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Tackling Collaborative Innovation – the #smchat and #innochat doubleheader

22 01 2010

I should’ve known better really – after, all it’s happened once before, so surely I should’ve spotted it coming a mile away when I  1) was dumb enough to make some suggestions on #innochat for future topics and then 2) found myself on the receiving end of a seemingly innocent telephone call with Chris Jones, Renee Hopkins and Gwen Ismael.

Like a steam liner heading slowly but surely into an iceberg in broad daylight, I found myself yet again somehow agreeing to moderate an upcoming session.

For those of you not in the know, #smchat and #innochat are two of the most vibrant and productive “Social Teams” on the Internet. Each virtual group, meets once a week to openly discuss, debate, and generally advance the thoughts and practices of their respective members in specific areas.

#Smchat meets on Wednesdays and is focused on all things Social Media and Collaboration related, and headed up by the excellent Chris Jones (@sourcePOV).

#Innochat, held on Thursdays, delves into the inner working of corporate innovation practices and theories and is led by the formidable duo of Renee Hopkins (@Renee_Innosight) and Gwen Ismael (@Gwen_Ismael).

Both groups are classic “Social Teams” by my definition – a loose “membership”, focused on achieving a specific purpose, massive in scale, floating leadership, and more – anyone can join by logging into twitter at the appropriate pre-scheduled time, follow the appropriate hash tag, and wait for the moderator to begin the discussion. A quick round of introductions later, and the fireworks begin, with the moderator working hard to try and keep the enthusiastic team members on course, on topic, and on target to drive a useful conclusion to the topic being addressed that week.

It can be a little overwhelming at first – especially as the exchanges are frequently fast and furious – with tons of excellent, valuable comments being traded to and fro at a rate of knots. It’s really a fantastic learning opportunity, and a great way to mingle, interact, and cross swords with some of the best minds on Social Media and Innovation.

I’ve been participating in these two teams for some time now – and have the dubious honor of having moderated one of the most vigorous discussions ever on “What in the World is Web 3.0?” – which pulled in experts from all over the internet to debate what the next iteration of the web would look like.

I knew thus, that it was only a matter of time before I would be cornered into a repeat act, and sure enough it wasn’t long before I found myself cornered like a rattlesnake in a fishbowl.

The two groups have been increasingly finding areas of overlap in recent months, as “Innovation” has increasingly embraced collaboration and socialized processes, and “Social Media” finds innovation as a prime corporate driver for internal adoption and use of its tools.

The inevitable crossing of the two subjects occurs at “Collaborative Innovation” and as Collaborative Innovation is “my thing” – I soon found myself on the receiving end of a flung gauntlet to moderate the first ever “doubleheader” between the two teams.

Both groups have vastly different viewpoints on this topic which is an increasingly relied upon driver of corporate organic growth and new value.  So I’ve decided to split up the two sessions in a way that would release the most amount of value from the accrued expert minds in attendance.

So clear your agendas, fire up the espresso machines and best make it a double – because on Weds, 27 January at 1PM EST, #SMCHAT will be looking at “Collaboration in an Innovation World – focusing on the social issues of how companies can drive participation, collaboration, and motivation for innovation efforts – after all, people are asked to contribute to the creation of new value for a company – but why would they? And how can you structure collaborative efforts to drive the desired results for a company?

Then, for the innovation junkies out there, we follow up on Thurs, 28 January at 12PM EST, when #INNOCHAT tackles “Innovation in a Collaborative World – now that collaboration and socialization of business processes is not only a reality, but a mandatory element of any innovation program worth its weight, how can we inject collaboration into the innovation process? What are the various business models for its use?

Full-on framing posts for each topic will show up during the week, so keep your eyes peeled, and use the comments below to request specific topics, areas, questions or ideas to be addressed!

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The Blogger’s Hub Mark II – The World Business Forum 09 and Social Media Innovation

5 10 2009

3904269880_4453a1e4a8Thanks to the good people over at HSM, I’ve been invited to take part in the Blogger’s Hub at tomorrow’s World Business Forum – something I’m really quite excited about for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, look at the lineup – where else in the world can you go to and see Bill Clinton, George Lucas and Gary Hamel all on the same agenda? The topics being addressed are equally diverse – ranging from Leadership, to Branding, to  Economics, to a simple “Conversation” (well you didn’t think George Lucas would address the audience on something like “Quantitative Analysis Techniques for the 21st century” did you?).

combined

However, and not to take away from the power of the content itself, one of the main attractions for me this year will be to see how HSM has evolved its’ “Bloggers Hub” concept. Whether or not HSM were the first to embrace Social Media (SM) and the concept of an “alternative press core” as part of its conferences I don’t know – but I think I can safely say that they’re the current leaders when it comes to integrating SM into their conferences. You certainly can’t fault them for lack of commitment to the concept – and it’s reaping some great results from them in terms of market exposure and attendee response.

