Attended Our Social World conference on social software organised by Geoff Jones and held at The Moller Centre, Cambridge, UK on 9th September 2005. Here are the notes captured on the day.

Good line up of speakers.  In the room, Apple Macs must have outnumbered Windows-based laptops by at least 5:1… not quite representative of normal adoption statistics 🙂 perhaps suggesting social software as a business technology is yet to be mainstream.  Give it time…

Simon Phipps – Sun (created and manages the Sun blog network)

The Participation Age: Volume of readership doesn’t matter, it’s the critical mass that counts (i.e. the ‘influentials’ within the target audience). Trackbacks vs Comments: The former can enforce accountability (at least to some degree) compared to anonymous comments.

Tom Coates – BBC

Covered the different forms of social software that are appearing on the
Internet, including: Flickr,, Technorati, microformats, LastFM.

Suw Charman – Independent Blog Consultant

"Before you start blogging inside your organisation, first ask what can be done better through blogs that couldn’t be done before. "  Good sound advice, seems obvious but too often forgot (and applies to all technology projects).

Julian Bond

Blogging tips – "Don’t just talk about your own business, you have to talk about the business you are in."

Loic Le Meur -Six Apart, TypePad

Used the L’Oreal example (they created a fake blog) for what not to do:
create a fake blog identity, erase negative comments – wrong, wrong, wrong.  To be fair, L’Oreal also then got it right.  Acknowledged the mistake and asked the blogger community for what to do.  The flamers then turned into helpers.

Euan Semple – BBC

Talked through projects the BBC has implemented internally, including blogs and wikis.   Interesting, wikis took off faster than any other technology.  I’ve seen similar reactions to the deployment of collaborative workspaces such as Microsoft’s Windows SharePoint Services.  Collaboration still trumps all 🙂 IMHO

Ross Mayfield – Social Text

Blogs vs Wikis = single voice/commentary vs group voice/collaboration

The Ecosystem of Networks:

1 12 150 1000+


Creative Networks
Social Networks
Political Networks

Nice, clean way of articulating the differences that occur as audience size increases.   When we go really large, we’re into the publishing domain.  When you compare the differences between newspapers, what are they?  Ultimately, they are political preferences aimed at a target audience.

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