The innovation in this ESN design is a direct-to-ESN integration widget that instantaneously uploads work from an individual’s native application (e.g. InDesign, Excel, Photoshop, Word, etc) to the ESN for community feedback.
This innovation addresses situations where complex creative work or data is open to interpretation and would otherwise be cumbersome to upload to the ESN platform. The ease of upload is a key feature. The user does not necessarily need to be fully immersed in the ESN, but rather can stay in her home application. This feature allows the user to stay engaged with her project space while still reaching out to the community for input. In addition to removing a barrier to engagement, the relative ease of use should encourage ‘workshopping’ behavior in the community as more users upload their works-in-progress.
How Might It Work?
The integration widget would be embedded into the functional application similar to how Zotero is embedded into a scholar’s internet browser. When the user reaches a stage in her work when she seeks input, she clicks the integration widget’s button within the native application. The current state of the work immediately uploads into the stream of the ESN. The user also has the option to include a brief comment or notes to help direct the feedback of the community. The work, now uploaded into the ESN stream, can be viewed and downloaded by the members of the community. Comments are made within the stream and community members can even upload their own modified or built-upon version of the work. The original user is alerted of the community feedback via email and a desktop ESN notification.
- The administrative process of seeking capability to embed the widget into licensed Adobe and Microsoft software may be difficult or expensive.
- Users may be reticent to upload works-in-progress into the stream. Describing projects in the abstract may seem like a less vulnerable proposition compared to uploading concrete representations of unfinished works.
- Depending on an organization’s culture, the politics surrounding idea ownership may be a barrier to use.
- Would users be less inclined to spend time in the ESN itself, only uploading content via the widget, and therefore less likely to view and comment upon the work of others?
The administrative and technical burden to create such an integration widget is likely a barrier to implementation. However, there are other ways to encourage a community to upload works in progress. Community managers and other leaders can set the expectation by uploading their own works in progress to the platform, asking specifically for members to give feedback and/or build upon their work. ESN administrators and individual users can assess whether certain projects receive no feedback, others receive written feedback, and still others are built upon by the community members, and determine what factors may have led to those differing levels of engagement. ESN administrators and individual users can also assess the community’s overall narrative of engagement as frequency of uploads ebbs and flows.
Innovation developed by:
MSLOC 430 Winter 2016