May 20, 2011

Social Collaboration and Knowledge

My colleagues, Jay Pullur, CEO of Qontext, and Samir Ghosh (blog, twitter) VP of Strategy recently wrote a white paper for KMWorld. You can download the full paper (in pdf form) from here

Here are some excerpts

Social collaboration includes a bundle of key advantages for knowledge management. Following are some examples:
Personal information cloud: Social, for the first time, is helping to move information from personal silos like email inboxes into a centralized cloud where it can be captured, analyzed and discovered by others;
Social bookmarking: As the amount of content on the Web explodes, sites like, and have demonstrated the value of democratized content recommendations;
Media abundance: The eruption of mobile devices has flooded us with multimedia, including photos, audio and video.
Social collaboration leverages familiar interfaces (from sites like, for submitting and organizing media on varied devices;
Crowdsourcing: By breaking problem discussions out of email into a controlled, more transparent forum with self-subscription capabilities, larger, more diverse groups can be leveraged for faster and better problem solving;
Consumer-driven: Portals and internal solutions are only useful if they deliver what users want and expect—currency, relevance, interaction;
Engagement: Social engages users. One out of every eight minutes online is on ; and
Discussions: Not all important knowledge ends up in documents. In fact, the average person sends and receives about 200 emails per day
Email is (currently) where knowledge goes to die.
Instead, social collaboration captures this knowledge for easy future recall and discovery.

Information workers need fewer, not more, collaboration destinations. The productivity losses of email interruptions alone are 30%
The context switching that users experience when, for example, attempting to resolve an exception in an order-entry system, creates friction in the business process. This friction can result in process delays and other inefficiencies. The answer is to build the collaboration service directly into the business process. Linking the collaboration content to the associated business objects then enables contextual recall, improving overall knowledge management

Social applications like Facebook, while social in purpose, also include social collaboration tools that can be utilized inside of business organizations for knowledge management and productivity gains. To Maximize these benefits, consistent social collaboration tools should be integrated across the business applications used every day.