These days, I’ve been picking a lot of interesting references for too many things, and not been able to post them (or in many cases even to visit the links until days later). This is a small part of the collection.
Working at community building. Thanks to e-mint (mainly) I picked or re-found some interesting references for job-seeking, the day that my current employer gives in to the crisis or I grow too fed up with consulting. In the meantime they may come in handy to other colleagues. There’s the Online Community Report jobs page (old and outdated, but you never know). There’s the CommunityGuy’s job resources, not too bad. There’s Chinwag jobs page, for the social media in general. And there is SocialMediaJobs, which looks quite well populated.
Definitions of community. Also at CommunityReport, they were commenting the year’s OCS08 meetup, and they hit on something that’s been bothering me. “Social media” is a growing arena that has already gobbled up “communities”, but it does not really know what they are. Quoting, “depending on the speaker’s context “community” was used to describe mass social media, private feedback panels, a customer base, and social site used to support a campaign (I’m sure there were other mentions as well)“. Some more good, relevant links (interviews, coverage) here. There’s also a MP3 recording from Carley Roney, the editor of The Know about community and marketing (and advertising) from a previous event in October, which I hadn’t noticed. ForumOne’s “communities” are always marketing centric… but hey, that’s a legitimate angle. One of many ;-).
Community metrics. Lee Romero’s impressive work on developing metrics for diverse aspects of online communities has now come to five pieces. Probably the most solid work in this area for a while (I still stand by our own Macuarium guide to community measurments, but Lee’s work is more ambitious). Found them through Com-prac.
Conference networking. Thanks to Ed, I found the makers of CrowdVine, a simple software for fostering networking among conference attendees previous to the event (and probably good afterwards, too, as it has a group option… but there’s probably better tools for that part). Hosted software, with good pro options. He’s using it for an event; I tried to plug it for another, but there was no time left. Still, a good useful find. So clear.
Wharton on the crisis: innovate. This month’s K@Wharton newsletter carries a nice piece that serves as a recap for most of the innovation buzzwords of the last couple of decades (and then goes off in a rafting expedition). But I like it for a different reason: it’s true that the downturn is a very good time for serious change, as long as you start it in time. I once wrote a piece for a trade magazine titled “Going downhill makes running easier” in which I stressed the same basic idea: clear ideas and radical prioritising can find less resistance in crisis situations than when everything looks dandy. Jobs’ “second coming” to Apple is a case in point. No sacred tenets (he got his archrival to invest in his company), no sacred cows (he dropped many in-house companies for industry standards), no dispersion of effort (he killed the Newton, a forerunner of every PDA – and also the Mac clone makers), no nonsense (the rumor had it that he questioned people randomly; if they couldn’t explain what they were doing of use to Apple, they got fired). But he also laid the groundwork for today, devoting resources to the (already nascent) iMac lineup, creating a new operative system that’s leagues ahead of the competition, envisioning a consumer-centric, digital-creation company that blindsided an industry that was consumed by cost-cutting and commoditisation. Besides changing an easy-going, Californian engineer company into a market-driving, intense hothouse of innovation with a global logistics chain. He did it because he could instill the sense of urgency to overcome the resistance of just about everyone, in Apple and among its customers. And no, my old piece is no longer available. Too bad.
Trying out options. About Ed Mitchell again. He recently published a report on Media Sandbox, a very curious project during which “iShed set out to explore how organisations could integrate and deploy digital technologies and new facilitation methods to support collaborative research and build a Community Of Interest around a research topic…“. “Media Sandbox is a commissioning scheme to support South West companies/organisations to research emerging possibilities in digital media. The theme for 2007/2008 call was ‘Pervasive Media’. Awards were made to six research projects exploring this cutting edge theme (…). The scheme offered funding, showcase events, business support and peer to peer knowledge sharing [to the six different art-research project proposals]“. In other words, they used a very wide variety of tools, widgets and channels to get the flow going. Ed was part of the professional support; he’s already proved he can work a community across a multichannel strategy, and the experiment enabled them to learn a lot about what worked better for which uses. If you’re into the “horses for courses” part of building community infrastructure, it’s useful. If you’re into fostering communities, it’s a good read. If you’re into fostering the digital economy of your region, it’s a very good example.
Got to pack. More tomorrow, if I can decompress the rest of the notes. There’s only two or three hundred links, plus the notes from the Gartner briefing, plus some very nice Spanish resources…