David Cushman, author of the “Power of the Network”, questions the role and usefulness of the focus group in his blog, Faster Future . Although the Scoble example is appropriate in a web/Twitter context it is David’s “Communities of Purpose” proposition, which ties in with some of the new thinking we are pushing in travel behaviour change, that is causing us to review the theories that back our work.
Key criteria for the communities of purpose in the example related in the blog:
- The community self organized around something they care about.
- The real community of purpose here, the real creators of value, were the ones who cared enough about the purpose to drop everything in real time, right now.
Some of the blog comments note that the focus group is hardly dead and a collaborative approach to harnessing knowledge and enthusiasm may work better when the promoter is well known.
David has been promoting the idea of self-forming collaborative communities of interest and purpose for some time and has challenged some very established ideas about network behaviours. Some more deep reading is required to see what practical explanations can be pulled from this work, but I thought I would link to it early and analyse later.