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Tell your work story with an infographic

Resume screen shot - reflectionI have recently found myself updating my resume. Why? After 4 1/2 years at Spigit, I have moved on as the company has been acquired by Mindjet. It was a good run there.

So I needed to dust off the resume. And you know, it was eye-opening how limiting resumes are. They are great for their core job-to-be-done: provide a history of your work. But they’re terrible if you want to go into more depth. You see advice to limit resumes to two pages. Use “power” verbs. Avoid graphics that foul up automatic scanners.  Good counsel, but not what I want.

I wanted to communicate a narrative about my work at Spigit. We spend so much time in our jobs, and there is always a story there. It’s richer than anything you can communicate via a series of bullets about your skills. I want to describe the circumstances of the work. Give some key milestones of my employment. Describe the projects and outcomes of my work. Creative types will augment resumes with portfolios. What about the rest of us?

It occurred to me that infographics are good for my purposes. They get across key information in a narrative using a visually interesting style. But they don’t require a significant investment of time and focus for the reader. So I created my own infographic to describe the context and work of my time at Spigit:

VP Product Spigit infographic

I tried using one of the infographic-generation sites, but wasn’t satisfied with the results. The default templates didn’t match the story I wanted to tell, I wanted to do more with the interplay of text and graphics, and the PNG image upload was buggy. Instead, I used two free apps to make it:

  • Google Docs – drawing app
  • GIMP image program (installed)

I exported the Google Drawing to PDF. To turn the PDF into a high resolution PNG file, I followed the advice on this StackExchange post.

The final question is where to put the infographic. It doesn’t exactly fit a standard letter (U.S.) or A4 size, so you can’t append it to your resume. So I’ve uploaded it to Slideshare and Scribd, added it to my LinkedIn profile, and it graces the About Me page of this blog. Would be kind of daring to send it to a prospective employer, eh?

If you’re interested in creating one of these, feel free to contact me. I can offer you what I learned in making it. And in case you’re wondering, Spigit’s revenues are publicly available via SEC filings by its lead investor PICO Holdings.

I’m @bhc3 on Twitter.

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My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 043010

From the home office on the Gulf Coast, where I just have to note that you never hear about “sunshine spills” or “wind slicks”.

#1: RT @mattgaston If foursquare gets it right, they could go big. Very big! NYTimes: Linking Customer Loyalty With Social Networking http://nyti.ms/cfzclt

#2: RT @TechCrunch The Huffington Post Starts To Give Out Badges To Readers http://tcrn.ch/bQopLB > Just getting started…

#3: WSJ has its own Foursquare badges http://bit.ly/a6EjmX by @mathewi > WSJ also provides news items for locations

#4: RT @tacanderson Cool webcast today by HP: An economist’s view of crowdsourcing http://j.mp/czYrSY

#5: Getting the Most from Your Crowdsourcing Initiative (via Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/cugk0z #innovation

#6: RT @jacobm spigit announces its innovation summit, should be a great one http://bit.ly/csHfNE cc @bhc3

#7: 42: Why innovation is a hard sell http://bit.ly/b83pWs by @deb_lavoy > #Innovation is problem-solving, not ideation

#8: RT @Renee_Innosight Yes! RT @MARTYneumeier: The secret to collaboration is finding a rhythm that alternates between team creativity and individual creativity.

#9: NBC’s Parenthood cracks me up. Love it. Until it inevitably jumps the shark somewhere along the line with a “very special” Parenthood.

#10: About to start Stuart Hall Miller’s Mile with my son — at Warming Hut Park Store & Cafe http://gowal.la/c/E4ah

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 041610

From the home office in Iceland, where I’m stuffing rags down that volcano to get planes flying again…

#1: You know those ads where Domino’s admits their pizza sucked? Guess who saw profits double. http://bit.ly/bayH3b

#2: RT @drewmaniac Ignore Foursquare at Your Peril – An Analysis of Potential by @JayBaer http://bit.ly/dqzxtz /via @unmarketing

#3: RT @mathewi the FT will let users of Foursquare who check in at certain spots earn points towards a free subscription: http://is.gd/bmvGU

#4: RT @TNWlocation Why Dave McClure is Wrong about LBS http://tnw.to/15wnR

#5: RT @building43 Spigit: the platform for democratic & fair company decision makers http://is.gd/bubWS by @scobleizer

#6: Shepherding Social Business Transformation « Dachis Group Collaboratory http://dach.is/2P by @cdangson #e20

#7: Enterprise 2.0 and improved business performance http://bit.ly/aMMBF3 by @dhinchcliffe > Can social tools deliver “hard numbers”?

