How Business Uses Web 2.0 – It’s All About Relevance Says McKinsey Study

31 08 2007


Yet another McKinsey Study examines the perspectives of global business executives on the outcome of their Web 2.0 technology investments and future plans.

Here are excerpts from the full report available here (Free sign up required).

  • By and large, executives are satisfied with their previous investments in Internet technology, and most are investing in trends that promote automation and networking online. Nearly three-quarters say that their companies plan to maintain or increase investments in Web 2.0.
  • Companies that acted quickly in the previous wave of investment are more satisfied than late movers.
  • Asked what might have been done differentlyForty-two percent say they would have strengthened their companies’ internal capabilities to make the most of the market opportunity.
  • The most frequently cited investment in Web 2.0 is Web services, being used or considered by 80 percent of the respondents familiar with the tools. Peer-to-peer networking also is popular; 47 percent say they are using or considering it.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those investing in Web 2.0 think they are important for maintaining the company’s market position, either to provide a competitive edge or to match the competition and address customer demand.
  • Though China and Latin America say that their companies are late followers or had invested cautiously, they now plan to invest at the same rate or even faster.



  • Executives say they are using Web 2.0 technologies to communicate with customers and business partners and to encourage collaboration inside the company. Seventy percent say they are using some combination of these technologies for communicating with their customers.



  • To communicate with business partners and suppliers, companies are using Web services, peer-to-peer networking, collective intelligence, RSS, and peer-to-peer networking.
  • Companies are using the same technologies to help manage knowledge internally. Just over half of respondents say they used one or more Web 2.0 technologies for that purpose. Just under half use these tools for designing and developing new products—for example, setting up systems to gather and share ideas.



  • Blogs, podcasts, and mash-ups trail technology trends that allow people to contribute knowledge to a common effort or allow machines to exchange information more easily.
  • Some 43 percent of companies are even more focused on networking and collective intelligence technologies than the global average. These companies are likelier than others to be large, in high tech, and in Asia. And some 22 percent are much likelier to have invested in RSS, blogs, and podcasts than others; these companies are also likelier to be in industries such as media and telecommunications and located in North America.





Lego My Favorite Movie…Brick Head!

31 08 2007

To help slide into the Labor Day weekend.

Someone has too much time on their hands…..

Form Venture Capital from Your Own Customers

31 08 2007

Ever been in a meeting, got all excited about a new project, and then the air goes out of the room when you look to see how much available capital you have to fund a good idea?

What if I told you that a load a venture capital can be had for new projects and that the source of that capital can come from your own targeted consumers?

The product development strategy is called “crowdfunding” which I first wrote about last Spring by showcasing the German & US music companies SellaBand and Magnatune. This approach is used widely among music industry artists to bypass music publishing companies and “go direct” to their fans who are now seen as much as investors as listeners.

ArtistShare “takes advantage of the latest developments in technology to allow artists and fans from all over the world to connect with each other directly. With technology developing at such a rapid rate it will not be long before it is impossible to “protect” digital data from being shared altogether. ArtistShare solves this problem by paying artists up front and allowing the fans to experience the excitement of the creative process. The art industry has become a service industry and ArtistShare is at the forefront of this new paradigm.”

Notice they mention the erosion of “protected digital data” or DRM. If you are an STM publisher, “open access” isn’t a new thing nor Google scholar nor other free digital repositories. So what’s interesting here is that crowdfunding models might be useful to redesign better approaches for publishers who are also under constant pressure from audience segments to start new niche publications which might not pay for themselves.

What Does It Take?

It takes a combination of the right “customer-needed” idea, a customer experience that promotes through two-way conversation with the potential funder, let’s them contribute ideas or feedback to the project as part of the production process, and ultimately, gives them some incentive for their investment.

One form of customer conversation the artist uses at ArtistShare is radio. Web-based audio files run from a music player let’s the artist share their thoughts on the ongoing project and provide other content unavailable to the public.

Click on the image below to listen to this artist discuss their current project.

In the music world, incentives would be free artist CD’s but in the association world it might be a free registration to the crowdfunded conference they “backed.”

To discover the magic of this product development strategy, examine SellaBand, Magnatune or ArtistShare.

One thing to keep in mind especially if this approach has not worked for you. As you reassess the process, pitch, design and delivery, ask yourself:

  • Was the project driven to fulfill a large, compelling customer need?
  • Did you offer the proper incentive to your “investor?”
  • Was the production process designed to be inclusive of your investor member in some way?
  • How did you structure the conversation with your investors about the idea and its ultimate benefits?

