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Social Ideation: Art or Science

by Anthony J. Bradley  |  September 30, 2008  |  Submit a Comment

Kathy Harris has an interesting post on ideation and the mixture between art and science. Indeed, ideation is one of the fastest growing application types of social software. I agree that although much of the science may be developed, implementations still face the art of mobilizing the community and gaining their meaningful participation.

One of the interesting things about idea engines is they inherently address the balance of structure and emergence. Idea engines are a great example of important structure (technology) that facilitates emergence (content). The structure of idea engines does not (and certainly should not) restrict the emergence of a wide variety of ideas. See Spigit and Salesforce Ideas as examples of idea engine structured social offerings.

Category: social-software  

Tags: idea-engines  social-software  

Anthony J. Bradley
10 years at Gartner
26 years in IT

Anthony J. Bradley is a group vice president in Gartner Research responsible for the research content that Gartner publishes through its three internet businesses (, and These responsibilities include creating and leading the research organization and infrastructure needed for the strategy formulation, planning, research, creation, editing, production and distribution of the content. He has four global teams of highly talented people who are advancing towards the world's greatest destination for content on how small businesses succeed through information technology.

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