Yesterday, I announced that I was dropping out of The Living Enterprise book project to write about enterprise communities from an independent perspective. Today I woke up and discovered that once again my toes are against the base of a mountain.
The mountain is a new book project. My toes are at the base, because I am starting anew and this post is the first baby step. At this moment, this new book has not title, no outline, no table of contents, or publishers proposal.
I have hundreds of interviews in front of me, dozens of chapter drafts, leads to pursue, dead ends to hit.
But, if I am at the beginning of a lengthy climb, I am better equipped than I was at the start of previous endeavors. First off, I have a satchel full of notes and ideas that come from dozens of conversations with SAP folk whose stories and insights will be helpful.
I've also started exploring elsewhere.
While writing this post, Intuit's Scott Gulbransen, a TurboTax PR guy, has sent me some links and intros, so that I can start exploring what they have done with communities that embrace independent developers and small businesses.
It's a start. I'm counting on you, dear crowd members, to be the source of more.
Let me tell you a few random thoughts that will be at the nexus of this book, whatever it will be called:
- This book will examine business-to-business social media efforts, mostly online social networks.
- It will explain through as many stories as possible how social media projects began as a skunkworks, but are now showing real business value. While social networks may not deliver many dollars directly to the bottom line, significant revenue is being realized because of social media.
- It will look at how large organizations are dealing with the difficult problem of where social media fits into a traditional organization's structure. Should it be part of marketing? Should it be part of corporate communications or should it have it's own box on the organizational chart?
- The blurring of lines between companies, partners and customers. Social media has made it clear that community members more often thrive or wane together, showing that success is shared and the health of your customers matters to your company's bottom line.
- Stories, stories and stories. I am, by nature, a story teller. I don't write books that look like white papers between hard covers. I tell about people in business who use technology to either achieve success or fail in trying to do so. I believe that if I tell you a lot of stories, about blogs or Twitter or, in this case, enterprise communities, then it will give you ideas on how you can use that information in your work.
This is as far as I've gotten on the project so far. But Hell, it's only 10 am of Day 1. Please tell me what you think. Does this interest you? Do you have an idea that would make this a better book?
I have used crowd sourcing as much as any author I know and I have greatly appreciated the result in my two previous books. I hope once again, the people I meet in social media will help me write a better book.
Please start sending those cards and letters in. I'm eager to share my view with you from further up the mountain.