Communities of Experts

Before Coopers & Lybrand had email, we had “Calling All C&L.” It was a message board for any employee to post a question and get answers from around the firm. This was 1992. In 20 years, I have never witnessed a piece of networking technology as successful as Calling All C&L. It was extraordinary.

What happened? The cost of entry went to zero. We commoditized communication. Made it liquid. Facebook is a mix of posts about a parent passing away, someone needing “crystal shards” for an online game and a post with the single word, “bedtime.”

IDEA  Raise the cost of entry. Qualify each user for a spot in the social network. Don’t focus on users’ collecting thousands of friends. Instead have the network (algorithms) make the connections. Users are qualified, then invited to join the network. From there, each is matched to other users’ profiles to build areas of commonality. It’s Facebook, but with no button to add friends. Experts are added to your circles automatically.

The key to all this? Resumes. Analyze each resume for expertise, schooling, years experience, current position, etc. Group experts together based on resume content. Allow any user to recommend someone for the network, but the cost of entry? You submit your resume, have it analyzed and be automatically assigned to groups.