Social media is often cast as being at odds with enterprise initiatives such as knowledge management. There is a sense that as people embrace and use social media tools like Twitter, Yammer, LinkedIn and Quora, the enterprise loses control over their knowledge. While this is certainly true, it’s also nothing new. There have always been and always will be opportunities and reasons to search the Internet vs searching the Intranet; for participating in an Internet discussion group vs. one in your enterprise community; and for leveraging external wisdom vs. known internal resources.
The subject of this week’s KMers.org tweet chat emphasized this tension: Corporate Social Media vs. Intranets. The implication is that social media and knowledge management are at odds and one is destined to be the solitary victor.
Social media and knowledge management aren’t at odds at all. In fact, the most successful knowledge management systems embrace social media, but with a business mindset. The smart KM implementations leverage blogs, subscriptions, communities, discussion forums, and member profiles. They tie it together with search in a single working environment. And they look for opportunities to tie in other tools to streamline knowledge sharing — everything from instant messaging (i.e. Sametime) to micro-blogging (i.e. Yammer).
A few of the comments that really stuck out in our discussion today bear this out. We were asked for tips on optimizing the integration between social media applications and intranets. Here are a few notable responses:
Tammy Bearden hits the nail on the head: it all starts with people.
I like Stan Garfield’s advice to meet people where they are, which for many is still the email inbox.I’ve found the ability to subscribe and get email notifications to be an invaluable tool for engaging the workforce. I would even say it’s essential, and we’ve found it to be a tremendous attraction at Fluor.
Barbara Fillip reminds us to take the member eye view. Remove barriers to participation, where possible. Single sign-on is just one example.
Thanks to Stan Garfield, Liz Williams, Tom Menke, Ryan McClead, Sean Brady, Tammy Bearden, Antoon van het Erve, Matthew Loxton, Barbara Fillip, and the other participants who shared their knowledge and insight. You can read the entire tweet chat transcript online, as well as check the schedule of upcoming discussions on KMers.org. We gather via Twitter every Tuesday at noon Eastern time. If you’re a KM professional, you should be a part of the discussion.