The FLIRT model of Crowdsourcing / Collective Customer Collaboration

Wed, 2007-02-28 00:15.

Sami Vittamäki , a business graduate from the Helsinki School of Economics is working on his Master Thesis and has just released an interesting overview on the structure and semantics of crowdsourcing models. The "FLIRT" model defines three groups and positions them according their activity and involvement rom the core to an inner and an outer ring. The second scale elaborates on the typical elements found in collective collaborative environments: Facilities, Languange, Incentives, Rules and Tools.



I would say, this approach is very much in line with the post of Bradley Horowitz , VP of product strategy at Yahoo! about the three main groups, that can be found on social networks: Creators, Synthesizers, and Consumers

The levels in the pyramid represent phases of value creation. As an example take Yahoo! Groups.

  • 1% of the user population might start a group (or a thread within a group)
  • 10% of the user population might participate actively, and actually author content whether starting a thread or responding to a thread-in-progress
  • 100% of the user population benefits from the activities of the above groups (lurkers)

Citizen Media: The rise and prospects of hyperlocal journalism

Wed, 2007-02-21 09:41.

J-Lab, the Institute for Interactive Journalism, just released a study, that gives a comprehensive overview on the emerging forms of participatory journalism:

Table of Contents
Introduction by Jan Schaffer

Chapter 1: The Big Picture
• Chapter Introduction
• About the Study
• Hyperlocal Diversity
• Defining Citizen Media
• Common Characteristics
• Having Impact

Chapter 2: Mapping Citizen Media Models
• Chapter Introduction
• Community Cooperatives
• Trained Citizen Journalist Sites
• Professional Journalist Non-profit Sites
• Professional Journalist For-profit Sites
• Blog Aggregator Sites
• Syndicated Multi-site Models
• Legacy Media Sites
• Solo Enterprise Non-profit Sites
• Solo Enterprise For-profit Sites

Chapter 3: Creating Content
• Chapter Introduction
• To Edit or Not
• Mission Statements
• Getting Back What You Put Out
• Reverse Publishing: From Web to Print

Chapter 4: Building Interest
• Chapter Introduction
• Starting Out
• Offering Feedback
• Expanding Coverage
• Assigning the Job
• Building on Brands

Chapter 5: Making Money
• Chapter Introduction
• Bluffton Today
• Wicked Local
• New West
• Village Soup
• Backfence
• Baristanet
• Voice of San Diego

Chapter 6: Charting Success, Sustainability
• Chapter Introduction
• Community Sites
• New Media Companies
• Old Media Companies
• Wish Lists

Appendix:
Methodology
Who Participated in 31 In-depth Interviews?
Who Participated in the Survey?

http://www.kcnn.org/research/citizen_media_report/

The Del.icio.us Lesson - Personal Value Precedes Network Value

Tue, 2006-05-09 22:45.

When it comes to successful examples of Web 2.0 social networking services many people see Del.icio.us and Flickr as the primary candidates. Their stunning success influenced all sorts of business models for start-ups, that are being built around the idea of generating network effects through social software architecture to create both value for the user and revenues for the providing service. However some business plans might be at risk looking at their role models from a different perspective:

The one major idea behind the Del.icio.us Lesson is that personal value precedes network value. What this means is that if we are to build networks of value, then each person on the network needs to find value for themselves before they can contribute value to the network. In the case of Del.icio.us, people find value saving their personal bookmarks first and foremost. All other usage is secondary.

As people use Del.icio.us more, and in order to gain more personal value, they use tags to be able to find their bookmarks later. Tagging isn’t even the primary function of Del.icio.us. Most of the tagging done on Del.icio.us is done secondarily, and for personal use.

The social value of tags on Del.icio.us is only a happy side-effect. Even though most of the ink spilled about Del.icio.us is about the social value, it’s really not the reason why people use it.

Similar to Google aggregating links that were originally created for taking readers from one document to another, Del.icio.us can aggregate tags in order to find out how people value content. If 1,000 people save and tag the same bookmark, for example, that’s a good sign that they find value in it. But to think that people tag so that this information can be aggregated is to give people a trait of altruism they just don’t possess.

Joshua Porter is a keen observer of design and technology trends associated with the emergence of Web 2.0 and for those interested in these topics his writings are highly recommended.

The law of locality

Mon, 2006-03-27 19:42.

People and information want to be closer. When planning where to put capacity, network designers are guided by the law of locality; this law states that network traffic is at least 80 percent local, 95 percent continental and only 5 percent intercontinental. Between 1997 and 1999, for example, 30 percent of al U.S. Internet traffic never crossed the national infrastructure but stayed within a local metropolitan network.

It might be a bit misleading to take this quote from John Thackaras Book "In the Bubble" as a proof for the relevance of local information. The principle of locality in this context refers more to the design and construction of network services using redundant resources that are geographically distributed across the internet.

However the law of locality can also be applied to various other contexts:

Complex adaptive systems and swarm logic heavily rely on local interaction that leads to global group behaviour. Even in multinational process networks local business ecosystems build the dynamic nodes of activity.

Toyota defines locality as a key factor for securing quality within their lean production system. The closer the employee is to the source of a problem the quicker he is able to observe it and take immediate action. This leads to the possible situation, that a single worker can halt a whole production line, if he notices a critical quality issue.

Locality even doesn´t have to be connected to a physical place, like online-communities and social networks that provide a sense of presence and nearness as well.

But all examples have in common, that the context of locality provides a higher degree of responsiveness and connectivity, which leads to higher efficiency.

 

"Are you enjoying globalization yet?"