#8: CIO Magazine: Better Business Decisions: winning the race one report at a time http://bit.ly/cecqXm #e20

#9: RT @CrisBuckley Have You Been Institutionalized By Your Job? [BLOG] http://bit.ly/bDzGbP

#10: Out here on I-5 where there’s nothing around. Checked Foursquare, someone created “The Middle of Freakin Nowhere”. Checked in there.

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 032610

From the home office in CTU, where I’m taking control of ’24’, not going to let it be canceled

#1: RT @scobleizer http://bestc.am/T90 This is Paul Pluschkell CEO of @spigit which is cool ideation software used by tons of companies. Now onto @pipioinc

#2: Wow – my moment in @dahowlett‘s spotlight: Enterprise 2.0: let’s be careful out there http://bit.ly/bQR3vj Great stuff, needs several reads

#3: Enterprise 2.0 and our tendency to think and talk in terms of efficiency http://bit.ly/cDe3mO by @oscarberg #e20

#4: Discussion is a good thing! RT @rawn Had to write disagreeing response to spigit post “Maslow’s Hierarchy of E2.0 ROI” http://bit.ly/9ltJo6

#5: Avoiding Innovation Chaos inside Companies (via Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/anh1cY #innovation #e20

#6: RT @govfresh Manor in WSJ: ‘A Hotbed of Tech Innovation: the Government of Manor, Texas’ http://bit.ly/aUyxbF #gov20

#7: Is Crowdsourcing Disruptive? http://bit.ly/aYybmt by @stephenshapiro > Cost per design vs cost of acquisition #innovation

#8: Can truly great design be done the open source way? http://bit.ly/bcZszD by @cdgrams > a bazaar or a cathedral? #design

#9: Actual newspaper headline: “Republicans turned off by the size of Obama’s package.” http://bit.ly/crhh2O #hcr?

#10: RT @skydiver “One of the things I love about Twitter is that you can totally make up quotations.” – Abraham Lincoln

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 031210

From the home office at SXSW in Austin, where I’m not…

#1: Is Collaboration Enough for Knowledge Management? http://bit.ly/bXdNhj by @deb_lavoy #e20 #km

#2: What Enterprise 2.0 vendors can learn from FourSquare http://tinyurl.com/y9bsxc6 by @markfidelman

#3: RT @Irregulars Wikipedia’s Decline and the 7 Types of Human Motivation http://bit.ly/atzPLC

#4: White House expands Gov 2.0 with landmark crowdsourcing directive (via Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/auo6FK #gov20 #innovation

#5: “Contests are increasingly being used as a tool to solve society’s most entrenched problems” http://bit.ly/9KFJmy #crowdsourcing

#6: RT @VentureBeat Spigit offers social media platform for company contests http://ow.ly/1q0m44 #crowdsourcing

#7: RT @elldir Woops! Too long ago I told @bhc3 that I would post how I think about different dimensions of innovation. http://bit.ly/dcNd7s

#8: Five inter-related innovation problems that an organizational structure should address – Scott Anthony HBR #innovation http://post.ly/SOB2

#9: Reading @bokeen‘s write-up of his chatroulette experience. Damn funny, and pretty much what I’d expect. http://bit.ly/9Wnd20

#10: RT @anildash I’m surprised none of you dorks camped outside of your own house last night, then ran back in to order an iPad

My Other Blog Covers Innovation, Crowdsourcing and Social Software

To really work, Sierra observed, an entrepreneur’s blog has to be about something bigger than his or her company and his or her product. This sounds simple, but it isn’t. It takes real discipline to not talk about yourself and your company. Blogging as a medium seems so personal, and often it is. But when you’re using a blog to promote a business, that blog can’t be about you, Sierra said. It has to be about your readers, who will, it’s hoped, become your customers. It has to be about making them awesome.

This is from Joel Spolsky’s Inc. column, where he also announces that he’s quitting his uber popular blog, Joel on Software. Which is incredible. Like Louis Gray giving up his blog.