One more reason why you need to build community around your own product and service experience at your site. It’s a worthwhile investment toward building customer evangelists.

For example, look at your own site.

What makes your site experience “exciting” for your buying public? Are you just selling a “mass-produced” product or a solution custom fit for their needs?

Turn your members into financial backers of projects they are willing to self-fund, let them contribute their ideas, feed a frenzy, design and deliver on the promise.

Combine Learning While Co-Producing News & You Get Youth Radio

30 08 2007

This post continues to explore the growing power of “peer produced” new media which ought to be studied by associations as a powerful new means to build community and conversation around association products and services.

Henry Jenkins is the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. He is the author and/or editor of nine books on various aspects of media and popular culture.

His blog is “Confessions of an Aca Fan.” It is the primary source of this interesting two part interview with Youth Radio. You can read the entire post at Henry’s site.

What drew me to his article, “The Power of “Collegial Pedagogy : An Interview with Youth Radio (Part One)” was how Youth Radio was both a learning experience and content co-creation engine for producing quality news and information by kids with some adult supervision. They are applying their own brand of peer production and they are global in scope. Kids are becoming citizen producers and consumers of content in which we shall all benefit going forward.

It is also a fascinating play in new media and online community for the NetGeneration.

Here are excerpts.

What is Youth Radio?

Youth Radio is a youth development organization and independent media production company founded by Ellin O’Leary in 1992. Headquartered in Oakland, CA, with satellite bureaus and youth correspondents working across the U.S. and around the world YR produces and curates award-winning converged media content.

Youth Radio stories and shows reach massive audiences through outlets including National Public Radio (with its 27 million weekly listeners), iTunes, Radio Bilingue, YouTube, and MySpace. Youth Radio promotes young people’s intellectual, creative, and professional growth and citizenship and transforms the public discourse through media production.

Students come to Youth Radio primarily from the nations strapped, heavily tracked, re-segregating public schools. Most are low-income, digitally marginalized youths and young people of color. YRlinks deadline driven, production-based media education with programs that support personal and community health, engage active citizenship, and pave pathways to college and living wage jobs in the media and beyond.

How Does Youth Radio Produce Content?

YR refers to their process as collegial pedagogy which is a deeply interdependent learning and co-creative content production process that’s markedly different from traditional classroom learning and for that matter most radio today. Young people and adults co-create original work neither could pull off alone, and over which neither stands as final judge, because the work goes out to an audience no one–young or old–can fully predict or control.

The adult producer could not create the story without young people to identify topics worth exploring, to host and record peer-to-peer conversations, and to experiment with novel modes of expression and ways of using words, scene, and sound. At the same time, young people could not create the story without adults to provide access to resources, equipment, high- profile outlets, and institutional recognition, and to share the skills and habits developed through years of experience as media professionals.

Young people offer a key substantive contribution that the adults cannot provide — a certain kind of access, understanding, experience, or analysis directly relevant to the project at hand. They contribute insights and challenging perspectives to a mainstream media that too often ignores the experience and intelligence of youth. And yet adults do not only oversee or facilitate the learning experience surrounding a given media production experiment; they actually join in the production process itself.

Their Channel on iTunes

As digital media/online radio and podcasts began to draw increasing audiences a few years back, Youth Radio approached Apple’s iTunes as a potential outlet for our radio stories. We ended up with both a weekly podcast on iTunes and a 24-hour radio stream, found under iTunes “Public,” “Urban,” and “Eclectic” categories.

In addition to being another opportunity for our students to refine the improvisational live hosting and interviewing skills they learn in our classes, the radio stream has been an important free space for creative stories and uncensored music that might be difficult to place on our terrestrial broadcast outlets, given time constraints and FCC regulations.

The iTunes stream presented an opportunity to run 24 hours of music-driven content. This programming is akin to the live radio format that draws many young people to Youth Radio in the first place. The fact that the stream is online and carried by a significant media company vastly expands the potential audience, with listeners in various national and international locations, represented as pushpins on the world map in our iTunes studio. And like our relationship with NPR, the recognition and marketing potential of the Apple brand provides valuable leverage as we seek new digital media outlets.

Trend in Youth Consumption of News and Information from Reliable Sources

The difference between Youth Radio and MySpace or YouTube or any new site which allows a person to produce content themselves is … media literacy.

