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September 01, 2009


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Chris McGrath

Hey Michael,

Another good post. Raises some questions for me:

1) Attention cost. The broad-launch approach requires that you "achieve scale by inviting lots of people." There is a cost here -- the cost of attention. Do you think you need to have a CXO in full support of the project in order to incur this cost? (Pilots are often run grass-roots.)

2) Pricing. You said this approach allows you to launch cheaply. As a vendor, how do you approach pricing? Do you use performance-based compensation, e.g. based on # of active users after a few months?

3) IT Support. An argument for pilots is they allow for a technology shakedown -- a period to ensure the underlying technology works well and is fully compatible in the new environment. How do you convince IT to risk a launch of unknown technology to thousands of users? (Good references, I imagine?)

Kim Feraday

Interesting debate. It also raises a question for me. While I agree that low threshold tools can encourage participation and increase interactions (building what I think Ross called collective intelligence) I wonder how the chasm is crossed to create really high value collaborative intelligence.

Let's take the example of the webinar you ran recently. You got alot of people engaged in microblogging and creating profiles. This led to a small number of users interested in creating workspaces and collaborating. How do then effectively leverage the scale you've created in the network to build effective communities (after all isn’t community the more effective glue)? In other words how does discovery happen (particularly in large organizations). I can imagine, particularly in large organizations there are instances where users with weak network connections to the core community can prevent participation. Without discovery underpinning everything it limits the success you will have in binding the periphery to the core. In some respects isn’t this why Twitter is moving more towards search?


Michael - great post, and a much more sophisticated, updated perspective on implementation. E2.0 (particularly Socialtext) is so much more dynamic than it was even a couple of years ago; there are new ways for people to "play" which didn't exist before. Big, scary workspaces are not the only way to collaborate anymore; and I love that your post acknowledges the fact that there can be different "thresholds" of participation. In my opinion; any participation is a good thing.

I have found that low threshold users often become high threshold users as they start to feel comfortable with the technology, and start to see the possiblities. I agree that assuming small-scale pilots are the way to go without exploring other, more creative and larger-scale options would be a shame, and could potentially lead to an anti-climactic and less energizing roll-out. Without scale, you miss out on seeing and feeling "the oxygen" that is produced by company-wide collaboration. For what it's worth...

Thanks for another great post!

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