Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Het Nieuwe jaar, uw nieuwe werken

Het Nieuwe Werken is dé trend in Nederland op dit moment. YNNO nodigt u uit om met de start van het nieuwe jaar met elkaar uit te vinden hoe het nieuwe werken voor uw organisatie eruit kan zien.

Uw nieuwe werken dus!

Wilt u geïnformeerd worden of meedenken over uw nieuwe werken of gewoon vakgenoten ontmoeten die zich bezig houden met nieuwe manieren van werken binnen organisaties? Kom dan op 22 januari naar onze netwerkmeeting "uw nieuwe werken"

Tijdens deze netwerkmeeting duiken wij met u in de praktijkwereld van uw nieuwe werken. We bespreken:

  • hoe de digitale en fysieke werkomgevingen afgestemd worden op het werk dat in de organisatie uitgevoerd wordt
  • hoe in deze werkomgeving voor uw medewerkers tijd uitgespaard wordt op allerlei administratieve en informatiezoekende handelingen zodat zij meer tijd kunnen spenderen aan hun echte werk.
  • hoe een organisatie zich qua cultuur en management stijl kan voorbereiden om uw nieuwe werken goed te laten renderen
Als startpunt zetten wij een aantal trends neer, geven wij een voorzet voor de impact op organisaties. Vervolgens is het doel om gezamenlijk discussie te voeren, ideeën uit te wisselen, beelden te delen en ambities te bespreken. Hierbij is er volop ruimte om uw eigen onderwerpen aan te dragen. Het seminar is van en voor iedereen die betrokken is bij dit spannende thema.

Wat betekent het nieuwe werken concreet voor uw organisatie in het jaar 2009?

Uw Oude Werken

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Studytrip 2008

We are leaving for our bi-annual company studytrip! On our companion blog we will keep you up to date on our programme and key findings! Of course the biggest trends will be blogged about over here!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work and Mobile

Yesterday I was at momo#7 and although it was very interesting afterwards I figured out that this was beyond my borders of enterprise 2.0. At this moment in time mobility is more a consumer oriented movement and less a work related issue. Yuri van Geest hit this issue on the spot, although I suspect this was unintended. He mentioned that mobile has to be about fun and games and not about work. Implying that work is no fun. But I guess reading his twitter stream that he had lots of fun at work ;-) And all of us would agree that work had to be (more) fun!

I see two applications of mobile in the work area. The first is the use of consumer apps in a business setting. Booking a train on a mobile app (I did this on my way to momo), making a hotel reservation, using google maps on the iPhone to get to an appointment, etc. There are tuns of stuff people do in a business setting aswell as in a private setting.

The second application I see is the mobile access to the enterprise information systems. The most obvious is email, which is already used by lots of businesspeople. I already saw a iPhone app to use this piece of business software on a mobile device. I can access our sharepoint portal through my mobile, using a specific mobile URL. One of the design principles for web 2.0 is about the multidevice aspect. Webapps should be made for multiple apps including mobile to make more use of your app. I think that the same principle applies for enterprise 2.0, and that there is a great future for this principle!

So you see I am in discussion with myself on this topic! On the one hand moblie is more about consumer market than the business market but the chances are there! The topic of value in mobile is even harder in the business market. How can a company make a business case for using mobile devices and apps in a business context? Productivity and responstimes are likely to be better but to what extend? I am using an iPhone and I got the feeling I am more productive on the road, but find it hard to quantify this. On the other hand budgets on ICT are a lot bigger in the business world, so that will make a difference.

I am guessing we will see more and more mobile apps in a business context and people will love them! For my point of view of enterprise 2.0, I will just see it as a channel and leave the further development of this interesting movement to others, like the terrific momo crew! But I feel this subject will be continued even in this blog...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The changing role of the corporate intranet

The intranet used to be a way to communicate to your workforce about your company. This role is changing fast. The '2.0' movement on the internet is forcing companies to add more interaction to the intranet. Another factor is the move of allmost every enterprise information system to browser based clients. This blurs the line between the intranet and information systems.

The interaction component makes it possible to actually do work on the intranet. Most companies are moving to more knowledge intensive and collaborative work. And companies are using people from outside the company to add knowledge. This requires a environment that is accessible from all over the world and from multiple places inside and outside the office. An enterprise 2.0 environment is excellent to replace the current static intranet. A good enterprise 2.0 environment delevers capablilities to share knowledge and collaborate outside the company, inside and accross organizational borders.

