Monday, January 28, 2008

why blog? and twitter pack = community sourcing

Why blog?

For me, it was simple. If I was going to really submerge myself in social media tools then I felt like I needed to start writing about my social media experiences. There's a lot going on and it's overwhelming!

I figured if I started a blog, I could look back at where I began with social media. I could see the steps I was making. Progress would be charted in my words. Maybe I would find my blogging voice along the way (still searching for that:)

And so here it is - Nothin' but socNET. I'm 6 months into authoring my own blog. It's really a journal for me, to keep tabs on what's going on in this crazy, ever-changing environment.

And I'm asking my first question to anyone and everyone that comes across this post.

I need your help with a definition.

Today, I came across Chris Brogan's latest endeavor via his tweet:

The Twitter Pack Project.

and I'm watching the pulse build on this project. It's interesting to see the wiki take shape, the community molding it, the passion unfolding, the voices of many providing their input, the discussions on twitter and Brogan's blog.

Brogan's Twitter Pack Project is a fantastic example of - not crowd sourcing - no, this is well beyond, crowd sourcing - this is community sourcing at its finest.

Define community sourcing with me expand on this post and live the definition along the way. Once we have a definition that we are comfortable with as a good enough starter, we'll post community sourcing on wikipedia.

UPDATE - 1/30
Adding Warren's suggestion from his comments below:
Wikipedia defines crowd sourcing as:
Outsourcing a task to an undefined, generally large group of people.

Community sourcing is taking crowd sourcing to the next level:
Outsourcing a task to a connected group/community for the benefit of that community.

Warren has captured the social networking connection element in his definition that is lacking in crowd sourcing. I picture a cattle call when I think of crowd sourcing. I picture a table of friends discussing a topic of interest when I think of community sourcing.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Monologue blogging - yawn

Here's a few examples of monologuing:

1) Blogging without allowing comments. I'm really surprised at how often I come across a blog where comments aren't accepted. Not just corporate blogs but individuals.

2) Blogging, allowing comments, then not responding. So you don't join the conversation, you don't close the loop. You're dissin' your prospects, consumers, prosumers, colleagues, friends - your audience. This blatant sign of disrespect reminds me of the person behind the counter at a retail store that keeps answering the phone instead of waiting on the line of people wanting to actually buy something.

3) Microblogging - say twitter, for example - with lots of followers but following no one. So you are shouting out from your palpit - news your followers couldn't live without - but you aren't joining in on the conversation, you aren't experiencing the vibe to follow where the conversation is. You are interrupting. You are cutting into the fluid conversation and believe me, it's noticed and frowned upon.

4) Microblogging with lots of followers but only follow a few elite industry peers. You are again snubbing your customers. You can't engage if you don't know the pulse.

5) You have a profile on a Social Network Site but the only time you do anything with it is to accept a friend request or check the SNS email. Why are you wasting your time on it? Unless you are actively engaged you aren't going to experience the social aspects of the medium.

There's bloggers like me, we appear to be monologuing because, heck there's not that many comments on our blog. I don't take it personally - some of my posts are only relevant to me. Also, I know it's hard to move from a lurker to a commenter. It took my over 3 years to post my first blog comment, even after I had been a newsgroup junky in the '90s. Sigh, I think I'm just a lurker by nature.

I do know people are reading this blog. My proof? Well, I have Google Analytics so there's some traffic viewing posts. There are a few comments on the blog. Others reach out to me on twitter, facebook or email me directly. I'm very ok with that. I'm looking forward to more comments so the conversation on each topic continues. I guess my point is, I'm not trying to only monologue :).

I've talked with other novice bloggers and we're figuring it out the dialogue recipe as we go. The fact of the matter is we are all branching out. We are all actively engaged in microblogs and commenting on other's blogs. We are hooked in and enjoying being part of the conversation.

A microblogging friend asked me why I started my own blog. And given that laundry and school lunches call, that will be the topic of my next post.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Scoble's profile off Facebook - well, for about a day

Scoble's explanation of his PLAXO test.

Update: Facebook has turned Scoble's profile back on. PLAXO's POV from Jeremiah's post.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Social networking for social good

I admit it. I'm a feel good person. I truly believe that when I'm doing good for others, it comes back 100 fold to me. Maybe that's why I'm so enamored with social networking and all the helping voices, hands and hearts I've come across.

I feel extremely lucky to have come into contact with social media mavens that are rocking the social networking scene for social good. There's Beth Dunn, @santaclaus - aka the Provident Partner Elves, Michael Ben-Nes, Chris Brogan, Nate Ritter, Beth Kanter, and Michele Martin - just to name a powerful few.

Chris Brogan is providing 100 useful blog tips - 1 topic a day. There's actually several pointers with each post.

Beth Kanter's blog provides tips for non-profit neophytes to experts on using social media.

Today, I added the Sharing Foundation widget to my blog's sidebar. Beth Kanter and Michele Martin have teamed up to raise funds for the Sharing Foundation in the America's Giving Challenge.

As Michele explains, "The top 8 individuals with the most unique donors for their cause will win $50,000 EACH, while 100 charities will be awarded $1,000 based on the number of donations they receive through the Challenge. The minimum donation of $10 can buy a young Cambodian student a school uniform (so he/she can go to school) and a month's worth of English lessons in the Sharing Foundation's ESL program."

Consider donating $10 to the Sharing Foundation, if you can't donate - please consider passing this message on to others.