29th May 2007

Visualization of Tag Drafting…

Awhile back I introduced the notion of Tag Drafting as a way to think about adding efficiency to online information consumption…via topic drafting and/or author drafting.  I’m still very sold on this model in terms of how you might apply it to drive high quality content filtration to online conversations - in fact, I’m drafting every day on the topics that interest me most.

Lots to discuss here in the future about rating, reputation, voting, and social Bookmarking tools - various combinations of which offer community managers a number of new ways to improve communities both for the most active participants and equally importantly the drive-by participants or "silent searchers."

Sue Waters at Mobile Technologies in TAFE took the topic a little further in a good explanation at this link of RSS Drafting.  She was kind of enough to send me a link to extisp.icio.us.  

For those inclined to like the idea of tag drafting, this cool little tool gives you a navigable visualization diagram of a tagger’s tags in delicious.  Have a look at my visualization:  http://kevan.org/extispicious.cgi?name=seanodmvp.  Obviously I have a few topics I predominately tag about :)  But you get the idea.

It’s my belief that people who share one interest often share other and related interests as well.  I still think it is too hard to make all of this super efficient as part of my normal daily workflow, but I see a lot of great innovation leading in the right direction.  Assuming I know the delicious name, I can quickly grab the visualization, click on a tag and click on an RSS feed to everything that person tags on the topic…Love it!

More to do of course… For example, it would be really powerful if I could create custom groups of people, visualize their tags, and subscribe to a group RSS feed on the topic - a multi-author, single topic RSS feed - sounds like a combination Reputation + Bookmarking + syndication service).  If someone knows an easy way to do this, let me know:)

Late addition:  Sue also has a great Wiki article on maximizing your use of Delicious.


Popularity: 29% [?]

posted in Business Strategy, Social Media, Voice of Customer, online communities, web 2.0 | 2 Comments

28th May 2007

A day to remember days of great consequence: Memorial Day.

Memorial Day

Of all the reminders worth re-reading today, I thought the Gettysburg Address most appropriate.

The Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


Popularity: 6% [?]

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24th May 2007

Halo 3 - user generated insights…

Ok, I’ve talked a lot about online communities as a vehicle for capturing product insight and generating a sense of maternity in your innovation…well, here’s an example right here close to home:

Halo 3 beta preaches to the converted: Landmark program lets fans influence development of favorite franchise

A ton of interesting things going on here in terms of getting feedback, managing change to a franchise with RAVING fans, and building momentum and buzz for an upcoming launch expected to rival Spiderman 3 in terms of open weekend gross revenue.

A good illustration is from the article quoted here:

Download troubles
“Crackdown” was a minor critical hit, but the game’s impressive sales figures (approximately 900,000) were no doubt boosted by the inclusion of the “Halo 3″ beta. Gamers that tried to enter the beta via “Crackdown,” though, were treated to a nasty surprise last Wednesday when they were unable to download the demo while other beta players enjoyed rousing sessions of digital gunplay.

Bungie’s message boards were an inferno of impassioned freak-outs, but the crisis was averted that evening when the “Crackdown” bug was fixed and downloads began. To read the message boards now, all is forgiven. Master Chief is truly the Dr. Phil of rampaging gamers.

Bungie must inch across a precarious tightrope for “Halo 3.” The shooter’s mechanics are so beloved — over 5 million gamers have played around 700 million online games of “Halo 2″ — that Bungie risks upsetting the fanbase by making too many changes. However, there is an equal danger in playing it too safe and not delivering a new enough experience to justify buying an Xbox 360 for “Halo 3.”

Looks to me like a real and committed relationship between Bungie and it most passionate users…with such a franchise as Halo, everyone wants a win…Bungie and its loyal Halo fans!!


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Popularity: 6% [?]

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23rd May 2007

Podcast on Communities…

I recently was introduced to Paul Dunay of by Mukund of Best Engaging Communities.  Paul and I set up time for a phone call to talk with one another.  As sometimes happens, what started as a hello, let’s chat, quickly turned into a spur of the moment Podcast - welcome to the web 2.0 world that allows us to go from 1:1 conversation to public - push button!