The move to more browser based clients made by allmost every enterprise class information system (like SAP, Peoplesoft or Filenet) is blurring the borders between the intranet and makes it possible to have more integration. This integration is about adding links between pieces of content or forms or wathever. These links can be very valueble and timesaving. By linking every part of IT together it makes a true web of services and content inside the organization (i.e. an intanet!). This makes it possible to execute business processes on the corporate intranet.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Seminar videos

The videos of all the presentations at the Play Element of Learning Leadership seminar that I blogged about earlier are now available here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Learning Leadership Online?

It was an interesting experience to be part of the seminar on The Play Element of Learning Leadership in Amsterdam last Tuesday. It was a seamless combination of speakers and audiences in several locations: there were speakers and an audience in Amsterdam, speakers participating from North America with a video link and we had an audience in Second Life watching a video feed of the whole thing and asking questions. My congratulations to Eduverse for putting it all together.

Tony O'Driscoll came to us by video link to highlight the main points from the Seriosity/IBM reports that were central to this seminar. I followed up with a short keynote on the managerial relevance of games and especially game design. The most important part of the seminar was formed by the presentations of Utrecht University graduate students who had elaborated on the Seriosity/IBM reports. One of the main points of their research papers was that it is difficult to transfer elements of online games to organizations because the two domains are so different. This was further emphasized by David Williamson Shaffer, who pretty much took apart the Seriosity/IBM research by re-interpreting some of the figures in the report (after Tony O'Driscoll had virtually left the room, for which David apologized). His main point matched that of the students: isolated skills do not transfer well at all between different contexts. So no, you cannot learn to be a corporate leader from playing World of Warcraft because the two contexts (what David calls epistemic frames) don't match.

I tend to agree. My answer to that problem is to take one step back. To look at the game design instead of the game. And to see how you can apply game design to improve the design of organizations.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Play Element of Learning Leadership

I will be giving a short presentation on June 24th about Game Design for Managers at a seminar in Amsterdam organized by Utrecht University and IBM called The Play Element of Learning Leadership. The core of the seminar will be presentations of research done by graduate students at Utrecht University, who elaborated on the “Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders” report by Reeves and Malone. It will be streamed live on the internet and inworld in Second Life. Details about the stream (including the SLurl) will be announced here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston

This week I am at the enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, read all about it in our Studytrip blog at!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Game design for managers

The interest in design thinking for business managers is gathering momentum with an interesting article by Tim Brown (CEO of IDEO) in this month's Harvard Business Review. He gives a description of how design thinking can be used in developing products, services or strategies. It is closely related to work being done by Helen Fraser and others at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto. I especially liked their description of the role (non-physical) prototypes can play in the development of a strategy or a service.

What Marinka Copier and I would like to bring to the table is a more specific design approach for managers: that of game design. We are now at the point where we have developed a first version of an applied game design process that can be used for designing an organization structure or a business process. That is also where we take a slightly different direction than people like Brown and Fraser, who focus more on strategies, products and services. Whereas they take a client-centered approach, we look at the business process and take the perspective of the organizational actors in that process. The organization's goals and strategy are a starting point for us.

Why specifically game design? Because it is ultimately about designing meaningful behavior, and hopefully that is what we're trying to do in organizations as well. And since behavior cannot be designed directly - although some managers seem to thinks it can - game design has developed ways to deal with this "second-order design problem". The design process we have developed is adapted from the game design process as it is described by Tracy Fullerton. It consists of five steps.
The first step is setting the experience goals. In other words, which behavior, which way of working do we want to see in the organization?
The second step is envisioning the so-called core mechanism. This is where creativity is needed. What are the actions that the organizational actor(s) will be repeating most often, which should have the experience goals as an outcome?
The third step is building a representation of the core mechanism. This is the phase where you build the prototype, which borrows from techniques of paper prototyping developed for game design.
The fourth step is testing the prototype and adding rules to the system. This is the most important stage, where we should make sure rules are kept to a minimum and organizational preconditions do not hold back an innovative design. The process we are designing should meet the three core design principles of discernability, integration (Salen & Zimmerman's concept of meaningful play) and recoverable loss.
The final step is refinement, where you make sure the "playable" prototype meets the original experience goals.
The central element of this approach is working with the paper prototype and constantly adapting it in a number of iterations. But there is of course much more to say about this process, such as the techniques involved in the different steps and the ways in which mechanisms observed in games can be used as inspiration in the design process. We'll be talking about it at the EGOS Conference in July as well as individually with organizations that have expressed an interest in field testing this methodology. These field experiments are crucial in moving this methodology forward, refining it and judging its effects.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why not start now with Enterprise 2.0?

