Blogs and Social Media Forum, and other ideas.

It’s been an interesting day for several reasons:

  1. I reminded myself why I never want to work in London, after I had to suffer the discomfort of a morning train and tube ride at the peak of rush hour,
  2. I went to the second Blogs and Social Media Forum at the Marriott London Grosvenor Square Hotel (more about this in a mo’),
  3. I think I may have found a solution to something BritBlog related…., and
  4. I’ve made some career decisions….ish.

So the main event of the day was the Blogs and Social Media forum, subtitled “The impact of social media and enterprise 2.0“. This was useful for two reasons: (1) it has given me some interesting ideas to play with at work, which could have a significant impact on both our business and my job, and (2) it helped me crystallise some thinking around BritBlog and what the right next step is.

I’m afraid I can’t really go into point 1 much at the moment - I really need to think about more about the pros and cons of what I’d like to do at work, but point 2 is quite interesting.

Those of you that have been following the BritBlog saga over the last, umm, ‘many’ months, will know that I’ve been working on lots of new ideas for the site. Alas I’ve not managed the work very well (the day job kinda interferes…), and it’s been getting quite messy and very depressing.

Anyway, today has given me some time to stand back and think about the project, and I’ve pretty much decided to scrap all of my work from the last few months. A chap called Lee Bryant from a company called Headshift was talking about a project they’ve recently done for BP/Castrol, and he made some very interesting remarks. I suppose the two that may the biggest impression with me were these:

  1. Firstly, they didn’t mind so much about releasing a site to the public before it was finished. There is a theory that an unfinished project encourages members to get more involved than they would otherwise, because they feel like they are able to participate. The example given was MySpace — you know how messy it tends to look? — but it made me think of flickr also, as it was in public beta for years.

    Anyway, this made me worry less about getting things right with BritBlog straight away, and it leads me into point 2:

  2. They would make frequent small changes/releases to the website, and gather feedback from users about them. This stuck a chord too: rather than getting all the new ideas out there in one mammoth go, we could release them it stages, making fairly small changes at a time. This will allow us to get the changes right each time, and will give us the room to fix problems that may arise before they get too complex. There are loads of incremental changes I can see us making to BritBlog, and tackling it in this manner makes it all feel much more achievable.

So perhaps nothing ground-breakingly new there, but I clearly needed someone to spell it out to me…

The final thing that happened today was I was able to give my career a bit of thought. This is something I’ve been putting off for a long time because it’s something I don’t really like thinking about! Anyway, although I’ve not made any concrete decisions today, I have at least had some interesting ideas. Again, I want to discuss these with other people before saying anything here about them, but perhaps the future is bright…..*.

*And no, that is not by any means a clue. I have absolutely no desire to work for Orange. Or at least not yet!

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