Category Archives: collaboration

It’s Not About the Tools, It’s About the People

We are all on Google+ now. It’s great because of who is here.

We were all on Quora at Christmas, because of who was there.

We continue to stay engaged on Twitter because of who is there.

We are bored with FaceBook because of who is there.

We use LinkedIn because of who we can find.

We use SocialCast in the Social Business Council because of who is there.

We use Jive with the Community Backchannel because of who is there.

We use Yammer in our jobs because of who is there.

It’s not about the tools, it’s about the relationship. The great thing about any social network is the socializing that takes place there. Yes, the tools are nice and a bad tool set can certainly squelch the conversation. But it’s not about the tools it’s about the relationships.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many people over the past few months who are not at all engaged in the social web. The line goes something like this….”I don’t have time for all that social media.” What they are really saying is “I don’t value those relationships and what I learn there. I get all I need from other sources.”

That’s fine. When people start to understand what they can get, the relationships they can build, and what an amazingly large diversity of ideas is out there, they decided to connect.

Many stick with email and cocktail hour networking. That’s fine, I do that sometime too, but I find it is not at all efficient as a stand alone activity. It’s good when I want to go deep with someone, but at a typical event, I can only do that with 1 or 2 people. At best, I’ll touch base with 5 or 10. During that same evening, I can touch hundreds or even thousands through online tools.

Through my BlogTwitterGoogle+ and various private communities, I can keep a conversation going with hundreds and my network can jump into overdrive when needed.

If you don’t want to use the social media tools now and think it’s too geeky, that’s fine. We used to say that about CompuServe and then AOL came along to break the ice among the masses. Then came FaceBook and everybody went online.

It is indeed gone widespread. Google+ may not replace FaceBook. Everyone may not get on Twitter, but in the long run, the mega trend is that, more and more, our lives are moving online. What was once called a “virtual” meeting is just a meeting.

Do any of you call your FaceBook friends “virtual” friends? Do you call these virtual conversations? No, it’s a wall post, it’s a message, it’s real interaction.

Social is happening, it is happening in different rates for different people, but there is no going back. As my friend Chris Rollyson says, It’s an “and” world, not an “or” world. We keep getting more ways to connect, as a result we are more connected, and finally we can innovate and move faster.

That is just what’s happening. Don’t deny it.

So go ahead, get social. You can start by connecting with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+ and while you are at it, subscribe to my blog.

See you online!

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Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, GooglePlus, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, tools, trends, twitter, web2.0

Fully Curated – Tweets from the Month of March

I often hear that people enjoy the articles that I share.  I’ve even been hearing the term “curation” recently.  I know it was a big month for tweets and decided to take a little time to pull together a list of what I curated from my twitter feeds during the month of March.    Here it is in one place…a month full of tweets.

Amazon Locker

  1. Amazon faces backlash over music locker service http://goo.gl/ew5KF
  2. The Cloud Will Be Your Hard Drive, Despite The Record Labels’ Greed http://t.co/AqzzNNj
  3. HOW TO: Use Amazon Cloud Player With iOS Devices http://t.co/zO0J7Om

Apple

  1. Rumors: iOS5, iPhone5, iPad3…Cloud-Based iOS 5 This Fall? http://bit.ly/h47fwx
  2. Rumor: iOS 5 will be a ‘major revamp,’ won’t debut until fall http://pulsene.ws/17isK more heavily cloud-based iOS
  3. Apple Releases iOS 4.3.1 http://bit.ly/gYoOC5
  4. iPhone 5 rumor central http://t.co/poa3QEk (info graphic) http://yfrog.com/gzmzczcj
  5. Apple To Let Users Use Cloud Service To Download Songs To Multiple iDevices http://pulsene.ws/14ebq
  6. good post on post-PCness http://www.sampletheweb.com/2011/03/04/dear-apple-youre-not-post-pc-until-you-cut-the-cord/

AT&T

  1. Why AT&T Bought T-Mobile http://pulsene.ws/15Lsd
  2. One bad company buying another: AT&T buys TMobile http://tinyurl.com/6cfe8j2
  3. RWW AT&T Starts Sending Letters to Jailbroken Tetherers, Will Automatically Charge Fee http://rww.to/f1hRLx

