The Social Workplace

I am enthusiastic about my role on the panel of this week’s Social Workplace conference in London.

Success within business is going to come from those companies who have the most ‘compelling architecture of participation’. It will be those companies who design themselves to enable ideas to come from a multiple range of sources who will prosper in the new open networked world.

Those companies who use social networks to make it interesting, easy and rewarding for a wide range of contributors to offer ideas, solve problems and improve products will be the most successful.

Most companies still operate under the assumption that the best and biggest ideas come from a few individuals. But what happens when technologies move so quickly and rivals become so new numerous, no corporate executives can think of everything.

It is now time to use social technolognies within the workplace to invent a less top-down approach to innovation, to make it the responsibility of everyone within the company to come up with great ideas.

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The times they are a -changing

Occupy Wall Street and the protest camp outside St Pauls in London are being driven by deep-seated cultural changes on the web and the emergence of social media.

We are living in a more open and networked world which is rendering current models of government as anachronistic. The current model of Government is based on inert citizens. The web is introducing new forms of democracy, driven by the values of social media culture (sharing, collaborating etc), where we will see the emergence of more active citizens.

The challenge for the political class is to design and make accessible new ways/platforms for people to participate, co-produce and share ideas to improve society and the economy. Democratic methods must be aligned with the emerging values of the social web especially as the web becomes more pervasive in our lives.

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Remember the tattoo rule

In his new book Public Parts, Jeff Jarvis shares some wise advice about your online reputation.

‘Anything you put online is a tattoo. It’s permanent. It won’t go away. The web remembers. People may give you slack, but you can’t be assured they will,’ he writes.

It is a great way of thinking about what you decide to publish and share online. It deserves to make its way into some social media company guidelines.

Jeff Jarvis gained this sage advice from Philip Kaplan, co founder of Blippy.

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Getting used to sharing

Thinking again about whether or not we can trust Facebook with our data. Having spoken with Jeff Jarvis yesterday, on a call with the Social Media Leadership Forum, he emphasised that Facebook is a sharing platform. Sounds obvious, but it is, and therefore we need to get used to the idea of sharing.

He argues that some of the data capture issues are being ‘demonised’. He said that monitoring of usages of data was a lot more lax when he was working in traditional media, when it ruled the roost, in terms of selling lists of people’s addresses and so on.

I guess to an extent he is right. Facebook is a sharing platform, and therefore – and this goes for the internet as a whole – you need to think carefully about what you are sharing. Especially with gossipy friends!

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