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Your own meeting place!

Create a  gigantic learning and development environment  on the net to grow and share your understanding of ideas with people inside and outside the organization.

On the flip-side, this scenario should be familiar to office workers who collaborate on projects: E-mails get passed around with differing versions of documents-in-progress attached. Instant messages whiz by. Web sites are cited, and then lost.

It's often a jumbled mess - with no central online location for shared information. Advancing Insights aims to turn the Web into much more than a collection of documents one visits like a museum: Look, but don't touch.

And this is just the Net based
collaboration efforts; what about conference calls, meetings, and voice mails? Things almost resemble the kids game of Telephone!

A digital meeting place for people to gravitate to and be able to work on ideas together.

The Web has matured as a communications medium. It can deliver benefits not found anywhere else. It's interactive, instantaneous, cost-effective and it offers the potential to precisely engage people inside and outside the business in a rich dialogue on subjects important to them.

Seth Godin has just posted some very interesting thoughts on why, despite ten years of the internet, this "Internet Thing" has just started. Here's a summary of his top ten reasons:

1. Penetration. There are 50 times as many people using the Net.
2. Bandwidth.
3. Tools. Online services with almost no custom programming.
4. Servers. Huge, huge storage space for little cash.
5. Wifi.
6. Multimedia. Photography, video, music.
7. Grandmothers. (use it).
8. Teenagers. (have always used it).
9. VC's are back.
10. The death of TV. It's "word of mouse".

"Blogging is the fastest growing section of the Internet. Blog readership jumped 58% in 2004, says the Pew Internet and American Life Project."

A year ago, many people would have been hard pressed to describe a weblog,
but today the impact of blogging is felt across our society. Whether it's the
latest news leak or a new outlet for more traditional media, or a discussion about politics, technology,
business ideas, trends, or a global occurrence, blogs are rapidly becoming an important
part of online and in-person discourse. Academic, corporate, and personal blogs are providing a rich fabric of  ideas, stories and information. Some of these blogs are already delivering results to those folks paying attention.

Doc Searls sums the Net and its users this way.

"Face the fact that the Net isn't yet another medium for pumping "content" from a few producers to countless consumers. Instead, it's an environment -- a very real marketplace -- where the demand side has the power to supply. The consumers of yesterday are now full-power customers, plus something much more important: they are *participants*. They participate in the form of product advice, personal involvement, and by creating new inventions and businesses of their own. You either embrace that participation, or risk being shoved aside by it."

From a marketing view point: Forget
Influencing For A Minute, Be Influence-Able
, Evelyn Rodriguez lays it all out: "Marketers can focus squarely on influencing and tipping points and building buzz -- and forget a valuable part of the equation lies in being influence-able ourselves. If you focus solely on "getting the word" out, you totally miss out on the greatest competitive advantage of blogs."

Ideascape provides every privileged user a blog. Staffers and others (customers, clients) can blog about ideas, company and product offerings  from your site using Ideascape. They can also link to other blogs, and encourage links to theirs. Even better are some of the new aggregation services, and technorati, that offer  RSS feeds from blogs. They make it easier for bloggers to connect in the blogsphere. These  relationships in the blogosphere drive Google search results -- and, so, sales, goodwill. and ideas.

From your Ideascape L&D environment, users can create a blog post about a half-backed idea, visible only to them, and use tags to describe it. Ideascape instantly finds on the Net any related RSS tagged discussions in blogs as well as related ones on private intenal posts. What does this mean? For one thing, you are finding real discussions relevant to the subject at hand that offer a richer context of information. What's more, users can create RSS news aggregators based on keywords and tags to find ideas in any traditional media outlet that uses RSS. With the same service, businesses can know at any time what is being said about their business, offerings, and competitors.

New Communications Blogzine. This bi-monthly online publication is dedicated to exploring new communications tools, technologies and emerging modes of communication, (i.e. blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, etc.), the growing phenomena of participatory communications and their effect on traditional media, professional communications, business and society at large. read it!

Undeniably, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasts and other new technologies are quickly becoming crucial for your L&D as well as your  communications toolkit. These new tools have the power to strengthen overall relationships, innovation, idea management, marketing and communications efforts with your employees, customers, journalists and other key audiences.