Wisdom 2.0: In search of a platform

The Wisdom 2.0 conference was an energizing event (see my synopses here and here). Not only did it remind me that I had allowed the digital world to hijack my deeper connections with the real world, but it allowed me to meet and reconnect with many inspiring and amazing people (@CDEgger, @alizasherman, @kanter, @sh0wn and @SorenG to name a few). It revealed a hunger for something deeper than bits and bytes in the world, while recognizing that our digital attachments enrich us, and present us with previously unimagined opportunities.

Coming out of the conference, and watching the flood of intense, positive reactions in the Twitter stream devoted to the conference, it seemed to me that it might be good to establish a more permanent venue for ongoing conversation and resources.

But where?

A few platforms exist for community, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. At first, it seemed like an easy choice, but as I explored the different options, things became more complicated. What kind of features and functionality did the platforms provide? Could I pull data from other external sources? Would the barrier to entry be low enough for people to engage?

The way forward? A survey…

After seeing the plethora of options available, I realized that I don’t want to make a decision that could negatively impact the growth of such a positive community. It makes sense to learn a bit more about what people would want, and what service would best match that community need, before putting something in place. And so, I’ve created a simple survey to see what people think and want. Please let me know. I will collect and colate all feedback, consult with Soren Gordhamer (creator of Wisdom 2.0), and find the path with heart that allows us to move forward with creating a vibrant community.



Appendix: The reasoning that brought me here…

Account creation: The highest barrier to entry
People are already overloaded with accounts on different social networks, services and platforms. Why sign up for yet another social network? It seemed like it would be great to find a social networking platform that supported something like federated identity (e.g., OpenID) or at least delegated API access (e.g., Facebook Connect or Twitter OAuth). In my first pass, I couldn’t find any robust community platforms that supported this kind of authentication.

Twitter feeds
Twitter seemed to be at least one primary stream for conversation related to Wisdom 2.0. Any platform should have the ability to insert widgets with a Twitter stream with the appropriate hashtag(s) (e.g., #wisdom2conf).

If we’re going to bet on a platform, how stable does it look? Will it support community for the long term, or is it likely to flame out in the near future?

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the premiere community platform (Ning) just changed its business model from Freemium (i.e., free baseline service with paid extensions) to pure subscription (pay for everything, with tiers). Other platforms like Wiser Earth don’t charge, but their functionality seems more restricted.


4 Responses to “Wisdom 2.0: In search of a platform”

  1. 1 Lianne Bridges May 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for suggesting a site to allow us to continue the conversation. I have felt a bit out of sorts since leaving the conference two weeks ago. There was so much momentum and excitement created over the weekend.I wrote a blog post about it: http://bit.ly/bgtJfp, but struggle to find ways to continue to share with the amazing people who attended the conference.

    Thank you for starting this initiative,

  2. 2 Aliza Sherman May 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I think that you can get away with premium Ning for $25/month, or did they change that, too? $25/month for no ads and $25/month for direct URL, wasn’t it?

    Good questions. I took the survey! 🙂

  3. 3 Shawn Collins May 18, 2010 at 12:53 am

    It may help to learn about the long-term goals of the conference. Should we make an effort to create a community based on our individual experiences of attending year one of the conference or should we be thinking about creating something that can evolve and scale over time in the spirit of the conference. I think there’s an opportunity here for Soren to create something really unique and new here. It definitely felt like there was a hunger in the crowd.

  4. 4 James Ehrlich May 18, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Why not Facebook?

    All the functionality and longevity, plus just a few hundred million people who would benefit from the spread of Wisdom 2.0 : )

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