Web 2.0 NYC – From Modern Times to Open Times: Best Buy BlueShirt Nation Case Study

Peter Hirshberg – Technorati
Michele Azar – Best Buy

Best Buy built blue shirt nation. Mainly to get ideas from customers and employees to improve the offerings.

SO, the blue shirts connected and started sharing ideas to improve best buy.

401(k) program, there was a contest about the 401k on blue shirt nation, and enrollment went from 20% to 47%. Not bad. True testiment to social media rallying employees.

Another case: Portal software hated by the employees. They sourced via Blue Shirt nation to find people out in the stores to come in and write the new portal. Shipped in some Geek Squad kids from the sticks. Got done in a few weeks for a fraction of the cost. Expertise location! Yay!

Best Buy has also started a prediction market. And are actively engaging customers in the store via mobile with reviews, etc. Not bad.

Best Buy is actively scanning Twitter and engaging with customers there.

Changing your company, WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Have a bunch of meetings, and decide one thing to do, and put all resources to that. I say: when you have someone with a huge idea, lock them out of the building and don’t let them come back in till they’ve thrown away the one $1million idea and come back with 100 $10K ideas

So best buy has roled out “Remix” API, leading to a Support-a-pedia. http://remix.bestbuy.com/

Ending with the standard jabbering about how corporations need to be open, no secrets, etc. Wisdom of the crowds. Hm, after this week on Wall Street, I’m not sure how much I believe the mob should rule.


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