My Blog Posts

  1. Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998 http://t.co/Kuu6VfM
  2. Here’s my iPad 2 first impressions blog post http://t.co/yteyHCY
  3. My Post illustrating Mobility & Ease of Consumption http://is.gd/DDukd5

CIO

  1. The 4 Personas of the Next-Generation #CIO now on #hbr http://bit.ly/en5EHK?

Cloud

  1. Great, simple explanation of Dropbox; http://t.co/2xbw4tO
  2. Cloud computing: A market for computing power | The Economist: http://bit.ly/hAlInv

Enterprise 2.0

  1. Expertise Location: The Killer App for Enterprise Social Computing http://t.co/aOnkEGR
  2. List of Enterprise 2.0 CFP winners is now available #e2conf. Congrats to the winners! http://bit.ly/e63w84
  3. good discussion w/ IBM’er on adoption The Psychology of Collaboration http://feedly.com/k/dNnqrL
  4. Excellent analogy: email vs. SocNets. :Trains, Sliding Doors and Social Networks http://tumblr.com/xhe1qji74d
  5. BT Intranet SharePoint 2010 examples http://goo.gl/tSZAS
  6. Merck looks to Facebook for employee portal, CSR effort – Medical Marketing and Media http://t.co/EpOHV71
  7. Social Business Begins by Unleashing Your Business Talent http://bit.ly/eMfjxc By @elsua
  8. The military shows the need for information sharing and local decision making http://t.co/vzXPiu9 post by @BartSchutte
  9. Challenges of transforming large, rigid org cultures into agile and aware networks: Great post: http://t.co/kVlkB8r.
  10. Awesome, Socialcast evolves the #hashtag for all people to understand – http://is.gd/0P1M5i
  11. If true other teams are running plays on field while MSFT is in locker room deciding uniform colors. http://engt.co/h739tL
  12. Good advice on social software adoption: http://t.co/tsaf2XE
  13. Video: The Conference Call http://post.ly/1gajI
  14. Social Intranet – The Intersection Diagram http://t.co/S2taO5l by @adowbor

EBay

  1. eBay acquires GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion http://dlvr.it/Lnhjd

Experts

  1. List of Social Intranet, Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration, Engagement, and HR Technology Experts http://ow.ly/4nbeu

Future

  1. Gaming for engagement is trending… using game design in non-gaming contexts http://bit.ly/h62xXc
  2. How do you become a futurist? http://bit.ly/ik3jKx “claim you are and people either believe you or not” says @rossdawson
  3. 1373 Twitter users with “Futurist” in their bios http://bit.ly/eHnL2r
  4. [VIDEOS] The latest robots are virtually indistinguishable from people http://bit.ly/esxMLX
  5. Very cool #future “day in the life” video (Corning) http://bit.ly/e1PX0U “A Day Made of Glass”
  6. Top 10 Dying Industries: Newspapers, Photo Finishing, Record Shops make the list: http://bit.ly/gbVv2g

Google

  1. Google copies Facebook’s Like Button http://bit.ly/e1iBSY
  2. Google Announces New Service for Nonprofits http://is.gd/ZroO4B
  3. Half A Billion Blog Posts Later, Google To Give Blogger A Revamp http://dlvr.it/KGBTD

Groupon

  1. Groupon moving towards real-time location based coupons. Two buttons: I’m Hungry, I’m Bored. http://Ez.com/grpn
  2. CHART OF THE DAY: Watch Groupon Go From 0 To $25 Billion In The Blink Of An Eye http://read.bi/ea2POb