Joel notes that he’s been at it for 10 years, and his company Fog Creek Software, has grown to the point where he needs to focus on its operations and alternative marketing modes. He does offer business owners some thoughts consistent with what “got him there” in terms of Fog Creek’s growth:

  • If you’re selling a clever attachment to a camera that diffuses harsh flash light, don’t talk about the technical features or about your holiday sale (10 percent off!). Make a list of 10 tips for being a better photographer.
  • If you’re opening a restaurant, don’t blog about your menu. Blog about great food. You’ll attract foodies who don’t care about your restaurant yet.
  • If you make superior, single-source chocolate, don’t write about that great trip you took to the Dominican Republic to source cocoa beans. That’s all about you. Instead, write the definitive article about making chocolate-covered strawberries.

Joel’s been at it longer than me, but those tips are spot-on for the way I approach writing on the Spigit blog. Don’t write endlessly about the product features and press releases. Write to illuminate and give identity to the nascent Innovation Management 2.0 market. What’s important to organizations beginning to look at innovation management seriously?

If You’re Tracking the Innovation Space…

To that end, I know I’ve got some readers here who have an interest in both Enterprise 2.0, and innovation. In addition to this blog, I’m writing relevant posts over on the Spigit blog. Many of these of have garnered a lot of attention (a republished version of one on Braden Kelley’s multi-author blog was the #3 most viewed post there for February).

But don’t just take my word for it. See what you think. Here are seven posts I’ve written over there. Do any of them grab you?

Study – Collaborative Networks Produce Better Ideas: Presents the research of University of Chicago professor Ron Burt, who found that more connected employees generated hiogher quality ideas.

Ideas as the Basis of Social Networks: Begins with a video by Brian Solis, who discusses the concept that ideas, more than pre-existing relationships, will be the basis of social networks. Then weaves in Joshua “Bokardo” Porter’s thoughts on social object design.

Crowdsourcing Is the New Collaboration: Compares the behaviors, groups formation and expectations between traditional collaboration and crowdsourcing. They each have a place inside organizations. Also, a good antidote to the rising outcry over spec work crowdsourcing contests.

Four Models of Competitive Crowdsourcing: Provides a look at four different ways organizations can engage customers and interested participants in the crowdsourcing process: Crowd Sentiment, Expert Decision; Crowd Decision; Expert Decision; American Idol.

Who Are Your Positive Deviants?: Positive deviance refers to practices that fall outside the standard ways in which things are done, and which provide much better than standard results. People trying unorthodox things. Finding and propagating these positive deviances is important for social and corporate advancement.

Gary Hamel: Hierarchy of Employee Traits for the Creative Economy: Hamel lays out what he views as the key employee traits in the future, as we shift from the Information Economy to Creative Economy: initiative, creativity, passion. Key for workers is to get above the line of commoditization.

Study – Distributed Idea Generation Outperforms Team Brainstorming: Researchers at INSEAD and Wharton conducted a rigorous field study, comparing in-person team brainstorming to individualized, distributed idea generation. They found distributed idea generation outperformed the old corporate standby, team brainstorming.

If those topics interest you, I encourage you to subscribe. For reference, here’s the blog’s RSS feed:

http://blog.spigit.com/feed/blog/Hutch

See you there.

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 022610

From the home office at a table in front a congressional hearing where I’m explaining why I didn’t actually put any brakes in my cars…

#1: All your authentication are belong to us http://bit.ly/d2S177 by Forrester’s @TomGrantForr > Facebook Connect is pulling away

#2: RT @defrag wow. twitter moving to Cassandra (#NoSQL) – http://bit.ly/9z8nvp – so, FB, Digg, Twitter all on NoSQL. oracle, are you listening?

#3: Interesting: Why the iPad can’t use flash http://bit.ly/bG6X9K > How do you “mouseover” with your finger?

#4: RT @BBHLabs Bored of reading that @foursquare is the ‘new Twitter'; it’s a different kind of utility altogether – http://j.mp/9s8GDD

#5: Study – Distributed Idea Generation Outperforms Team Brainstorming (Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/dffHzL #innovation #crowdsourcing

#6: Crowdsourcing Collaboration in Education http://bit.ly/aPmSj0 by @eduinnovation > Educators can tap large networks #innovation

#7: How to Fail at Innovation http://is.gd/98YUh by @timkastelle > “The way to fail at #innovation is to try to avoid failing”

#8: The Side Effects of Open Innovation http://bit.ly/9hIaQI by @lindegaard “it’s very much about managing change” #innovation #e20

#9: 10 tips for Successful Crowdsourcing http://post.ly/OxhU

#10: RT @exUnited Southwest Airlines selects Spigit for innovation mgmt http://bit.ly/blTGO3 Innovation is like LUV – deliberate, not accidental

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 021210

From the home office in Vancouver, where I’m preparing to compete in the snow blogging competition…

#1: Twitter’s location information would come in handy during the Olympics. Choose to follow tweets of only those in your time zone.