After a discussion friday with two collegues I wanted have my own wiki and blog up and running on my laptop. I wanted to show interested people how easy this is and tell from my own experience how easy installation was. On saturday I started downloading Wordpress (a blog), on sunday I installed Apache (a webserver), MySQL (a database) and PHP (a scipting engine) and got Wordpress up and running. While I was busy I downloaded and installed MediaWiki (the same wiki software as wikipedia). I guess I spent 8 hours this weekend to get everything up and running. The most part was searching for some help online to solve some issues but I tackled them all. Total cost in cash for this setup was 0 euro's.

The only thing holding you back will be an IT manager concerned with company standards, security policy or open source problems. These issues can be very true and maybe hard to tackle. Some other products are around at a cost to get you started but the most simple way is the one I described above. Sharepoint Services is for free if you have a windows server, which gets you blogs, wiki's and teamsites!

This stuff is out there for free and support is online. Documentation and source code is for free so you can adapt to your wishes. A small server and a very small amount of IT knowledge is needed to get it roling.

If you cannot convince your boss, give me a call (tweet, email or something like that) and we will figure it out!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 conference in The Netherlands

Tomorrow is the second E2.0 conference in The Netherlands. A great line-up with Andrew McAfee and Ross Mayfield among others will bring some great insights! A number of cases are on the menu and we will get an idea about the adoption in The Netherlands. I will be talking about a project we did at Alfa-college in Groningen. Together with a colleague, we will discuss this project from initial thought by the board until the technology hit the floor. Trying to figure out which part of the day is most interesting is actually useless, every topic from keynote to case study seems very interesting.


Will we be able to get more understanding on adoption of E2.0? What will be the mayor trends in The Netherlands in E2.0 the next years? Which technologies will succeed and which will fail (don't worry about failure, it is the only way to knowledge!).


To get into the mood I already published my slides for tomorrow!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Presentation at Game Research Lab Spring Seminar

This is the presentation that Marinka Copier and I gave yesterday at the Game Research Lab Spring Seminar in Tampere, Finland. Overall it was a high quality seminar with interesting papers and fruitful discussions.

With regards to our presentation, I would say that people in the game studies community are curious as well as hopeful about the application of game design principles in education and organizations. On a conceptual level, there are some issues with our approach that were discussed. I will not bother you with those here. Some members of the audience wondered why we look at game design in specific as a source of inspiration. What is wrong with traditional organization design, they asked. One of the problems is, of course, that these traditional organizational structures are not fitting anymore for our current (network) society and for the new generation entering the labor market. Also, there has traditionally been a tendency towards "overdesign" in organizations (describing and prescribing everything down to the smallest procedure). Game designers know that this doesn't work and have developed ways around this problem.

However, what we took away from those discussions is that the time has come to test our ideas in the field and come back with some case studies. Conceptually, we have gone as far as we can go.

What was interesting to note is that not everyone agrees that interesting and new types of behavior can be observed in World of Warcraft. Almost diametrically opposed to our view was a presentation by Stef Aupers and Dick Houtman of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Based on their research, they argued that the social pressure experienced by team leaders in World of Warcraft was indicative of bureaucratic structures being imported into this environment. However, one of the commentators pointed out that you could also interpret their results as an indication of bottom-up organizations: the fact that the team members have so much power causes stress for the team leaders.

One of the most important questions that kept going through my head while listening to the different presentations was: how can you design an environment inside an organization that creates room to fail and thus allows for trial-and-error? Because that seems to be both one of the most promising as well as one of the most difficult things that game design has to offer to other domains. Promising because trial-and-error means (organizational) learning and innovation. Difficult because it is the game context itself that creates the necessary safe environment for this behavior. Here is a little insight into how Blizzard (the company behind World of Warcraft) deals with this. But there were many other ideas related to this that came up during this seminar and that Marinka and I will be exploring further. And more importantly, that we'll be testing out in the field later this year.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Enteprise 2.0, an adhoc or a strategic approach

What do you do? Choose a adhoc approach to enterprise 2.0 and just let it happen in your company or choose a more strategic approach and build an enterprise wide platform? The AIIM report is very clear, an enteprise wide approach will get the best results. Because everybody uses the same platform it is far more easier to find your stuff and collaborate with everyone. Think about the problems you get using three project collaboration platforms inside your company. Due to the three platforms your projects will be set in silo's and projectteams will be formed by the platform and not the capabilities of each teammember.

But do you have to roll out to every part of your organization. When you truely believe in the wisdom of the crowds you have to give everybody access to the enterprise 2.0 platform. But enterprise 2.0 will only be used by knowledge and collaboration intensive parts of your comapny. Not everybody will use it so why give them access? These other parts just need other platforms and applications to do their jobs.

