Is this Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

Wikis, social networking and Facebook

with 3 comments

Wikis 
I’ve written before about wikis and the intranet, and how I saw advantages in their use.

My colleague Sandy – who has the patience of a saint – sighs, and explains that scalability and control are a bit more of an issue when you have 100k users rather than 30.

I counter with Knowledge Management working better when you have involved Communities of Practice, pointing out that wikis are ideal for those and we go round again.

I was interested to see Abigail Lewis-Bowen’s view at the Intranet Benchmarking Forum which suggests that

“it’s important to provide Wikis and Blogs only after processes for publishing “formal” information channels to the Intranet are well established.  If the right people are publishing to the right place on the Intranet, and there is good editorial workflow and governance, then the Intranet is sturdy enough to add an open, less-structured layer of content.”

Basically, if your intranet functions OK, go for it; require authenticated log-in, provide good how-tos and link the formal stuff to the “under-Web” [lovely coining by Paul Miller in his Trends for 2008]

Social Networking

Still lots of interest at work in:

  •  what this is (yes, I know you know, dear reader, but I’m still working it out; so have patience).
  • what can we get from this – and an interesting term I hadn’t heard before – Social Capital. I mean, I now know it’s been around for years, with the first cite being around 110 *years* ago.
  • how we can facilitate it – what tools, what processes?

I think it’s partly culture, partly tools,  and partly process.

As part of my Personal Development Plan(PDP), I’d decided this was a key area to understand and try and utilise. My company’s culture encourages us to drive robust PDPs. I’d found a range of tools – each new one pointed to by posting on previous tool, and learned from them. The process is the bit that is currently blocking wider acceptance of this; how do you measure the value. As long as nobody starts talking about a business model  I’ll be happy.

Facebook

I’ve had Facebook for a while, but following the irritation I – and a number of other friends – had been feeling with Vampires, “funny” videos, LOLcatz I removed FunWall and SuperWall. I update my status via Twitter  – and so do many others, and am currently using Twitter more – but I still use Facebook.

It’s still a nice application for seeing what your friends/colleagues are doing and provides a way of managing the various contacts – true, I want to be able to escape from the walled garden – but that looks like it’s coming.

I’ve been able to build

  • online relationships with the people I’ve “friended”
  • knowledge of Web2.0
  • understanding of some of the tools
  • links with people I’d never have heard of…

 JP Rangaswami says

“The information that flows through a social network exists in three dimensions. One dimension is time, past, present and future. A second dimension is number, one to many. A third is movement, static to dynamic. When I share my contact details with another person, I am providing static, present, one-to-one information.  When I share what I am intending to do with a whole community, I am providing dynamic, future, one-to-many information.

The motivation to provide information is, at least in part, driven by an expected value of the information coming out of Facebook. And one other thing: the comfort level of providing, to a community, what is essentially private information.

Generation M and their successors are comfortable with sharing their past actions, current state and their future intentions with the community they belong to; they’re comfortable with sharing changes to states and intentions as well. They do this because they believe new value will emerge from that sharing. Collaborative, communal value, shared value.”

I think that’s fair – and I look forward to how we’re going to use “Facebook for the Enterprise” to leverage the social capital we’re looking for.

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Written by SteveEllwood

January 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Facebook, JP, Twitter, Web 2.0, wiki

3 Responses

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  1. Have I mentioned knitting to you?

    I’ve been ranting on about knitting to a few of my social network chums as the model that I think bridges the problem gap between social networking and workplace value.

    However, to be honest I just get funny looks, I guess its because its about knitting, its not a phenomenon of Generation M and its not a geek interest (i.e. male). But I think knitting has more to teach us…

    Ok I guess I better explain, don’t look at me funny… I’m not actually a knitter, I like punk rock, Dunfermline Athletic and football. My wife is though, she’s mad for it. She joined this private beta of a social networking site called ravelry, its facebook for knitters really, but it is so nicely tuned to how knitters work, so people doing the same task (i.e. knitting the same pattern) can find each other, they can share best practice (i.e, what sort of needles to use, variations to make, suggest alternative wool thingy types). This communication is then a content, its almost like a wiki made up of discussion… though that makes it sound forced, its not really.

    I actually pointed out to my wife that it was “content creation” and she denied it, and gave her usual long suffering sigh “its not content creation, its just people talking about something that interests them, how can it be content creation if its just, fun”.

    Which I think is the interesting bit…

    Also, does anyone else think that time travel will be discovered by looking really closely at cross stitching?

    sandyblair

    January 24, 2008 at 8:18 pm

  2. … no, you’ve not mentioned knitting before :D.

    I think you’re right, though – labelling stuff as “content creation” puts up an artificial barrier. Another site I visit does short stories – linked together in a wiki format.

    I doubt the writers think of it as “Content Creation”. They think they’re writing stories. OK, they’re using a fancy tool to do it – but when did you last write with a dip pen?

    [OK, I’ll admit it, I last wrote with a dip pen and an inkwell in a school in Malahide, Eire back in about 1965… – and that’s something – as far as I konw I’ve never shared with anyone since 1967.]

    shaidorsai

    January 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm

  3. near synchronicity or what?
    See what you’re missing on twitter? and with a weak pun, @kerryb makes the cut.

    shaidorsai

    January 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm


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