Building The Collective Intelligence At Our San Francisco Social Media Command Center

By Jen Charlton, February 11, 2011

After weeks of searching the streets of San Francisco with real estate agents, we acquired a space in the hotspot of SoMa and signed a lease at 474 Bryant Street in early December. Over the past couple months we’ve experienced an enormous transformation. We’re on our way to creating an epicenter for Social Media in San Francisco, and will host weekly events soon to commence on our calendar. In addition to building a command center with cutting edge design and technology to house our innovative team, we’ve been building PeopleBrowsr in other ways with the launch of ReSearch.ly, releasing 1,000 days of data for social search, advocating the interest graph and introducing the Brand Champion Scorecard.

Adding to our Global SMCC rollout we have recently acquired another awesome space in NY,  partnered with the creative and innovative team at Digitial Collective and the ARF and participated in the forefront of thought at NewsFoo. Oh, and did we mention we’re hiring a world class team across the globe?

It has been anything but slow at PeopleBrowsr and we couldn’t be happier with our rate of growth. With much excitement, we officially opened the doors to our San Francisco Social Media Command Center on February 7th, 2010.  We were incredibly lucky to have Tim O’Reilly with us for our launch party, held at the beginning of Social Media Week SF.

The theme of the evening was The Evolution of Listening: From Monitoring to the Collective Intelligence. Brian Solis moderated an expert panel of thought leaders, which included Tim O’Reilly, Altimeter Group’s Susan Etlinger and Jodee Rich.

Thanks to blogger Renee Blodgett, videos from the evening can be seen here. You can also watch the panel here:

Jodee can also be seen in a short interview here:

So what do we mean by Collective Intelligence?
Jodee provided a very well presented answer on the fly during the panel by saying “This is the first time in human history that we’ve actually had collective memory written down… We’re seeing what real people are saying now and.. for it to become a collective intelligence, we need to process it in certain ways. And what’s extraordinary is that two or three years ago we did not have the computing power or the speed to be able to process 10K or 100k posts a second…by processing those posts very rapidly we’re turning the memory into an intelligence and intelligence means community, location, gender, people you know, links…”

As Tim O’Reilly later stated, as much computing power as we’ll have for insights and analysis, “The human is still the last mile.”

And as for listening and conversations online, O’Reilly put it very nicely when he said: “When a great company listens, they hear what people are really saying. And they think about what the thoughts of other people make them think.”

About 300 friends joined in to hear the discussion and celebrate our grand opening. Outside on our lovely deck, our food sponsor Magic Curry Kart served curry tacos, pumpkin curry soup and other amazing curries with rice. We also had Korean BBQ ribs from our beloved neighborhood restaurant, HRD Coffee Shop, delicious vanilla, strawberry and almond organic frozen yogurt, and chai lattes. Lest not forget the abundance of good wine and local beer, thanks to our sponsors Vintage Estate Wines and Bear Republic Brewery!

We’re so pleased with the turnout and the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from the community. A special thanks to Tom Foremski, Julie Blaustein and Daryl Pereira for writing wonderful blog posts on the event and for the awesome Tweets we’ve seen streaming all week!

And we love all the fun photographraphy, shot by Tim Williamson.

Thanks again to everyone who joined us on Monday and for your continued support.

And if you didn’t get a chance to meet the newest members of our San Francisco team, we’d like to introduce you here…

Jennifer Charlton, US Marketing Communications

Originally from the DC area, Jen landed in New York City for college, where she received a degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications from The Fashion Institute of Technology. Her passion for all things Marketing related began early while at FIT where she was Chapter President of PRSSA and founded a student-run PR firm. She also held many intern positions – including internships at JWT London and Morgan Stanley.  With a love for travel, Jen took a gap year to teach Business English to Fortune 500 companies in Shanghai. Once back in New York, Jen began a career in advertising with an independent creative agency – where she fell into digital, social media and tech. Embracing change, she relocated to the Bay Area last summer and has moved from the agency world into client-side Marketing Communications. She’s fascinated by linguistics, AI, the evolving state of public versus private data and is committed to creating a better social web. Fun facts about Jen include she lived in Paris for a year, plays piano, is teaching herself Python, restores furniture, sails, co-founded a non-profit event planning agency…  and absolutely loves urban exploration. You can find her @Jen_Charlton

Kjirstin Goranson, Marketing Communications Intern and Community Manager

Raised in the heart of wine country, Kjirstin (pronounced Cheer-stin) recently graduated from the University of Arizona this past May. While studying communication, business and Spanish at the UofA, she was an active member (and triple legacy) of the Sigma Kappa Sorority, holding positions as Initiation Chair, Party Favors Chair, & PR Chair. After completing an internship with Claire Communications in Sebastopol, Kjirstin joined the PeopleBrowsr team as Marketing Communications Intern. With the recent launch of the SF Command Center, she has been managing the building fitout and assisted in planning the Launch Party. While not working on the beautiful building, she is responsible for community engagement and management. Her cheerful energy and awesome sense of humor can liven up any crowd. As a fan of the San Francisco Giants, Kjirstin is ecstatic that AT&T Park is only a short 3 blocks from the office. On her free time, you can catch her on the soccer field or in the gym, baking, or hanging out with family & friends. Bear Down!