Some of the case studies on offer were more interesting. Kodak, who sponsored the whole event and have put together a free guide to social media practise, talked about how they’d taken a product idea straight from Twitter – implementing specific suggestions, like flexible USB ports and mic jacks, and then crowdsourcing a name. This kind of thing is becoming more common – taking design and useability improvements straight from the user’s mouth online.
You might argue that they’d have got the insights and information anyway, but that’s not the point – the process here is the story. It’s like the three young filmmakers who got up to tell us about the crowd-funded film they’re making of a Jules Verne novel. You’re not buying a good film, or even the expectation of a good film. You’re buying the experience and warm feeling of participating in something crowd-y.
That’s not to say the film – or the camera or the Axe pick-up tips Twitter – won’t end up being good. It might be magnificent! But we’re still in talking-dog territory here, where the fact of socialness matters more than the outcome. This won’t last forever, of course. It probably won’t last out 2010.