Rachel Happe: Online Communities – A Strategic Imperative [#e2conf]

Rachel Happe, Principal, The Community Roundtable.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2011 in Boston.  Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error.  Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]


  • How do you define a Community? A group of people with unique shared values, behaviors and artifacts. Communities are opt in; you can’t force people to join. People participate because they get more out of them than they put in.
  • Communities are Essential to Social Business. The strategy is to make organizations more humane, adaptive and resilient in order to increase revenue through relevance and reduce costs through crowdsourcing.  Communities help make this happen.
  • Technology alone is not enough. Technology is improving so quickly with respect to social media that it is a constant race to stay on top of the changes. However, the speed of technological change far outstrips the speed at which a person can adapt to those changes. When people are forced to operate at that speed, people break.
  • Information Arbitrage is not enough. In the early days, social technology could be used to increase the seed of information.  Perfect information led to strategic advantages in negotiations and operations. However, once all your competitors have adopted the technology, you lose the competitive edge with respect to speedy access to information.
  • Relationships are the Antidote.

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