Online swarm at Said Oxford

SaidMBAclass I was at the Said Business School in Oxford today running a session about ethnography and online listening. And it gave me the opportunity to run an online swarm. Which went something like this. 40 students broke into their teams each took an online platform for 10 minutes to see what they could find. Covered were Facebook, Squidoo, Google Alert, Youtube, Amazon and Wikipedia among others. Twitter somehow got missed out which was a bit of an omission. Our topic was Flip camcorders so I had gone the video route and not included Flickr.  It worked very well – a way to amplify the learning of a group very quickly because what you get are very different perspectives. And these build up a picture very quickly – its a thoroughly qualitative process but what it emphatically isn't is looking at the same data lots of different ways.  Compared with one or two people working on their own what you get is a cultural read of how a product is presented, debated and understood.  A 3 D perspective not a muddle of blog opinion.  This is a good example of what I call swarm thinking. Using the power of the group to discover things that would take individuals hours. Its all part of a theme I loosely gather under Waggledancers. After the site of the same name.  



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