#2: Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley (@dens) describes the future of participating in location-based social applications http://post.ly/Mft6

#3: Fascinating study of Twitter spammers, and how they compare to legitimate users http://bit.ly/bFkd6l > Hard to tell difference

#4: The Importance of Managing Your Online Reputation http://bit.ly/a7i5mx by @VenessaMiemis > Strong, comprehensive post

#5: Goal Setting Stimulates Employee Innovation (via Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/cuKC9u #innovation #e20

#6: RT @mvandall MIT-Sloan 4 keys to driving innovation: Measurement, experimentation, sharing & replication. http://bit.ly/cH9khC. Spigit got it right!

#7: In light of Toyota’s quality issues, do you think they abandoned the “million employee ideas” somewhere along the line? http://bit.ly/a3iX9K

#8: RT @SmartStorming You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club. Jack London #innovation #creativity

#9: Nice word: “heterarchy” a formal structure, represented by a diagram of connected nodes, without any single permanent uppermost node

#10: Chocolate chili recipe http://bit.ly/aXn4kd > Hearty chili with an exotic quality. @cflanagan @justinmwhitaker @cubba #superbowl

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 012910

From the home office at the annual retreat of Republican members of the House of Representatives in Baltimore, where I’m taking questions on my blog care plan…

#1: RT @cbneese My coworker: “Hey everyone I got the iPad, only I got the smaller, more portable version, with internet, a camera, and a phone.”

#2: RT @dhinchcliffe The PC officially died today: http://bit.ly/aATwBS Nick Carr probably does the best sum-up of the week.

#3: RT@ jbrewer RT @fchimero: Headline: “Tech nerds everywhere pissed Apple made a product for someone other than them.”

#4: Cisco’s I-Prize – the Next Wave of Open Innovation (via Spigit blog) http://bit.ly/bKq9vI #innovation #openinnovation

#5: RT @IdeaSandbox Don’t Demolish Your Own Innovation http://bit.ly/9hTRiw

#6: Nice post on HuffPo by @craignewmark about City of Manor’s citizen innovation site http://bit.ly/c4JOYQ (using Spigit) #gov20 #innovation

#7: Sketch, sketch, sketch http://bit.ly/djKsgE by @jbrewer “The end goal of the drawing process is what you learn while sketching” #innovation

#8: “I hate cynicism – it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere.” Conan O’Brien http://bit.ly/66vppK > amen

#9: Nice response to the Westboro Baptist Church protest http://bit.ly/dteuTf > @meganphelps you did have donuts there, didn’t you?

#10: Stars Wars “6-pack” arrived today in the mail. Prequel Trilogy & the Original Trilogy. Got to get my 5 y.o. son up to speed. #lifelessons

Why SMBs Need Social Software – Dunbar’s Number Limits Metcalfe’s Law

A general observation of collaborative work is this:

The larger and more diverse are your personal network of contacts,
the higher the quality of your ideas and project work.

In the enterprise market, the opportunity being seized by companies is to better connect employees. The sheer size of these firms makes it obvious that they are not optimizing collaborative activities. Social software plays an important role in helping that. SunGard’s CEO has a great take on this issue in the New York Times.

But what about small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs)? Do they have issues with maintaining connections? We’ll tackle that issue in a second. First, however…

WE by Spigit: Innovation Management for SMBs

Spigit is introducing its SaaS application for SMBs, called WE. WE leverages the enterprise functionality of enterprise Spigit, but streamlines the features to account for a self-service process and cost in tune with an SMB’s budget. The critical things firms need for innovation are there: easy idea entry, community feedback, workflow stages, analytics, individual reputation scores, multiple ways to filter for ideas, social profiles, connections, activity streams, etc.

It also reflects a slick new user interface, with multiple themes to choose from.

You can see more about WE innovation management for SMBs on the Spigit website. And read eWeek’s coverage of the release here.

