The Importance of Collaborative ‘Online’ communities cannot really be explained with one single example. But through out recent times there has been numerous examples of how such communities hosted online can bring about significant change.
On a political note, the Obama campaign can be treated as one instance in which information was passed, masses engaged and a process of feedback initiated. With Obama now in power, it would be right to assume that the system worked 🙂
I am not sure how many would agree on the fact that for Enterprises, sharing business information that can be made useful to others can eventually be beneficial to their own business. This is another opportunity for businesses to utilize the power of collaborative communities.
The best example in its own very right is SCN. I remember one conversation with a colleague of mine who was thinking of making a career move into SAP (technology front). The one thing that he valued as part of the decision he was making was the fact that SDN was a very active community. He felt that the information available was tremendous and it brought in a confidence for him that assisted in making a decision regarding his career.
I believe that if an online community that makes use of collaboration in sharing and accessing information can help someone in making decisions (career move is an important one, i assume), then it holds tremendous power.
As I have mentioned before in my other posts, apart from the whole abundance of ‘Knowledge’, there is a different aspect to such communities and that is the ‘people’ aspect of it. This is of far more significance than the knowledge attribute of a community.
Its the people who join the communities, consume data, provide data, through the word of mouth bring in new members, become top contributors, become mentors, nominate mentors, moderate the community and beside all this start building relationships and valued friendships that bring ‘better consulting’ to the world.
Eight Months back, Mike shared an idea with me and immediately we started working on it. With valuable inputs and help from Kevin, we drafted the first cut of what was to be ‘The Essentials on SAP Process Integration – A SAP Mentor 2010 Series‘.
After multiple iterations, reviews and proof reading, today it is a reality. Within a couple of days we should be able to find a book written together by two community members and assisted by another (in getting it published), listed online.
Being based out of different geographies and time zones (Kevin in US, Mike in Poland and I currently working out of UK), we finally did pull this one off 🙂 I assume, its the community that has made it possible in a way (it is the small steps that eventually lead to bigger milestones).
There is a quote by Tom Clancy and it goes, ‘Collaboration on a book is the ultimate unnatural act’ but then with concepts like SCN and the power of online collaboration tools (not to forget Google Chat), collaborating on ‘The Essentials on SAP Process Integration – A SAP Mentor 2010 Series’, came naturally.
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