Youth Radio does what MySpace would hate us to do: Teach us why sites like MySpace work–the advertisements, the conglomerates, and how all of this relates to them getting our money. Instead of blindly posting our videos and pictures on a website owned by these owners, Youth Radio teaches us the process of broadcasting, the mechanics of production, and the influence of media created by young people with a brand you can trust.

Here are some samples of Youth Radio.

Open Innovation Research Feature on opensource.association

30 08 2007

Over the past six months, I have been piling up a ton of research from outsider thought leaders to help illustrate the power of open innovation, content co-creation, customer experience management, emerging business units, role of managing intangible assets to advance innovation practices, and building sustainable business practices.

So to make it easier for subscribers of this blog to find and use these rich resources you can now access them conveniently from the “Open Innovation Research” navigation to the right side of these posts.

As I locate and write about more of these, I shall add to the growing list. And if you have any you would like to share, share them in response to an article I write by appending to any post.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for improving access and usability to this site.


McKinsey Study on User-Generated Content Confirms the LongTail

30 08 2007

Thanks to Karl Long who first posted this study on his blog ExperienceCurve.

McKinsey conducted a study this summer to learn more about what motivates people to participate in collaborative technologies. They surveyed 573 users of four leading online video-sharing sites and then examined the blogs of one of the sites.

Among the findings, I found the following of particular interest:

  • The motivation for people to create and share content support the findings from a BCG study of open source programmers: to be creative, get known, share ideas.
  • While some users were open to the idea of being compensated for their contributions, wasn’t a primary driver.
  • Few users posted the most popular content. Between 3 to 6 percent of the membership added 75 percent of the content from among the member base. These figures resemble those reported in studies of other kinds of participatory media, including wikis, bulletin boards, and photo-sharing sites, where 5 to 10 percent of the users contribute half to all of the content.
  • Visitors under 25 years of age made up the bulk of the video-viewing audience, but members in the 25- to 44-year-old age group contributed equally to postings—suggesting that working-age people would be open to participation in enterprise settings. A sense of sharing drives these older users, who tend to forward videos to friends even more frequently than do their younger peers.
  • Those who contributed to an internal work wiki said that social factors such as reputation building, team spirit, and community identification were the main factors motivating them to contribute.
  • To encourage well-connected employees to post ideas to the work wiki, managers at one company examined its internal e-mail system to identify key staffers with wide social networks within it. They then encouraged these employees to post suggestions about improving the company’s processes. Identifying thought leaders and promoting their participation boosted the number of contributions and improved the quality of the postings.
  • Other companies strive to make collaboration fun: at Google, for instance, employees place online bets (prediction markets like for instance) on the likelihood that particular ideas will be adopted. Intuit uses a rotation program that invites selected staffers to contribute to the company’s internal online dialogs.

As we posted earlier, the use of the “lead user method” in product development concentrates on that top ten percent of active members. People who are motivated to learn by innovating. Concentrate serving the needs of this group and deploy content for lurkers to consume as they build confidence to participate and share their own stuff.

20 Slides, 20 Seconds = Great Fun, Great Pitch

29 08 2007

If I said “Pecha Kucha”… you would say…? …… Gesundheit?

If you lived in Tokyo or maybe Europe and were a designer or web techie, chances are you and your friends know all about Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chatter”)

What is it? Think rapid fire presentations meets “open mic” poetry readings.

PK is an event that started in Tokyo and has expanded worldwide.

It is all about people giving “lightning talks” via short presentations designed to be a fun, interesting and compact way for many ideas to be communicated in a short space of time. You have 20 slides and you must cycle through each in 20 seconds. So do the math ….. 400 seconds or 6 minutes 40 seconds.

The 20:20 format encourages highly focused, fast-moving presentations, and helps to keep audience attention riveted on each presentation, to keep things a bit unpredictable and surprising.

How it works

20:20 presentations work best when they have a creative and entertaining angle, rather than being strictly technical (or, heaven forbid, product pitches) – when they are kept casual, engaging, and fun while still getting a point across in a memorable way.

So put in some interesting images where appropriate and think about the transitions between each slides – dropping in some little surprises here and there.

I ran across this first at reboot 9.0 conference held in Denmark, but quickly learned PK has a global following all its own.

Here is a an example of a set of slides using Pecha Kucha approach.

Here is a link to a set of templates for ppt and keynote that has a 20 second delay built into them.

This might be fun to try at the next ASAE and the Center Annual…. Any takers?