Empowering communities: Driven meets Cluetrain

I was reading Clarence Fisher’s excellent post on open content and open learning, itself drawing from a fascinating symposium at MIT.

I quote from Clarence’s post:

“Importantly, many of these games remain popular mainly because of user generated content. These games ship with tools allowing the people who purchase them to create their own virtual worlds, their own stuff. The game makers have not locked them down, but instead, many of them take the exact opposite tack, depending on the community that grows around the game to create new content to keep the games interesting and demanding. This will often drive games into spaces where the original designers never intended.”

And this made me think. Nohria and Lawrence, in their four-drive framework in Driven, define the drivers as Acquire Learn Bond Defend.

And (as I am wont to do) I found the Cluetrain Refrain running through my head. Markets are conversations.

What’s an MMOG? A market, a conversation, where people acquire things and bond while playing, maybe do a bit of learning and defending as well.

What’s Betfair? (Although here I am treading into Park Paradigm territory) A market, a conversation, where people acquire things and defend things.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that every web co-creation experience I see, from Google and Amazon and eBay through to Yahoo and Flickr and last.fm, every one of these is a conversation that satisfies two or more of the drivers.

And then, as I moved again from Cluetrain to Driven, I realised that most of these sites/businesses tended to overlook the same driver. The Learn driver.

Because I cannot help feel that the first people who can really crack a Four Driver model for a business will win. Big.

And if I really feel that this is true, why am I telling everyone? Why am I not keeping it to myself and trying to “monetise” it some way? I’ll tell you why. Because thinking that way keeps patent clerks and lawyers busy, and destroys innovation.

So I’m going to keep reading Clarence. And people like him. To see how the Learn is brought into play. To see Driven become part of Cluetrain.

Let me know what you think

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