Thought of the Day: September 17, 2009

Social functionality is best deployed when embedded in other applications and systems, not as social suites or platforms. Most organizations don’t realize that yet, but they will, once they experience the disconnect they’ve created between collaboration, content, and process applications.


6 responses to “Thought of the Day: September 17, 2009

  1. Hey Larry…

    While I agree in principle, it strikes me that the real revolution will come when you actually alter this equation. Embedding collaboration and social interaction in an application/content context is a first step, but it’s not the same as making that application or content “social”. I would suggest that social space will trump the application content space. Organizations need to think about how they bring ( embed ) their application logic and content into the social contexts in which their employees operate.

    We had a small twitter exchange on this a few weeks ago…would love to chat more about it.


  2. totally agree. social is not a destination – it’s an ingredient.

  3. Hola John! I’d love to discuss more with you, as I’m not completely getting your thought on making application/content “social”. I went back to look at our recent Twitter exchange just now and realized that I wasn’t entirely sure of your meaning then either. Can you elaborate here (on this blog post) on what you mean? That way the conversation is bigger than just you and me. Thanks!

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  5. Larry…so much for follow-up heh ( i must not have turned ‘notify’ on)?

    I was thinking about this topic today and it reminded me of your post and my comment. Here are some simple thoughts, as I try to get figure out how to express my POV…

    Applications need profiles…just as people need profiles.
    Applications have social networks ( users )…just like people have social networks.
    Applications can report their status ( what they are doing…just like people can update their status.

    Applications can/need to be designed so that they reach out, connect to people, “form” relationships with their users and communicate transparently. Embedding social capabilities in an application is a first step in that it helps users to engage each other as needed in the context of their work. I think a fair debate could be had about the incremental benefits there, but it is certainly a logic approach.

    However, I think the tipping point will come when applications start to act “socially” and users express their connections to an application, or service, explicitly. Perhaps it’s best expressed as an evolution in what we know today as “workflow”…applications designed to notify users of process status and events. Imagine applying social patterns to workflow or modeling the interaction between user and application as a relationship. When we do, get will truly get social applications.

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