E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

“Getting into” Social Software and How It Is Changing the Role of Traditional Knowledge Management

If yesterday I took the opportunity to share with you folks a rather extensive, but very descriptive, article on Social Media at IBM – Focus on Podcasting by George Faulkner, today I thought I would pick up another subject along those very same lines, but with a different twist. One of my good friends at IBM, Gia Lyons, sent me an e-mail referencing a recent article she bumped into and which she mentioned she found it to be quite an interesting read. Of course, around the subject of social software.

The title of the article is "Getting into" Social Software … Take the Experience of IBM and in it you would be able find a number of different sections that would be worth while a read. As you may have noticed, this is an article that I participated myself in putting it together providing some input on a very specific section: Social Computing and Its Impact in Knowledge Management.

There are, of course, several other sections and I thought I would just copy them over here with their links so that you may want to jump into whichever of them that you may find appropriate and more suitable to your needs:

As you would be able to see from that outline, "Getting into" Social Software will provide you with a good description of the various different components from IBM’s Lotus Connections: Profiles, Blogging (Blog Central), Social Bookmarking (Dogear), Communities and Activities. Perhaps the most interesting part of that section is the stats put together on how IBM is making use of Connections internally, behind the firewall, having some of them for as long as 4 years already!

From there onwards, the second section is the piece that I have put together myself and where I have mentioned the kind of impact that social software is inflicting upon Knowledge Management, specially, the traditional Knowledge Management. Although the first part relates to what it used to be my previous job, in general terms, it still applies. However, I think you would find even much more interesting the section I put together under Social computing transforms the Knowledge Management (KM) paradigm. For those folks who may have been reading from this blog for a little while now, it may not be all that strange, since I have been talking about this particular topic quite a bit. Still worth while a read for those new to it.

From there onwards, you would be able to read further on a couple of pieces put together by two other IBMers who have been living with social software for quite some time. First one, Sacha Chua, an amazing technology evangelist -and good friend- who recently joined IBM Canada and who is blogging over at SachaChua.com and AS Emerging Technologies (A blog that is just getting started, but that has got two other good friends of mine who are doing some amazing stuff on social computing: Aaron Kim and Bernie Michalik) and then John Rooney, head of the Technology Innovation Team in IBM’s Office of the CIO and someone who I have been interacting with as well for a number of years through IBM’s Technology Adoption Program.

Sacha actually gets to detail what living with social software is like as the young and energetic workforce starting to take their role within the corporate world. So with her piece you actually get to read how the younger generations are adopting social computing and bring it with them into the enterprise world. Quite enlightening, if you are into the subject of generational differences within the work environment.

John, on the contrary, gets to detail what I think would also be an interesting reading from the article itself, which is basically give a good description of the business benefits of social computing and also how you can facilitate, from the CIO’s perspective, the adoption of social computing in general. Another insightful section of the article, if you ask me, with precious gems like this one: "Rooney sees the primary business benefit of social computing as increasing responsiveness to the marketplace". Totally recommended.

And from there onwards you would be off to the conclusion of the article, indicating how social software in general is starting to impact the workforce big time, despite what some other folks may be saying. But more on that in an upcoming blog post….

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  1. Along these lines, you may want to augnment the points in this post with comments on Dave Snowden’s podcast on KM and Web 2.0, wherein he gets very clear and very coherent about how he sees things changing. I think I sent you the link, and I am looking forward to hearing what you think about what he thinks.

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