The Business Value of Surprises

I still have my doubts there is a fast way to convince german customers about "getting social". But the message IBM sent out at Lotusphere 2011 is right, and IBM leads the discussion about integrating business applications the Facebook way. This is an articel worth reading on forbes.com about "IBM’s Strategy to Manufacture Social Networking Surprises":
... The news feed from Facebook or LinkedIn is one of the first ways people encounter surprising information that expands understanding. You might see that someone in your network is having a party, getting married, or has gotten a new job at a company you want to do business with or left a company he or she had been at for years. In a consumer environment, Amazon’s book recommendations give us new ideas about relevant content. In both contexts we find out information we were not looking for. That’s what I mean by surprise, an expansion of what is on my mind. I distinguish this from serendipity, which is having the good fortune to encounter something beneficial. Modern systems intend to create surprises instead of leaving them to chance. Contrast this with most of the business tools we use. There is almost zero potential for surprise in most of our environments. Our email inboxes are about the only place we can truly be surprised by something. In most other business applications, we get answers to questions that we have asked...
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