I.B.M. Meets With 52,600, Virtually

May 28, 2001 | Source: New York Times

I.B.M. held a week-long Internet-based brainstorming session called WorldJam last week, with nearly 52,600 employees participating via moderated chat, electronic bulletin boards and online polls.

A major goal: “Study its potential as a social forum for helping clever ideas that people do not know enough about to spread horizontally across I.B.M.,” said an I.B.M. executive.

I.B.M. developed logic games called “thinklets” to prod the imagination, a stick figure animated character called Blue to grab viewers’ attention, musical cues and a mapping program to help people visualize where traffic was coming from and which questions were attracting the most people.

Other software allowed small groups to set up private “breakout sessions” to pursue side exchanges and a “Babble” program allowed moderators and project managers to instantly message each other with questions and comments.