Last fall when I revived Igniter I did the standard setup of website, tumblog and twitter account all of which have remained mostly untouched. They didn’t feel right at the time, but it wasn’t until I read this post about the future of USV.com that it clicked. We didn’t need a website or a blog, we needed a “clog”!
clog |kläg, klôg| noun
1 a shoe with a thick wooden sole. <- all sorts of awesome! 2 an encumbrance or impediment. <- totally not this.
Increasingly, organizations are about a collection of people who gather to passionately pursue a common purpose… people who are increasingly publishing content across many places on the web. An authentic online presence should gather those voices and nurture the community and conversation they attract. This is what I wanted for Igniter.com.
A clog could begin simply as an aggregation of posts and tweets from the core contributors of the organization. Tighter curation could be based on #tagging and intelligent promotion of certain content. That content could be presented through a theme-based interface taking inspiration from any number of the news curation services and apps. Adding more functionality like ‘job listings’, ‘investor relations’, ‘customer service’, could be handled as plugins of the online services you are probably already using to support that function. This is less about creating something new than it is about repackaging what we’re already doing and using. So far, so good.
But what about the community and the conversation? While applying Disqus to the content that’s curated might be a simple start point, is there a problem with fragmenting the conversations? Is there an opportunity in meshing them between the source and clog? Are the communities at each destination separate or similar? Is there opportunity in the overlap? I’m not sure, but I have a feeling there won’t be a simple answer. This will be the tricky part.
This doesn’t exist yet, but I want it to. If it did I’d be getting clogs on for a handful of organizations, projects, and groups.
What about you? Would you get a clog on? What would it look like? How would you use it? What would you add?
Like those good old wooden ones, I’m betting the beauty will be in the simplicity of the foundation and the awesomeness of the customization.