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This feels too short for a blog post, but it’s too long to tweet.
I’ve been saying something along these lines for a while to people who insist on hearing what the Return on Investment might be on social software.
I said it again today, but I can’t see that I’ve written it down anywhere.
So, this I believe:
“The ROI on using the social web is increased social capital, that’s all. The question is not how to try to measure social capital but how to most effectively convert it a more traditional form – the form that is accepted by landlords, supermarkets, ex-wives and the electricity company.”
Please. Thank you.
I’d love to talk at SXSW interactive in Austin next March about what the Tuttle Club is and what we’ve been learning.
The panel is entitled: Community Building: Organization Without Organization
And I’ll be trying to answer (at least) the following questions:
1. How do you get people to do something without telling them what to do?
2. What kinds of business models emerge out of a community of passionate users of the social web?
3. What sorts of people come when you open your doors to everyone?
4. How do you get co-working going in one of the most expensive cities in the world?
5. How do you organise stuff without a formal organisation?
6. How do you make money out of social networking?
7. How do you protect an open community from predators?
8. How long does it take to create a productive and self-supporting community?
9. What roles do you need people to play to create a sustainable community?
10. What principles have helped sustain and grow this community so successfully?
If you’ve had a positive Tuttle experience and would like to help make sure that this session gets picked, there are a few things you can do.
1. Vote – you’ll need to sign up for the site, but it’s very simple and they don’t ask for masses of personal information. Then towards the top of the description there’s a thumbs up button to vote “for” and a thumbs down to vote “against”.
2. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page – see, lots of lovely people already have, thank you, but the more that people say, both about what they’ve got out of Tuttle, but also what they’re interested in hearing about, the more likely the session is to happen.
3. Blog about it – tell me not just that you’ve voted for it but why. Or blog about why you couldn’t bring yourself to vote for it. Or, shock horror! what if you actually voted *against* it? – yeah, blog about it and we’ll talk about why. Whichever you do, please link back to this post so that I’ll see the pingback. Again, people have already, thank you Chris & Taylor
PS there are, naturally, *lots* of other lovely panels up for voting too – I’ll do a round-up of the one’s I’ve voted for shortly.
I heard Dougald speak yesterday on the “why don’t you…?” web, the web (immediately recognisable to UK readers of a certain age) that enables us to “turn off the tv set and go and do something less boring instead”.
I then saw someone on twitter point to Guerilla Gardening, a site that facilitates small groups going out and making urban spaces more green, leafy, flowery or otherwise lovely.
And then this morning when I got some cash out, I noticed how bloody filthy this cash machine in Cockspur Street is. And I wondered if anyone would want to do some off-the-cuff street cleaning – the nightmare is that you’d probably be arrested immediately with tampering with a cash machine, no matter how much you protested that you were performing a secret civic service. But might it have legs (particularly for urban dwellers) are there things you could clean without getting into trouble, especially if there were a group of you and are there lessons buried in the Guerilla Gardening site that might help it happen?
Implementation is left as an exercise for the reader.
I was just talking to Alex (ledretch) about the conference, the sessions, the people etc and he made a remark about all the tools we use to connect.
And it hit me that 3 years ago when I was here at Les Blogs the *only* thing we had that we could connect through was our blogs, and flickr I suppose, but mostly the blogs, and there was this feeling of tension of social unease that we didn’t know each other very well and that that mattered (apart from among the old-timers of course who regularly met at conferences) – and now we have so many other ways of getting together and in fact the communities that have formed around twitter and seesmic and facebook et al *as well as* our blogs are now just way, way richer and when we come together offline, it’s just that we’re operating in a different mode, it’s not so awkward or anything.
And anyway lots of people just come and sit down here and chat and crack open their laptops.
Of course I could just be an old social media tart or something.
We’re talking about the social web and how they might use it. This blogpost is an example. While I’m writing this they are all sitting quietly and I’m also uploading some pictures to flickr.
I’m showing them how I write a post – and forgetting half the time that I’m doing that and that I should explain more what I’m doing at the time.