Sun’s Peter Reiser Talks Communities, CE2.0, cites Muffett

Peter cites me in the following video interview he did with Shel Israel:

Sun Micro’s Peter Reiser Talks Communities | FastCompany.TV

As the chief architect of Sun’s Community Equity 2.0 (CE2.0) project, Peter Reiser is considering the place of the individual in a social network from the perspective of a computer scientist, a sociologist, a psychologist, and a carnival ringleader. An attempt to mesh Web 2.0 technologies with corporate communities, he hopes to inject fun and serendipity into information exchange.

In one of the more exciting technologies I’ve seen, CE2.0 is equal parts Facebook, corporate intranet, and community forum. The ability to aggregate and display community participation, and to profile the individual on a community equity model is incredibly innovative.

At one point he asks: why does one participate in a community? What value does one get from that?

He suggests that the value of Web2.0 in a company is “real time knowledge management” – his business case for deploying Web2.0 systems in a company – and that there is a problem in smaller-than-internet-scale communities where the disparity between number-of-content-consumers (many) and number-of-content-creators (few) is great.

He then goes on to suggest that what is needed is a way to measure “contribution” and “participation” in communities, so that people can establish their value to the company.

That establishing my value to the company is utterly separate from establishing the value of community participation to myself – other than in the obvious “keep your metric up, or else” sense – seems lost.

As my name was used, I feel it necessary to state clearly, flatly, utterly, in no way do I support the measurement of “participation equity” – I do not believe that attempts to measure such are meaningful, useful, or beneficial to the body corporate. In fact, I consider them detrimental.

Speaking in general, for all companies, and upon behalf of many folk:

One may have a spreadsheet tell management how valuable one is at one’s job, but not when it is mechanically measuring – rather than humanly assessing – the scope of one’s influence within the company. It’s one’s management’s job to understand your value to an employer, else they’re not doing theirs. If one’s management cannot understand that, one will find employment elsewhere.

Question: “How can you motivate 9000 people to do a little bit extra work to share information?”

Answer: Not through surveillance. I resent being whipped with measurements, and I’m horrified at the prospect of those with a taste for vanity publishing and hot air being equated with those who produce just one document or tool that is perfect.

To answer the question unanswered by Peter, why do I participate within communities at Sun?

Answer: “because hanging with smart people is cool, and me sharing with them encourages them to share with me, and both help me get my work done better.”

Not “because some robot will be counting the number of comments that someone else makes on my blog.”

ps: obligatory link to that from which I extrapolate

2 Replies to “Sun’s Peter Reiser Talks Communities, CE2.0, cites Muffett”

  1. I’ve been pretty much expecting some suit to make the case for measuring participation since corporate intranet communities first appeared. Welcome to how the ‘real world’ will use your ideas 😉

  2. Alec –
    I did cite you on “What is the value I can provide to the Community and What is the value I can get back from the Community”

    but it was *not* my intention to create the impression that you agree with “measurement of value – other than in the obvious “keep your metric up, or else” sense -”

    If we use the Community Equity model as a pure metric to measure contribution and participation – then we should not do it !

    The goal of Community Equity is to build a *Value System* NOT a metrics systems

    By dynamically calculating the social context of an information we will be able to:

    * deliver better search results
    – (google page rank algorithm does not work well in Intranets as we don’t have a lot
    of referrers but complement the search algorithm with the social context would
    – recommend people with similar interested and how to contact them (social graph) –

    * improve the accuracy of content by
    -automatically understand what content is not used by the community anymore
    (through equity aging) and auto-archive content or notify the author to update the

    * Provide a easy way to tag your content across multiple web venues
    – generate a consistent tag cloud around your contributions.
    – improve search and mashup services based on tags

    * and last but not least show you the Value you create and the value you receive from the Community

    Maybe you can help me to better articulate Value versus Measure ….

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