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June 24, 2008

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KenF

Chuck, I've noticed in the 2.0 demo when you personalize your dashboard that you can edit the widget settings for things like "Most Popular Discussions". My guess is that Jive can tweak similar settings in the default dashboard.

If so, you could re-group your spaces under 3 categories: 1) Getting Started/Support, 2) Work, and 3) Life. Then have Jive tweak the default dashboard so that most of the widgets are only pointing to the "Work" space that contains all your business related communities. Keep at least one "Life" based widget in the default dashboard so new users can get a flavor for the "Life" space discussions - this should give you a default dashboard that's 90% business stuff and 10% life stuff.

This reminds me of an article I just saw in today's Dallas paper - it was about the battle between drivers and bicyclists. Bicyclists have a legal right to use the roads but they are not supposed to impede traffic (your business communities).

I think both parties would prefer bike lanes because 1) it's the safest solution for both, and 2) it's more productive for both - they each get to go about their own business without the confusion & frustration of sharing the same space.

So you need a bike lane - the bicyclists still need to be visible to everyone else, just not impeding them.

Richard

Chuck,

Sorry for the long comment but there are so many useful things in your post.

I think you have hit on the approach to take - use social norms that already exist to help modify human behavior. There will never be a purely software solution to these sorts of problems. But the community you are creating can learn correct Web 2.0 behavior.

A metaphor - You've got a bunch of people, ranging in age from 6 to 25, that have a whole arena to play in. As the 'parent', you have to help them learn to manage their own behavior. There is no time to hire nannies, tutors and mentors for them all. Move those same skills into Web 2.0.

Sounds to me you already are.

So you carefully informed some that they are somewhat beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior, but without showing them up to the group. They'd gone running over the hill, forgetting the rest of the group behind them. If they can self police, which many of them will, then problem solved.

You asked the group what they thought should be done - climb the hill now or wait. They appreciated being asked and came up with solutions while also learning what their behavior should be.

A community needs a mix of personalities. Laggards or naysayers are necessary in many settings, to keep the entire group from charging over the hill without checking what is on the other side (like a cliff). But they can be moved along using social conventions also. Making sure they do not feel left out always helps.

Diffusion rates of innovation throughout a community will determine where and how the groups respond to these new technologies.

Help increase the rates, by using the people who have reached a level of 'maturity' and then identifying who in the community needs nannies, who needs tutors and who needs mentors (i.e. find early adopters who can span the chasm you see and explain to laggards the value).

Using the community for these roles is also good Web 2.0 behavior, because it helps everyone gain reputation and notice in the community; things that can be very useful come performance evaluation time.

Software changes. People don't. You used that and seem to me to be on exactly the right path.

And by asking the outside community, you acted as a good parent checking to see if any of the other parents have any advice. I appreciate that.

Chuck Hollis

Ken

Very insightful -- I think that's what we're gonna do!

Thanks!

Chuck Hollis

Richard -- thanks for the comments!

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