Another thought on this is that the adhoc approach is the ultimate user control. Everybody in the enteprise can just start an enterprise 2.0 application and look what happens. The need for integration will come eventually and then it will get done.

In rolling out culture is a very important factor. Digital work and enteprise 2.0 is more culture then technology. Almost everybody uses office applications and stores documents on a network drive, but is this digital working and are you ready to really use an enterprise 2.0 platform?

I think a strategic approach to the right parts of your organization will yield the most benefits. Culture must be ready to even start with this enterprise wide!

What do you think? Let me know and lets discuss this!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Defining Enterprise 2.0

I just want to take a moment to look at the definition of Enterprise 2.0. At the moment I am reading the AIIM report on Enterprise 2.0 and the first section is about defining Enterprise 2.0. The definition they come up with is:

A system of Web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence, and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise

The definition is the product of the surveyresults and the discussion with the advisory panel. The survey gave people a choice to select the best definition out of a range. In that range no single definition got a clear lead over the other. One of the choices was the definition Andrew McAfee gave in his article in SMR, whitch only got 12& of the votes. The two top definitions do not really give an idea about what Enterprise 2.0 is. The top definition was
the application of Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise
This definition only focusses on technology and leaves the big question what Web 2.0 is! The number two definition is
The next generation of Enterprise Content Management
This is not true since ECM will be a part of the whole platform and has a great and sustainable function in the architecture of enterprise IT.

The discussion about the definition was very nice to read and really ads to the understanding about why this definition came up. This way you get the sense you actually listen to those guys talking and brainstorming.

I think it is a pity the term social (or something like that) did not make it to the definition. I guess it is hidden in the collaboration, emergence and integration capabilities. Another thing about the definition is the focus on technology. The report also stresses that culture is a factor in E2.0. Maybee it is still true that E2.0 is a technology that is part of a larger movement. This movement could be a digital workstyle that is being adopted be a larger growing number of people.

In this lifestyle people are always connected and the difference between work and life is blurring. Being part of social networks is very important and collaboration is king. Syndication of communication channels is imperative to get the grip on all the relevant content. Leadership and management are transparant, democratic and about cultivating and coordinating.

In short the Enteprise 2.0 defintion at the moment is great and I think it has to be part of a larger digital workstyle. Technology is just one part of the puzzle and there are many parts of the puzzle.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What does FREE mean to your company?

In this months WIRED magazine Chris Anderson answers the question 'why $0.00 is the future of business'. His new book is going to be 'FREE' and will be published in 2009. This article is the introduction of the book.

In the article Chris talks about the way business is going to give away their products to customers. He outlines a big difference between free and cheap. When a product is cheap the buyer still has to make a decision to buy. When a product is free no decision is made and the buyer just starts using the product. One of the bigger models at the moment in the webbased world is the regular versus the premium product. The regular product is free to everyone and the premium product is available at a cost. Only 1% buys the premium but that is enough to make a profit for the company. The total operating costs of a company are realy low. Today in the online world storage and distribution are virtually free. The time it takes to start a product is almost nothing. You can make a new website or application is one day or two weeks. This is nothing compared to traditional software development cycles of more than 6 months. These companies do not employ hunderds of people. In the same issue of wired there is example, 37signals, who only employ 10 people and serve 1.000.000 customers!

If your company is going to give away some products, every strategy in your company has to be revised. You have to start using cheap production methods and knowledge management tools (eg. Enterprise 2.0 platforms). Make decisions about what products to give away and what products to sell at which price. Where are my people going to work, do I need an office? There are so many questions rising about this theme. I think it is going to set the trend for business the next years. At least in the webbased business, media and entertainment and other types of business who profit from free distribution and storage!

I already got a copy of 'The Future of Management' by Gary Hamel. I think this book and FREE are going to be complementary! The combination is going to set the standards for marketing and management in the future.

When I finished Gary Hamel's book, I will talk about the combination some more. Do you agree? What do you think about the FREE article? I would like to read your comments.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Long live the Taxonomy

In our last post Robbert and I ended with the conclusion that:

"we realized that E2.0 and current mechanisms that are present in the digital world of working, aren't competing, but are complementary"

Yesterday I read an AIIM post on the "SharePoint Effect". This effect is in my opinion a perfect example of organisations not seeing this complementary nature of Digital Order and Digital Freedom. In an earlier post I made I pointed out that E2.0 and it's mechanisms is a perfect "Add on" for the Current Information Architecture.

So, the taxonomy is alive and kicking?

