I was asked to create a strategy and practical functional specification for WELCOM.
WELCOM was the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) rather brilliant idea to build a social network for their members.
Why was it such a good idea?
It was a good idea because the World Economic Forum is an organisation that is joined by its members (and some pay thousands for the privilege) precisely because they get to hob knob with the other members, who also happen to be the worlds most powerful people. And, not only to they get to meet, they get to do so in private and on a social level that other international events don’t provide.
So the basic idea was sound. In theory it should be no problem to build a workable social network. But what should the functionality of this social network look like? Do Bill Gates get to ‘poke’ Tony Blair?
I approached fascinating project by looking at the WEF structure, and interviewing staff and its members.
The key question to my mind was this? Why do a very diverse set of really important people, that are time poor, interact with each other and how might new digital media help this?
I brainstormed the possible needs and goals of WEF members with members and staff and used use cases to create the functional specifications.
Key to the proposals was a personal activity feed a la Facebook, now standard in Social Networks.
Read about WELCOM on Techcrunch.
Posted by Wessel van Rensburg