The Challenge of Growth: Traditional Collaboration Modes Don’t Scale

When a small company starts out, it’s rather easy to stay on top of what colleagues are doing. There just aren’t too many of them. You easily banter, bounce ideas off one another and contribute your part to projects.

It’s natural human interactions.

The problem is that small businesses continue to rely exclusively on the tried-and-true methods of collaborative work as they grow. Keep on with the emails, the desk meetings, the lunches. Sure, it’s fun to keep with those who sit essentially in your visual perimeter. But it means you’re missing out on a lot of valuable ideas and insight from colleagues.

The graphic below shows the challenge of scale in collaborative work:

The easy interactions of old are now replaced by the departmental exchanges, and the daily work inherent in those micro environments.The small firm mentality that employees enjoyed with fewer employees is no longer applicable as the company expands.

Yet as research has shown, employees who are able to break out of departmental silos and leverage a diversity of connections perform better in terms of innovation.

So how does this fit SMBs?

Metcalfe’s Law Hits Dunbar’s Number

Metcalfe’s Law. Initially addressing fax machines, it speaks to the value of networks. Specifically:

The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected participants.

For those who study the value of information networks, this law makes sense. You increase your number of information sources. And all things being equal, the person with greater information has a decided advantage in term of:

  • Awareness of key issues
  • Long tail knowledge of different issues
  • Access to information that will solidify an idea
  • Identification of colleagues who can help advance an idea or a project
  • Different points of view and information that make up for the knowledge limitations we all have

Every new connection inside a company increases these information advantages, for all members of the network. The problem occurs when employees are only using traditional methods for making and accessing these connections: email, desk conversations, departmental meetings.

They run into Dunbar’s Number. I use Dunbar’s Number here as a heuristic, describing the mental limit we each have to stay in top of what others are working on. With traditional means of engaging in collaborative work, the Metcalfe’s Law advantages of information diversity are limited by our Dunbar’s Number ability to keep up with the new connections.

This graph describes the issue, and SMBs’ opportunity:

Up to a certain point, employees can stay on top of what their colleagues are working on, and interact relatively easily. Is this up to 150 employees? Maybe. As Danah Boyd noted about Dunbar’s Number:

He found that the MAXIMUM number of people that a person could keep up with socially at any given time, gossip maintenance, was 150. This doesn’t mean that people don’t have 150 people in their social network, but that they only keep tabs on 150 people max at any given point.

150 is a maximum number. Meaning for many of us it’s less. And I’d argue, in a work context, where we’re busy delivering on the daily tasks that define our jobs, it’s an even lower theoretical maximum.

Which means at some point, small businesses begin to lose out on those information advantages when they rely only on traditional collaborative work modes. In the graph above, that’s the part of the graph where Dunbar’s Number crosses over Metcalfe’s Law.

Call it the Metcalfe’s Law Opportunity Gap.

At that point, companies need to look at systems that allow employees to share and filter information, and to interact with others outside their daily sphere of contacts. To access non-redundant information and points of view.

This is a problem well-known to large organizations. It also applies to SMBs as well. It’s why they need social software at a certain point in their growth trajectory.

This is an important issue for innovation. So many of these employees will have front line customer and supplier experience, and ideas for the business. But visibility on these ideas will get harder and harder as the firm grows.

If this area interests you, check out WE by Spigit. Social software for SMBs.

My Ten Favorite Tweets – Week Ending 010810

From the home office in Sacramento, where Governor Schwarzenegger laid out an initial budget that will take 11 months to resolve and pass…go ahead and get your California jokes ready now…

#1: If this topic interests you – Designing for Innovation through Competitive Collaboration – I ask for your #e2conf vote http://bit.ly/8xuQuC

#2: The Wisdom of Crowds Like Me http://bit.ly/4WM1Bi #crowdsourcing

#3: How Do Product Managers Reject Bad Ideas? http://bit.ly/7j6Ax0 by @chriscummings01 #innovation

#4: Jessica Hagy: The Visual Grammar of Ideas :: Articles :: The 99 Percent #innovation http://post.ly/HcJL

#5: Should you be thinking about Enterprise 2.0 in 2010? http://cli.gs/th9me by @dahowlett > A rare, rare bit of optimism there #e20

#6: MITRE’s intranet, including its Spigit deployment, is named to Jakob Nielsen’s Top 10 Intranets for 2010: http://bit.ly/5jrgJY #e20