Yes, but differently. With mechanisms to help you structure (or, I'd rather say, facilitate) unstructured knowledge intensive processes, Information managers, Enterprise Architects and others experts in the field, don't have to "Engineer The World" in advance into a repository. Parts of the organisation processes are fuzzy, messy. My opinion: don't try to make it otherwise. There's nothing wrong with Chaos. As long as it emerges within a well established framework. The result: Control AND Collaboration

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Twitter supports knowledge networking

Knowing who has the knowledge is more important then have the knowledge yourself. This businessrule we often hear in our interviews with customers. An the other hand we see that networkingplatforms are growing every day outside the companies (linkedin, xing ed.).

But how can we use both trends useful for our organisations so that we achieve a sort of knowledge network in the organisation? So that employees are knowing from each other which knowledge is available in the organisation. Who knows what?

An other trend that we observe is that people more and more working in networks. When people are working for your organisation they use their own network to get the job done, but they also enlarge their netwerk with new contacts outside of your organisation. So it seems also important to keep also the network alive when employee’s leaving the organisation? The people who leave the organisation have specific knowlegde, they also are a part of the network of the employees who are still working for you and the leaving employee has a network that is interesting for the organisation (a part of the network is build up in your organisation).

We think that twitter can help the organisation to combine the trends in a positive way for the organisation. Twitter can help to:

  • get many twitter friends and followers to get everyone involved (it is very easy to become friends)
  • read what your friends are doing and what is on their mind to get more knowledge or ideas form the twitter network
  • have an easy and fase way to get to know your coworkers and be known by the existing group
  • blur the organizational borders, twitter networks do not care about your job. So if you stop working somewhere you can still be part of the network
  • get to know new people and take a peek into their thoughts, so you can get new ideas and knowledge.

Is it hard to get above avantage? We think it is not, the implementation of the twitter-technology is a small change on your intranet. The most work will be to explain the value of the knowlegde network and the reason to twitter to your employees. But the most of them are using networkplatforms outside the company, so why would the change be big?

In the above situation, twitter is used as a social software but then applied in a business context. What are your thoughts on this subject? We would love to hear!

This post was made by @hendri_ende and @robberthomburg

Friday, March 7, 2008

@Enterprise 2.0 Summit

Last Tuesday Vincent and I attended the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Hannover, Cebit 2008. See the Flickr pictures for an impression. At you can read the summaries of most sessions. It was an excellent summit with a packed programme. Especially the speakers Euan Semple, Dion Hinchcliffe and Jenny Ambrozek inspired us and gave us impression into the effects and implications of E2.0.

It's great to get inspired by visionary images and to see the best practices from the field (Sul Campo, with thanks to Diego Gianetti from BTicino for an excellent example). We at YNNO get our main energy and drive when we use this input and try to see past the Hype, the through the vision and above the tool set.

E2.0: What are the mechanisms that drive this paradigm, what organizational challenges might it have an answer for when it is mature?

Amongst other aspects, the presentation of Jenny gave us an aha-erlebnis on this part. It showed that the mechanisms of E2.0 mainly fit within the highly complex processes and positions itself between the "holes of the current tools" of organizations. Meaning: it doesn't "do" structured processes. The tool must fit the purpose... In organizations you can see tools at use. When looking at the content in these tools you can see if the tool fits the purpose and which tool should be used. Analyzing the holes between tools you can choose where to start with offering new tools!

A crucial factor for the success of this Social Platform is that it has to become socially accepted and widely used. Reed's law and the Network Effect where key elements discussed during the summit. Enterprise 2.0 tools being social software could benefit from the network effect. The more people use the tool the better it gets. This combined with social network analysis the adoption of new tools can be made very successful (of course this is just one factor!). Picking the right people to start and thus making the network effect work for the adoption!

In conclusion, we realized that E2.0 and current mechanisms that are present in the digital world of working, aren't competing, but are complementary:

- Organizational Network Analysis and Enterprise 2.0

- Ontology's, Taxonomies and Enterprise 2.0

- Enterprise Search and Enterprise 2.0

In our next post we will tell more about our separate but synergistic fields of interest!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Update on the Learning From Games initiative

I decided to do a quick post as an update on the Learning From Games platform that Marinka Copier and I started last year. What we are working on at the moment is a format for a "gaming lab workshop" (working title) that could be used to tackle organizational problems using game design principles. However, it will take some time to get everyone on the same page about this and to agree on a format that we can experiment with. Bear with us. This is pioneering work.

Two abstracts that Marinka and I submitted were accepted. We will be presenting "The Play Element of Learning: Taking Serious Games Beyond the Magic Circle" at the Breaking the Magic Circle seminar in Tampere, Finland in April (where I participated last year as well). And we will present "The Power of Play: How Game Design Can Upset Organizations" at the Upsetting Organizations conference in Amsterdam in July. So we will be presenting our view on the analogy between game design and organization design to both sides. That should make for some interesting discussions.

