Don’t do a workshop, do a workshow

I am really looking forward to the first workshow that a company streams out over the web, allowing for interaction between people watching and people taking part of the workshow. Basically, the main idea with a workshow is quite simple. It is about a companys marketing or PR-department meeting up, like we allways do, and have a workshop. The only difference is that we stream it on the web, allowing us to get the answers to all those questions we try to solve.

  • What should our vision for the future be?
  • How can we become the best within our sector?
  • What is quality?
  • How can we become a better team?

All of those questions we ask ourselves and eachother during normal “team spirit” workshops. I know you’ve all been to one, so don’t try to look at me with rolling eyes when I say THEY ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!! At least when it comes to productivity.

What is a workshow?
The thought of a workshow is that you will actually be able to get the answer to those questions. Instead of having to figure out what your customers want -> ask them. It is as simple as that. What do they want in ten years? Well, they might not know what they want tomorrow. However, if you use the workshow format you will be a million miles closer to the now reality.

What you need to produce a workshow:

One way of doing it:

  1. Announce to your Twitter followers that you are planning to have a workshow and what date it is going to be at.
  2. Produce a poll on your WordPress blog about what you want to talk about and open up for suggestions amongst the users.
  3. All serious suggestoins should be crowdsourced -> add some kind of popularity plugin to the comments to see if others like them or not.
  4. Prepare and exercise your natural posture infront of a camera, play around with it…
  5. Assign some kind of social media moderator to admin comments during the workshow
  6. Then shoot and have fun, interact with your users, if you have questions -> ask them directly to the people watching, if you get conflicting opinions, make a statement and crowdsoruce it etc etc.

Now why on earth would you want to do something like this?
Well, there is a huge discussion about whether or not you still own your brand. I believe you don’t. You have actually never owned your brand. You have been a participant in creating your brand and you still are one. However, the mass availability and communication platforms of web 2.0 gave everyone the capability of not only influencing their own and their closest friends view on your brand. We all now have the possibility to change the mind of the world -> if our story is solid enough it will spread and boost or kill your brand in a matter of days.

According to how I see it, only idiots think brands are owned by corporations.

Now why does this have anything to do with your workshow? Well, basically it is a good way to start collaborating with users, making you reach far out in the long tail of ideas that might make your brand, your products and your company the best in the world in that time frame you set out today. Your vision might just become reality if you manage to engage enough people.

Now, to end this rather playful post off, I would like you to watch this epic talk from Clay Shirky at Ted 2005. Talking about how institutions often miss out on the long tail and hence at least 25% of its potential. I mean, as he says, what if someone in the longtail has that one idea that is the ONE idea, and then never to be heard of again. Wouldn’t the cost of your transparency be worth it?


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