If you’re coming to Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, please look me up. The truth is I’m more social behind the keyboard than in a crowd, but I’m trying to do better offline. So memorize my profile picture and say hello if you bump into me in the hall.

Better yet, catch up with me will be during The BrainYard Discussion track, which I will be moderating with help from BrainYard writer Debra Donston-Miller. Rather than a formal presentation, this will be a free-form discussion where everyone who attends will be welcome to contribute on the same level. It will be our job to stimulate discussion, while doing more listening than talking.

It strikes me this is much the same challenge we have with wanting to increase the volume of conversation on and about The BrainYard website. I’ll also try to apply some of the lessons I’ve learned through my local Toastmasters club, where one of my friends recently gave a speech about how to work up from small talk to a real conversation. That’s something I need to work on.

10 Social Acquisitions Signify Bigger Trends

Enterprise 2.0, a conference produced by our parent company UBM, runs from June 18 to 21, and both of the BrainYard Discussion track events will be on Wednesday the 20th. The topics:

– Employee social networks, or social intranets, and what makes them successful. The focus here is on inward-facing enterprise social networks. Discussion of making employee networks richer through connections to external networks is also fair game. We can talk about alternative social collaboration platforms, but ideally attendees should walk away with an idea or two to try in their own environments, regardless of what technical environment that might be.

– Business applications of Facebook. To date, most businesses have engaged with Facebook as a marketing and advertising medium, but Facebook apps can embed enterprise applications such as customer support processes, e-commerce, social network analysis, demographic analysis, and so on. I’d like to talk about the broader potential of Facebook as a business tool.

Not surprisingly, these are core subject matter areas for The BrainYard. If you think my purpose is to make you do my job by generating story ideas, you’re absolutely right. I am also interested in feedback on what topics deserve more coverage on this site or things you think we over-emphasize.

You don’t have to wait for the conference, nor do you necessarily have to be attending the conference to participate in the discussion–you can share your thoughts in the comments below.

By the way, you should be able to post comments through Disqus social sign-on, using your Facebook or other social media account, rather than necessarily creating an account on our commenting system. I’ve been trying to demonstrate how that can raise the volume and quantity of conversation here, but clearly the technical setup is only one part of making that happen.

What’s your advice for sparking a conversation? How is it different on Facebook, or your website, versus at a cocktail party? What questions would you ask–or what provocative statements would you make–to get a conversation going on the discussion track topics I’ve outlined?

Source: Information Week

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