Today I was interviewed by Alan Majer of New Paradigm (that's Don Tapscott's company). They are doing a research report for their clients on what enterprises can learn from multiplayer games. Besides myself they have spoken to people like Nick Yee and John Seely Brown. It was an interesting conversation, because Alan proved to have a very thorough understanding of the subject matter and the issues at play. We could get straight to the point and discuss topics such as comparing game design and organization design. We talked at length about how the design principles that cause this remarkable behavior in environments such as World of Warcraft could be applied in an organizational setting.

Apparently the right questions are slowly seeping into the minds of business leaders. I'd better get back to work on finding the answers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Overtagging is not a virtue

Recently I used Flickr to search for some beautiful photo's. I used different tags and indeed I found amazing pictures. What I also notices was that the photographs Flickr returned didn't always correspond with the tag I used to find them (for instance, use the tag "search").

This notion got me wondering. If you tag an article, photo, blog, et cetera, there are always tags that are in the bulls-eye and there are tags that are in the outer ring. The underlying principle: the more tags you add, the more likely the chance of finding the tagged item.

This is true, but in information retrieval there's always a trade off between Precision and Recall. What you want is high on both (get exactly what you want, and a lot of it), but that's difficult to achieve. As a matter of fact: the more outer ring tags there are, the more noise you get. If every user gives an abundance of tags, the noise gets bigger. Tom Gruber used two pictures in a presentation, that explains this quite beautifully.

"Noisy" Tagging

"Clear" Tagging

Folksonomies thrive on the abundance of tagging, but can there be a thing as "overtagging"? Is there a zero-sum game in tagging that leads to a higher recall, but lower precision?

Conceptual Search engines like Collexis give you the opportunity to score the tag for relevance, thus letting the user sit behind the driver seat for the weighing factors. I'm not familiar with the algorithm used by Flickr, but whether or not it weighs the tags for relevance, I do think that overtagging is not a virtue. If each user tags its items "as spot on as possible", the total tagosphere would prosper from it.

Does this mean that Flickr should build a Taxonomy of Tags? No, it doesn't (that's old paradigm thinking), it's just that to much of something is never a good thing. What it does mean is that their should be a governance structure to the tagosphere that lets it grow as emergent as possible, but not out of bounds.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Davos Question Going Dutch

Last week, from the 23rd until the 27th, the annual World Economic Forum took place in Davos Switzerland, entitled: The Power of Collaborative Innovation. The Forum conducted an experiment with YouTube, asking people from around the world to answer "The Davos Question"What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?
More than 2 million people took part, and business, government and civil society leaders from the Annual Meeting posted replies. Among those submitting video responses: President Shimon Peres of Israel; President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal; President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan; former US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger; and rock star Bono.

An interesting development! What would happen if the the Davos Question goes Dutch? Let's say for instance that the Dutch government poses an open ended positive question to it's citizens like (par example) "what do you think should be the main ambitions of our country to make it even better?". In our opinion, it should be open ended so that the reactions can be as diverse as possible. It should be a positive question because it creates a positive spiral effect (the Self-fulfilling prophecy), just like a negative does ("recession thinking").
If 1% would react, that would mean approximately 160.000 people. The result would be a "sentiment of the people of Holland". This doesn't mean the government gives up control on who's leading the country. What it does mean that it creates another channel in which it's connected with it's citizens.

So why is this channel different and what makes YouTube a good choice? Video is a "real medium", you see real people saying real things. You can see their emotion and get your own feelings going. A questionnaire, in comparison, does not have this added value. When "23%" of the people think climate change is important you do not feel anything. When 200 people post video's crying that the world of their children is ruined, you feel the pain and want to act. YouTube is one of the most popular websites at the moment, because of the added value it has (amongst others). Positive side effect is that video postings are not anonymous, your face is on screen. If that is not the case, no one will watch your video! Besides that Youtube has a function to flag video's as inappropriate so people can 'remove' video's when people make offensive video's, so misconduct is taken care off.
With YouTube you can make a great combination using tags on video postings. These tags can generate a tagcloud of feelings or issues that are hot at the moment. An aggregation which results in "the sentiment", realtime. Everybody can view what is hot and what is not! And this is available right now, it is virtually free and it is available for everybody with a computer and broadband (75% in The Netherlands according to CBS in nov 07).