#7: RT @dhinchcliffe The K-factor Lesson: How Social Ecosystems Grow (Or Not) http://bit.ly/8aEQEQ

#8: RT @paujoral Great quote by @wimrampen: “the name of the (social networking) game is how to participate in knowledge flows”

#9: Just had to use the “Let Me Google That for You” site for a colleague: http://lmgtfy.com/

#10: This is both funny and so true: Effect of Bay Area earthquakes on Twitter traffic http://twitpic.com/x3c10 (h/t @louisgray)

Enterprise 2.0 Conference Gets All Social in Its Call for Papers

E2.0 Conference logo PNGThe Enterprise 2.0 Conference has opened its Call for Papers for the Boston 2010 show. And boy, it’s changing things up. In a good way.

The Conference is using Spigit to manage the collection and selection of proposals for sessions at the Boston event. What this does is make the whole process more transparent, shareable and collaborative. More on that in a minute. First…

Anyone remember what it was like to go through the session proposal process?

  • We’d submit our proposals into the SurveyMonkey tool. We then didn’t see them for a while.
  • Couldn’t get community feedback to improve your proposal prior to the start of the voting.
  • Once the voting began, there were 16 pages of proposed sessions. And each page had like 20 proposals on it. You couldn’t page ahead, so taking the survey was an onerous process.
  • If you have an interest in a specific category, it was impossible to drill down to just those proposed sessions in that category.
  • You couldn’t share specific proposals with others (“um…page forward to page 13…yeah, middle of the page…you see it?”).
  • You had to be ready to decide on every one of the proposals during your one login session, otherwise forget it.

My guess is that most people taking the survey read less than 25% of them. Just too painful.

The Enterprise 2.0 Call for Papers was clearly in need of some…Enterprise 2.0.

Now This Is How We Do It

Much is different in the Boston 2010 Call for Papers process. It’s a much more Enterprise experience for participants. In fact, let’s examine the new process under the FLATNESSES framework, introduced by Dion Hinchcliffe.

FLATNESSES

Freeform: Each proposed session is entered into an initially blank description field. It’s up to each person what to write. Links and formatting are available. Now there is some structure, as the Enterprise 2.0 Conference has some information it needs for every submission.

Links: Each proposal has its own link, making it shareable on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. Individuals will also have their own social profile, with a unique URL. Links can also be embedded inside each session proposal.

Authorship: All contributions – proposals, comments – on the Call for Papers are linked to the person who made them. This makes it easy to find people with relevant interests.

Tagging: Each submitted proposal can be tagged for extra context. These tags then become part of a tag cloud, and are individually searchable.

Network-oriented: In his blog post, Dion describes this element as “fully Web-oriented, addressable, and reusable”. That describes the proposals for Boston 2010 versus what they were in SurveyMonkey. RSS feeds allow users to follow the action off the site as well.

Extensions: “Extend knowledge by mining patterns and user activity.” The Spigit platform tracks myriad interactions among participants and content. These interactions are part of the wisdom of the crowd used in advancing proposals through the selection stages. The system will also let you know if a proposal potentially matches one you’ve entered.

Search: All proposals and users are searchable. In fact, there are numerous ways to search for proposals: keywords, tags, category, selection process stage, submitter, modification date and others.

Social: Every contribution is associated to a user, a great start for social transparency. Participants have their own profiles on the platform, making it easy for others to understand their background. Commenting is threaded, allowing different conversations to occur. Individuals can connect with one another on the platform, and see an activity stream for all their connections. Individuals can email one another through the platform (while not revealing the source email addresses).

Emergence: The entire philosophy of the platform is emergence. First, session proposals are posted from around the world, subject only to individuals’ initiative. The community then provides feedback, both extrinsic and intrinsic. The crowd rates the proposals (starting January 2010), which is lets the top proposals emerge for selection to the Boston 2010 Conference.

Signals: Following content and users is an important feature for the new Call for Papers process. RSS feeds can track categories, discussion forums and individual proposal changes. The activities of your social network of tracked, making it easy to jump in. Email notifications are also used to track these areas, in case that’s you preferred signal tool.

I’m looking to forward to seeing how the Enterprise 2.0 community leverages the FLATNESSES goodness in the new Call for Papers process. And you can read more about the different Enterprise 2.0 features of the site here.

So get hopping. Enter a proposal or take a look at what others have already submitted.

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