Notes on my Presentation
Cory took some notes on my presentation on the Social Software Panel:
Ross Mayfield: We provide social software for the enterprise. Blogs and wikis have started to engage individuals as participants n the system. We're building a social infrastructure -- norms and ways of communicating/collaborating, coming from the public Internet. SocialText adapts these tools for the enterprise, and engages people in the enterprise to participate. These are lightweight, Web-native tools. The wiki that I'm presenting from is the one that we've been using for this conference. Look at the airport rides page: anyone can create a category. I created a repository for all my resources on this wiki. We've mashed together wikis and blogs -- my blog is driven by the same platform as my wiki. Inside or outside of the enterprise, blogs give people a personal voice. That engages people as participants, and creates social pressure to communicate/participate. Blogspace may look like a power-law distribution, but it's really driven by little, high-value clusters within it. You can only really care ("deeply affected by the death of") about 12 people or so. 150 people is all that you can have a community with. Political networks can contain thousands. Wikis enable really easy collaboration. You can make blogposts that can be edited (with permission) like a wiki. You don't need html to make wiki posts -- just punctuation that you can learn in two minutes. Wikis enable happy accidents through forward links -- if we use the same term to describe "presentation" the wiki will merge our pages about "presentations," creating emergent vocabularies. The best experts rise organically to the top through lightweight collaboration.
And on Clay's introduction:
Clay Shirky: Social software is everything from chat to group email to games. Three key things:
It's native to the Internet in ways that other technologies are not. Prior to the Web we had other tools for publication. IM was preceded by phones. Social communication -- how groups gather -- has no analog except the table.
It has an inverse relationship of value to scale. Websites are better with more users. But inviting 10,000,000 to dinner or putting 10,000,000 in your Rolodex sucks. The smaller the pool, the more valuable the relationships. The unit of social software is small groups.
Business historically sucks at this. Businesses buy software that matches management goals: locked down and centralized, but social software is the reverse.