I’ve been with our new company for just about six months now and in this compressed timeframe I’ve grown by leaps and bounds surrounded by very capable people who are looking to move the industry forward. We believe that “social media” (for the lack of a better phrase) isn’t merely the latest communication channel nor a fad but will in fact alter the way business gets done. In order for this to happen, a transformation must take place deep within the organization which manifests itself in nearly every business function. The transformation will result in a business becoming a social business—one that is connected both inwardly and out, and benefits from this in measurable ways. So when it came to our own "Website", our intention was to lead by example. Welcome to our Collaboratory, it’s less a website and more of a digital ecosystem where we will aggregate our collective thinking and engage all levels of participants from clients, to peers to individuals in other ecosystems. The first thing you may notice in our Collaboratory is a somewhat unconventional homepage. I’ve talked before about the idea about attention moving from “pages” and earning trust in streams.
This is exactly what you’ll see when you visit the Collaboratory. You’ll be greeted by a living, breathing, visual representation of our activities. You’ll be able to see what we tweet, how we work (we currently use 37 Signals Basecamp and Highrise to collaborate), when we signal internally (we use Yammer) and when and what we blog. You’ll even be able to see when we e-mail and to which organizations we e-mail to. Of course we’ve thought this through and can control what gets shared and how, but the concept is to provide a window into how we operate. It’s a glimpse into our “hivemind” you could say.
The stream constantly updates in real time and makes for less of a homepage and more of a dynamic representation or our organization. Other features that our site includes is a calender of events so you can see where we are giving talks and participating within the industry. All content from blog posts to our events can be subscribed to via an RSS feed. The Collaboratory will act as a meta aggregator pulling in all of our content from blog posts, to videos to bookmarks and you’ll be able to share your thoughts on anything that gets posted. Additionally, there has been quite a bit of chatter in the industry about the idea of Social Business Design and even requests that we firmly define what this is. We’ve also written a whitepaper on the topic and have defined it in short as the following:
“Social Business Design is The intentional creation of dynamic and socially calibrated systems, process, and culture.”
Our goal with the collaboratory is to provide a value exchange, This means we are tasking ourselves to provide value to our ecosystem and expect to receive value back. But the exchange is not merely two-way, our hope is that all constituents in our ecosystem benefit from the experience we help facilitate here. This is what value exchange means. The Collaboratory was designed specifically for this—leveraging a Wordpress foundation for rapid content updates and integrating all kinds of technologies which make the stream, feeds and interactions possible. It’s designed to be content rich as opposed to heavy on the special effects, and made to evolve and scale as our needs change. We’re emphasizing substance over flash. So welcome to our Collaboratory and feel free to eat our own dogfood along with us. It might not sound glamorous, but we’re counting on your participation as we navigate the course toward creating more socially calibrated organizations. See you in the stream.