EUI Summit – Day 1 PM

After another delicious lunch on the deck at the Sky Hotel (a view from our lunch spot is at left), Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting then spoke about Microblogging Re-Imagined OR Microsharing in the Enterprise.  The term blogging itself can be a barrier, but the biggest issue is why people should use it in the enterprise context.  The concerns are why they should do it, and who they are telling.  She believes that an enteprise solution needs to ask a different question: What has your attention?  (Twitter asks the question: What are you doing?)  That revised approach leads to use cases:

  • Connect humans
  • Surround self with motivating people
  • Cultivate relationships
  • Foster cohesion and affinity
  • Touch base with (and grow) your network
  • Expose ideas and talent
  • Flatten hierarchy
  • Harness the power of loose ties
  • Source products and solutions
  • Query collective knowledge
  • Knowledge – sharing / collaboration
  • News and best practices
  • Status, news, and other alerts
  • Slow-motion virtual summit
  • Coordination of / at events

Laura said that the implementation of a micro-sharing solution should adhere to certain core principles, including cohesion, providing a company bellweather, authencity, harnessing more than transactional connections can “terrifyingly powerful” if used properly, opportunities for leadership, and accountability.  These in turn can lead to use cases. 

Laura believes that the challenge is how do we make microsharing ‘interstitial’ or ‘capillary’.  In turn, it can inform more complicated collaboration spaces like Clearspace.

In summary, get it started by focusing on the most critical aspects – content, community, and conversation.  Find existing helpful, interesting things / people, map them in to the system as streams of content.  And weave into exsting, familiar conversation paths.

When Laura was done, we had a chance to hear from Thomas Vander Wal (he coined the term folksonomy) about the Elements of Social Software.  He walked us through the different social steps that are required in order for people to connect.  I did my best to reproduce his diagram, below.  The numbers indicate the order in which these things need to occur in order to be successful. 

After Thomas, we had a chance to hear from Craig Villamor of Salesforce.com about profiles.  He walked us through some of the different profiles he maintains on the web, why, and how that might apply to the enterprise.  For example Craig has a user record in salesforce.com or a profile on his intranet.  How does he communicate who he is and what he’s working on?  He also looked at tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, to evaluate what their use might be.  In summary, enterprise profiles are boring (and not very useful) because they don’t say much about the person depicted.  User profiles are even more boring. Social profiles, on the other hand, are interesting and useful.  The content is relevant and contextual, there is an activity feed.  In summary, a good profile tool for the enterprise would be:

  • Relevant
  • Personal
  • Dynamic
  • Content-rich
  • Up to date

Why does he his external profile information up to date?  It’s easy (low barrier to entry), it is his (he has control of it so he’s invested), and it is everywhere.

A couple of interesting approaches include Jobster, which enriches your profile by asking you a number of questions – what is your dream job, what kind of organization do you want to work in, etc.  Tumblr is another example (offering post types).  Vox has an interesting thing – there is a question of the day that you can answer.  In other words, can we make enterprise profile more social?

The challenges we’ll face in bringing a richer, more social profile to the enterprise include:

  • Security of my organization’s data
  • Are profiles portable (ownership)?
  • How do we share or hide information from other organizations
  • How do we handle abuse?
  • How do we keep it up to date and data-richs?

In summary, enterprises and users want control, which may potentially lead to conflict.

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