Regular readers will remember a piece I wrote about the Blogger’s Hub at the World Innovation Forum – also run by HSM – where they first tried out the concept.  Inviting a core group of innovation bloggers, tweeps, and writers of various sorts to their event – they then set up a unique experience with reserved seating, dedicated WiFi channels, powerpoints, press packs, and more for this group. It was a bold statement at the time of HSM’s belief in Social Media – and one that was then rapidly adopted by many of their competitors to varying degrees of success.

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So needless to say – I’m fascinated to see how they’ll push the boundaries again with their second go at it. Already they’ve done far more pre-conference than in the past. Having established an already pretty active hash channel on twitter (#WBF09 in case you want to follow the live tweets on Tuesday and Wednesday), a LinkedIn Group, a Facebook page, and several networking opportunities both before and during the conference specifically for the Blogger’s Hub members – they’ve done an admirable job of embracing what I think are the key components of a successful corporate SM campaign, namely:

1)   Open a channel to your target market and give them a means by which to communicate with each other – through the various linkedin, twitter, and other channels that they’ve created, HSM have provided the potential community with a set of tools to use. More critically, rather than attempt to create proprietary channels; they’ve built mini-channels within already established platforms so as to reduce the barrier to entry to new community members.

2)   Enthuse the community – Membership to the Blogger’s Hub has certain perks: Special invitation-only channels; exclusive networking opportunities; special press packs and media libraries; the specially reserved and equipped area at the conference itself; and more – all contributing to participants feeling “special” and thus more enthusiastic about the entire experience. Just as with any PR – giving a channel exclusivity to content gives it a better chance of being picked up

3)   Take an active role in the community – throughout, HSM has not only used the various channels as a way to put out marketing messages, but crucially, they’ve taken an active part in the online discussions – thus getting adopted by the community not as a sponsor, but as a member – and as a member, credibility and acceptance is much greater.

blogger_hub3Having covered all these points admirably, George Levy and his colleagues at HSM have ensured that come the Wednesday evening close of the event, not only will they have driven a modern day PR campaign that would be the envy of most corporates out there, but they’ve also created an active community that they essentially “own” and are a trusted member of. How many companies active in the SM space can say that? Talk about creating an asset!

Will there be more surprises for us when we get there? I’m willing to bet so – so make sure you track #wbf09 over the next few days and I’ll make sure to tell you all about it as the event unfolds!

More Resources

  • I’ve created an RSS Feed of Blog Posts on the World Business Forum from Blogger’s Hub participants
  • If you’re not an active Twitter user – you can follow all the action from HSM’s dedicated page
  • If you are an active Twitter user – make sure to follow #wbf09 to see the whole thing unfold live
  • Here’s a full list of the Blogger’s Hub Participants so you can follow each individually:

