Why walled gardens may not work for membership organisations

Walled garden

The Economist questions whether "walled garden" social networks like Facebook will be able to continue to lock in user content. In Everywhere and nowhere, the author doubts whether there is a long-term business in the walled garden model, unless web mail or other services allow transmission of content across the boundaries. I wonder if the same issue will face those membership organisations creating closed member-only networks. Here first is the general analysis from The Economist, which acknowledges the value of social networking sites:

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Why academics may not share openly

Steve Walker provides an interesting insight into why there is a strong disincentive for him and fellow academics to publish research in the context of otherwise open explorations with practitioners, like the Practical Design for Social Action (PRADSA) project.

Academics get recognition through publication - and Steve explains that these days the framework for determining research funding includes measures of how far articles are cited by other articles. What counts are traditional closed, subscription-only publications rather than open access ones. So here is a direct reward for not-being open. As Steve says:  read more »

Video of Clay Shirky at the RSA

Clay Shirky - whose book Here Comes Everybody is about organising without organisations - spoke yesterday at the RSA. I've posted some video.

Chief exec of chief exec's organisation starts blogging

Social media may get more attention in the voluntary and community sector now that Stephen Bubb, chief executive of acevo - the organisation for chief executives - has started blogging. Hopefully it will encourage his peers to try it too.

We can't do that - and they mustn't do it either

ChangeThe realities of introducing social media into organisations was brought home to me again yesterday at a conference in Cardiff for people in housing associations with responsibility for PR and communications. We had some fine presentations about developing the brand, dealing with media, using storytelling. These days tenants are customers, housing stock is homes - and quite rightly so.
I ran a couple of workshops on what blogs, wikis, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and the like might bring to the mix, and how organisations could use lots of free tools from Google and other sources. I tried to focus on what this meant for organisations, as people become more able to find their voice to contribute ideas, experience - and of course complain if they were not happy with services.
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