I had a great time talking with Paul about communities…below were the topics we ranged across and to the podcast.  I know I didn’t give all these their due justice, but thanks Paul for suggesting we share the conversation!

  • Communities in a wikinomics world
  • Using the Pay it Forward model
  • How do you know when to build community
  • The problem with websites today
  • Goal of a support community
  • Create a sense of maternity for your users
  • Give them access, not tools!
  • How many communities does Microsoft have
  • Connecting with your Most Valuable contributors
  • Using Communities in integrated marketing
  • Communities role in launching Vista
  • Day to day mgmt of many communities
  • Negative is the new positive
  • Digg’s efforts to delete a post
  • Web 2.0 vs Web 2.0 apologies


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Popularity: 21% [?]

posted in Business Strategy, Interviews & Speeches, MVP, Microsoft, Social Media, web 2.0 | 2 Comments

23rd May 2007

What makes communities work - in a picture.


3 people helped each day, "paid forward" by each person helps 4.7M people in two weeks.


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Popularity: 20% [?]

posted in Business Strategy, General Community Discussion, Influencers, Social Media, Word of Mouth, web 2.0 | 2 Comments

22nd May 2007

Public Props for Community Leaders…

Came to my desk today…

As a HUGE believer in communities and fundamentally living from the bias that it’s the most active core enthusiasts that make communities great, I love it when the stories get picked up!  Not often we get a such a good local connection story on this level - another lesson here in the value of community engagement.

In the Sri Lanka Daily Mirror today, front of the Financial Times section:

Microsoft identifies Sri Lanka’s Most Valuable Persons in IT

The Most Valuable (Professionals) from left: (L-R) Merill Fernando, Manoj Matchado, Prasanna Amirthalingam and Jinath Premaratne. Pic. By Daminda Harsha Perera.

Hope you’ll give the article a read.


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Popularity: 14% [?]

posted in Examples, MVP, Microsoft | 0 Comments

20th May 2007

Gen Y, Social Media and the workforce of the future…

In Corporate Transparency I blogged about how Gen Y will change the workplace and how the defacto web 2.0 workstyle of this emerging demographic will change the workforce.

In Exploring Communities and Corporate HR I discussed the disconnect between traditional, largely internally focused, HR processes for talent management and organizational design and the emerging workforce that is anything by hierarchical by design.

Today, in the Seattle Times, I came across the following article:  Generation Y plays games on the job.  It makes for an interesting followup to these earlier posts, describing how a number of companies are using new media by design:

  • Cold Stone Creamery using game simulators to deliver in-store training for new hires.
  • Nike’s "Sports Knowledge Underground" interactive program for teaching basic sales skills and product information - with a version coming for delivery on PDAs, IPods, and cellphones.
  • Cisco’s use of gaming to enhance math skills to support their networking business objectives
  • E&Y using video blogging to provide an "intern’s eye view" to perspective recruits

All of these examples really just focused on what I would call employee acquisition and readiness, but good evidence of the trend to come.

Seen any other good examples worth sharing?


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Popularity: 19% [?]

posted in Generations, Social Media, Web 2.0 and corporate HR, web 2.0 | 2 Comments

19th May 2007

Word of Mouth? Great online Community? Or just a good excuse for an off topic post!!

Ok, forgive me for this…I’m gonna stretch to make this connection just a little, but I feel compelled.  We had a sitter for the kids tonight, so my wife and I had the opportunity to take in a movie - which doesn’t happen too often.  What to see…what to see?  Lots of marketing pushing Spiderman III…but the word of mouth I’ve heard is not to good.  Shrek the 3rd - looks ok, but I can take the kids to that!  I did hear GREAT word of mouth this week about another movie for which I’ve seen zero marketing:  Hot Fuzz.

So stretch #1 was the connection to Word of Mouth marketing.  Stretch #2 is the Hot Fuzz web site.  Ok, they do have some decent social media stuff going on there. 

