How to Make the Web More Social

Google’s Joe Kraus (ex JotSpot) got interviewed by Wharton Business School’s Kevin Werbach on How to Make the Web More Social, here’s the mp3.

Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google, believes every killer app on the web — instant messaging, e-mail, blogging, photo-sharing — has succeeded because it helps people connect with one another. For Kraus, this means the Internet has an inherently social character, but it can be enhanced further. Wharton legal studies professor Kevin Werbach spoke with Kraus recently about the socialization of the Internet. Kraus will speak about social computing at the Supernova conference in San Francisco on June 16.

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One word as a focal point for change – Collaboration

Taking up my last post on the role of social software and collaboration technology in organizational change management (“Cultural change and developing collaboration capabilities“) I want to add Charlie Bess’ view on EDS’ Next Big Thing Blog. Here Charlie holds that collaboration is the focal point for change in 2008:

[collaboration] can be applied at many levels to the changes that are underway.

At the cultural level, we’re all familiar with web 2.0 and the collaboration across organizations it supports. Wikinomics states the view of collaboration between organizations, increases diversity of perspective enabling innovation and reaching objectives more quickly.

At the software level, the concept of SOA is based upon the collaboration between services, enabling clear separation between the interface and the underlying data, freeing up organizations to focus at a higher (more business oriented) level.

[…] Companies need to be more agile, moving from viewing change as a periodic disruption of the status quo to accepting continuous change as the norm. Information technology (IT) has an important role to play, since it enables agility through collaboration. IT needs to collaborate with the rest of the enterprise in meeting the business objectives, probably until it fades into the business itself.

It’s timely also that Josh Bernoff, co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (blog here) was recently invited to the Harvard Business Review IdeaCast. Topic of the talk is “Be a Social Technology Provocateur”. Get the mp3 here, listen to it.

Makes me wonder – is there a place for a “consultant provocateur” to get enterprise social software going? Provocation is such a bad and naughty word. Well, sometimes it’s a necessary part of the consulting task/project at hand, smartly disguised as innovation consulting. But this works best when combined with the credibility and professional ethics that clients always need. Being pushy is a dumb idea. Bringing an outside-in perspective is a good start, and if let’s add smart questions, communication, promotion, explanations of best practices. So we can make friends and win inner-organizational allies etc. – even when we’re shaking the boat?

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