Infographics

  1. How Small Businesses Are Using #SocialMedia [INFOGRAPHIC] http://t.co/aQU16xQ
  2. The #SocialMedia World Before Twitter And Facebook [Infographic] – http://bit.ly/dQhQHP
  3. Infographic of the Day: The Next 25 Years in Emerging Tech | Co.Design http://t.co/7tkiBKB
  4. Who’s Really Scanning All Those QR Codes? [INFOGRAPHIC] http://pulsene.ws/149cx
  5. #Tablet comparison #infographic – http://ow.ly/48nMB http://yfrog.com/h06mjvaj
  6. nice info graphic on the culture aspect http://dld.bz/Mcyc
  7. Should you be on LinkedIn? [infographic] http://bit.ly/dVMvLa
  8. How Mobile Shopping Is Changing The World [Infographic] – http://bit.ly/h2UETL

iPad / Tablets

  1. 18 Million #WordPress Websites Now Available in #iPad Format http://on.mash.to/g8gY8t
  2. iPad to go on sale outside US: Apple Inc to stick to plans to roll out product this week. http://bit.ly/f3wulH
  3. BlackBerry Playbook Will Be Available In 20,000 Retailers http://tcrn.ch/feSMBw
  4. RT @MacOutfittersPA: Read our new blog post, iPad 2: First Impressions http://bit.ly/fF7zg2
  5. 7 Twitter Apps For iPad: http://bit.ly/expOJl
  6. Five ways the iPad 2 works on the buyer’s subconscious: http://cnet.co/hmQ3RC
  7. The Week in iPad Cases: The iPad 2 has landed: All your choices explained http://yhoo.it/dXANhF
  8. Apple could face iPad 2 component shortages: http://yhoo.it/i5CNIS
  9. This looks like a promising iPad app. http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2011/03/03/100-cameras-in-1-for-the-ipad/
  10. Why the iPad is awesome @TreyRatcliff shows off cool photo processing app http://t.co/75XrXU8 100 cameras
  11. Equal Time…iPad 2: The Skeptic’s Review: http://bit.ly/gZpzLV
  12. iPad 2: A Gaming Machine?: The iPad 2 is out, but is it a good gaming machine? http://bit.ly/dJfilH
  13. Dell and HP: Two computer giants prepare for a world no longer dominated by the PC http://econ.st/h3EHnJ
  14. Putting iPads To Work — my guide: http://t.co/6l96oFh by @waltmossberg
  15. How To Collaborate With Others Online Using Your iPad http://goo.gl/fb/Y8cuu
  16. iPad Essentials for the Network Administrator http://goo.gl/ZDuhg
  17. The 3 Best iPad PDF Markup Apps; – http://goo.gl/CDO1c
  18. Interesting: what is in that iPad smart cover: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-2-Smart-Cover-Teardown/5089/1
  19. iPad 2 jailbroken, no ETA on public release http://pulsene.ws/158L9
  20. Backordered: Total iPad sellout – 70% new buyers: http://bit.ly/gPwzPp Fortune Article
  21. So, what’s inside the iPad 2? http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-2-Wi-Fi-Teardown/5071/1
  22. IPad2 offers aspiring movie makers the whole package http://usat.ly/hLjX9c via USA TODAY
  23. My hunt for the elusive iPad 2 delivers some big game http://zd.net/fc2en4 <-my story in comments
  24. Mobile Harmony: iPad 2, Android & Windows 7 http://bit.ly/hh2f2Z
  25. Maybe… Here’s What’s Coming In The iPad 3 (AAPL) http://bit.ly/hTLz0i
  26. iPad 2: Thin, Not Picture Perfect My review: http://t.co/KDziWmM #ipad2 by @waltmossberg
  27. How does apple really feel about their new Ipad2? Here is the video: http://goo.gl/j4w0J
  28. Want a 3G iPad 2 and Own an iPhone? Here’s How You Save $130 http://bit.ly/eMRVBe
  29. Original iPad Better Than Ever: Here’s why. Price and Apps http://fxn.ws/gQjhnm
  30. Unleashing creativity in many ways… How the iPad revolution has transformed working lives http://t.co/o7n8t1C
  31. Did you write a post on how to transfer your data from your first iPad to your new iPad 2? A. Yes http://bit.ly/id7wLX
  32. How To Use iPad 2 | A New User Guide http://t.co/5lTsJJD [massive post on how to use your new ipad]
  33. It’s Apple’s ‘post-PC’ world — we’re all just living in it. http://r2.ly/7c5j
  34. 10 more top 10 reasons to buy an iPad 2 http://bit.ly/i8y2LW
  35. An iPad Lover’s (Initial) Thoughts On iPad 2 http://tcrn.ch/dH7ujY
  36. iPad 2 Rollout Leads to Massive Deflation in Secondary Market http://pulsene.ws/13Rck
  37. Watch the iPad 2 March 2nd Event Keynote – http://t.co/RFKqyo0 #iPad2
  38. Steve Jobs announces iPad 2 http://bit.ly/hOzJUO #ipad2
  39. Watching the live blog: http://engt.co/dV3fmx for iPad2
  40. It’s iPad day! Faster, slimmer, 2-camera iPad said likely: http://bit.ly/gl74VG <-summary of latest rumors Wednesday, March 02, 2011
  41. To take on Apple, new tablets go where iPad won’t – http://bit.ly/fq8V1T
  42. Check out “The DVD Era Finally Ends – Thanks to the iPad” http://bit.ly/gn2ywA

