KM in the cloud for small biz #tools


Marcia Conner <marcia@...>
 

Recently I was asked for recommendations on a very usable, mobile-enabled, cloud-based KM system for a tech-savvy small business. Rather than go the route of adopting an online community with a knowledge repository, they're thinking something more like Evernote with templates and a metadata structure so people can find the information across both a taxonomy and a folksonomy. While OneNote might do much of what they're looking for, backing a Microsoft app might be a hard pill to swallow as they like to think of themselves (and want to support) the leading edge. [In disclosure, I was a 'softee when we were the leading edge, and even I can now appreciate this concern.] Oh, and Googledocs and Basecamp is what they're using now in the interim, and they can see neither of them are long-term solutions because of poor mobile integration, difficulty getting stuff out of them, and just general issues with not being designed for this purpose.

They are mostly a mac shop, but a few people use PCs. Everyone has mobile, and more than half the folks are young enough to not have any clue what is knowledge management so there is no expectation of features: they just want it to be intuitive, easy to access and contribute to, and help them share notes on meetings as easily as things they're writing, or ideas they are noodling on, or materials they've been sent from someone outside the organization. 

When I said, "So you mean sort of like a modern, light, easy to use, mobile Lotus Notes..." almost no one had a clue what I meant. Hoping perhaps you do.

I welcome all suggestions, ideas, challenges, whatever. My aim is to put together a list of options (including those that do meet all the criteria) by early next week, and then work through with them the pros and cons of each. I will happily, joyfully, share the list with all of you if there is interest. Tools like FluidDB hold a lot of promise, so I have high hopes for the future, but it's now that I'm focused on.

Thanks in advance.

- Marcia

Marcia Conner
540-849-9011
@marciamarcia


Jack Vinson <jackvinson@...>
 

MarciaMarcia-

 

I’d love to know what you come up with as well.  Our shop of three people have wondered about this from time to time as well.  Sharing everything on email “works,” but there are clearly better ways to do things.  Nothing stands out.

 

The local Boston meetup of SIKM Leaders went through this a bit with deciding on a “platform” for coordinating local activities.  They came up with a list of 16 features and then ranked them based on perceived importance.  (None of the needs said “mobile access.”)  They ended up going with PBWiki.  Your description makes it sound like they may want to go in a different direction.  What key things are they looking for?

 

Based on what you said, we have these elements.  But there are clearly other elements that made you think of Lotus Notes or Evernote as options.  Why don’t GoogleDocs and Basecamp work for them?  What else have they tried?  (Have they looked at SocialText or Traction?):

 

·         Mobile access

·         Works with Mac and PC (in other words: works on all browsers)

·         Accessible from anywhere

·         Post ideas / meeting notes

·         Create discussions (around the ideas / notes?)

·         Can easily add documents / files

·         Can easily pull out documents / files  (Does this mean “no lock in?”)

 

For what it’s worth, here was the list from SIKM Boston.  I think your connection has a different set of needs:

·         Login/secured to SI KM Boston members

·         No domain name constraints (i.e. anyone can access from anywhere)

·         Centralized access mgt (administration)

·         Free

·         Easy email to groups

·         Forum/threaded discussion

·         Profiles/individual pages

·         Member blog aggregation (previews, not just links)

·         Calendar of events with reminders

·         Doc upload and taxonomy tagging

·         Doc upload and folksonomy tagging

·         Search by keyword

·         Search by tag

·         Search by people

·         Alerts to selected activity

·         Presence

 

Jack Vinson

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Marcia Conner
Sent: Monday, 09 August 2010 9:38 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] KM in the cloud for small biz

 



Recently I was asked for recommendations on a very usable, mobile-enabled, cloud-based KM system for a tech-savvy small business. Rather than go the route of adopting an online community with a knowledge repository, they're thinking something more like Evernote with templates and a metadata structure so people can find the information across both a taxonomy and a folksonomy. While OneNote might do much of what they're looking for, backing a Microsoft app might be a hard pill to swallow as they like to think of themselves (and want to support) the leading edge. [In disclosure, I was a 'softee when we were the leading edge, and even I can now appreciate this concern.] Oh, and Googledocs and Basecamp is what they're using now in the interim, and they can see neither of them are long-term solutions because of poor mobile integration, difficulty getting stuff out of them, and just general issues with not being designed for this purpose.

 

They are mostly a mac shop, but a few people use PCs. Everyone has mobile, and more than half the folks are young enough to not have any clue what is knowledge management so there is no expectation of features: they just want it to be intuitive, easy to access and contribute to, and help them share notes on meetings as easily as things they're writing, or ideas they are noodling on, or materials they've been sent from someone outside the organization. 

 

When I said, "So you mean sort of like a modern, light, easy to use, mobile Lotus Notes..." almost no one had a clue what I meant. Hoping perhaps you do.

 

I welcome all suggestions, ideas, challenges, whatever. My aim is to put together a list of options (including those that do meet all the criteria) by early next week, and then work through with them the pros and cons of each. I will happily, joyfully, share the list with all of you if there is interest. Tools like FluidDB hold a lot of promise, so I have high hopes for the future, but it's now that I'm focused on.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

- Marcia

 

Marcia Conner

540-849-9011

@marciamarcia