Sun, 2006-01-29 22:51.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Vice President for Technical Strategy and Innovation at IBM comments on an interesting article (pdf) published by Mercer Management Consulting:

"Globalization is changing the nature of competition and value creation in ways more subtle and fundamental than simply cost. By incubating scores of new business models that can unseat established companies, globalization is creating opportunities for new value creation and highly profitable growth at the two ends of the value chain––new customer connections at one end and new models of innovation at the other."

"Globalization makes strong business designs stronger, and weak business designs weaker. That’s true in part because new competitors from all corners of the globe are combining low cost and high technology to build market share very quickly."

In a world where customers have more and more choices from a vast array of increasingly commoditized products and services, highly personalized customer connections are a company's best opportunity for differentiation. Products and services might be commodities, but you never, ever want your customers to feel like they too are just commodities. A successful business will make each of its clients feel special by understanding and addressing their unique requirements.

This presents a seeming paradox: the more global and commoditized the economy, the more local and personal the customer relationship must become to ward off competition. This is not easy. It requires a deeper knowledge and more specific management of distinct customer types and segments, "a new game - call it the Cambrian explosion of new segments - with new rules" the article says. A business has to be very good at market segmentation and at serving those markets as efficiently as possible.

While multinational firms will have to learn again to "think local" for global competitive reasons it also gives great opportunities for flexible regional companies, that are really closer to their markets to find a sustainable niche for their products and services or to integrate into specialized innovation networks.

42 Signals

Sun, 2006-01-29 20:59.

Talking about Manifestos: Isn´t it an interesting coincidence that some concepts which have gained momentum lately follow quite similar patterns:

Bruce Mau Design: An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

37 Signals - How to make big things happen with small teams (pdf)
Less people, more power
Less money, more value
Less resources, better use
Less time, better time

Manifesto for Agile Software Development
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

The Cluetrain Manifesto
Markets are Conversations

 

We Media 2.0

Wed, 2006-01-18 10:17.

Although we see the term "hyperlocal" more as describing a fundamental paradigm shift rather than just narrowing it down to a definition of Citizen Journalism, the media sector still remains an important part of the global picture in this context.

One of the most influential publications in that area was the research report We Media: How audiences are shaping the future of news and information, commissioned by The Media Center and The American Press Institute in 2003.

Since then Participatory Media gained huge traction with emerging tools and establishing platforms. Consequently the authors Chris Willis and Shayne Bowman decided, it´s time for an update on the state of the news industry in 2006. The article "The future is here, but do News Media companies see it?" has a good overview on that topic.

Additionally the authors announced an updated version of the report We Media 2.0 to be published in January.

Brand Eins: Schwerpunkt Komplexität

Sat, 2006-01-07 13:42.

...Das Wort "kompliziert" stammt vom lateinischen complicare, das bedeutet: verwickelt, verflochten, undurchsichtig. Das Komplizierte ist ein Knäuel, in dem kein Zusammenhang erkennbar ist. "Komplexität" kommt hingegen von complexus. Es steht für die Begriffe "umfassen" und "flechten". Komplexität ist also das Ganze, der Zusammenhang...
Zum Artikel

brand eins, issue 01, January 2006
Schwerpunkt Komplexität

The shift from a complicated to a complex world

Fri, 2005-11-18 11:43.

A synopsis of a recent breakfast meeting with Dave Snowden, head of the Cynefin Centre and thought leader on complex systems and narrative and their application in business.

As he described his learnings and discoveries about complex adaptive systems and how pervasive they are in our business and personal lives, I began to realize that appreciating enterprises, organizations and systems as (mostly) complex rather than merely complicated is more than just a basis for re-framing business methodologies, it is a completely different way of sensing and dealing with the world. It changes everything. Here are just a few of the extraordinary paradigm shifts that this reframing provokes:

Complicated World Complex World
Assumption of order ("research this to find out if there's a market for it" Realization of unorder ("let's explore what might happen if we did this")
Importance of aggressiveness and charisma to "lead the change" Importance of collaboration and humility to participate in the evolution
Actions driven by authority-based direction Actions based on learnings from conversations, consensus and freedom to act bounded by personal responsibility
Top-down hierarchical communication and knowledge transfer Peer-to-peer (networked) communication and knowledge transfer
Military win/lose competitiveness Natural win/win cooperation and coexistence
Emphasis on action (making decisions quickly and 'expertly') Emphasis on paying attention (making decisions continuously, improvisationally)
Assumption of rational choice ("tell people why they should buy X") Realization of entrained behaviour ("study people to discover if they might buy X")
Primacy of objective reality ("what's happening here") Primacy of perception ("what do people think is happening here")
Changing the way things are Understanding why things are the way they are
Assumption of intention ("why did this happen") Realization of meaning ("what do we learn from this")
Assess causality Look for pattern and correlation
Focus Experiment
Leadership is everything Membership is everything
Strive for stability Strive for resilience
Exploit weaknesses, opportunities, needs via speed-to-market Explore weaknesses, opportunities, needs via continuous environmental scan
Mechanistic (machine) models of behaviour, relationship, order, connection Organic (natural) models of behaviour, relationship, order, connection
How do we solve the problem How do we deal with the situation
Set "go-to-market" mission, objectives, strategies, actions Understand the market and actors' identities and influence the attractors and barriers that bring the market to you
Market as rational

Market as emotional

 
Link via Dave Pollard's Blog

The case for object-centered sociality

Wed, 2005-11-16 00:55.
Jyri Engeström gives well thought arguments, why some social network services work and others don't:
Good services allow people to create social objects that add value. The services that we love to play with have made those objects tangible. They afford tagging, crafting, tuning, hacking. Flickr did it to photos. Del.icio.us did it to bookmarks. Bloggers invented a format for discussion postings that turned them into social objects.

 
This leads him to the question, what will be the next successful candidates? We have Amazon for books, Last.fm and Myspace for music. But how about places and products as objects for objects of online sociality?

Link
PPT-Download (4,9 MB)