Sun completes Community Equity Specification

Community Participation 
One of the aspects of social media in the enterprise that has been hard to quantify is Community Participation. There are a number of arbitrary measurements that Enterprise 2.0 solutions providers and end users have cobbled together but up until recently there has not been a tried and proven method to calculate community participation.

To solve this vexing issue, Peter Reiser and the team at Sun have completed and filed a patent on the Community Equity Specification.

The Community Equity Specification has an algorithm that capture 2 variables – information equity (IQ) and personal equity (PEQ). Sun defines IQ as the social activities around information that is calculated into a numeric value which represents the importance, relevance  and quality of a information. PEQ is a numeric value calculated for an individual that helps recognize their achievements and their participation in a community.

Sun Community Equity Specification

The PEQ algorithm looks to be the most complex aspect of the specification and is probably the piece of the specification that Sun has filed the patent on.

Sun has the specification in pilot stage and it will be interesting to see how Sun goes about releasing the specification for use once the pilot and beta testing is complete.


  1. Arthur Mueller on March 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    The main issue we have with getting full participation on some of the departmental wiki’s is that users sometimes are not incented to share.

    I think in the corporate world just like in academia people will be more likely to share and participate in Social Media more when they know that managers and co-workers can see who is or is not participating in the conversation.

  2. Ameed Taylor on March 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm


    I would take it one step further and say that if a company were to say for example base performance or bonuses on how an employee helped the collective (Sounds like a term that the Borg would use in Star Trek Huh:) that would help ensure that wiki’s and blogs etc were used by employees.

    Once others see that Employee A was rewarded for participating then other employees will start particpating even more.

    The Sun Community Equity Specification (or other to be developed social media specifications) would be great to help push Wiki’s into the required category at most companies

  3. Dan Keldsen on March 6, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Ameed – very interesting. I agree that it’s worth thinking more deeply about how people are measured, and how to measure them from both an individual and group contribution level. But, like many things from Sun (as a now ex-stock owner), is this model over-engineered? Don’t know, but specifically if any or most of this data is being collected and manipulated manually, it’s doomed to fail.

    They need as many people actually contributing direct value as possible, and not going nuts with reporting.

    I love this direction though – and from an Enterprise 2.0 standpoint, I’m extremely interested in successful measures used to drive adoption.

  4. Peter Reiser on March 8, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Ameed, Dan –
    I like this discussion 🙂
    I guess we use the simplest possible mathematical model by assigning a value to an action (e.g. create,tag,view,rate etc.) and let the action value age over a certain time.
    Based on the captured data we can add pretty complex algorithm (e.g. calculating your centrality value in your social network, combine it with your skills equity (which is dynamic calculated from your contributions) and then build a dynamic expert finder with a standard search engine which recommends experts and show the social connection(s) on how to reach this expert …

    The current system dynamically calculates the information value (based on all activities related to a unique URL) and then calculate the Contribution Equity of a person by just sum all his/her information values authored by this person…
    pretty straight forward…. 🙂

  5. Ameed Taylor on March 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm


    Yes adoption is key…as far as Enterprise 2.0 is concerned. Especially now that we are in trying economic times, Enterprise 2.0 initiatives will not be approved by managers if they hear that other companies have not seen usage and or adoption of communities created via Enterprise 2.0.


    Great work on completing the specification.

    We will definitely look forward to seeing the final model. I can think of many existing Enterprise – Web 2.0 tools were the specification could be put to use immediately and have quick impact on helping companies assess the ROI on Social Networking initiatives.

  6. […] community participation is clearly a good goal, but it’s been difficult to measure. To quote OnDemand Beat: “There are a number of arbitrary measurements that Enterprise 2.0 solutions providers and […]

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