Topics

Filtering in an Enterprise Social Network #ESN


 

Hello SIKM leaders!


I'm new to the group and just listened to a recording of Catherine Shinners talk on Enterprise Social Networks.


With working out loud and enterprise social networks, if the idea is that people pull information rather than having it pushed to them, how does one structure the environment so that filtering is successful (keeping in mind filter failure over information overload)? Is it left up to the social collective to figure out, or is there a framework that's put in place to begin with? I've never worked in a Jive environment, so I'm not sure what that would look like.


Many thanks!

Rosanna

 


Stan Garfield
 

Rosanna, welcome to the community. Thanks very much for posting your question here.

Here are my thoughts.  I encourage Catherine and other community members to reply with theirs.

There are at least three ways to structure a knowledge-sharing environment to ensure that information is likely to reach the right people while avoiding information overload:
  1. Organize the Enterprise Social Network (ESN) with communities or groups for each topic of importance to the organization, with only one for each topic. See Enterprise Social Networks: Vision, Benefits, and Principles for more on this.
  2. Improve enterprise search to allow people to more readily find the information they need. Ways to do so include best bets, authoritative recommendations, and quick answers. See Improving enterprise search results: Why don't you just tell me what you need? for more on this.
  3. Provide Syndication, Aggregation, and Subscription Management Systems to use opt-in instead of push communications. See Stop being so pushy; use the power of pull instead for more on this.


Lee Romero
 

Hi Rosanna - Apologies for taking some time to reply.

You ask a very good question - though one that is very dependent on the tool(s) your community uses - and I have not used Jive so, while I can't provide specifics on that tool, I'll provide some some thoughts.


I do think it's very important for a community manager to help members understand the options available within whatever tool is used for an online community's interactions.

As a preface to my thoughts, I am a big fan of members being responsible (but empowered and educated) to manage their own information flow.  Members should not be dependent on others to "spoon feed" them the information they are interested in.  That turns the process into a guessing game - "Who would be interested in this that I might want to highlight it to?"  (Yes, as a community manager doing some level of that, especially to people a community manager might think can answer is important and very valuable, but it is not something that scales or that a community should be dependent on.)

In any event, some thoughts:

* A community manager should try to understand where the members "live" (what is their tool of choice) - specifically, if it's email.  If so, you should teach members how to control the flow of their email (and I assume you're using a tool that provides email integration - because otherwise, with an email-heavy membership, you will have a very hard path to success).

* If your members are more flexible and would be willing and able to be online, most community tools will provide a good experience and/or a good level of control of information flow.

As for tools:

* If your community uses a mailing list (like SIKM Leaders), make sure to encourage your members to enable notifications / emails be sent to them (especially if they do prefer email).  That is an option on most such tools.  If users don't do that, they tend to be "join only" members.

* If you use Yammer teach people how to control information flow.  
  **  In Yammer, the primary factors are following individuals (in general, in a company, I don't recommend that), joining groups and following topics.  
  **   I don't recommend following individuals because most people don't really care about the exact things someone might post about and are more likely to have overlapping interests (which can be met by joining many of the same groups and/or following the same topics).
  ** Topics are unfortunately pretty poorly implemented and do not get any investment that I can see, so in general, groups are the best way to deal with information flow.
  ** Also, make sure to teach people how to set their feed to "Following" - this is not the default and most people don't change it (to their detriment, in my opinion).

* If you use a Facebook group, I think most of the same recommendations as above for Yammer are applicable, though FB does provide additional controls by way of what gives you a notification (as opposed to just showing up in your feed).

* Sorry but I can't offer any insight on Jive! :(


If your membership does typically "live" in their email (I mention that again because that is very true at my employer!), other things to consider:

* Teach members how to use rules in your inbox - these can help move messages to particular communities (mailing lists or notifications from other tools) to particular folders.  This can help keep them out of the inbox.
* A personal rule I follow that I also recommend teaching members - be ruthless with the delete key.  :)  I have, at times, been member of dozens of mailing lists / groups / communities at a time.  I can't and don't read every notification / message / email I receive.  If the subject line is not well-written to lead me to think it's something I want to read more of, it's Delete!   As a poster / writer / contributor, keep in mind rule #1 of "How to Ask for Help: 10 Simple Rules" - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-ask-help-10-simple-rules-stan-garfield.  Those rules (especially #1) help the sender and the receiver.


Hope this helps!

Regards
Lee




On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 11:33 AM, stangarfield@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:


Rosanna, welcome to the community. Thanks very much for posting your question here.

Here are my thoughts.  I encourage Catherine and other community members to reply with theirs.

There are at least three ways to structure a knowledge-sharing environment to ensure that information is likely to reach the right people while avoiding information overload:
  1. Organize the Enterprise Social Network (ESN) with communities or groups for each topic of importance to the organization, with only one for each topic. See Enterprise Social Networks: Vision, Benefits, and Principles for more on this.
  2. Improve enterprise search to allow people to more readily find the information they need. Ways to do so include best bets, authoritative recommendations, and quick answers. See Improving enterprise search results: Why don't you just tell me what you need? for more on this.
  3. Provide Syndication, Aggregation, and Subscription Management Systems to use opt-in instead of push communications. See Stop being so pushy; use the power of pull instead for more on this.