Palm Desktop and most PIM packages support drag and drop.
When I create a new blog post, I want to be able to point to one or more events the way I point to categories.
I want to syndicate an event list, as with RSS/RDF/XML.
I want to show another person's list on my blog.
I want to combine several events lists (mine and/or others) into one list.
I want to be able to see events in calendar formats. See calendar.yahoo.com for various layouts.
Also: TypeLists should be accessible to guest authors too, with permission.
It's still on the wishlist.
Monday, April 12, 2004
community klogs life technology
# 2718 10:06:33 PM G! DayPop!. email
Scaramouche (1952, George Sidney) The Bride versus Johnny Mo fighting on the railing.
An influence across generations.
While I'm reading how memes diffuse through the blogosphere in hours and days.
I love the web.
community events klogs strategy technology
# 2717 7:52:51 PM G! DayPop!. email
Brian Sarrazin turned me on to this Social Networking Forum at Cal. Wednesday, April 28th, 2004, 7p-9:15 pm. Wells Fargo Room on the Haas Campus. Topics look worthwhile:
- the economic incentives of SNT and the concept of “incrementalism”
- the efficacy of SNT in building long-term relationships
- the opportunities of ubiquitous computing, efficient user interfaces, database scaling and more intelligent query engines
- the global marketplace as facilitated by SNT; market consolidation
The poor sods roped onto the panel: Eytan Adar of HP, Bobby Chao of Chinese friendster YeeYoo.com, VC Skip Fleshman, Andy Halliday of Spoke (formerly of In-Q-Tel), and Marti Hearst of Cal SIMS. Bonus: PhD Research Presentation by Harvard's Wayne Lim. $15 includes a quick dinner; firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets. Bring Bullfighter but listen to voices of skepticism and experience, to what isn't said.
community klogs public policy technology
# 2716 11:31:41 AM G! DayPop!. email
Out of the millions who blog, a handful do what professionals call journalism. Would more be better? Should we actively promote citizen journalism?
- Local Civic Journalism clubs.
- A full blown track in public school starting at age 8.
- An awards ceremony like the Pulitzer for best CJ reporting, best analysis, best thread, best catch of something missed by major media.
- Grants to develop curriculum for Business, Science, Public Affairs, Sports reportage.
- A professional guild helping CJers get press credentials and access like any news network.
- Legal services for bloggers to protect sources, file FOIAs, use sunshine ordinances, and defend IP.
And this is just for plain old text.
What will citizen journalism look like in 2009? My wild ass speculation: (like anyone will remember this post)
- Moblogging comes into its own. Photos at a campaign stump speech by attendees outnumber those taken by photojournalists. And some aren't in bad light, of the back of someone's head, of the floor, with a finger over the lens, or from 10,000 feet away. Some will capture the spirit of an event and a defining moment. Long bet: By 2010 I'd be very surprised if ubiquity alone doesn't find us with a cell phone photo (or whatever we wind up calling them in 6 years) winding up above-the-fold on a major newspaper story, featured on the evening news, and gracing the cover of Time Magazine. A generation ago, big media adapted to electronic news gathering. The public continues that trend as the diffusing technology follows Moore's Law (more, better, faster, cheaper, smaller).
- Campaign coverage.
Personal video blogging becomes a staple of the portals and ISPs, a reason for customers to adopt broadband. And buy shiny tiny new digital video cams. Even laggards will have Logitech cams delivered with their just to be in on the conference call at work or to talk with family. First evidence: surging video camera aftermarket.
Video syndication. We'll be moving more video en masse. RSS enclosures, anyone?. As we're seeing in China's blocking of weblogs and other news sources, people route around censorship. P2P news distribution offers that alternative. Even for text news, P2P distribution of RSS and cached feeds let the network scale up.
News discovery systems, like Google News, will expand reach from the thousands of traditional news publishers to a broad selection of personal publishers. At first it's to weed out P.R. pros and to find reliable streams of general interest subject expertise. Eventually, they'll learn that the sixth-grade blogger has something meaningful to say about Outkast, worth sharing.
Blog juice. TV news and online editions of newspapers will explore ways to co-opt cheap content. Bloggers as stringers? Look for a play from the Classified Advertising department to annotate listings with fresh context from blogs, especially in smaller markets. Maybe even sharing revenue with popular bloggers. Example: citizen reportage on housing, neighborhoods put in with real estate listings.
Stringer status. I'll bet hundreds of bloggers earn stringer accreditations from national news services and local news media. Not for everyone, but those willing to subscribe to journalism's standards will find this an edge.
Do you want it fast or good? Most blogging is about fast, slashing the distance between idea and paper. But video is inherently more interesting after post production. Home studio software adds polish. Voice overs, teleprompters, transitions, stock music, green screen backgrounds, titles. Nonlinear editing tools like Final Cut Pro will emerge in free/cheap format.
Extension. News isn't homogeneous, it's specific. Chess reporters have standard ways of representing game play. As do those who cover soccer/futbol. Or obituaries. Or police blotters. Or movie reviews. Watch for structural extensions to standard blogging, new blanks in the forms tailored to the application. And for clever ways to share new extensions.
History. Opposition research teams will hire specialists to comb campaign, activist, and lobbyist weblogs for dirt. Every weblog post from this election cycle is fair game. Would this help or hurt Kos's election chances?
En mi primera lengua. News translations on the fly, continuing a reverse cultural imperialism where English absorbs ideas and words from around the world. RSS and Atom will face semitic times of day and non-Gregorian calendars.
VNRs. Video News Releases will come along with citizen journalism. Citizen flackery and propaganda.