Wall Street Journal | Kelly Evans | @Kelly_Evans
Wall Street Journal | Paul Glader | @PaulGlader
The Huffington Post | Shahien Nasiripour | @huffbusiness
BusinessWeek.com | Reena Jana  | @RJMAC
Reuters | Felix Salmon  | @felixsalmon
Newsweek | Katie Paul  | @newsweek
asmarterplanet.com | Adam Christensen | @smarterplanet
Jossey-Bass on Leadership | Carolyn Carlstroem | @josseybassbiz
mashable.com | Ben Parr | @benparr
billgeorge.org | Zach Clayton | @bill_george
The Big Picture | Barry Ritholtz
Purse Pundit | Jacki Zehner
Execunet | Lauryn Franzoni | @LaurynFranzoni
Execunet | Robyn Greenspan | @Robyngreenspan
Execunet | Joseph McCool
Execunet | Jeffrey Sherman Thompson
1 to 1 Media | Don Peppers | @donpeppers
Path Forward International | Julie Lenzer Kirk | @YourBoot
Path Forward International | Renee Lewis | @chiefcatalyst
Thought Bright Blog | Robert McNeill
Working Knowledge | Andrea Meyer | @AndreaMeyer
Working Knowledge | Dana Meyer | @WorkingKnowledg
Business Boomer | Arabella Santiago | @businessboomer
Information Playground (EMC) | Steve Todd |  @SteveTodd
Social Media Blog Stu | Stuart Miniman | @stu
Insights on Leadership and Employee Engagement | Michael Lee Stallard  | @MichaelStallard
Innoblog | Renee Hopkins | @Renee_Innosight
Business Strategy Innovation Blog | Braden Kelley | @innovate
HSMInspiringIdeas.com | Graciela Gonzalez Biondo | @HSMAmericas
Gizmodo.com | Joanna Stern | @gizmodo
Time Leadership | Jim Estill | @JimEstill
Goodness500.org | Michael Mossoba | @creativemichael
All Things Workplace | Steve Roesler  | @steveroesler
Orrin Woodward Leadership Team | Orrin Woodward | @Orrin_Woodward
Influential Marketing | Rohit Bhargava | @rohitbhargava
GDGT | Peter Rojas | @peterrojas
Brain Leaders and Learners | Dr. Ellen Weber | @EllenfWeber
Brain Based Biz | Dr. Robyn McMaster | @robynMcMaster
Triple Pundit | Jen Boynton | @triplepundit
Triple Pundit | Nick Aster | @triplepundit
Triple Pundit | Ryan Mickle | @triplepundit
Marketing Thoughts Blog | Ken McArthur | @kenmcArthur
Training Magazine’s Training Day Blog | Margery Weinstein | @margeryw
Awake at the Wheel | Jonathan Fields | @jonathanfields
Hot Mommas Project | Kathy Korman Frey | @chiefhotmomma
Hot Mommas Project | Amber Hunnicut | @HotMommasIntern
Youth Entrepreneurship Lady | Julie Kantor | @NFTEJuliek
Vault.com | Philip Stott | @VaultCareers
Vault.com | Linda Petock | @VaultCareers
Economist Mom | Diane Lim Rogers | @EconomistMom
Hank Wasiak | Hank Wasiak | @hankwasiak
Chris Brady’s Leadership Blog | Chris Brady | @rascaltweets
The Complete Innovator | Boris Pluskowski | @bpluskowski
PR Mama | Stephanie Smirnov | @ssmirnov
Ramblings from a Glass Half Full | Terry Starbucker | @Starbucker
Conference Hound | Jordan Enright-Schulz | @conferencehound
Conference Hound | Bruce Carlisle | @conferencehound
Successful Blog | Liz Strauss | @lizstrauss
Collaboration Solutions in Industry Segments | Bob Preston | @BobPrestonCCO
5 Blogs Before Lunch | David Allen Ibsen | @daveibsen
Angry Bear | Dan Crawford | @angrybearecon
Angry Bear | Ken Houghton | @angrybearecon
Tree Hugger | Matthew McDermott | @matmcdermott
Fast Company Expert Blogger | Seth Kahan | @SethKahan





What in the Wide World is Web 3.0? – Let’s find out….

22 09 2009

Global NetworkSo it all started with a bit of a joke – I was chatting to moderator-extraordinaire @sourcePOV (Chris Jones’ alias on Twitter to the rest of you) at the end of a particularly well attended #smchat session to brainstorm some ideas for future chat topics (click here to find out more about #smchat).  “Hey”, I said with tongue firmly in cheek, “we’ve been talking about social media and web 2.0 for some time now… aren’t we due another point release soon?”…. Chris, with what I’m now realizing is a rather impressive ability to spot an opportunity, quickly managed to convert my offhand quip into a somewhat tenuous agreement to take over from him as moderator for next week’s #smchat gathering, with rather daunting task of leading the 50+ participants through “Qu.20” – figuring out what Web 3.0 is, might be, or would be, if it is anything at all – and then trying to understand the impact on business and beyond.

I found myself wondering if this was how Justin Timberlake found himself not only guest hosting Saturday Night Life, but then also in tights and high heels for a parody of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”… At some point he must’ve found himself thinking “How the heck….?”…  I guess in retrospect I should thank my lucky stars that I get to keep my trousers on to host #smchat…large_snl-jtrudd

Taking a closer look at the topic though, led me to some very interesting search into a future that really isn’t that far away – (many experts seem to suggest that Web 3.0 will be a real entity as close as 2010) – but one that is still unclear and the center of some debate as to what it really is, will be, and what it will mean.

Let’s take a quick look down the “point release” history of the Web:

Web 0.0 was the first interactions between computers – the beginning of a networked world as it evolved. Crude, and of limited use (by today’s standards), but a huge step change on what was possible with individual computers.

Web 1.0 took the next step and evolved protocols and common language to begin making sense and use the growing “web” of interconnected computers in both the private and public sectors. Data was primarily pushed at you with little intelligence about how and why; and content creation and distribution was the sole domain of the website owner. However it spawned a wealth of business models that managed to take advantage of a new, non-physical channel by which to sell and promote goods and services.

Web 2.0 introduced the concept of a two way web – with users not only reading information, but also writing, contributing, and creating content.

It’s given birth to the business models of co-creation, open innovation networks, crowd sourcing, wisdom of crowd approaches, and enough buzzwords to run a truly interesting and diverse game of “buzzword bingo” at the office.  It’s also introduced the concept of data and application mobility and a whole new level of interconnectedness with open standards beginning to evolve and standardize how machines, even from competing brands, talk to each other.

mullet

It’s a social, collaborative, and altogether more responsive and interactive web that is no longer just a tool, but a part of us and how we interact with the wider world around us.

