The Secret Of Successful Social Communities: 4 Social Needs

Ever since I first started working with online social communities I've been thinking about just what it is that makes some communities successful while others fizzle and die. In particular I'm curious why collaboration communities seem to be so hard to make work.

Of course we have plenty of research into the strategies and tactics involved in setting up and running a successful social community, and we continue to publish new research and insights each month. But what do we know about the real reasons why individuals take the time to participate in these communities? What motivates them? And if we can understand what motivates them, is there a connection to figuring out why some communities are more successful than others?

While doing recent research on social computing initiatives I got to thinking on this problem again. Recently I made the connection to Abraham Maslow's work on the hierarchy of needs

Maslow suggested all people are motivated by a desire to fulfill basic human needs in an ascending hierarchy. He also suggested that unless the lower-order needs are fulfilled, the higher-order needs are not motivators of behavior.

The primary needs Maslow identified fall into five groups:

  • Physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion
  • Safety: security of: body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health, property.
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Forrester's New Blog Network is LIVE

Cliff Condon, the Forrester VP in charge of research processes, just pulled the trigger on Forrester's new blogging network. I'm very excited about the new platform, for it provides a rock solid foundation for enhancing Forrester's research and service engagement. Let us know what you think!

And while you're thinking, here's what Cliff has to say. 

Forrester's Cliff CondonHey everyone.  Here it is – Forrester’s new blog network. We made some changes to improve the experience for readers and to encourage more analysts to blog. Feel free to poke around and let me know what you think.

There are a few things I’d like to point out to you:
 

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Interested in how well SAP is addressing your data management and BI requirements?

It would be an understatement to say that data management is a hot topic today.   Master data management, data quality management, metadata management, data integration and data governance have all emerged as high priorities for many global IT organizations. Often times, these data management efforts are paired with investments in business intelligence and facilitated by data warehousing strategies.

Once the strategy, business case, and supporting architectures and organizations are defined (no easy task in and of itself), the next inevitable question is then, which vendors should IT leaders partner with to enable these strategies? There are pure play and best of breed MDM, data quality, BI and DW vendors that offer unbiased, agnostic approaches, eliminating any vendor lock-in or reliance on database platform or enterprise applications. On the other hand, a single platform vendor can offer better ease of integration with existing IT infrastructure than the best of breed alternatives.

These considerations lead us to a major platform vendor, like SAP.  Similar to its mega-platform competitors, IBM and Oracle, SAP offers a deep and wide set of data management, BI and data warehousing solutions that promise not only integration within these products, but more notably - across its broader product portfolio of enterprise applications.

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Deloitte’s Two Recent Acquisitions Highlight Broader Market Changes

Deloitte recently made two acquisitions that may not make front-page headlines, but for sourcing professionals, they are noteworthy.  In February/March Deloitte announced the acquisition of 1) dcarbon8, a carbon and sustainability consulting company that specializes in supply-chain management and carbon benchmarking and 2) Simulstrat, a company that pioneers “wargaming” and a spinoff from the department of war studies at King’s College in London. The acquisitions are small, but they highlight some interesting trends in the technology marketplace:

  • Before the recession of 2008, high oil prices pushed interest in “going green” to a peak, but the economic recession cooled some of the green fever --  and many “clean tech” companies we track started repositioning themselves more as enablers of cost savings and efficiency.  The acquisition of a sustainability consultancy like dcarbon8 highlights the fact that the interest in green continues – and companies like Deloitte view the green focus as more than a passing fad.  
  • Simulstrat offers sophisticated risk mitigation consulting to companies – all posited at a simulation or “game-like” setting. In this case, Deloitte looked to the capabilities of an academic institution to bring an innovative risk services offering with its private sector clients.  While simulations have traditionally been applied in government settings (e.g., war games) the potential for businesses (who are increasingly interested in risk mediation strategies to deal with macro-economic shifts) is strong. 

 

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Social BPM and Case Management

BPM has always provided fertile ground for new ideas but often results in confusing business process and application professionals. Recently Dynamic Case Management and Social BPM are being spoken of as important directions for BPM. But how do they relate to one another? And since social media is an important part of both, what value does social really add to process improvement and Line of Business professionals if any? No doubt social improves collaboration in process design, and more important is the ability -with analytics to add a new form of input to process improvement -input that may go directly to the CEO. This is part of the BPM advantage but the area of Case Management may have more dramatic value as you collaborate during a critical incident like an adverse drug reaction, or create a stronger community to deliver a more personalized service event -or to gather "voice of the customer" data to improve case handling. But in both BPM and Case -social is an enabler and takes a seat along side important advancements such as analytics, convergence of BPM and ECM, and a stronger domain focus.

