I would recommend that you watch the TED Talk by Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from. He gives some great examples of how networks of people get together in chaotic situations to share ideas and out of those situations arise great new ideas. One of the very interesting examples he gives at the end is how some researchers trying to hear the telemetry signals from Sputnik triggered a series of events that today allows us all to use our mobile phones as navigation devices.
In that same stream of thought, I am beginning to see the Social Web as a place that the Smallworld community can use to foster new ideas and innovation.
Some in the Smallworld community have moved onto Twitter. That is a great tool for updating others on the status of ideas and projects (remember to tag your tweets with #swgis).
Others are carrying on Smallworld-related conversations in Linkedin "GE Smallworld" group.
There is the well-used Yahoo group sw-gis that many of us use. It is a great forum for answering questions to problems.
But what if we don't know what the problem definition is? I have recently begun to see the utility of YouTube in fostering this idea sharing. Another TED Talk by Chris Anderson: How YouTube is driving innovation got me to start thinking about how I could use video to share ideas and add them to the chaotic mix that stimulates innovation. I have started a channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/boulderalf that shares my Smallworld-related ideas and experiences.
I'm curious to know if there are other Smallworld-related YouTube videos/channels out there. Please let me know in a comment on this post. I know of only one other one: http://www.youtube.com/user/cliffhangersolutions
When you post to YouTube, remember to tag it with "swgis". It turns out that the "Smallworld" tag is more likely to take you to Disney-related content that it is to a GIS :(