So bearing in mind that marketing guys can be as unoriginal as a mullet at a Lynard Skynard concert when it comes to naming new concepts – we know a Web 3.0 is on its way – but what, if anything, will it be?

Here’s a nice little short movie from Dutch think tank EPN which does a nice job of introducing the Web 3.0 concept in relation to what’s gone before:

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite excited to see what the #smchat participants will come up with (Bet you’re jealous now Chris! :p ) – and to better prepare you all to discuss the topic, here’s some background reading on what some people think the Web 3.0, along with a list of some of the questions we’ll try to tackle on Wednesday:

Q20a) What is Web 3.0?

So what will Web3.0 bring us? Will it simply be a natural extension of Web 2.0? Will it just be a marketing gimmick devised by bored marketers looking to revitalize and differentiate a market where almost everything has been branded with a “2.0” by now? Or something totally different?

Alan Cho wrote a pretty nice article on the subject last year that does a good job of amalgamating some of the current arguments out there into a comprehensive prediction of what Web 3.0 might be characterized by, including:

–       The advent of a truly intelligent web – the development of contextual searches will finally make sense of the plethora of online information and will eventually spawn intelligent web applications able fully understand what you’re really looking for in natural English.

–       New levels of Openness and Increased levels of Interoperability – with users being able to skip from device to device and application to application using one single ID to seamlessly manage their online world – with the web being seen as essentially one really huge database.  A worldwide cloud without edges if you will.

–       A 3 dimensional web – not only in terms of Second Life type Avatars, but also crossing into the real world and integrating into everything you own. The web becomes an additional layer of information overlaying all aspects of your life, enriching the information flow your eyes process.

Q20b) What will be the hallmarks of a Web 3.0 world and how will it revolutionize the world?

Here’s a more academic view of Web 3.0 by a UCal professor:

Q20c) When will Web 3.0 be officially here?

The phrase “Web 2.0” was apparently coined in 2003 by Dale Dougherty, a vice-president at O’Reilly Media, and the phrase became popular in 2004. Some experts are saying that if the next fundamental change happened in roughly the same time span, Web 3.0 will be knocking on our doors sometime around 2015. Others seem to think that it could be upon us as soon as 2010! Time for all you Nostradamus wannabe’s to get your diving rods out on this one!

Q20d) What are the barriers to W3.0 ?

What’s stopping us from getting there? What are the major barriers that companies and consumers need to overcome? And what are the enabling features?

And finally, what I think is the most important question:

Q20e) What does Web 3.0 mean for businesses?

In this amusing interchange with a journalist, Eric Schmidt of Google gives a brief insight into what he thinks are some of the implications of web 3.0 including an interesting prediction that “Applications will be distributed in a viral manner” in the future.

Want more? Some further suggested reading:

http://www.labnol.org/internet/web-3-concepts-explained/8908/ – has a bunch of presentations from various peoples on what web3.0 might end up being.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-30.htm – a good comprehensive look at all elements of Web 3.0

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2102865,00.asp – A nearby vision of how web 3.0 is evolving (hopefully not with all the annoying ads their site seems to be overridden with though…)

This #SMCHAT will be held on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 at 1PM EST on Twitter. If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before – here’s a useful post by Jeff Hurt that can help you get started!

And if you want to suggest some more questions for us to tackle (time permitting) feel free to post your suggestions in the comments below or via twitter on @bpluskowski  – See you on Wednesday!





Embracing Democratic Innovation

20 05 2008

 

In speaking to many clients who are embracing collaborative innovation whole-heartedly, I frequently get clients who mention that they want to allow participants to take part in the evaluation process too. A natural desire in reality – especially in the age of open software development, crowd-sourcing, and  other collaborative efforts going on in the world out there.  

Personally I think it’s a great idea…but maybe not for the corporate environment. You see – whilst for certain topics – especially those of a trivial nature – allowing a crowd to make the decisions as to what’s good for you is fine as there is low risk in low value projects going wrong – however, for more critical projects, I find very few companies are happy to commit themselves to implementing WHATEVER the crowd decides is top rated in a given ideation session.  You see – the risk is simply too big for most people – and whilst the philosophy behind democratic decision making is very commendable – how many people out there are really willing to risk the success of their careers on the decision making capabilities of a mob? Very few I think – in fact I have yet to find one as most clients back off from this idea when faced with the reality of the fact that if you ask people to vote on their favorite ideas, they’ll be expecting you to agree with them and implement the top rated ideas. If you don’t, you end up alienating the audience for future sessions. 

People need to feel like they own decisions that affect them – it’s one of the many reasons the old suggestion box system of old didn’t work – it relied on people being open to ideas they never asked to get and had no interest to implement. By making it the eventual implementors’ job to evaluate the ideas they will eventually implement – you increase their commitment to implement and allow them to have accountability over their actions. Why would you ever want to take away accountability? 








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