Dec 8, 2010

Enterprise 2.0 and Social Software should be opt-in

Often I've come across the argument how activity streams in Enterprise 2.0 tools would be great for building the "ambient awareness" that microsharing works - and I agree. Today's email culture of cc'ing everyone leads to overload of actionable information for the employee.

And yet, I shudder when I think what would happen if really social softwares are adopted by the majority of employees, if things are not designed well can we see tools that add to the noise they were supposed to solve?

This thought struck me when a CEO of a firm that makes an enterprise collaboration/social intranet tool called me and was describing a new feature they have added. (I haven't got a demo yet, so don't have screen shots to share) The feature basically adds every activity you do on the software and even your desktop software to the activity stream.

So imagine if you opened the ppt your colleague sent you - added your comments on specific slides and made some changes - that update goes on to the activity stream. Imagine even 25% of your employees doing that regularly.

Clearly this is a useful feature and yet we have to make this as granular to opt in as possible in the part of every employee - otherwise we'll see the issues that plague email on the social software too.

What do you think?
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