Get the conversation going! If you open up this channel you have to respond to get the conversation going. The World Economic Forum did just that. In a fictive example for instance, the Dutch government could use video messages for existing classical communication channels: during political programs on TV or debating the hot topics in parliament; as well as leaving a comment on YouTube. Make it a business-as-usual input-channel. The World Economic forum started this conversation around a conference and it is still going. Once you start the conversation just keep going, why stop? If the question is good enough the answers will change over time but the question stays hot! If this really goes Dutch, we'll dive a litter deeper into the critical success factors.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

YNNO meets Israel

Yesterday Robbert and I had a meeting with Sagi Chemetz, CEO of Blink, an Israeli consultancy firm on Enterprise 2.0. Sagi was on a vacation trip to Amsterdam and had time to visit us in Amersfoort. We talked for two hours about Enterprise 2.0, our companies, projects and the concepts. The main conclusion is that our visions on Enterprise 2.0 are different because of our starting point; actually quite complementary. Blink is a company who looks from a communications and PR point of view. YNNO looks at Enterprise 2.0 from a Knowledge Management perspective. Blink focuses on the outside of a company, we look at the inside.

Our main topic buzzed around the opinion that Blogging is a good way to start interaction within a company, outside-in as well as inside-out. We concluded that this could have big consequences for its internal operations, with big reputation risks! Introducing a blogging mechanism means relatively little IT investment (compared to for instance a corporate wide ECM implementation), but a relative huge change in the attitude of an organization. We discussed potential reputation risks of introducing E2.0 in one of our earlier posts.

In retrospect of our meet-up, it's good to see that the 2.0 technology is in fact an excellent accelerator for people to connect, from all over the world. Our encounter yesterday was the proof of concept. It's not just about technology, but about connecting people, sharing different idea's and the likes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So, Why do we bookmark socially?

The post my colleague Robbert published yesterday got me wandering. I totally agreed on his conclusions, but I couldn't help but ask myself the question: why do we act so socially nowadays? Twitter,, et cetera.... What ever happened to the ancient paradigm Knowledge = Power? And ask the expert, he knows best?

Well, my thoughts aligned quite quickly on this one and to say it frank: this paradigm is gone. Nowadays, it's about Knowledge Sharing = Power. Probably this "new" paradigm was there "in the old days" all along. It's just that, with the entrance of the Web 2.0 platform, the threshold for it to establish itself in full force has vanished.

Robbert explained the meritocracy principle already quite excellently in his last post. I want to dive a little deeper: it's excellent to have good UFC, but, why does one want to be a good knowledge broker?

First, in my opinion, it's because the networked society, demands us to be. It just not enough to have published so many articles in (1.0) magazines. The merits you get are more and more coming from the blogosphere. If you're not there, you're lagging behind. You're still an expert, but a far higher percentage of users "read" the Internet, than they read the magazines. You have to do the math 1.0 + 2.0 to get the synergy going. Otherwise, you're just not visible.

Secondly, the expert, or "the Einstein" who sits at his desk inventing and creating innovation is being overtaken by the crowd. Not because the expert doesn't know, but because the crowd always knows. And know they can get together easily. Therefor, when you share, co-create, jump in, you, in reverse get shared with, are connected to en tied into the crowd that knows. No expert can ever "beat" that. As a matter of fact, just that last sentence is very "old paradigm"-like. It's about mass collaboration.

Does this mean the "expert" is gone? No, it doesn't. The "expert" is just tied to a strong network. The expert can become a primary knowledge broker quite naturally. Their blogs and twitters a read more frequently.

Does this mean that we should all connect to everyone and all become a heavy knowledge broker? No as well. Social Bookmarking is about being social. Just as you pick out your friends, you pick out your brokers. Your social network isn't an automatic aggregation of people. If you do that, just use an aggregator like Digg. Thus, your network will grow socially due time, naturally evolving into the blogosphere of your interest.

If you're reading this and thinking "Hmm, so what's new about this?"; then you're 2.0-certified. If you're reading this an thinking "Well that makes sense!"; then you're 2.0-certified. I just wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

User Filtered Content is great!

Sunday I was trying to make sense of a remark Marcel de Ruiter made when we met last November. He said that having a social network was a great way to filter out important information. On sunday I did not get my thoughts right but today I saw a post on User Filtered Content from Ross Dawson and everything made sense!

Besides all the automatic or semi automatic filtering options Andrew Mcafee describes in SLATES a completely human filtering option is a great asset to the bundle. When to take into account who is liking what, you get a far better view of information. Example: I follow a few people on Twitter because I think they are interesting for me and I find links to conferences I did not hear about from another source. Delicious is another fine example. I follow my collegue Vincent amongst others. I can see his links and evaluate if they are relevant for me to. Almost all his links are relevant for me and thus he is one of my filters on information.

