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Friday

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On Transformation

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by Brian Haven
@ 5:03 PM

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» NewCo
» Participation
» Platform Thinking
» Thoughts

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Pete and I were chatting the other morning down in Austin and the conversation led down the path of some research I did back in grad-school in the Fall of 2002. I was working on a short research project on emerging trends in products, technology, and entertainment (with two classmates, Carl DiSalvo and Amy Bergvall). I'll write more about that later, but one of the outcomes of that effort led to my thesis work on participation.


We made several observations about how people make an environment fit within their identity. We broke it down into three categories, but after my chat with Pete, I made a few adjustments and added two more categories. These types of transformations include:

Our original focus was on product transformation, but it's interesting how this relates to our new company and how people communicate using social technologies.


If we agree that traditional media and institutional communication is controlling and doesn't allow for change, then we can reapply these types of transformation in the context of communication. For instance:

  • Personalization--Allowance for people to participate in a dialogue with the institution listening and responding (but perhaps about a single topic or focus area)
     
  • Customization--Participation in a dialogue with multiple topics available, but those topics are still within a fixed boundary
     
  • Alteration--People force the dialogue in a desired direction against the will of the institution
     
  • Modification--The institution provides mechanisms for customers to alter the dialogue in any way they wish
     
  • Adaptation--The dialogue is entirely uncontrolled and a fluid set of participants from any perspective join and leave at will
     

As I mentioned in my previous post, this has significant implications on how institutions behave and interact with their patrons.

 

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So many companies have ventured into social media (and more...
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I've been thinking about how the dialogue between institutions and...
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