Today we recognize a newbie to our midst, Rachel Happe, as our highest rated blogger of the week, and certainly "rookie of the year."
Rachel just started blogging here two weeks ago, and her post on"Social Networking and the Popular Girls," has an SMT-high rating of 11, as of this writing. Rachel grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her father was a minister and her mother was a community organizer, leading the New England protest against Nestle in the eighties. After starting her career as a management consultant, she worked in product development and marketing for several companies, and earned her Valley start-up thing at Bitpass before it was acquired. She now heads the Digital Business Economy research practice within IDC that was consolidated just over a year ago from separate groups that looked at search and the growing practice around social media. Whereas, according to Rachel, "search was the gateway," increasingly she sees social networking as the way in which people communicate, derive information and make decisions.
"I see huge changes in how corporations will organize themselves," Rachel says, and although these changes are enabled by new IT platforms, the new organizational behaviors are rooted more in sociology than technology. With the shift toward open exchanges of information, it is dawning on companies that they have created cultures "that do not do enough to make their company an exciting place to be." Knowledge workers are less ruled by compulsion than by their need to create, and while management can promote the idea of innovation all it wants, to create speed it must foster the freedom and transparency that inspire creative passion.
Which is what brings her to her own background. Cultures that already understand this model are the traditional "not-for-profits," that look to collaborative relationships and networks across the enterprise firewall to get things done, and have had to rely on freedom of mission, instead of compensation, to inspire employees. Like many people whose vision of what "web 3.0" will look like, Rachel sees the "
semantic web evolving social web" as being increasingly about sociology and culture.
(If this is the case, and we are already in the early phases of the next phase, then why do my older friends still resist online networks, telling me that "I don't understand technology"?) But perhaps my friends were never the popular girls.
Mazeltov, Rachel, and welcome aboard.