Japan

  1. Japan: whatever happened to the nuclear meltdown? http://bit.ly/hzSUNr March 23
  2. Catching up on developments in Japan http://n.pr/h916CQ March 19
  3. These images are just sobering. If you need some perspective click here: http://bit.ly/gTZdVU March 16
  4. I don’t have words big enough to persuade why you should. The pics from Japan tell that story. http://ht.ly/4f4KT, March 15
  5. Cometh the hour http://pulsene.ws/15ihx by @jobsworth, March 14
  6. Amazing views of the devastation in Japan http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm March 13
  7. Desperation and panic grip Japan (Reuters) http://reut.rs/fIBSrH “Like a scene from a disaster movie”March 12
  8. Google is helping to curate info about the Earthquake. http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html March 12

Location Based Services

  1. Neiman Marcus Launches Nationwide SCVNGR Challenge http://tinyurl.com/4gjruko

LinkedIn

  1. Introducing LinkedIn Today http://t.co/Ya7SBrC

MySpace

  1. Amazingly, MySpace’s Decline Is Accelerating http://bit.ly/dHtTFh

Mobility

  1. Want to Engage Senior Executives? Think Mobile. http://bit.ly/gbvCjl
  2. Nine Powerful Apps That Convert Your iPhone Into A Knowledge Hub http://bit.ly/frB3Nk
  3. The Judge Group Launches Mobile Website – March 16, 2011 (Phila) http://ow.ly/1bNwaX
  4. March 28, Phila, Mobile Health Forum http://t.co/FbPKijK
  5. 90% of the world now lives in a place with access to a mobile network http://goo.gl/KaTzL
  6. Hmmm..I need to give this a try… How to build location based app in five minutes, with no coding http://bit.ly/dRQdw4
  7. AT&T Confirms Mobile Hotspot Support for iPhone http://bit.ly/fcxKKq
  8. The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Mobile: http://su.pr/25JI2F
  9. My fav so far is instagram… 22 Ways To Tweet Photos & Images from your iPhone: http://bit.ly/ieWmWv
  10. How Mobile Shopping Is Changing The World [Infographic] – http://bit.ly/h2UETL
  11. http://ow.ly/4pnph Smartphone use is expected to increase by 50% in 2011

Salesforce

  1. Salesforce buys Radian6 / http://tcrn.ch/eXxCsC
  2. Salesforce.com buys Radian6, an excellent move! Details http://bit.ly/gDETbH

Social Business Summit

  1. RT @joningham: My post on John Hagel session at #SBS2011 http://bit.ly/ijsN27
  2. All the tweets, pics and posts from Social Business Summit Austin: http://jimworth.pbworks.com/w/page/37688605/Social-Business-Summit-2011
  3. Reflections on Social Business Summit 2011 – Syndey and Austin http://t.co/wJ0clCl http://yfrog.com/h48b5rp
  4. Social Business Summit 2011 first half round up http://dach.is/gmghEB
  5. 2011 Social Business Summit Review http://bit.ly/fjciuO
  6. Social Business is Here: Review of the 2011 Social Business Summit Austin http://t.co/z3Atf0C by @andyjankowski
  7. Curated #sbs2011 tweet stream, courtesy of @keepstream. http://dach.is/gohoQv
  8. check out #sbs2011 to see great feedback on Dachis’ first summit in Sydney. Join others near you: http://bit.ly/70rO2V

