Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: James Carlini, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: What Are the Drivers of Social Software's Success?

Is social software more powerful than any other form of software, and if so why?

Have you subscribed yet to Dion Hinchcliffe's "Web 2.0 Blog"? Just in case you haven’t, let me say that it's a weblog very much worth while subscribing to. In a recent post for example Dion writes that it's time we start understanding the “exact underlying reasons why [social software] is so compelling” if we would want to apply it to the business world.

Check out the graphic he has shared because it will certainly help understand a thing or two. At the end of his piece, Dion asked an open question: “Do you think network effects will make social software more powerful than any other form of software?“

I thought I would venture to give my own take in trying to help find a good answer to his great question.

The short answer is: Yes, I very much think so - I think that the network effect will cause social software to eventually take over most of whatever other forms of software that may be out there.

My reasons for thinking this will happen are threefold. All three are related to those network effects as key components to make it all work out the way it was first envisioned:

Passion: There's no doubt that passion is, perhaps, one of the key network effect components that will seduce more and more people into trying out new social software, especially once it has been proven that it works from a personal perspective because then it is ready to go into the business world. In one of the comments to Dion's blog referenced above, there is talk of having reached a critical mass and I would agree with that. One of the best ways to boost and increase that critical mass is just by augmenting the passion some of those folks already have, so that it becomes contagious to get busy using that social software. That is what has happened to most of the Web 2.0 offerings that are out there, growing really fast at the moment. They are passionate about using that offering and even more they are sharing that passion with others. That would be a key connector to the business world.

Trust: This is the other most significant component of every network effect. Ee are all social creatures, but we are social creatures who need to create bonds with those around us in order to benefit from those social connections the most. One of the best ways of doing that is by having enough trust built up across the board and help spreading it around as widely as possible.

We all know that in every working business environment people are more willing to share what they know if they have a sense of trust of those with whom they are going to collaborate closer. And there's no denying that one of the most powerful options to help build up on the trust skills is by making use of social capital. In short: Social Software again. Examples so relatively simple as using different icebreakers, sharing favourite links, pictures, music, podcasts, etc. are just a few of the capabilities that social software is putting together and which help increase trust in whatever the business environment.

Involvement: Finally, to make it all work and to make social software more powerful than any other form of software, we would need to ensure that people are motivated and involved enough to want to make a difference. To want to come out, stand up and share what they know, because they actually want to do it and not because they may have been told to do so or because they may be getting in return whatever the incentive. Involvement is one other key element that will help people understand that through their passion and trust in each other they can let themselves go and get further involved with the task at hand - sharing what they know and collaborating with each other.

More Stories By Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is an Education Specialist working in the
Community Building programme from Business Consulting Services, Learning
and Knowledge, IBM Netherlands. He has been involved with Knowledge
Management for the last six years and has developed a passion for
everything that relates to Knowledge Management and related tools,
Communities of Practice, Remote Collaboration, Social Networking and
related tools including Web 2.0 / social software. You can read and find
out much more by heading over to either one of his Internet weblogs:
http://www.elsua.net (elsua - A KM Blog) or
http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/km/elsua (elsua - The Knowledge Management
Blog).

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
DataPoint 03/11/06 07:25:01 AM EST

Wikipedia reminds us that the term "social software" also arose in the late nineties to describe software emerging out of alliances between programmers and social groups whose particular kinds of cultural intelligence are locked out of mainstream software.

[from Wikipedia]
"In this understanding of the term, the social is understood to also have a political and aesthetic sense, not simply acting as a kind of glue for a collection of normatively understood 'agents' whose inter-relations are formatted by software. What both positions share is an understanding that particular design decisions and the grammar of interactions made possible by each piece of software is socially significant.

As the term has become more important to the computer industry, this earlier use of the term has often been edited out of memory."

Social Software 03/09/06 07:52:14 AM EST

Anyone seen Clay Shirky's Clay grid relating increasing community freedom on the X-axis and increasing annoyingness (suscepitiblity to common group problems) on the Y? The curve was steep and sudden. As freedom grows, so does trouble.

He proposes development of a pattern language - a tool adopted from architecture for describing issues and strategies or problems and solutions without being overcontrolled.

Social Software 03/09/06 07:52:01 AM EST

Anyone seen Clay Shirky's Clay grid relating increasing community freedom on the X-axis and increasing annoyingness (suscepitiblity to common group problems) on the Y? The curve was steep and sudden. As freedom grows, so does trouble.

He proposes development of a pattern language - a tool adopted from architecture for describing issues and strategies or problems and solutions without being overcontrolled.

Web20 Is Here 03/09/06 06:47:02 AM EST

The three reasons are spot-on. Passion is all too rarely mentioned as a driver, yet it's probably the key one.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...