My News Station. We saw a handcrafted version of this in the Dean campaign. HowardDean.tv used DishTV, cable news, and hacked TiVos to collect news. They also collected video from the field, from students and volunteers, and cut it into a daily TV news program. That will become automatic. News aggregators (Bloglines) and discovery systems (Google News (clusters by topic), Technorati (clusters by reference), Daypop (what's hot)) will group and cut together syndicated videos based on location, time, and subject; create a montage of related footage; and stream a custom video channel just for you.
Community stations. Following Hoder's advice on regional blogosphere building, we'll see "people's news" become a trusted alternative to state and corporate media. Military professionals will prioritize community blog servers right after radio and television stations. It won't happen in this decade because John Kerry should be able to keep the peace for the next 8 years, but the next time a country fears an attack by the US, watch their blogosphere come under attack from within.
Big screens enter. What do you do with a 250 megapixel monitor? Something 5 feet tall by 8 feet wide at paper resolution? Could you create a dynamic montage of video and stills that reflected your interests over time, relative popularity and proximity of news stories. The World Wide Wall® of News: a must for every corporate Chief, political war room, and mayor.
- A blogger on the presidential campaign bus.
- Designated bloggers at each meetup, taking photos and posting the minutes.
- Campaign aggregators, by location, topic, and affiliation go up 5 minutes after the home page.
- Local reporters become editors for local bloggers, compiling their accounts of the campaign.
Where do you think citizen journalism be in 2010?
Thursday, April 08, 2004
# 2714 5:45:19 AM G! DayPop!. email
I'm judging Judith Meskill's 'Perfect' Corporate Weblogging 'Elevator Pitch' Competition. Here's how I've been thinking about it.
Look to the three cores of blogging for inspiration.
- Discovery - finding interesting sources and posts
- Reading - what, where, when, and how you want
- Writing - what's relevant to you and your audiences
When we talk about blogging and the blogosphere, we're talking about these three activities. Nearly all the blogosphere's tools support one or more of them.
Your challenge in any justification is to:
- Tie investment in your blogging project (time, people, tools, attention) to any of these three activities (what people will do with your project's outputs) and
- Tie the activities to business benefits
- While catering to your stakeholder's common sins (Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth) or to appealing to their virutes (humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality, diligence, prudence, temperance, courage, justice, love, hope, faith).
For example, "If we spend just a thousand bucks on a blog server for the MarCom department, we'll get better press than the competition and that cute PR guy will be putty in your hands, Maam."
Let's just talk about reading for a moment. No blogging environment is complete without tools to help you read blogs. For example, Rocketinfo offers an enterprise newsreader. They pitch:
The Value to You:
- Increase the breadth of news you look at
- Improve the research and dissemination process
- Leverage and maximize your existing information investments
- Increase and/or measure the consumption of research across your organization
- Increase the efficiency of your research department, enabling you to do more with less
You get the idea. Read more, save time, and get info to the right people.
- Discover/Don't-be-surprised-by new threats and opportunities
- Don't be the last one to know among your company's competitors, or your internal competitors
- Get credit for solving the problem
Please don't tell me about your contest submissions until the contest is over: Judging is blind. Good luck on the competition.
community events klogs strategy
# 2713 5:22:51 AM G! DayPop!. email
Judith Meskill tipped me that Silicon Valley Web Guild is hosting a panel on social network systems, another evening of YASNS puffery. May 6. Four smart people are speaking for their products. Tribe's Mark Pincus, LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman (whom Marc Canter says I must get to know; Hi, Reid!), Adrian Scott (who preceded Ryze with an insightful essay on why you must scale your address book), and Spoke's Andy Halliday.
I have a challenge for moderator Rosemary Remacle:
Channel danah boyd.
The honeymoon's over. Ask tough questions.
All these systems depend on people volunteering time and attention, on their pimping friends into the system, on believing you can turn virtual connections into social capital, web pages into gold.
- What's in it for me?
- Do social network systems (SNS) get you love, sex, or friendship? get you competitive career advantage? get you elected? get you productive?
- What's in it for the person who only has a few "friends"?
- Do SNS's turn into anything more than a slightly smarter address book?
- What is your early conversion rate, the proportion of people who try your system and stick with it after 30 days? after 90?
- How do you avoid the Geocities problem of web page tombstones, profiles grown stale and abandoned?
- Why do you think your forms are a useful representation of me as a person?
- Are you modeling how people really interact or some oversimplification?
- Can I leave my contacts to my children?
- How do you turn my contacts into action?
- Aren't you making it easier for bad actors to be more effective at identity theft, stalking, and emotional abuse?
- Don't your systems burn my contacts, expending my social capital without real benefit?
Then ask about the enterprise version.
- How will this create value within a mid to large organization?
- Why is this more urgent than, say, spending another $100 per head on social skill training or antispam software or giving everyone a news portal?
- Will your system work within firewalls?
- How will your system work across firewalls? How do you expose just some of the profile of some of the people in an organization to some of the public?
- If my company has Spoke inside and my customer has the Google Orkut Appliance, how will they work together?
- What about cultural boundaries?
- Why should employees invest their time and trust in an enterprise SNS when they know their profiles will be left behind when they move on?
- Why is your explicit declaration of relationships better than their tacit discovery?
- With what other enterprise IT systems will you integrate your SNS?
Then speak for those of us who invest:
- How will you make money now?
- How will you compete when AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft follow Google into social networks? You know they're going to turn their buddy lists, email groups, blogrolls, and discussion forums into some version of an SNS. What will you do better and differently?
- Orkut was one programmer's side project. Where's the barrier to entry?
This should be a trial by fire, Rosemary. They're smart and have been on the road for more than a year, bored to their gills. Do them a favor. Pull teeth until they give up the answers. Be the skeptical interrogator I know you can be.