Archive for the ‘wiki’ Category
Social Media in the Enterprise
I wondered about the impact social media tools were making in knowledge management for the enterprise. We have got some very rapid growth in the takeup of the tools in my company; we have loads of wikis, internal blogs – growing use of Twitter.
I wondered about the difference between *Information* Management & *Knowledge* management.
Thanks to a tweet from @elsua I found my way to an excellent presentation given by John Bordeaux (@JBordeaux, since you ask).
As with many of these things, what you can take away from it depends to some extent on your organisational culture. I found it very interesting, particularly the view on
Basic information sharing infrastucture – just do it!
Democratic web publishing
Social media! Everything 2.0
Image Credit: I am K.E.B.
Should we reward participation?
Is adding useable knowledge to your employer useful? Should it be part of your actual job?
If it was part of your job, how would you measure it? Should you?
To save time, I think the right answers are Yes; Yes; Yes; Various ways; Yes
Why ask the question now?
As my interest in Social media and wikis has risen over the last year or so, I’ve watched JP talk about social software in the enterprise (many links), and recently been delighted when my firm started the nascent internal social networking, announced publicly by my colleague Richard Dennison
There’s a fair amount of wiki use within the firm, and I like them – despite my ongoing discussion with another colleague Sandy Blair.
We’ve now got an excellent WordPress instance running internally – I think I accidentally publicly announced that, shortly before the official announcement. I like that too, particularly how easy it is to search. I’m still amused that Sandy ranks first for “Glitter Glue” within BT.
We have had a BTpedia – an enterprise wide information wiki for some time.
It’s a source of some mild pleasure that I’ve contributed 0.25% of the content (including some of the most edited/updated articles) although I’m .00125% of the workforce.
This stuff is really taking off, internally
Why the fuss about job descriptions/measuring etc?
One reason that is suggested for non-participation in wikis/social media is the “not real work” argument. People express concern that their management will think they are slacking if they add to wikis/blogs.
Make adding to corporate knowledge part of people’s jobs, with some sort of weighting to it, and people *may* be more willing to do it
As far as measuring goes, until we move to a more Deming driven organisation, you have to show what and how you contribute. Measuring something about your contributions might provide that.
What should we measure
As is often the case, I’m again somewhat beaten to the point by Richard, who in his excellent recent post says
Leadership will be a combination of willingness to engage and connect, and the value of those engagements and connections to the community of users and to the complete enterprise ecosystem. Leadership won’t be about power but influence. And, value to the ecosystem will be measured in terms of contribution rather than achievement
he then highlights
Everyone in a enterprise ecosystem will need to understand that while every perception/view is equally valid, they are not of equal importance… Importance will be a combination of that inferred by the enterprise (as currently happens) and that inferred by the community (willingness to connect/engage and value of those connections/engagements as measured by the community).
To me, that suggests a combination of
- objective measure – perhaps a combination of separate views, incoming links, other citations, and maybe number of comments/edits
- subjective measures – post ranking/karma awards
What do you think should be measured in Enterprise Social Media?
Picture Credit Capt Kodak
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]
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.
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.
In an ongong bid for speed and agility, my company are changing the way we manage resources on the intranet.
I’m a proselytiser for social networking and wikis (I love my TiddlyWiki, FWIW) so I’m hoping we’ll see significant changes.
Lars Plougmann has written in a couple of places about what you could do if you have no intranet. In If your organisation has no intranet: An opportunity
He suggests some of the disadvantages of an intranet
- Information changes quicker than the intranet team can update it. No content is static.
- When the perception is that the information on the intranet is not up to date it stops being the first source for vital business matters
- The intranet structure typically reflects the shape of the business as of yesteryear
- The process for updating information on the intranet involves finding out who is responsible for a particular page, then describing a proposed change in an email which gets added to a work queue. Most people only involve themselves once in that process if they don’t see the page updated within a short time
- Ownership is often skewed: When only a few people can edit stuff on the intranet, an “us” and “them” culture arises. In the worst cases, the intranet becomes the object of blame and ridicule.
and he suggests that a wiki can address many of these shortcomings, with use of tagging, links and *search* – surely a key component of any Knowledge management system.
If you tie authoring in a wiki to ID, then control is easy and if someone screws up… revert the change.
In How to avoid mysterious golfing cart accidents he develops this further and suggests he has a client who wants to replace their intranet with a wiki. Why?
- To cut the publishing cycle from days or weeks to minutes or seconds thus ensuring that the content is more relevant
- To move from content nobody wants to read written in corporate speak to information about what is really going on written in a human voice
He point back to the Cluetrain Manifesto for a lovely quote
“The intranet revolution is bottom-up. There’s no going back. If a company doesn’t recognize this, the top-down intranet it puts in can breed the type of cynicism that results in ugly bathroom graffiti and mysterious golfing cart accidents.”
More wikis; more involvement; more openeness; more benefit – like the Cluetrain says
- “What’s happening to markets is also happening among employees. A metaphysical construct called “The Company” is the only thing standing between the two.
- Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman. “
Go and re-read (or read if you haven’t) the 95 theses.