Friday, November 14, 2008

Collaboration in Action: Chuck Westbrook's Blogging Review Group

For those that may not have seen Chuck Westbrook's recent post about blogs which provide great content, it is well worth a look. Westbrook's premise is, as is often the case, simple yet brilliant; create an online blog review group and bring high quality blogs to the attention of the masses. When I found the post referenced above during my daily 'Stumblings' last week, over 500 people had already positively responded to the suggestion. Imagine the potential traffic such a project might bring to a page... The 500 'visiting' members of the group would significantly raise the profile of the page in question, thus inevitably drawing further traffic through enhanced search visibility. This sounds like a fantastic premise which should go a long way towards identifying a number of hidden social media gems. The project's first host, Zoe Westhof of Essential Prose today relayed her thoughts on how the additional traffic had influenced the direction of the blog. By all accounts, the project has, for now, proven successful.

I am reminded of the fantastic 'Wikinomics' by Tapscott and Williams, which I read earlier this year. Westbrook's review group is most definately collaboration in action. The group clearly exemplifies the social media imperative that 'We' can achieve more collectively than 'I'. By drawing together a group of like minded individuals who share a common goal or purpose, the collaborative can account for the strengths and weaknesses of its members to recognize a given desireable action. In this case, the common interest is blogging, their shared goal; to increase traffic to a given site, whilst extending their individual knowledge of, and access to high quality content. For the members of this collective, the outcome is win-win.

Collaboration is becoming increasingly popular in the age of social media. Collaborative efforts, such as Wikipedia, clearly demonstrate that collectively we are able to achieve outcomes which would be singularly impossible to achieve. Whilst some will correctly highlight that the produce of such collaborative efforts will never match the produce of a handful of experts in terms of quality (for example, see The Great Seduction and Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen), for purposes such as those described above, the collaborative excels.

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