Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Participation Levels

Business Week has Beyond Blogs as a cover story for its June 2, 2008 issue, That relatively lengthy piece picks up on the incursion of Web 2.0 tools into American work life. There is a kind of wonderment expressed in the article that the business community has come so far in just three years with regard to employing new technologies for purposes of interaction and collaboration. to interact and collaborate. Bill Ives on Portals and KM posted fairly recently about a rise in the hiring of chief blogging officers at major corporations. It certainly sounds like we've reached the tipping point here with regard to use of these tools in daily online communication.

A Silicon Valley marketing professional recently posted his statistics with regard to levels of participation in a variety of social media environments such as Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, etc. He noted his activity levels in blogging as well as his shared bookmarks on del.icio.us. He then outlined briefly how he follows a stream of social content in the course of a daily workflow. Based on his outline, Louis Gray expends significant effort in listening to and communicating with others in online social networks. For which effort, I must commend him. Tracking 969 individuals is no mean feat.

I don't think I'm saying anything new when I suggest that any proper inventory of activity on these various communication networks ought to include some indication as to the level of participation rather than just the rate of consumption. Louis Gray follows 270 RSS feeds (consumption) but what I would want to read on his blog is some indication as to how he fosters connections to the individuals behind those feeds (individual interaction). Based on a week or so of following his activity on FriendFeed, my belief is that he does foster interactive exchange, but he gives no sense of it in his blog entry.

I have watched with interest Michele Martin's 31-Day-Comment-Challenge at The Bamboo Project Blog. Her focus during May has been the fostering of participation. If the business community wants to enhance the value of social media as well as improve the success of their communications, in my opinion, they should be encouraged to offer up an inventory of participation levels.

1 comment:

louisgray said...

Without listening and participating, this place would get pretty quiet. It's through following and listening that you gain information, and as they say, information can be power.