10 inexpensive ways to introduce your organization to social networking. 20071106_Dave_Pollard_KMWorld2007.jpgOne of my favorite KM bloggers, Dave Pollard (How to Save the World), is speaking on social tools and knowledge sharing. Pollard shared success stories of how organizations can use social networking tools like:
  • Weblogs
  • Wikis
  • Instant Messaging
  • Desktop Video Conferencing
  • Just-in-time canvassing
  • RSS Aggregates
  • "Know who" directories, etc.

Four types of social networking tools
  • People-Connectors
  • Social publishing and information sharing
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • SNA/Sensor/GIS Mashups

People Connectors
  • People finders (Linked-in)
- Permission based, mapping tool, self documenting
- Simple, mimics real life, permission-based
- Cons: Imbalance between seekers and offerers.
  • Social Network Mappers (InFLow orgnet.com)
- Data mining - examine all emails
- Useful for visualizing relationships, communication, value
- Cons: penalize relationships outside the organization
  • Proximity locators (DodgeBall)
- Originally set up as a non-stalking dating system.
- Don't get turned off by dating origins - enormous application from a business perspective.
  • Affinity Detectors (NTag)
- Used at conferences to find like minds; RF Proximity detectors
- Con: Expensive, No way to quality assure the data
- Still a fascinating app


Social publishing and information sharing
  • Journals (blogs, Podcasts)
- Often used by SMEs
- Some orgs assign a junior person to blog on behalf of the SME
- Converting elec. newsletter to a blog
- COP leaders
- Cons: lack of trust, volume, discussion; lack of time to post. ("We know more than we have time to communicate")
  • Social Bookmarks
Del.icio.us (Self-tagging)
- Many people now subscribe to Del.icio.us feeds rather than use Google
- down side: just links
Flickr (Self-tagging)
- Self tagged by subject matter
- Lots of good content
- No audio at this time
  • Meme Diggers (what is important)
- Digg (what people think is popular and valuable)
- ThisNext (Think consumer reports for physical items)
- And of course, Facebook
Last year it was MySpace, now it's facebook. Not sure it will be around next year. "you can tell when an app is nearing the end of its useful life when Microsoft invests in it..."

Collaboration and Communication Tools

-Wikis (FluWiki)
-Forums (Yahoo Groups) He's not seeing this as much anymore. Tedious. Hard to find good discussion forums.
-Project Collaboration (BaseCamp is a good example) Many are often overengineered; people get frustrated with implementation.
-Document Collaboration (Google Docs) cons: do you want to trust Google to own all of your data?
-MindMaps (Freemind) Have quickly become a standard way of documenting a meeting.
-VOIP/Virtual Presence (Skype, GoToMeeting)
-OpenSpace/Peer Production

SNA / Sensor / GIS Maps

example: tracking Disease outbreaks
Home monitoring
Dave thinks we will begin to see "Do-it-yourself" Social Networking Applications

Most organizations are still at early stages with many of these...

Keys to success:

Don't try to impose these; experiment with groups whop get it - do pilots with these groups
Keep technologies simple, ubiquitous
Focus on real-time and just-in-time applications
To persuade CxOs, use stories and future-state visions  - Tell them a story of how life would be different (a day in the life) with theuse of these technologies.

Impediments & Risks

Security paranoia - Pollard recommends to do it anyway. Not sure I can agree with him, but I understand.
Lack of urgency - start with people who have a passion for the subject, they will donate hours.
Need for trust among network members - that's a tough one. Recommends only trying to introduce SNAs with people you trust.

[I need to go back and look at Dave's slide on 10 inexpensive ways to introduce SNAs in the organization]

How To Save The world (Dave Pollard)


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