Tagging is the reverse of “foldering”, Part I
Posted by Gia Lyons on April 23, 2008
Program Note: This mini-series is for those of you who “get” social software, and have the task of helping your more traditional co-workers “get” it. It’s in many parts so that you don’t glaze over after three minutes.
I spoke with a large telecom customer yesterday. One interesting idea resonated well, especially in light of the all-out push to slurp knowledge out of an organization’s “wisdom holders” before they exit, stage left. Um, good luck with that, by the way. My advice? Get them to trust/mentor/repeatedly talk to a new hire who likes to blog. People typically only share their precious information with people they trust, either in person, over the phone, in email, or instant messaging.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Tabling the whole social-software-as-neo-KM discussion, let’s get simple. Let’s talk about where it hurts every day.
Traditional Worker (T.W.) says, “Why can I find more information about our company using Google on the Internet than I can searching our intranet?”
Well, finding intranet content is vastly different than finding Internet content, and even deploying Google’s search appliance internally won’t magically give you Google-like search results. Why?
Google makes use of the vast and growing user participation on the web to find the good stuff based on reputation through a secret and ever changing formula.
Andrew MacAfee said it best back in 2006:
[The Web’s emergent nature] is a key difference between the public Internet and private Intranets. Public Web sites are built by millions of people, while most Intranets are built and maintained by a small group. Emergence requires large numbers of actors and interactions, but Intranets are produced by only a few people (even though they are passively consumed by many). In addition, most Intranet pages aren’t as heavily interlinked as pages on the Internet.
Another important difference is that Web 2.0 has accelerated the rate of emergence on the public Internet. I think of Web 2.0 tools and technologies as accomplishing two important goals: increasing the number of people who are contributing content (and the ease with which they can do it), and increasing the number of ways to let content creators (and consumers) interact with each other. These new interactions are the further mechanisms, beyond linking, for emergence – for letting patterns and structure emerge from low-level behavior.
Andrew gives us something to shoot for, later in his entry. To paraphrase, corporate intranets could stand a large dose of user participation in order to make search better, but it’s hard to get people to participate, because these new tools are not intuitive for a Web 1.0 mindset. But, once they start using them, it’s hard to stop them.
Tomorrow, Part II: T.W. says, “Whuh?”
This entry was posted on April 23, 2008 at 5:01 am and is filed under Social Software. Tagged: Lotus Connections, Social Software, User Adoption. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.