People Everthing Starts With

August 8th, 2007 11 Comments

rosie1.jpg155,000 pageviews later, I’m finally able to blog about our little social network experiment, whose name is still in flux.

When we started the band, we all agreed that new web was not about a list of technologies (blogs, wikis, forums, tags, foo), but instead that new web was about people. We agreed that a business was not about transactions, it was about people. Paul touched on this yesterday.

We also assumed that:

Armed with these epiphanies, we set out to build a prototype that would immerse people in new web goodness and spur them to participate and innovate. The old “if you build it, they will come” mantra. We hoped that we could drum up enough participation to grow the application virally, rolling new features and gradually building the core. The killer app for us was based around the employee directory.

So, we put up a social network around the 68,000 odd people who work at Oracle, a ready-made, trusted social network that everyone at Oracle already belongs to by virtue of having an oracle.com email address and password. No fuss, no muss. Sounds easy, but Rich is a whiz. He built it all in about 3 weeks, more on that later.

And then we stepped back and saw it grow virally. As I wrote the post on the IdeaFactory on in the afternoon of August 2, Rich opened the alpha phase. He, Paul and I invited some people and waited. By the end of August 2, we had 315 new users sign in to the network, and 1,800 invitations to network had been sent.

By the end of August 3, the number of new users had risen 643%, and the number of invitations has gone up 777%. This is based on less than 50 invites sent by the three of us 18 hours earlier.

The numbers are staggering, and we’re learning a lot about our colleagues. We’ve uncovered a new demographic that I didn’t expect. These are the ravenous consumers who have either have not participated in a social network or do nothing more than join and not return. The reasons are many: not enough time, lack of privacy, lack of features, no clear relationship to work, etc. This group trusts our network because it’s inside the firewall and it’s made up of colleagues.

While we patted ourselves on the back, our new users started to ask for features. Questions like: What’s the point other than building a network? What do I do with my network? These are common. Also common, questions like: What if you widgetized this internal system and plugged it into the network? Can I contribute to your project, in addition to my regular work? Would I be able to invite customers into this network?

The IdeaFactory started to blow up with ideas and comments around how to improve or extend the social network. These are the questions we like because it means people are thinking and see the value of people first. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from kudos, to coolness, to inspirational stuff.

Now we need to execute, so we can blog about it.


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11 Responses to “People Everthing Starts With”

  1. Bloc Note de Bertrand DUPERRIN Says:

    Oracle AppsLab » People Everthing Starts With

  2. leo@officenet.com Says:

    es, que ante cierto estímulo me va a dar lo que quiero” Así me citaba Francisco de Zárate en iEco en junio. Es interesante, porque veo que en otras empresas también están pensando así. Encontré una nota muy interesante de Oracle, en dondeexpresan que todo comienza por la gente, y algunas discusiones sobre el desafío que implica romper las jerarquías como limitantes de la discusión. Básicamente, las jerarquías son necesarias en una empresa para buscar eficiencia. Pero estas mismas jerarquías también limitan la

  3. Om Malik | Phil Cooke and The Change Revolution Says:

    , a social networking site for customers with idea voting, groups, user profiles, and Q&A. According to Oracle Apps Lab blogger Paul Pedrazzi, Mix was built in six weeks with the help of ThoughtWorks. Oracle’s beenexperimenting with internal social networking too, in the form of their Connect tool, a sort of Facebook for the enterprise. Oracle’s Jake Kuramoto, a product strategy director working on Connect and Mix, told me they’re getting 20,000 to 50,000 visits to Connect each week.

  4. Above the Noise Says:

    blog entry

  5. Grounded In Reality Says:

    Many companies are also experimenting with social networking for internal communications. IBM’s “Fringe� network lets its employees connect and share information on a global level. Oracle’s internal social project called“Connect�has been a huge success since its launch last summer. Security and control are the main reasons companies opt for their own private networks. The idea of having proprietary information hosted on Facebook or another third-party community is still a

  6. Anne Truitt Zelenka » Look at What Oracle is Doing with Enterprise 2.0 Says:

    [...] really excited to see what Oracle’s experimenting with in bringing social software into the enterprise. I see them starting to answer the question of how [...]

  7. » The social network penny drops at Oracle | Irregular Enterprise | ZDNet.com Says:

    [...] a credible start. In a matter of days, the experiment has taken on a life of its own. From Jake’s entry on August 8th: We’ve uncovered a new demographic that I didn’t expect. These are the ravenous consumers who [...]

  8. Oracle Insider - Today’s Top Blog Posts on Oracle - Powered by SocialRank Says:

    [...] Oracle AppsLab » People Everthing Starts With [...]

  9. Oracle’s Social Web Debut « GigaOM Says:

    [...] been experimenting with internal social networking too, in the form of their Connect tool, a sort of Facebook for the enterprise. Oracle’s Jake [...]

  10. EnThinnai Blog » Blog Archive » EnThinnai in the Enterprise Says:

    [...] Interestingly, when the initial planning stages, the team was bombarded with many questions. One of the interesting one was: “Would I be able to invite customers into this network?” Any application targeted for the [...]

  11. Latest Geek Stuff: Yahoo and Oracle’s social networking ambition's Says:

    [...] market. So this is something to do with enterprise 2.0 than web 2.0.Oracle has been experimenting internal social networking for quite sometime now.Some of the social apps from oracle are :• Oracle WIKI ( uses wiki [...]

  12. Grounded In Reality » Blog Archive » Social Networking Inside the Firewall Says:

    [...] connect and share information on a global level. Oracle’s internal social project called “Connect” has been a huge success since its launch last summer. Security and control are the main reasons [...]

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