Social Business

  1. Career path of the social business professional – Being Peter Kim http://t.co/FbkXTZV
  2. Watching the rise of “Social Business” over Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0. http://yfrog.com/h48t3dj http://bit.ly/hAIkwQ

Sunday Series

  1. Sunday Series: “Absolute Truth” Click the 3/21 message: http://feeds.harvest.org/ANB or direct to mp3: http://bit.ly/fwqQdt by @greglaurie Sunday, March 27
  2. Sunday Series: “Raising The Dead” Click the 3-13 message: http://bit.ly/efUfoz Or direct to mp3: http://bit.ly/e8gptp Sunday, March 20
  3. Sunday Series: How Close Are We? Click the 3/06 message: http://bit.ly/f8lYKw or direct to mp3: http://bit.ly/fcxmxy @bridgefm Sunday, March 13
  4. Sunday Series: “From Thunder to Love” Click the 2/20 message: http://bit.ly/getBcM Or direct to mp3: http://bit.ly/faVuYx Sunday, March 06

SXSW

  1. 2011 Insights from @bobpearson1845 http://bit.ly/hdPLxn
  2. RT @ShannonPaul Blog post – My Takeaways From SXSW Interactive http://bit.ly/ey0sq9
  3. SXSW 2011: Great for Networking, But No Technology Breakthroughs http://t.co/zqN2P0n
  4. Zappos spreading the #Happiness story w/ new #brand. at #SXSW http://bit.ly/dQNQOS
  5. At each SXSW a new technology gains early adopter attention, one contender is groupme http://t.co/tblUkoc

TED

  1. Topsy’s “Selinah”, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from #TED: http://www.ted.com/initiatives/aws/selinah.html
  2. Target’s “Kaleidoscopic”, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from TED: http://on.ted.com/8yFb
  3. Intel’s The Chase, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from TED: http://www.ted.com/initiatives/aws/the_chase.html
  4. TED Ads Worth Spreading: If You Only Watch 10 Ads This Year Make It These http://www.ted.com/initiatives/aws
  5. RT @jordanayan Rode in Google’s new self-driving car at #TED a highlight of the conference http://budurl.com/TEDcar
  6. Here is a link to a detailed story on the amazing kidney printing demo at #TED2011 – http://budurl.com/TEDkid

Trends

  1. No one uses the phone anymore http://bit.ly/fuJngc
  2. Entire movies compressed into single barcodes http://ow.ly/4au4T
  3. “Google before you tweet” is the new “think before you speak” http://bit.ly/newtruthisms
  4. Something to do with those old books  Masterful sculptures made from large books. http://bit.ly/eOicoL

Twitter

  1. Best practices for the “retweet” http://t.co/xQyjDr7
  2. 10 Memorable Tweets From Twitter’s Five Years in Existence: http://abcn.ws/eryfvf
  3. How do you explain what Twitter is to someone that’s never used it? http://bit.ly/gp6vo4
  4. YES!!! Finally got my Twiter https option!!! Everyone should enable it!! http://bit.ly/dLPrFB http://tnw.co/ech1SY
  5. Captures reasons why I prefer Twitter to Facebook – http://t.co/PxNPpB2
  6. How to do Twitter in 15 minutes a day http://ow.ly/44nz8
  7. Paper.li is my fav so far… 4 Ways to Read Your #SocialMedia Updates as Newspaper http://bit.ly/ibgVEs
  8. Very Cool: try VisibleTweets – looks great on a large screen! Eg: http://bit.ly/hV0Dvx

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Filed under Apple iPad Innovation, collaboration, community, content, conversations, curation, enterprise20, IPad, iPad 2, mobility, social business, social web, technology, trends, twitter

Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998

I find myself more and more leaving the constraints of Facebook and stepping out into the deep end of the social web.

