Iain Couzin on collective behaviour in animals (and humans)

An amazing talk at MIT’s Collective Intelligence 2012 conference by behavioral biologist, Iain Couzin. This is the abstract:


Conflicting interests among group members are common when making collective decisions, yet failure to achieve consensus can be costly. Under these circumstances individuals may be susceptible to manipulation by a strongly opinionated, or extremist, minority. It has previously been argued, for humans and animals, that social groups containing individuals who are uninformed, or exhibit weak preferences, are particularly vulnerable to such manipulative agents. I will present work in which we use theory and experiment to demonstrate that, for a wide range of conditions, a strongly opinionated minority can dictate group choice, but the presence of uninformed individuals spontaneously inhibits this process, returning control to the numerical majority. Our results emphasize the role of uninformed individuals in achieving democratic consensus amid internal group conflict and informational constraints.

There are more videos I’ve yet to explore from the conference too.

Video: The State of Social Business in Australia 2012

Dion Hinchcliffe is visting Australia this week to promote his new book, Social Business by Design, co-authored with Peter Kim. The Headshift Asia Pacific team have been busy lining up speaking events and media interviews all week, however Dion and I have found time to put together a short whitepaper on the state of social business in Australia. This paper provides that all important Australian perspective on the trends and ideas outlines in Dion’s book. The paper will be published online later today, but while you are waiting we’ve posted a video talking about some of the highlights: The criteria for the case studies included in the paper, the differences between Australia and the global experience of Social Business and key insights.

UPDATE: The paper is now available to read and download from SlideShare.

BTW if you are interested in attending either of Dion’s workshops tomorrow, Social Business 101 (in the morning) and The Consumerisation of IT (in the afternoon) please contact the Headshift team by email at hello@headshift.com.au to request a last minute registration!

What’s New in Clearvale?

Broadvision continue to improve Clearvale, their Elgg-based enterprise social networking offering. This recording of a recent Webinar covers current updates to the platform and there are a number of features worth highlighting:

  • How tasks and actions are incorporated into the activity stream.
  • Integration with Outlook that allows users to move email conversations into Clearvale.
  • Widgets to display Salesforce reports in Clearvale.
  • Analytics to support adoption.

Their adoption metrics are based on the concept of network usage and assess the value of contribution, using three measures: connectivity, activity, popularity.