Building Community and Collaborating with Social Computing ... - IFLA

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Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Khulisa

Management Services (Pty) Ltd




Building Community and Collaborating with
Social Computing Tools






Stacy Langner

Khulisa Management Services

25 August 2009

Introduction


What do we mean by social
computing?


How can we use these tools?


Illustrative case study: Social
software in action


Challenges encountered


Lessons learned


What
is

social computing?


Technology that puts power in
communities not institutions
(Forrester
1
)


Social software
supports group
interaction


Broad, fluid concept


Not new
-

but the toolbox is getting
bigger

Charron, C., Favier, J. & Li, C.(2006, February 13). Social


computing: How networks erode institutional power,


and what to do about it. Forrester Research.

Charron, C., Favier, J. & Li, C.(2006, February 13). Social


computing: How networks erode institutional power,


and what to do about it. Forrester Research.

Charron, C., Favier, J. & Li, C.(2006, February 13). Social


computing: How networks erode institutional power,


and what to do about it. Forrester Research.

1. Charron, C., Favier, J. & Li, C. (2006). Social Computing: How networks erode institutional power, and what to
do about it. Forrester Research.

How can we use social software?


“Typical” use = Self
-
promotion to external
audiences


Social software can be
multi
-
purpose



Used “behind the firewall” it provides
opportunities to:


Capitalise

on natural social
behaviours


Break down silos and improve the flow of information


Leverage and
customise

existing tools for your own
purposes



Social software in action


Background about Khulisa


Small South African organisation (<50 emp)


Private (for
-
profit) company


Social research


Focus on international development


Growing frustration with lack of
knowledge sharing resulting in:


Decreased productivity


Impact on quality of work

Social software in action


Specific KM challenges at Khulisa:


Divisional silos


Geographically dispersed teams


Short
-
term staff


Connectivity issues


Varying levels of technical skills


Very culturally diverse

Social software in action


Starting point = Intranet


The tools:


Open Source Content Management Software


Social Bookmarking


Document Sharing


Digital Media Sharing


Social Networking





Tool #1: Drupal


Content management system
www.drupal.org



Open source platform that served as our
foundation





Pros:


-
Useful forums on
drupal.org

-
Wide community of
users

-
Extendable


lots of
add
-
on modules available




Cons:


-
Steep learning curve

-
Custom module
development can be
tricky


Tool #2: Delicious


Social bookmarking


“tag” pages while
you browse
http://delicious.com



Using a shared Delicious account, links
are displayed on the intranet home page




Pros:


-
Browser buttons are easy
to use

-
Tags can be used to
filter items for display on
different intranet pages

-
More efficient than
emailing links




Cons:


-
Quality control with
shared account

-
Maintaining common
naming and tagging
system

-
Measuring
participation?


Tool #3:
Scribd


Document Sharing
www.scribd.com



Use a shared Scribd account and
Drupal’s iPaper module to create
searchable document repository


Upload reports, presentations, training
tools, CVs/resomes, etc.


KM Manager serves as “gatekeeper”


Careful use of privacy settings

Tool #3:
Scribd




Pros:


-
Full text searching

-

“Hidden” tool

-
Documents can be fully
embedded into web page

-
Viewer can comment on
documents

-
Viewers can tag
documents




Cons:


-
Requires oversight,
less “community
-
driven”

-
Embedded
documents can be
prohibitively slow to
load


Tool #4:
Flickr


Photo sharing
www.flickr.com



Using a shared Flickr account, photos
are displayed on various intranet pages


Use tags to display on relevant pages,
plus random image on home page




Pros:


-
Ability to comment and
tag

-
Visual images more
interesting than text




Cons:


-
Quality control with
shared account

-
Maintaining tagging
system

-
Uneven participation


Tool #5: LinkedIn


Social networking
www.linkedin.com



All staff set up LinkedIn profile when
they join the company


Use private group to share
announcements, facilitate discussions

Tool #5: LinkedIn




Pros:


-
Repository of staff
expertise

-
Keep track of / create
mutual contacts

-
Keep up with former
employees

-
Recommendations boost
morale




Cons:


-
Not (yet) integrated
with intranet

-
Limited benefits
without “champions”

-

More effort required
by users


Key Challenges


Maintaining momentum


Measuring impact and return on
investment?


Requires significant time to develop a
custom system that integrates many
tools


Converting “Lurkers”


Key Lessons


Terminology is more intimidating than
technology


Choose the right tool for the job


Carefully consider needs and options


Don’t choose a tool just because it’s
“trendy”


Test in small groups and make adjustments


Constant training and reminders


Don’t invade personal space

Khulisa

Management Services (Pty) Ltd


Question or Comments?




Stacy Langner


Khulisa Management Services

Phone: 202
-
316
-
8954

Email:
slangner@khulisa.com