This way of filtering gets far better results than a search on google, a search on google is not filtered for what my friends or coworkers like! Extensions like Amazon delivers to me are from everybody in the world. Amazon supposes that if I read a book and most people also buy another book I might be interested. This would be more accurate if this is corrected for the people with the same interests. These people will be in social networks!

The reason this works lies in the meritocracy principles of the internet. On the internet we give more credits to people how say and do smart stuff than to people how only talk about saying and doing smart stuff. The people who get more merits from a person will be a great filter. The giving of merits is very personal. Vincent my coworker can get more merits than a professor in college.

Conclusion is the UFC is a great filter to have on information. The more people you 'use' as a filter the better. UFC must always be used in combination with other filters so the information that gets through the filters is of higher quality. To prevent a kind of groupthink you should sometimes get rid of all the filters and just surf around a bit! This gets you fresh ideas and another look at the world.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

levels @ enterprise 2.0

There are so many topics around about enterprise 2.0. I am trying to make some kind of aggregation of all the information. When you look from an organizational unit perspective I see three levels:

- personal
- team
- organization

The personal level is about how does one knowledge worker work. What tools and principles does he apply in modern day work. The meet charlie presentation is a great example! I think Lifehacking and GTD are great ways to improve productivity (the formost objective in enterprise 2.0). I know GTD is not about web apps but it is a great way to work more efficient. Office 2.0 is an example what enterprise 2.0 at the personal level is all about, a list of tools is at the office 2.0 database. Be warned because these tools are a mix of all levels.

The team level is about collaborating with others. Social networking, wiki's, online office, projectspaces are key topics in this area. Some are closely related to the personal level. Teamwork is significantly different because it is about working together and the personal level is solely about the work of one person. So google docs is primarily about teamwork, because sharing documents online with others is the best feature in google docs. Why edit a document in google docs without sharing it with others?

The last level is corporate level. The corporate challenge is to get principles in play like perpetual beta, emergent structures, openness. Thus giving a platform to workers and facilitating knowledge processes. Company level is more about the big principles and enterprise class tools.

In a company that wants to adress enterprise 2.0 you have to take on each level, because the combination will produce more productivity! If you have only organizational level enterprise 2.0 solutions in place but no solutions at the individual worker level you will miss out. They will have great ways to filter in the enterprise class content but still drown in email!

The levels are off course no chinese walls but an insight to thinking about your solutions in your company!

How do you look at enterprise 2.0, do you look at this form the same perspective or another?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Everything is Miscellaneous, or is it?

Enterprise 2.0 is (amongst other things) about iconic labels such as emergent, tagging, folksonomies, social bookmarking and, you could say, a new paradigm everything is miscellaneous. The third order of order. This pattern is evolving and blogs, books and webinars are picking up the pace. Does this mean that enterprises should loosen up and "Give up control"?

BPM focuses on identifying, designing, implementing and managing business processes within an organization. The realm of ECM focuses on achieving a centralized, structured, transparent and compliant (and more) digital working environment
. Combined, you could say the ambition of BPM and ECM is an organization being in control of what they do, how they do it and improving on that continuously. "Being in control"!

At first glance E2.0 and BPM/ECM sound quite like a paradox. But are they? In my opinion, they aren’t. James Surowiecki gives a beautiful hint of this in its bestseller the Wisdom Of Crowds. You need both structured centralization (or as he says "aggregation") and unstructured (or niche-structured) decentralization. Explicitly: you can give op control in the niches of work, but you have to remain in control at the centre of it; as a whole.

As a matter of fact, the basis of giving up control is first of all having enough of it. The structured repositories of information, materialized through the implemented business processes, gives an organization a jumping platform to dive into the unstructured world. It's the next step in digital working. After getting grip on these structured processes, what's left are the unstructured ones. The characteristics of these processes are collaborative, knowledge intensive and highly unpredictable. Just suitable for E2.0 concepts.

What I find fascinating is trying to identify the design principles, or main beliefs, of the new Enterprise 2.0 concepts and identify the consequences of the digital working environment of today, 1.0. Bridging the gap between then and now.

An example thereof is implementing a social bookmarking principle for search an retrieval on top of the established taxonomies and metadata schemas for archival, process management and compliancy purposes. The result: best of both worlds. The organization is in charge of it’s processes and the team of three individuals somewhere within the company can find their specialized information the way they want to; the workforce cumulatively establishing a layer of social tags on top of the existing and rigid taxonomies.

Summarizing: not all is miscellaneous, but then everything could be.