There is an interesting briefing on ideablogs that I recommend people download and read. The idea is intriguing – a quote from the paper:
“An ideablog is a social networking application used to stimulate, capture, promote and enrich ideas online via a blog-style user interface.
“Ideablogs support online communities of interest that are focused on stimulating and capturing ideas. They use social networking concepts to support the sharing and development of ideas. Ideablogs offer more specialized functionality than an ordinary blog but less than a traditional idea management application.” Source: ideablogs by Stewart McKie.
According to the author, Stewart McKie, ideablogs overlap with Idea Management in some low end tools. There is a good review of ideablogs that are currently available, and a discussion on their pros and cons. It is definitely a good value read at $10 a download, especially with 100+ pages of insight, research and commentary.
As for the concept itself, I have reservations. In most organizations, ideas are the least of anyone’s concerns. The old truism that ideas are a dime a dozen is absolutely true. Idea generation is easy. Doing something with the ideas that drive value: that is hard.
I can accept that there is a superficially compelling logic that would drive people to try these things out. We have probably all started a blog at some time, considered adding to a wiki, maybe even submitted to a discussion board at some time in the last ten years. However, whilst the tools may be new, the fundamental challenges remain. Who cares about what you are writing? Who is going to look? What are they supposed to do with the information? What will happen in four weeks when you get bored and forgot that you started? And, and, and.
The reason why enterprise idea management has taken hold and delivered value, is that there is a lot more to this issue – and to the deliverables from Imaginatik – than straight technology. Companies form a complex dynamic social system, and Idea Management tools layered into it right are able to thrive over years and across disciplines. Do it badly, and you have four months to get out of there. The odds of doing it badly, without the right form of help, are sadly ‘high’, to put it mildly.
Still, I welcome ideas from all sources, and greatly appreciate Stewart for making me aware of this paper and his blog. I look forward to writing more.