Well… it had to happen. I’m back from the beach and there’s broadband and time to idle (well, not so much, these are the first ten minutes I can grab since yesterday morning :-)). So here’s a recap of interesting reading done while clearing back email. Hope you find it as interesting as myself.
Open plain vs walled garden at Knowledge@Wharton. They pick the iPhone as example (it’s epidemic) to try and pick advantages and disadvantages in both strategies. Missed opportunity to do something deeper, but a good read nonetheless that helps put some things in a useful perspective (and will probably spur an article on Apple strategy back at Macuarium in the next few days).
Making use of user-generated content according to McKinsey (free registration required). Definitely raises their batting average on social media and collaboration (i.e. it’s the first such study by them that I definitely reccomend reading). Short, and off-topic (it says little about its title subject), it nevertheless includes two very interesting exhibits and sensible reflections. Exhibit 1 explores the reasons for video-uploading, as given by video-uploaders in Germany. Very significant. While I definitely doubt most video-uploaders are really would-be Spielbergs seeking recognition (most videos uploaded are not original creations at all), I do believe the next two dominant reasons: «It’s fun» and «I want to share experiences with my friends». People like doing it, expressing themselves to those they care about. Exhibit 2 is IMHO worth money: it’s a comparative chart that explores the percentage of content provided by «core» users in different types of online services, from del.icio.us to wikipedia and many more. This time, they are on the right track.
Strategy according to Richard Rumelt, from McKinsey (free registration required). Good, and chewy. Sort of like a podcast from the Harvard’s online team (he was once an assistant professor there).
Lessons from biomedical research organizations (I think the link was sent by Rosanna Tarsiero), about the culture, organization, leadership and ways of organizations that routinely bring in the goods in that field (i.e. deliver innovative concepts and realities). Or, an attempt to explore the context that leads to it. Relevant cases, very relevant conclusions. Seriously chewy.
Collaboration 3.0 (at KMworld.com) according to John Spira. Besides plugging his analyst’s site, it does hint at two real things: the «2.0» wave is so passé (and overcrowded), more and more people are trying to move on to a different tag. Witness the «Diehard 4.0» movie ;-). Now seriously, there is real ground for saying that KM is moving well beyond the web 2.0-induced, user-oriented shock, beyond the old database and documents model, and beyond the «walled-garden» internal community of practice model. Spira quotes one partial example that may or may not be the best (rather too narrow), but there’s something else taking shape and I like it a lot.
SAP’s business community about using rewards in CoPs (link posted at Com-Prac, I believe by Nancy White; there’s a thread about the matter there now), an very lucid post by a board member, Dushyant Shetty. Relevant and useful. This links in with two things that we’ll probably be talking about again… and it got me to look into SAP’s boards, which I’d been intending to since listening to their VP in charge of communities (great podcast interview at the Communities 2.0 site).
Open Source CRM aims to get established (ASP News reports on Sugar’s John Roberts). It’s interesting, below the advertising. Don’t know much about the company, but the article is a good source on Open Source business models. Expect it to be quoted in a piece-in-progress about the matter.
Gartner focuses on collaboration, Microsoft-oriented (as the studies are paid, the link would be irrelevant). It’s fun how they’ve been heaping data and praise on the field as Microsoft has pumped Sharepoint 2007. Now Gartners has gone as far as writing guidelines for product deployment. Now, I’m not implying Microsoft funded those papers. But I’ve comissioned studies by their competition and managed their results, so my respect fo analyst’s specific pieces is very low. The interesting point here is that the «hype cycle» (pun intended) of collaboration is getting help from the moneymen at the same time that the community concept is making covers in the world’s magazines. Maybe we’re there yet. Care for a business plan, anybody?
Identity theft risks at social networks (Finextra quoting Sophos) centers on a survey of Facebook users and their insecure practices (a bit on the alarmist side, but that’s what gets quotes), and comes right on the heels of this summer’s well-commented Quechup debacle (they hijacked users’ email agendas to send massive unauthorized invitations) and e-Mint’s Yahoo list troubles (a hacker cheeked his way to get access to personal data enough to retrieve her passwords). It all goes to show that people are still faced with insecure processes and companies who can not always be trusted. Some take it to heart, and then it becomes a problem to overcome for community-builders. Some don’t, and unwittingly become a problem for themselves and others. And even when you’re conservative with your data, they can spring a Quechup at you… or worse.
A community-related job board (by Jake McKee, «Community Guy») has just been launched, let’s see if it gathers momentum. I still look forward to finding a full KM-related job at a company near home and family (remember, I turned down a World Bank project for relocation reasons… don’t mind travel or lengthy stays, but the family’s not for moving yet) so here’s wishing Jake all the luck. Really. Besides, he quotes Welch, and I’m a fan. Other relevant nooks are Forum One’s and KM4Dev’s.