Monday, February 15, 2010

Social Business Innovation Awards: Jan 2010 winner

We have a winner in the first Social Business Innovation Awards: January 2010. Securing 62% of the vote, the winner is...

Image representing BusinessCard2 as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase


I haven't used it myself but... in a nutshell: LinkedIn taken beyond the silo.

It beat off better known (at least to me) challengers Twelpforce (2nd with 14%) and Local Motors (with 10%).

Check out all the January 2010 nominations here (along with the purpose of the awards).

If nothing else, January's vote has served to surface something new to me - and likely new to you too. We're discovering stuff we didn't know we needed to know about.

So BusinessCard2 becomes the first to enter our Social Business Innovation Hall of Fame. The process of selecting the next to join it will be started when we open nominations later this month for the February 2010 award. Please join in.

Here's BusinessCard2 co-founder Lief C Larson (of Workface Inc) on what makes BusinessCard2 a good example of social business innovation:

How our model works:
"Individual-level transparency is a major opportunity in the future of social business. We have created BusinessCard2, a service that helps professionals network and exchange business cards online without face to face interaction.
"Tens of thousands of users have created a card with us. The card acts as a web container that holds all the information that makes us digitally distinct: a utility to inform and educate. Customers and prospects use it to peer deeper into the great people behind the company. Fundamentally we believe business is about two people forming new connections.
"To help BusinessCard2 users reach more customers and prospects, we built unique technology that makes the card portable. For instance, those with a card can visit BusinessCard2-enabled websites and drop their card. BusinessCard2 was built to most closely mimic the process of sharing business cards in the real world, but as a process on the internet.

How social tools are used to innovate:
"BusinessCard2 is itself a social tool. It has been designed to provide portability beyond any singular walled garden social network. However, we have also implemented ways that BusinessCard2 can be shared in existing social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.
"From my perspective, business isn't just about those you all ready know (the current social network), but also about reaching out to those you don't yet know (the network potential). Our technology road map is focused on using the social infrastructure to build visibility within specific markets and help give our users the tools to form new connections.

Case study:
We are not focused on specific user case studies at this time. There are so many different use cases for BusinessCard2 that calling out specific instances does a disservice to it's potential. Rather, we are focused on how BusinessCard2 is incorporated into many different social situations: from social networks like Facebook, to high-traffic websites, to CMS (such as blogs, wordpress, etc.). I have a three minute video here that shows how to integrate BusinessCard2:

"I also have a brief video here that helps you understand what BusinessCard2 looks like.

BusinessCard2 on Social Business:
One of our core beliefs is that business is not just about companies, products, and services - but about meaningful connections between two people. At the organizational level, a company is defined as the sum of its parts.
"The parts are the people. We seek individual-level freedom and transparency at the professional level. We aspire to help power the autonomy of any person engaged in business to take their identity with them across the web. We hope to help help encourage social business by giving the public open access to the millions of incredible people behind the companies, products, and services we use every day.
"Each person who creates a BusinessCard2 has formed a social compact where they have complete control over their identity, and agree to expose that identity openly across the web. You do not need to log in to BusinessCard2 to view a person's card. Anyone with a BusinessCard can take their card anywhere they wish and share it freely."

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?