 
 It was an interesting time, 1998. The early Internet starter kits were beginning to make it out. Netscape had introduced a nice browser. Microsoft was playing catch up with Internet Explorer. Mozilla was still around. The Internet was a wild west.

EBay and Amazon were just starting to get traction. There were a few tools for creating websites, and a few email services, but it was a rough time with people stumbling around in an attempt to reach out and publish information on the web. You needed a webmaster, well versed in HTML page markup or PERL scripts, to do anything worthwhile online.

In the late 1990s, the Internet was not a fun place for the masses. It was difficult to get around, set up an email address, or share files. America Online had just begun carpet bombing the US with millions of free AOL CDROM disks delivered through the US Postal Service in an attempt to snag as many subscriptions as possible.

The appeal was clear. Families in record numbers were buying their first desktop computer, loading up AOL, connecting their modem and beginning to share pictures, email, and news stories with each other. AOL started in the mid 1980s as a private network, but was quickly morphing into a gateway and a guide for the Internet by the mid 1990s. The famous “AOL Keyword” had become a universal locator for web content. Families in the millions jumped onto the internet through the safety of AOL. Soon AOL was flying high, valued large enough to buy the traditional media company, Time Warner. Just about then, the bubble burst and we all came back down to earth, ready for a new wave of innovators on the web.

A few years after the crash, Tim O’Reilly coined the phrase Web 2.0, and a few college students started building The FaceBook to allow students an easier way to connect and share with each other. As AOL was descending and the Time Warner merger began to look like the biggest corporate failure of all time, the social web began to take shape. Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Del.icio.us, Myspace, and Facebook began to gain ground with the early adopters. By 2009, Facebook was starting to gain real traction and in 2010, the new platform had a breakout year with Time Magazine granting “Person of the Year” honors to its founder Mark Zuckenberg.

Facebook is nice. It’s teaching us all a new language of “Likes”, comments, status updates, tagging, and general open sharing of our lives. While allowing us to share among close friends, it is also pushing the limits on privacy, and teaching us all to read the fine print as we all become more and more comfortable with expanding the circle of trusted friends that we share our lives with. Messaging on Facebook is so easy, many have abandoned email all together and just “Facebook” each other (that’s sending a note through Facebook). People often don’t know an email address, but find their friends by name and send them a message. Chatting is all the rage as well. Groups connect, share their lives, and expand their friendships online, blurring the lines between virtual and real.

Many people and businesses are using Facebook now as their primary branding website, drawing on the large population online. But at the same time, early adopters and web savvy professionals continue to push the envelope using twitter, flickr, youtube, twitpic, tweetchat, about.me, instagr.am, foursquare and a host of other “wild west” style social media tools. The social web is fully functional and all functions that are now done in the safety of Facebook are also done in the openness of the social web without the restriction of a closed circle of “friends.”

AOL put fences around the Internet in the late 1990s and allowed families and newbies a safe way to navigate, read news, follow “New Kids on the Block.” The public could share with each other online and join along out loud whenever a new message was delivered: “You’ve got mail!”

Just like AOL back then, Facebook today puts fences around the social web allowing an easy way for families and newbies to share photos, status updates, “likes”, and news of Justin Bieber in the safety and security of a protected social web environment. The real social web continues to thrive and innovate. I find myself more and more leaving the constraints of Facebook and stepping out into the deep end of the social web.

I wonder if, in a few years, Facebook will grow to enormous market value, purchase one of the Web 1.0 or traditional media companies and then go through a similar self-destruction as the openness of the full social web takes over. History does have a way of repeating itself. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or online (on Twitter).

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Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, social web, tools, trends, web2.0

Lessons From the Crowd

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It was an amazing event. About 125 Social Media experts, novices, and curiosity seekers came out this past Monday for BarCamp Doylestown, an “Un Conference” on Emerging Social Business. It was great. The excitement and energy in the room was something we had only dreamed of. In fact one on-site tweeter summed it up aptly tweeting: “Presentations in the main room of #barcamp18901 are very much like twitter –many voices at once; easy to be drawn in another direction

Rather than write about the event as many others have, I’d like to write about how the event came together. For those of us organizing it, I think it is safe to say, none (or maybe few) of us has ever been involved in anything quite like it.

