One of the interesting things about social computing and it’s evolution is the applicability in the Enterprise. As organizations grow, the ability to communicate ideas and learning becomes more difficult.
The web has done wonders in enabling this sort of shared conversation and collaboration. This morning we ran a quick netmeeting where we were interactively training some folks on application development of a new platform we built for ETL. It was amazing to see – nothing new there right. But how about if I recorded it and did an internal blog post on my internal blog – BOOM I have created free training material. No cost, opt in.
The same is true about using blogs to help augment or replace forums in creating conversations and building bodies of knowledge. Take for instance the creation of a new governance framework. I can create a stream of group blogs to capture and create a conversation that can be leveraged internally to grow and share.
Now let’s go and use it to create internal project lessons learned and the ability to interact with the information. So I just finished a project. I take 2 hours at the end to share on my corporate internal/external blog the high level thoughts around the project. Now when someone searches they can offer up questions in the form of comments which someone can respond to, add information around.
All of these things are not new. We have had forums and knowledge repositories. But with the inclusion of RSS, google search and a number of other items that can be added in a mash-up search/knowledge portal we have a new way of collaborating in a cost effective manner.
Great point about the Wikis.
One of the truely undersung heros is RSS. The real challenge is to make the information in whatever form 3 clicks away.
Rex: I challenge the idea of the empty quarter. I think this is more about awareness and value. Take Jim for example. Once I explained and he experimented with blogging he has exploded. He has two others that are his on special interests of his.
The point on simplicity though is truely one of the keys to success and the challenge I see in any collaboration environment is to not have the interface get in the way.
* Take Mind Mapping as an example. I used a great tool for this, but did not know it and it got in the way. I used a facilitator who new the tool and we were off to the races.
* There are many knowledge management systems out there that are great, but it is effort to have to place the data on them as opposed to moving the search to where they are.
You might be interested in Andre McAfee’s work that looks at Enterprise 2.0 and adoption. He discusses the “empty quarter” in which E20 tools are usually ignored by those that are either technophobic or have been out of school for several years.
I also commented on it in my blog…
Don’t forget the usefulness of an internal Wiki, especially as a way of collaboratively collecting information – if knowledge about some software is spread out among many people within an enterprise an internal wiki might even be a more useful resource manual than a blog.