Social Networking and the Social Web

We all would like to leverage the power of the user community in innovation, speed, and customer satisfaction, but what really works?  We have examined the leading case studies and researchers and have found lots of heat, but little light.  Why?

  1. Organizations don’t know how to manage the effort in the context of strategy – it is a “one off” effort

  2. They are under resourced & expectations for quick payback are set too high

  3. Functional silos prevent the diffusion of great ideas back to the domains of need

So what have we found to ensure success?

First, pay to play.  Either this will be a resourced activity with a “Plan for Success” or it will be doomed to failure.  You will need to commit to a vibrant community – and this means more than 100 users and a site host that keeps the community coming back.

Second, the users must win.  Address this issue first.  Why do communities grow and others die – those that survive, survive because they address users’ needs.

Third, leverage providers.  There are some technology solution providers that can assist with implementation once a concept is defined.  In the innovation area there are:

  • Brightidea

  • Innocentive

  • Imaginatik

In the community area, there are a number of solution providers – within and outside the firewall.

  • Communispace

  • KickApps

  • Mzinga

  • Ning