But first, here are the lessons we learned:

  1. It’s all about losing control. A crowd organized project is about letting go and watching what a group of motivated people can do with a common goal and clear guidelines. In the right environment, the crowd will act productively in creative ways to meet that goal.
  2. We work because we want to, an all volunteer team is the best.
  3. Anyone can organize a meeting, but only as a last resort. We can work very effectively through transparent online information sharing using twitter and a wiki
  4. “Work out loud” by default, sharing every idea and thought openly, and move to private messages only when absolutely necessary.
  5. Skip the kickoff meeting, let the event kick itself off online, let relationships form, watch the group form, and watch it “gel” a little into the project
  6. Let people volunteer and then hold them accountable for decisions and actions
  7. Anyone can speak up when uncomfortable, listen to their suggestions
  8. Anyone can act in the group’s best interest and on the group’s behalf. They can act on their own, or choose to gain consensus. It’s their call.
  9. Anyone can join. The group becomes self selecting and people rise and diminish based on their choices and preferences.
  10. Spread the celebration for the victory to everyone in the crowd who contributed to the success.

If this piqued your interest, please read on for the context and how these lessons were learned.

Like a fire that starts from a tiny spark, this BarCamp started with a simple tweet

Within just a few hours, all 5 had answered back with comments like:

  • “I have been wondering about that, too”
  • “Happy to explore with everyone”
  • “I’m in”
  • “I am in we need a location and a date”
  • “Sounds great! I’ll check out the link

We agreed quickly on a hashtag because the tweets with the names of the organizers started getting unwieldy. We chose #barcamp18901 (for the local zip code) and started to tweet publically about our plans to organize the event. We put the hashtag in each tweet and the initial group and soon other organizers could monitor the conversation.

After a week, we decided to have a face to face planning meeting. We picked a Starbucks for its convenient location and it’s free wifi. Still no email or phone calls had taken place. A few had met for lunches to talk about the ideas, but there was no formal organizing. The tweets with the #barcamp18901 hashtag continued.

Expanding on this transparent communication, we decided to set up a public wiki page to organize our thoughts. Using the incredibly powerful and simple wiki from pbworks.com, we created a planning page with a strawman proposal for the event. The page has gone though 84 edits since that initial strawman, but if you follow the link, you will see how we listed the ideas, crossed them off, improved them, documented tasks, asked questions, and generally kept all our notes out in the open for full visibility and transparency.

This transparency proved to be quite valuable. We were all busy people with jobs, families and other responsibilities. We had very little time to get together and even less time to meet up in person. Throughout the day on our iPhones, Droids, and laptops, we monitored the #barcamp18901 hashtag and went to the wiki page to organize our thoughts.

One week after that first tweet, we were meeting at Starbucks at 7am for the first of three face-to-face meetings, a timeslot that soon gained the nickname of “the new noon”. It seems we all enjoyed getting together early before the start of our day.

With iPads in hand, we went over the wiki notes, we captured new notes, and then updated with wiki later that day. We all had our assignments, and began to take them on, crossing them off on the wiki as we made progress. A few got started on the venue, others set up the Posterous blog, Facebook page, Youtube channel, Flickr, twitter, and gmail accounts.

I took on the ticketing with a recommendation from a friend to use eventbrite.com. Wow, that was easy. I created an account and started to poke around the site to see how I would set up the event and the free ticketing. As I experimented, I quickly realized, it was all ready to go in just about 10 minutes. I kicked off the event, created an initial “Announcing BarCamp Doylestown” blog post and we were off and running.

For the next few weeks, we continued to tweet, update the wiki, and count the registrations as they trickled in. We promoted the event through the @BCdoylestown twitter account and then through retweets from the organizers. It came together very quickly and by mid August, we decided to meet again and see how it was going. Back to Starbucks at “the new noon” and this time we picked up a few new organizers. Sponsors were beginning to appear and it was coming together. @markmag suggested we update the registration site to ask a few extra questions as the attendees registered. So we started gathering an interesting fact about each attendee, and also asked if they would like to lead a session and if so, on what topic.

