Daily Archives: November 23, 2008

Sharing my knowledge on growing technical communities with Web 2.0

I was asked to talk to a group from another large organisation on the topic of “Sustaining Technical Communities using Web 2.0” this week.

It has been a few months since I last gave a presentation. Those of you who have seen some of my previous presentations will recognise a fair few of the slides, images and themes.

One of the things we talked about during the morning (I was booked for a one hour slot, but we seemed to fill two hours with ongoing discussion – and then I went back for more conversations at lunchtime) was the idea that Web 2.0 is about OPENNESS – both in APIs, and also crucially, social openness. I picked up on a great line from Ian Davis.

Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology. It’s about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services. By open I mean technically open with appropriate APIs but also, more importantly, socially open, with rights granted to use the content in new and exciting contexts.

It’s more than this, too – it’s about being prepared to lose a little control. This is one of the hardest thing for a lot of people in business to get their heads around, since they have come from a background where one’s network, knowledge, and contacts are valuable. Of course, this is still true – but you can get so much more value from sharing those resource and joining them up. One reason I enjoy being a social bridgebuilder.

In that spirit, I’ve posted the slides on Slideshare.

It was a really invigorating morning… talking to a group of guys who are engaged in the same space as me, looking for ideas about what works and how to drive adoption of some of the tools and techniques. We covered a whole series of areas from the basic technologies, swapping stories about our experiences, and talked about how microblogging can be applied inside and outside the enterprise. A really pleasing after-effect was finding a bunch of comments on Twitter thanking me for the presentation!

A few items of follow-up reading I recommended:

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