The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt (a.k.a. missrogue)

Gran Canaria - Puerto de MoganHave you ever heard about the concept of social capital? In other words … have you ever heard about the Whuffie Factor? Probably yes. Or perhaps may be not. Thing is that if you have been working around for a while in the field of Knowledge Management, I bet you have. Why? Well, because for quite some time now it was one of those areas that traditional KM neglected on a very regular basis as being far too trivial; too much chit-chat; plenty of wasted time talking about nothing substantial (to the business) from knowledge workers, preventing them from doing some more work. The perfect space to goof around … Remember that?

Well, fast forward to today’s corporate environment. Specially for those businesses that have been paying attention to the whole movement of social computing within the enterprise. Why? Because that old perception of how useless and trivial social capital could well be has drastically changed into perhaps being the main engine that keeps the corporate world running. Yes, indeed, it is amazing how things change if you give them a little bit of time.

You may be wondering why I am putting together this blog post, right? Amongst many various reasons, because I wanted to share with you folks a link to a presentation that Tara Hunt did just recently (And the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, to be more precise) where she talks about that same topic: how crucial social capital has become nowadays with the emergence of social software.

She calls it the Whuffie Factor. In fact she has got an upcoming book on that very same topic that I just can’t wait to get my hands on it to start reading it. For now though I will need to content myself with that video link I would want to share with you folks over here. So why would I want to suggest to you all to have a look and listen to what Tara has got to say?

For various different reasons, to be honest, but most of them having to deal with the concept of social capital. And, more specifically how important and key it’s becoming within the corporate world to help improve both personal and business relationships; increase trust levels; build up stronger ties amongst knowledge workers (And their customers!); help accelerate innovation by empowering employees make connections with one another by just chit-chatting, but that will eventually resolve in people “becoming trustworthy friends” (Introducing the concept of loyalty with their peers); getting the message across that having fun at work is a healthy activity (And very much encouraged, too!); that building communities, both inside and outside of the firewall, with a specific purpose (business related or not!) helps employees have a stronger sense of belonging and ownership, therefore influencing the attrition rates every business is exposed to; and the list goes on and on and on …

I could keep talking further about this topic plenty more, but I think with that introduction it is probably sufficient for now. Social Capital is here to stay; it will change the way we connect, collaborate and share our knowledge with our peers and, interestingly enough, the biggest push (and driver) of social capital adoption within a business environment is eventually social computing. Whether we like it or not, it’s here to stay; it is here to help us survive and become smarter at what we do. So why stop it, right? You may as well want to get the most out of it and embrace it. That’s just exactly what Tara talks about during her presentation and here is the video from that inspiring talk. You can also watch it below with the embedded version:


The Whuffie Factor: The 5 Keys for Maxing Social Capital and Winning with Online Communities (Tara Hunt) from Steffan Antonas on Vimeo.

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