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Social objects, Opensourced enterprise

July 4, 2008
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I had the opportunity to attend the SVASE event: Digital Media: Building a Business with Social Networks and to listen to the great panel from Google, hi5, Jaxstr and Jaiku.

  • One striking comment from Jyri Engestrom: “social business starts with defining a social object”. Photo for Flickr, Video for Youtube, Pet for Dogster, Date, Job  aso… I find this really interesting and this clearly helps organising ideas.
  • Another one from Jyri on G Kawasaki:  to be successful, you need to have an “unfair competitive advantage”. Funny that Jyri mentioned G Kawasaki as THE advantage of Alltop.

Using Jyri’s framework, I reflected that the enterprise world is full of objects ready to become social.  Let’s take a few:

  • new product or service:  this is all the concept of co-design, co-engineering.  Designers love feedback and bloggers and consumers love participation.
  • event, campaign, ads, launch: testing concepts, bouncing ideas, another area with huge potential. Why not transforming an ad into a ” social object”, let’s call it a value ad 🙂 !
  • new hire: again, wouldn’t this be funny to move to community based hiring process?

Opensource has paved the road for socially developed artefacts that make it to the commercial space. Maybe it’s time for companies to opensource their “product launch”, “advertising campaigns” (already done on the creative side with youtube contest ), “business process”, “innovation process” and maybe (I’d love an analyst prospective into this),  Opensourcing will replace Outsourcing as the next enterprise model.

I asked the presenters about the opportunity for social solutions for businesses that organise the relationship between an enterprise and its target communities. The responses I got varied from very challenging to impossible! except for P Chanezon from Google – Opensocial who was more positive about such opportunites.

What still remains unclear is how to blend “enterprise socialisation” and “intellectual property”, how to socialise processes connexe to commercial transactions, what remains of an enterprise if most of its IP generation processes are opensourced ?

In other word, can enterprise rely less on what they know and own and more on their ability to learn and network?

Well, the net is that we (eCairn) are going after a very challenging objective: social influence solution for the enterprise !  Any (social) help is warmly welcome !


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