Bootstrapping an Idea Space

Next Level Weblog is an IBM Weblog on Innovation. It is nice to see what aspects of innovation, a big company thinks about. In this entry, Interesting discussion on making sure ideas come through.., Nicoline Braat asks:

what can you do to ensure the right ideas get through?

Here are some ideas:

  • Establish an IdeaSpace and let people participate in contributing ideas, comments on ideas. This can be a blog, a discussion forum or a wiki.
  • Have different entry points for this space – post as a blog entry, send an email or directly comment on the page
  • Recognize and award people for coming up with ideas
  • Let the community decide the ideas to follow up
  • Why not start with ideas on how to create an active IdeaSpace? This may be a good way to bootstrap.
  • Treat contribution, discussion to the IdeaSpace as work
  • Start group writing projects, Problogger style for idea generation

I think good ideas take time to develop. The first step is to encourage people to share their ideas. You may even seed the space with a few to get them started. This may inspire others to participate.

Here are some thoughts.

  1. Any idea is a good starting point. It is important to let people practice listing and actively considering ideas.
  2. Ideas trigger other ideas (they are like chain reactions). So even if the original idea is not very useful, it has the power to generate progressively better or even good ideas.
  3. In an active IdeaSpace good, useful ideas bubble up to the top organically.

Initially it is very important to establish, promote and improve the IdeaSpace than to worry about the content. The challenge is to have people participate and enjoy the interactions. Once people start participating, magic happens.

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2 Comments on “Bootstrapping an Idea Space”

  1. VM says:

    I appreciate your ideas. Please feel free to visit my site ideagold.blogspot.com where you can find some useful ideas

  2. dorai says:

    VM,
    Interesting. I would love to meet you when I travel South. I visit India a couple of times every year. It is nice to see a Physics teacher blog. I will look through your ideagold. Already added it to my blog reader.


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