« Lotusphere 2008: IBM Research - Glimpsing The Future | Main | Lotusphere 2008: Social Computing Keynote »

January 22, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eric Sauve

Hey Mike,

Interesting post and I agree with the breakdown of directed vs. volunteer participation.

One of the things I have been thinking about which also maps nicely to your diagram is the breadth of the group involved. For process, the group is fairly tight knit and focused, for activity the group is broader, and so on.

One of the things we are thinking about at Tomoye is that communities serve the next level of engagement (community) - but defined more as engagement with a broader group, outside the immediate team or colleague with which one has a process/ activity relationship. These are your broader stakeholder group, whether internal to the company or outside.

As lateral communication and collaboration becomes more available, and organizations themselves become more transparent, this might be an important emergent use case.


Ian Randall

I assume that this post is primarily referring to Knowledge Workers (white collar) rather than process (blue collar) workers. And supports a behavioral definition of the term "workgroups", i.e. 'Those people with whom you interact with in order to do your job'. This could include other employees (superiors, subordinates and peers), customers, suppliers, regulators, consultants, mentors and the media.

The model you have proposed incorporates the need for compliant behaviour in the form of policies and procedures and accepted process activities, as well as informal methods of achieving desired outcomes.

In many organisations these informal networks need to be mindfull of each organisations intellectual properties requirements and the need for security and secrecy in some matters.

These volunteer interactions also tap into our basic human need for recognition and in some cases fame. However, these volunteer networks also illustrate key cultural differences between the values and expectations of the different age generations.

In fact I think that baby boomers in the US have more in common with baby boomers in the USSR and Poland than with the Y generation in their respective countries.

Bruce Barondes

I appreciate your input
If you are interested in balanced scorecard metrics in business, check this web-site to learn more about Metrics


John Petter Hagen

Dear Mike Glotta,
I am a fourth and final year Management student at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. I was duly impressed when I read your article "Why is Social Software So Important?".

Now I am turning to you for some advice if I may.

I am writing a dissertation on “Innovation Networks” and collaborative technologies used to foster innovation, solving R&D problems outside the firm, through new Internet technologies. I am very enthusiastic about the topic and eager to learn from a Best Practioner like yourself.

In my dissertation work so far I have written most of the “literature review”, where I reference my work from various authors on the subject in question. However, the next step is to define an appropriate dissertation hypothesis, i.e. formulate a statement which can be proved. It is highly likely for instance that Innovation Networks help firms gain competitive advantage. However, my challenge is to formulate a statement that can be “proved”.

As we both know, Innovation Networks and mass collaboration do benefit organisations and will be vital in near future for organisations to grow, but how can it be proven? How can benefits be quantified for instance in terms of cost cutting and in terms of increased innovation. Even Peter Gloory’s new book “Swarm creativity: Competitive advantage through collaborative innovation networks” states that it is extremely hard to prove. With your expertise on the subject it would be very much appreciated if you could share some suggestions and ideas with me. In return I will of course be happy to send a copy of my completed dissertation, if you like. Hope to hear from you soon.

John Petter Hagen

Dissertation Help

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.I will keep visiting this blog very often.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter