I am currently completing my doctorate in the area of collaborative innovation through online social networks. One of the “living experiments” I am watching is the effort by BCIT’s Applied Research Liaison Office (ARLO) to create an online community that brings together students, industry and faculty. What ARLO has done is set up a Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/BCITARLO) and endeavored to populate the community with a healthy mix of students, industry people and others who are interested in applied research and innovation.
As with everything experimental, there are both successes and challenges. Some of my observations so far are:
- Getting members to sign up, and to stick around.
- Achieving the right mix of participants.
- Keeping the content fresh and appealing.
- Getting members of the community to interact with each other.
- Moving beyond the surface contact nature of Facebook.
- Increased awareness of the ARLO office and what they do.
- Stimulated the creation of a student-led consulting group.
- Opened a two-way communication channel with the market in a medium they like.
Is Facebook the right medium to create this type of community? Only time will tell…
To learn more, or to explore having me speak to your group or team about collaborative innovation through online social networks, please contact Rob Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Contact tab on this page.