The purpose of this paper is to explore consequences of the use of social media for idea generation.
The paper analyzes over 600 ideas submitted to a Slate‐Twitter contest to find the best short characterization of the American Declaration of Independence. These findings are then compared with those of Kornish and Ulrich, who analyzed idea‐contests in classroom settings.
In the Slate‐Twitter contest, repetition of ideas was rare while recombination was frequent. The evolution in the total number of unique ideas suggests that the contest became more focused over time. It also appears that ideas that are recognized as valuable attract similar ideas in turn.
Further checks will be needed with regard to the robustness of the findings. Furthermore, while the current analysis relies on peer review by participants to the contest to value submissions, results might be different if it were done on the basis of independent external reviews. Conceptually, the findings suggest that idea generation via social media has a more iterative character than previously analyzed forms of broadcast search. Future research could investigate what triggers more exploration and exploitation of ideas in this process.
For businesses, which are more and more encouraged to engage in open innovation, the analysis can serve as guide on the use of social media for information collection.
The paper provides a simple and effective method to monitor social media, which firms can use to their advantage.
den Besten, M. (2012), "Using social media to sample ideas: lessons from a
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