Neither the blogosphere nor Web 2.0 social networking services provide the kind of intellectual community that drives innovation, according to Google.org‘s executive director, Larry Brilliant. As a result, there’s room for growth for companies that can find ways to foster productive intellectual exchange — and facilitate it for themselves.
Brilliant made his comments at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. In his view, The Well, an online community he founded back the public Internet dark ages of the 1980s, remains unparalleled as a forum for the sharing of new ideas because it doesn’t promote a linear, chronological conversation the way a blog does, but lets people drop in and add to the discussion already underway.
In fact, there are no forums online where the big issues of the day — whether climate change or homelessness — are being hashed out, Brilliant said. That’s despite a broad hunger for communities where people can have coherent conversations about issues that impact our lives. Companies need to tap into this desire for public conversation about big ideas by connecting to people’s emotional intelligence, he said.