  • Fan Art Challenge
  • Discussion boards (with and without “spoilers”)
  • Integrated “reputation” system highlighting active participants
  • User Contributors banners and icons

So, did I overreach on this?  I would say my faith in peer recommendations vs what is getting the most attention via paid media once again was validated.

This is one GREAT, GREAT movie.  Really funny…fall out of my chair funny…still laughing in the car on the ride home funny!!

So - ok, no more movie reviews.


      Popularity: 23% [?]

      posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

      19th May 2007

      Communities and Consumer Generated Media…

      Well, if I didn’t already think I was working in the vortex of a huge shift, my own employer (Microsoft) put a exclamation point on it yesterday with the $6B acquisition of aQuantive. You can read more about the purchase and public statements here.

      aQuantive is pretty interesting, bringing to Microsoft some very cool players in Razorfish/Avenue A - leaders in online/web presence.  Take the work done with Carnival Cruise lines here.  This site, Carnival Connections, is essentially a travel, e-commerce and social media site with cruise reviews (destinations and ships) as well as a section called "cruise talk" with user to user conversation forums.  I think I said once here: "there’s little point in visiting a vendor web site that doesn’t host user to user conversations."

      Another interesting example is Daimler Chrysler’s Mobile Kids site. Think Secondlife on a small scale for immersive play for kids where they can accumulate points in "Mokitown" as they learn and demonstrate safe behaviors.   Choose your character, pick their clothes, decide how they travel… as a parent with small kids, I like this site - teaching your kids through games like this is often more effective than the more typical parent/child "lecture series" of daily life. (note:  it is no substitute for good parenting, but a little help is certainly welcome).

      So, I don’t know what happens next, but to be sure, this is another clear sign of the monumental shift toward participative media - where your users and you share space and conversations with one another - you’re job, as I’ve said all along…is to figure out your role in that conversation.  The destination is the death of the "corporate voice" and the arrival/acceptance of the "blended voice" - you and your users have open, unfiltered conversations for the world to see.  And, let’s face it, as both a supplier and a user - this new destination is far more unpredictable and therefore a lot more interesting!


      Popularity: 7% [?]

      posted in General Community Discussion, Social Media, web 2.0 | 0 Comments

      18th May 2007

      "Popfly:" I love it when we have a sense of humor…

      I was reading a bit today about Popfly….

      Who is Popfly:

      The Non-Professional tools team builds software to enable new, hobbyist, and other non-professional programmers - as well as complete non-programmers - to build and share their work. Our team’s vision is to democratize development by making it approachable to an entire class of people that want to "create" without necessarily having to write code. We believe that if you can send an email, you should be able to build and personalize your own website, mashup, social networking site, or blog.

      I need to play with this a bit more before I comment on its coolness as a community / social networking / Mashup for non-pro developers.  Those who read my site regularly will know that the notion of "democratization" is a key principle for me around community development.

      But, what actually caught my eye was more to the notion of corporate transparency - in particular I’ve blogged here before about how new media enables a different kind of "corporate voice" to emerge than expected - one that is a bit more authentic.  The specific example that I liked was here in the FAQ:

      Why did you call it Popfly?

      Well, left to our own devices we would have called "Microsoft Visual Mashup Creator Express, May 2007 Community Tech Preview Internet Edition," but instead we asked some folks for help and they suggested some cool names and we all liked Popfly.

      This is beautiful!!  Nicely done.  Never hesitate to show a bit of personality and poke fun at yourselves a bit - this is just plain good web 2.0 authenticity.

      Learn more about Popfly on Channel9.

      Oh, and speaking of Channel 9…another great example of the unexpected, authentic voice is here in the ReadMe.txt:

      Channel 9 Doctrine #8:  Don’t be a jerk. Nobody likes mean people.

      This is not the language, tone and manner that users expected on corporate web sites….this unexpectedness is what makes it great and honest.



      Popularity: 8% [?]

      posted in Examples, Microsoft, web 2.0 | 0 Comments

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