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What is a "SPECK"?

Posted by Thomas Edwards on July 29, 2019 11:50 AM EDT
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Emerging interest and growth for new ways to engage the right people, in the right way for the right reasons.....

....are beginning to gain a foothold in the space between social media and serious project-activity based technologies.  I like to call this space that is between "free-to-users, simple social media and innovation and transaction" platforms and "high-cost, complex enterprise-class business collaboration" platforms a "speck" of a platform.

Before I reveal what the acronym "speck" stands for, let me again reinforce that my particular interest in any topic, whether it be technology, political changes, new forms of organizational governance and management or other related trends that could become sustained changes is consistent.  Thus, my interest tends to like in how does this concept or trend or movement or change in actions fundamentally add value to driving positive change in community health improvement?

My fellow bloggers on this platform share with me the goal of striving to offer ways to reduce demand and volume against traditional "fix me" healthcare.  Especially as it relates to chronic conditions that can perhaps be dealt with at lower costs, easier access and convenience, and simpler usage models.  The three of us tend to address these from the perspective of information services and media innovations, employer and organizational influences, and benefits changes.

So, I'm offering an idea that may cut across those three domains of expertise.  The idea is to think of technology deployments-such as the integrated platform we use for our group-"Hampton Roads Cares-as having a mission that forwards a more sophisticated, studied and effective but hard to execute model called "collective impact"

Now let me let you know what the definition for "speck" is.  A "speck" is a technology that lies between the current models of free-to-users and ad-supported or transaction fees-financed social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google, eBay, Amazon and others) and enterprise-class commercial-grade technologies that people (mostly organizations) pay for directly (such as smartphones,, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple Macs, IBM suites) or indirectly (RedHat, websites, email solutions etc) .

A "speck" is a small solution in terms of mass usage, but one that is highly-relevant with attributes of free social media (easy to use and free to users, except for transactions that may be executed through the platform) and enterprise software that requires payment for services or license fees.  SPECK is an acronym which stands for "socio-economic problems-effective collaboration and knowledge sharing" platforms.

I know, I know.  It's a mouthful...

So, our "Group" that writes blogs and posts other content around a common context is on a "Hub" called "HealtheTeams Support Group" within the SPECK called "Hampton Roads Cares".  We use this as an example of a way to improve information sharing around the subject of how innovation and other approaches can somehow, someday stimulate new actions towards reducing the demand on the healthcare system and drive improvements in population health so that the healthcare system can become more proactive and less reactive-thus reducing long term costs for reactive healthcare products and services.

While all of this is in fact theoretical and experimental, the good news is that it doesn't cost us much and we get to learn a lot.  And for many socio-economic problems, social media isn't good enough....and enterprise technology is too expensive and complex to support and use without training and budget.  So, if we find ways such a "Hub" can be leveraged to fill the space between the social media and enterprise software space to cheaply, easily, effectively and sustainably enable various groups of "actors" to collaborate, share knowledge, coordinate actions and drive improvements in some sort of issue that improves society in an economic way, then that may be a very valuable thing to bring to collective impact projects along all sorts of problems that vex communities, states and regions all over the world.

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