Riffin’ on Storytelling @ Community Roundtable

Picture 224, originally uploaded by jeremiah_owyang.

This is a photo by Jeremiah Owyang, who invited me to the Online Community Roundtable gathering he hosted at Forrester. Bill Johnson put on this wonderful event with very engaged people who were sharing their wisdom and online audience building experiences. Jeremiah made sure I got up and spoke. Nothing prepared, I started with my favorite topic of storytelling and tried to connect with what everyone in the room was talking about. The audience pulled me in and along we went, having fun playing with the role of storytelling in social media, social networks, online communities…and our personal lives.

A presentation highlight for me was Forrester’s Charlene Li’s “I am social when I…” Use IM, email, social network, bookmark…   More of us are getting more social every day.

Here’s Bill’s even summary and a post with photos and a video by Jeremiah.

This would be a great event for a few pals who are helping grow the Intel’s  Open Port online community for IT pros. This is a creative, open model that could replace regular weekly meetings at work.  Just get three people to share what they’re working on and get the live feedback from a concentrated, open-minded group.  Who would you invite?

Person Bill Johnson
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Catchin’ Up with Social Computing Tenents

Encapsulating the essence of why social media tools are evermore meaningful to more people — young and old — these are some highlights from Forrester Research’s April 2007 report on social computing trends by Charlene Li:
clipped from www.forrester.com
Individuals increasingly take cues from one another rather than from institutional sources like corporations, media outlets, religions, and political bodies. To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists.
The exponential growth of processing power and storage capacity puts unprecedented computing power into the hands of users.
The social impact: The mainstream populace, not just the wealthy or educated, can tap into technology’s power to change social mores
Social Computing: 1) innovation will shift from top-down to bottom-up; 2) value will shift from ownership to experience; and 3) power will shift from institutions to communities
multiple email addresses, and thousand-member networks will be the norm — even as these youth settle down, have families, and pursue careers.
  blog it

Blog, Feed & Socialize

I just read a nifty report released on February 6 by Forrester’s social computing wise Charlene Li — “How Consumers Find Web Sites: Social Tools Play A Significant Role For Youth.”
Often we “know” what we ought to do today to build for tomorrow, but seeing results of surveys and hearing recommendations based on those findings gives us fodder we need to influence people and convince them to support our efforts.
Here are some things from Charlene’s report that I’m seeing happen already inside Intel…things that we are working to refine and disperse as best practices to other groups as they become more active with their online audiences/communities.
clipped from www.forrester.com
Blogs help with search rankings in several ways: Comments on blogs provide more content to index; frequent updates mean that the search engine’s Web crawlers come more often; and inbound links from other blogs and sites mean higher relevancy scores in algorithms.
Services like FeedBurners’ FeedFlare and Bazaarvoice’s ShareThis automatically insert links into blog posts, content pages, and product pages, making it simple to tag or share on sites like Facebook, Digg, and del.icio.us.
Investments in MySpace.com and Facebook will reach not only a quarter of the online youth population, but also support natural word of mouth and email, which are top sources of site referrals for youth. The key is tracking where traffic originates — for example, from a note posted on Facebook — as well as the channel, be it from a blog, email, or word of mouth. Use services from providers like Hitwise and Compete to map traffic patterns of your target customers.
  blog it

Social Computing Comrads Connect & The Next Thing You Know…

I had the pleasure of meeting Douglas Pollei at Intel headquarters the second week in November, just days before taking my sabbatical. We had a great talk about the state of corporate social media (can you say that?) that ended when we looked around and saw the once-buzzing cafetteria empty.

Douglas keeps a cool blog by night and for his day job he’s the VP of Internet Strategy and Corporate Development for IKANO Communications Inc., a portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners in New York. In other words, he’s a social media brother of another mother singing that same song about opening up, connecting and creating new opportunities.


We met through Forrester Research’s Jeremiah Owyang, who personally invited Douglas to check out the September Social Media: Friend or Foe of IT panel at the Intel Developer Forum. We exchanged emails — he even politely kept in contact after a very late response I sent after IDF — then during a business trip to Silicon Valley he saved some time for us to meet. If he were a vendor, I’d have respectfully declined, but the chance to explore accomplishments and conflicts about social media? No way would I miss a chance! Here are some highlights from our talk, as Douglas posted on his blog:

* Intel is seeking to involve more employees in the conversations with outside world. These employees must be not only observers but active contributors in the conversations, otherwise they don’t fully understand and move with the current. The IDF is a great example of the beginnings of this reach out and I believe it will continue to be.

* The intersection of the control and openness mindset creates conflicts in organizations. The true goal is to find the human intersections and how to understand, internalize, and communicate these findings going forward.

* Enterprises can create boundaries of communication, like a walled garden. Some areas are open and others are closed. The key is to organically let those with a voice contribute and potentially elevate these individuals to a higher status of job authority with regard to new media tools (social media, video, audio, etc..). When employees don’t reach out, it is comparable to being at the party and not talking to anyone but expecting value from it. You must mingle to be inspired and know the true and unscripted pulse.

* There will be many who will oppose these types of movements in a large organization but as they join in and see the value, many C’s including CEOs will be endorsers of the openness to know where to take the company, and how to raise stockholder value through innovation.

* VCs, private equity firms, and serial entrepreneurs are continually developing new media solutions that enterprises can adopt to enhance the communications with all channels of their business. Knowing the tech scouts who can see these in advance and know which products will win (and work) will be key to enterprises. Jobs descriptions in these areas are not currently on the enterprise org chart and so it is hard for many to understand their value. It is like telling someone to see a house built when only a floor plan exists.

We agreed to keep our conversation moving ahead. In fact, one thing we talked about was how I believe Intel has some wonderful stories to tell. Stories that are still coming together but will help directly connect Intel technology and innovation with social computing — from personal to commercial to developers and beyond. Intel’s new processor technologies can help people and businesses really get the most from Web 2.0, which seems to be growing and becoming more meaningful to everyone. Well, on the day Intel introduced it’s new Penryn chips — those featuring re-engineered, smaller, energy efficient, faster 45nm transistors — Intel CEO did it! Speaking at Oracle Open World, Intel CEO Paul Otellini (from ZDNet blog by Dan Faber):

“The enterprise is not immune from consumer trends,” Otellini said. Connectivity 24×7 and the need to socialize networks, as in Facebook, are key demands inside and outside the workplace going forward. “As this happens you need to think about how to rearchitect the infrastructure inside your businesses,” he added.

Otellini concluded that the “future in this sense is not very far away. The highly collaborative, interactive global social network is nearly upon us.”

It’s not a prophetic vision, but Otellini wants to make sure the Oracle crowd divines that Intel should be a core part of the rearchitecting of their businesses.

This is something many other companies are doing, or can be doing to help show how they’re relevant in making Web 2.0 and social computing more amazing and useful everyday.

Until we meet again, here is another topic we explored: Corporation being more human and actively finding their way in places like Facebook. This weekend I came across the Harvard Business Review’s “Why your company needs to be on Facebook.” Its was posted on November 9, 2007 by Charlene Li is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Cluetrain Manifesto? There’s no turning back. There’s moving ahead, integrating, being smart, providing reason and value every step of the way…never without passion and zeal for helping and connecting with others.