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As a new contributor to SCN, I thought it fitting to start by providing a map of where I hope to journey over time with this blog.  I’m excited about the opportunity to link with the community and look forward to your feedback to help guide the eventual course for this effort.  In particular, I’m very interested in hearing from the SCN community with suggestions regarding how to make this information as useful as possible, and ideas of specific topics to pursue.  I look forward to hearing from you.

This blog is intended to help people discover best practices to harness SCN and the broader ecosystem to tackle specific business/technology issues.  These best practices may already exist within SCN or across the ecosystem, or could be the culmination of prior experiences and insight (think ‘lessons learned’).  The three goals I have in mind are:

  1. To help people quickly find and leverage information and stories of specific best practices by providing some practical examples of situations where people have solved problems through the ecosystem.  
  2. To fuel a conversation around the development of best practice processes for putting the ecosystem to work.  What are some of the common traits of leveraging the ecosystem to help solve issues?  How can/should companies build this into their ongoing practices?
  3. To share information that helps illustrate how the day-to-day activities of SCN members and ecosystem participants contributes to the bigger picture;  to help everyone put their own activities in context when asked “why do we do this?”.       

I’m planning to approach this blog as a set of stories that can be joined together.  Over the course of my career I’ve had the pleasure of hearing lots of great stories about companies tackling specific issues through technology.  What often strikes me about these stories are the individual contributions – people who made a significant difference through a combination of intelligence, creative capacity, tenacity, and sometimes blind luck.  Telling these stories is important, since a person’s account and perspective can provide a wealth of information, and sometimes when someone else tells the story it helps to draw out the not-so-obvious lessons to be learned. 

The benefit of ecosystems and communities are well known and acknowledged in technical circles. However their use as a business discipline is not yet all that well charted.  I believe there’s still a lot of room to build a solid understanding of the disciplines that companies and individuals can and should build around this new approach.  There’s an opportunity right now to harness the knowledge that has been collectively created at a ‘grass-roots’ level to chart ecosystem-based thinking that crosses company and organizational boundaries.  This blog is designed to help tackle this issue.  By sharing information and experiences, together we can navigate this terrain and build some collective best practices.      

What’s next?  Please email me to let me know if you have an interesting story to tell about how you or your company tackled a business/technology issue using the ecosystem. I’m going to be searching through SCN and talking to members to find out more about the best practices that exist so we can begin the dialoge.  Wish me luck!

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