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My breakthrough on BusinessWeek's Biz Ex
|I've had a small but significant breakthrough on BusinessWeek's
Business Exchange. That's the magazine's social site. It's engineered to entice the brains of the world (ie. us) to share their learnings, via
links to posts, papers and articles, with us all. The other idea, to be
clear, is to create millions of pages of fresh new pages that can carry
advertising and be found on Google.
This free labor business model in increasingly common. (Here's my
recent story on it.) Many companies, including ours, must put forth the
best possible recruiting call to free laborers. We have
to make a strong case that our network is not only worth their scarce time,
but also their efforts.
How does a
company create such a social magnet? It starts by sending marketers
out to bring big shots on board, like John Battelle and Henry Blodget. And it encourages staffers to get busy on the site, to establish new topic pages, and to shepherd them a bit.
So I started a page.
I wanted it to be called the Numerati, but the administrators nixed
that. Guess it seemed too self-serving. So I called it Mathematical
Modeling of something or other. And for months I hung out there alone.
The search engine located some relevant stories and blog posts (which
helped to feed this blog). And I stored the stuff I liked or wanted to
keep. It was my own little place, run by me and a machine. Later, in a surprising
burst of sanity, I decided to rename it "Datamining."
A couple of weeks ago, something funny happened. I started to see
additions by someone else. It was Venkat Viswanathan, CEO of LatentView. ( He's
emailed me a few times and plans one day to drop by the New York offices). Anyway, Venkat
was posting articles. They were ones I hadn't seen, and they were right
on topic. Now I see a glimmer of the power of this
concept. Imagine if I was finding articles by Venkat, but others by dozens
or scores of other people, people like you. It could become
powerful--and earn its place atop the results on a "datamining" Google
query. It might be so relevant, in fact, that any extra search-engine
optimization would be superfluous.
I have to say that I'm still not crazy about the BX experience. The
page design could use more features and zip. It
lacks a good forum for people to express themselves and mingle. I would
also like to be able to keep things in folders, each with its own URL,
and to link to them in blogs and e-mails and Twitter. We could and
should use BX to share dossiers with others. I'm told that more features will be
rolled out over coming months. It's a work in progress.
But the Datamining page is doing much better now than it was when I ran it all by my lonesome.
From sunshine to rain in Spain, incl slideshow: (BTW, riding in hail? Go fast and easy on the brakes.)
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