More promotion followed, we moved to email lists, linked in connections, and more tweets and retweets. Something snapped by Labor Day and on some days registrations were coming in as many as 5-10 per day. We began to get worried that it would sell out 3 weeks before the event and started wondering if we should raise the attendee limit from 160 to 180. We had picked the magic number of 160 based on the advice of @markmag and @the_spinmd. They said we should register 2x the number of attendees we wanted. The logic was based on their past experience with Barcamps in Philly where usually only 1/2 the number registered showed up when the price was “free”. We were wondering, given all the excitement, that maybe we would get better than the anticipated turnout.

We continued to promote, tweet and organize the meeting in the public eye on twitter and the wiki. We shared the password so each of the organizers had the ability to post on our channels. Several people posted on posterous, several on twitter, and one even set up a LinkedIn group.

On Sept 7, just 2 weeks before the event, we had our final planning meeting. It was then that we started organizing the topics and learned that @mannyrechani had secured Newsgator as the food sponsor. We already had a venue sponsor, a soft drink sponsor, and a snack sponsor, but were really looking for someone with deeper pockets to cover the local catering that @nickeyh had worked out. Newsgator came forward and for about the price of a coast-to-coast airline ticket, covered the food and locked up the prime sponsor position for the event.

For the final week, we worked to organize the topics. We used the wiki again to build on the topics. We asked potential presenters to fill out more details on the wiki (not a big response rate), and also asked participants to help us pick the better topics through an online voting tool donated by AppFusions. That proved to work nicely in learning what was of most interest to the attendees, but in reality, the best voting is onsite at the barcamp itself.

@chuckhall printed up large poster pages of the topics and we created a voting process (on the wiki again) that all the organizers agreed to. We broke down and had a few conference calls for final logistics and declared on Friday afternoon that we were ready to go for the Monday event.

How did it go? Check out the site for full coverage.

For all of us, it was a rewarding and educational experience. Specifically I learned:

  1. You can lead without having any authority
  2. “Working out loud” is a very effective way for the crowd to self organize
  3. Transparency and Trust can enable anything
  4. Viral online promotion works
  5. Free online tools are mature and powerful enough for effective collaboration: eventbrite.com, twitter.com, posterous.com, appfusions.com, youtube.com, linkedin.com, gmail and google docs just to name a few
  6. The four pillars of Social Business were lived out: Trust, Transparency, Authenticity, and Collaboration

If you want to see or shape where we go next, just join the conversation by monitoring #barcamp18901 for BarCamp Doylestown.

Thanks to the organizing crowd: @bsdalton @ChuckHall @jimworth @NealWiser @MRubillo @MannyRechani @markmag @cariofthevalley @the_spinmd @Nickeyh @barrypeters there is a new understanding and appreciation of Emerging Social Business right here in our town of Doylestown, PA.

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DigPharm Tweetlog

>Here’s the full log now after day 2

DigPharm Tweetlog both days

DigPharm Tweetlog up to day 1
DigPharm Tweetlog day 2 only

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More Links from Recent Weeks

>The links just keep coming in. Here are a few highlights from the past few weeks. All found through twitter feed. Great resource for the social media strategist.

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Scientists Tweet Too

>A colleague shared a story recently from Nature June 25, 2009 called “breaking the convention?”. It discussed how blogs and twitter are opening up scientific meetings to those not actually there.

It’s a great story. I’ve experienced this at several conferences already this year. I was able to follow based on the twitter stream in real time and then had a transcript of audience comments well afterward. You can do it too. Almost every technical conference today has a hash tag (e.g #e2conf) and every session has a hashtag with session number (#e2conf1). After the conference is over (or during the sessions) go to twitter, search on that hashtag and wallahh!, you have the insight. It’s great to view the twitter log along with the slides to get the full picture.

Some go on to package up the tweets using a tool like printyourtweets.com and end up with a nice PDF suitable for archiving and sharing.

Glad to see this coming to the scientific community too.
Jim.

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