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The Appliance Wars Drag On and On

It was my pleasure to participate in the latest DM Radio podcast panel yesterday. Eric Kavanaugh and Jim Ericson always do a fine job of organizing these events, and, with their stellar industry panels and fun “morning drive-time crew” on-air patter, they keep it lively. And these guys actually know a thing or two about information management. 

The latest DM Radio panel was right in my core coverage area. They called it their “Third Annual Appliance Showdown.” That got to me to thinking: early 2008 (when they held their first) was also when Forrester began our coverage of data warehousing (DW) appliances, starting with publication of my report “Appliance Power: Crunching Data Warehousing Workloads Faster And Cheaper Than Ever.”  When I published that report, DW appliances were still not quite in the enterprise mainstream, because they were still regarded by enterprise IT as, in the words of Kavanaugh, an “adjunct” to the enterprise DW (EDW) for fast table scans and query processing, rather than as platform that could scale to support all EDW functions. 

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Cisco's IME: Step One In Bringing B2B Voice & Video Into The Internet Era

You can use Internet protocols to make phone calls inside your own network. And you don't have to pay for the minutes. But you can't do the same thing with a business partner. Instead, you have to pay a carrier like BT or AT&T to carry the phone call over the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

 

(PSTN is an analog network born in 1878 when Bell opened a switching office in New Haven, CT. It's done us proud, but it's time to move to a digital network.)

 

It's even worse for video conferencing. If you want to have a video conference internally, you can use your IP network to do it. But if you want to do a video conference with a business partner, you have to use a complex business gateway link and pay a lot of money for it.
 
Cisco thinks it's time to change that. We spoke with Cisco executives Tony Bates, Barry O'Sullivan, and Joe Burton about Cisco's intercompany media engine (IME), a new technology to replace PSTN with its Internet equivalent. Cisco's goals are audacious:
 
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Podcast: The Top Six Ways to Get Value From Your CRM Deployment

I’ve just published a new podcast for Business Process & Applications professionals:  “The Top Six Ways to Get Value From Your CRM Deployment”.

In my podcast, I highlight the top six ways that organizations can get extra value from their CRM deployments, and spotlight four pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Please share your questions or comments

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Subscribe to Business Process & Applications podcasts through iTunes.

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Welcome to our new blog home

Forrester's new blog platform went live -- we still have a team blog for Sourcing & Vendor Management, but now each analyst also has an independent blog. Check them out. In the meantime, here are some thoughts from Cliff Condon, the project manager. And of course, feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

Christine

Hey everyone. Here it is – Forrester’s new blog network. We made some changes to improve the experience for readers and to encourage more analysts to blog. Feel free to poke around and let me know what you think.

There are a few things I’d like to point out to you:

Everyone’s welcome here. Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.

We still have team blogs focused on role professionals. Our role blogs, such as the CIO blog and the Interactive Marketing blog, are a rollup of all the posts from the analysts serving that specific role professional. By following a role team blog, you can participate in all the conversational threads affecting a role.
And now we’ve added analyst blogs as well. If you prefer to engage directly with your favorite analyst, you can. Look on the right-hand rail of the team blog and you’ll see a list of the analyst blogs. Just click on their name to go to their blog. Or type their name into “Search”. An analyst blog is a place for the analyst to get reaction to their ideas and connect with others shaping the marketplace. You’ll find the blogs to be personal in tone and approach.

You can monitor analyst tweets. On role team blogs, you will see the recent tweets on the right-hand rail from analysts serving that role. On analyst blogs, the tweets shown are specific to that analyst.

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Welcome To Forrester's New Blog Platform!

We don't normally draw attention to things like this (changing our underlying platform technology), but in this case, there are some key differences in capabilities, that you need to know about so you can benefit from them. As you already know if you've been following the Application Development & Program Management blog, we have a team of analysts who are already active bloggers. But in the past, it may have been challenging, if you were particularly interested in following the posts of one analyst, to do that in amongst the posts from the rest of the team.

So I'm thrilled that we now have individual blogs for all the analysts on the team, too. Everything blogged by the team also rolls up into the team-level blog, which is a good place to hang out if you're following several analysts on the team, have more eclectic interests around application development and delivery, or just want to be tuned in to what's going on across the team.

Another great innovation (for you) of our new platform is that blog pots are now presented with only summary information showing in the initial view. Only after you choose to drill down on a post do you see the whole thing. This makes it easier to look through several posts, whether on an analyst or team blog, and find just the stuff you care about.

And now for a few words from Cliff Condon, the Forrester exec who leads our social computing initiative of which this new platform is a part, on Forrester blogs and what it means for you:

  • Everyone’s welcome here.  Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.

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