I just had a good vendor briefing with Paul Pluschkell the CEO of Spigit. Here are some interesting points spurred by the briefing.
1. Spigit is a great example of the evolution of the social software market from best of breed tools (best wiki, best blog, etc.) to social software suites (Jive Software, Awareness, Drupal, etc. See recently published 2008 Social Software MQ– subscription or fee required) to technologies addressing horizontal business needs (Idea management and prediction markets in Spigit’s case).
2. Spigit exemplifies the need for some technology structure to enable community emergence. Spigit is rich with functionality (e.g., structure) specifically targeted at mining the community for innovative ideas and then empowering that community to advance those ideas. The environment structure is intended to facilitate the emergence of ideas. There is no restrictions to the ideas that can emerge. This highlights the critical difference between environmental structure that facilitates emergence and content related structure that may stifle it.
3. It is clear when examining Spigit that significant effort has gone into designing an experience tailored to idea management. It is quite detailed in the intricacies of facilitating an idea marketplace. This is not something the usual enterprise could or would want to build into a general purpose suite. Spigit puts the focus of the organization on the social part of social software (that is growing and maintaining a productive community), where it belongs, and not on delivering a bunch of custom code and templates.
4. Spigit heavily employs gaming theory to make the experience fun. I see more and more gaming theory applied to enterprise 2.0 implementations to enhance community participation. All enterprises implementing E2.0 should strive to make a participants experience as fun as possible. Applying gaming principles is a good place to start.
5. A focus on analytics is also a critical capability. Growing, nurturing, and guiding the productivity of a community is no trivial exercise and it is important to have the tools to know how the community is functioning and where it needs help.