Partnerships quiz

May 19, 2008

New quiz, can you name the celebrity partners?

Partners quiz

I had been thinking of using this quiz as part of a discussion about partnerships within an organisation, what is the responsibility of the IT department, what should comms people do and how does it all work together, especially for things like social media.

I’ll do that another day maybe, because I wanted to mention a strange phenomenon. As I’ve said in previous postings, I’m playing about with on line quizzes to examine issues on engagement and content creation, my reasoning was that there are valuable lessons for all types of publishers when considering what makes a quiz work well.

But its been very difficult to get folks to talk about the ‘meta’ discussion of the quiz, because a quiz has such a strongly defined objective , people have focused on that. My conversations go a bit like this:

  • me: Do you think the way I’ve laid out the questions and answers is optimum?
  • you: Um, I dunno, I didn’t get question seven right.
  • me: Erm, yes, what about where I put the ‘next question’ link?
  • you: And question five, I was sure it was ‘cheese’ but it wasn’t.

What this most reminds me is the difficulty with discussing designs in general, when you are trying to decide on the most effective information architecture, don’t ask other people what they think, you’ll just get a discussion on how the site looks.

Anyway, hope you like the quiz, feel free to discuss either the design or how you got on with the questions, these are just for fun after all. Speaking of fun, of the three quizzes I’ve done

The crooners one has been by far the most popular, getting more page hits than the blog post that linked to it, I think the url must be travelling the internet in emails (guessing from the referring links in the logs) Which is nice. I didn’t think of the quizzes as independant things (I put no contact details in them for feedback), there is probably a lesson there too. 

Pop Music link

Well, folks that know me must have guessed I would eventually do this one – a song I love so much I named my child after it. Being a duet it fits the partnership theme too. One day I’d like to be as cool as Lee Hazelwood.


The Style Council

May 13, 2008

governanceI’ve been thinking quite a bit more about my “governance of the crowd” idea.

I think I differ from most folks who comment on this because I still think social media needs governance. Governance is wrongly perceived as a device to slow down and limit something. We seem to have forgotten why governance became an important issue in the enterprise, it was needed because the free for all that characterised intranets in the late 90s was not efficient and various problems of duplicated, abandoned, orphaned, contradictory, or just badly written sites proliferated.

It may have a radically different publishing model, but we can still judge a wiki in the same way we judge any other web site – is it providing me with the info I need.

But it’s a barrier to entry to force people to go through all the training needed to become a web writing expert, and people are too busy with their day jobs to do it anyway. Much as I would like to, we can’t make everybody read Jakob Neilsen – this isn’t to say that Jakob is usually spot on with what he says.

There is a good model about how this can work already, wikipedia, but most commentators focus in on the amount of content contributors and fail to notice wikipedia has a very well defined set of standards and a good mechanism for allowing the users to flag pages that don’t meet this standards.

The standards can be arbitrary as long as they are consistent. There is no right answer to what font to use on a web page, but picking one and getting everybody to use it helps with the consistency.

With that in mind, here is a quiz on the small details of style.

do it with style quiz

A couple of the answers folks might disagree with (and if you do so, thats what blog comments are for!) the point is its a style guide (in quiz form) that most folks can understand.

And – not to be obvious or anything, but todays pop music link is Paul Wellers post Jam group The Style Council

Now rather overlooked, and often willfully, annoyingly mannered they did some cracking tunes (and a lot of dross). The best tune they did was this one, a stomping Curtis Mayfield homage to breaking down barriers.




What five metronomes, two soda cans and a piece of wood can teach us about intranets.

May 3, 2008

I really liked this video – there’s something very satisfying about watching something self organise. (spotted on the music thing blog).

For things to work well together you need a framework that loosely connects each part, the framework needs some flexibility: the cans move slightly because of the average of the metronome movement, and it’s that framework movement that syncs them all.

I’ve often said here that the web 2.0 promoters are usually wrong when they say social media self organises, because the overlook the framework, the metronomes won’t sync if there is no connection, no framework.

However neither will a rigid connection work, which reflects the style of governance that dominates intranets (and seems to be enshrined in the increasingly old fashioned looking BSI standard PAS 124).

I’m going to avoid calling the equivalent intranet syncing “governance”, and say its a framework – though it is a governance, the “governance of the crowd” and it needs to be in place (note, I was so pleased with that last phrase I googled it, as far as I can tell nobody else has used it yet!).

More on what I mean by this framework, how it works and what an intranet manager should do about it another time. meanwhile… enjoy the clicking..