Published on February 19, 2014
Managing social software applications in the corporate and public sector environments Louise F. Spiteri School of Information Management Louise.Spiteri@dal.ca Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Definition of social software CMS Watch (cmswatch.com) defines social software as: “Tools for collaboration and networking within and beyond the enterprise.” Social software supports collaboration, knowledge creation, sharing and publication, identifying experts and getting access to expert opinions worldwide. It leaves the control of knowledge with the individuals owning it. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
The push for social software Today, employees looking for greater flexibility as well as support for more ad-hoc processes are frequently using a more bottom-up approach to electronic collaboration, in some cases circumventing official information systems, using freely-available tools on the public Web. Exposure to technology and tools such as Facebook, iTunes, YouTube, and Wikipedia, is raising the bar on use expectations concerning interfaces, collaboration and content access, not only on the Web, but on the intranet as well. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Comparison of software Traditional Social Start point: Project Structure before use Top down Knowledge belongs to experts Central control Formal Rigid Slow Expensive Start point: Users Structure emerges with use Bottom up Everyone is knowledgeable User control Informal & easy to use Flexible Quick Free or inexpensive Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Importance of Enterprise 2.0 technologies A 2008 survey of over 400 business conducted by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) found that: 44% of respondents said that Enterprise 2.0 technologies are “imperative” or of “significant importance” for their organization. 27% of respondents said that technologies such as RSS, blogs, and wikis have an impact on business goals and success. 74% of the respondents, however, claim to have only a vague familiarity with the technologies. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Key areas of social software Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Examples of social software vendors Social software suites • • • • • Drupal Awareness Networks Connectbeam Jive Software Traction Software Blog software • • • Public networks • Wiki software • Atlassian Mediawiki Socialtext • • • • SixApart Automatic Google Blogger LinkedIn Facebook XING http://www.cmswatch.com/social/vendors/ Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Wikis Wikis are primarily used for collaborative work on documents and can be used for many different applications. Since the wikis are so easy to use by people of all levels of technical expertise, the uses are only limited by the end user’s imagination. Examples of Wiki applications include: Cooperative authoring environment Rapid production of Web pages for subsequent publishing Newsletters Committee minutes Technical documentation Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Potential drawbacks of Wikis The major concern in the use of wikis is the validity of the information that the various authors have added. In the case of Wikipedia, if someone adds inaccurate information others will correct the information. In the enterprise, it is expected that the same thing will happen. Most articles will be the best the end user can contribute, because they would not want to ruin their reputation among colleagues and peers. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Blogs Enterprises can use blogs to create powerful knowledge bases of company information and employee sharing and continual learning. Companies can use blogs to communicate with employees and customers. Leaders can use their blogs to update employees. Blogs can be used to replace email and can also provide an archive of all communications. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Potential drawbacks of Blogs Blog risks include: Copyright infringement Invasion of privacy Defamation, sexual harassment and other legal claims; Trade secret theft, financial disclosures, and other security breaches; Productivity drains Mismanagement of electronic business records Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Social tagging applications Tagging has acquired popularity as a flexible approach to classifying information. Tagging allows individuals to use their own terms to describe a resource, without the need to select terms from a taxonomy. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Enterprise social bookmarking: Considerations Corporate firewalls may prevent access to public bookmarking resources to anyone outside the organization. Public sharing of bookmarks to intranet resources may be of concern as proprietary information could be leaked. The success of internet-based social bookmarking , however, suggests that enterprises or organizations would benefit from a social bookmarking system. IBM, for example, has created its own internal bookmarking system called Dogear. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Enterprise social tagging applications Social bookmarking can assist your enterprise by: Providing research analysts with a place to share research findings Helping to form and support social networks around interest areas Enhancing the value of other information retrieval and aggregation capabilities on your intranet By using the emergent folksonomy to augment your corporate subject taxonomy strategy Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Enterprise social tagging applications The same tagging mechanism that is used in social bookmarking sites could be modified for bookmarking people in an enterprise: Tagging may be an effective way to organize contacts Social tags may inform others about someone’s interests, skills, and expertise People-tagging benefits from properties unique to the enterprise, including a pre-populated directory. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Enterprise social networking An example of an enterprise social networking applications is Beehive, developed for IBM employees to help connect with coworkers (used by 40,000 employees). The intent of Beehive is to provide a Facebook-like environment, geared more toward professional interaction, although personal interaction is also a legitimate part of the experience. Users can develop their profiles and post information, including a "Hive Five" listing that describes the areas about which they are passionate. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Potential drawbacks of enterprise bookmarking Polysemy: The tag port could refer to a sweet fortified wine, a porthole, a place for loading and unloading ships, the left-hand side of a ship or aircraft, or a channel endpoint in a communications system. Idiosyncrasies: Some tags may have little meaning to anyone but their creator, e.g., Neat_stuff; criggo Variant spellings: humor, humour Collapsing or awkward compound terms: e.g. starwars, star_wars Singular and plural variants: comic, comics Maritime Information Management Day_2009
RSS feeds With the creation of wikis, blogs, and enterprise bookmarking, and tagging, new information is generated all of the time. The user will find it hard to keep returning to all of the wikis, blogs, bookmarks, and new tags that have been created. Enterprise RSS may help solve the overload on infrastructure such as email boxes and multiple user computers requesting feeds by including feeds in an enterprise RSS product. The feeds are read by an RSS feed reader server and then delivered to the user in an enterprise, thus reducing network traffic. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Information management concerns in an Enterprise 2.0 environment Protecting the security, accuracy, and integrity of the information. Managing the creation, collection, storage, and dissemination of vast amounts of unstructured and constantly changing information. Controlling access to particular levels and types of information. Assessing the legal implication of vast amounts of information in scattered systems and databases. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Information management policies Before implementing any of the enterprise 2.0 applications, policies should be written and reviewed with all employees, whether the websites will be internal or external or both. Copyright laws should be reviewed and a policy of no tolerance for copyright infringement should be in place. Develop comprehensive policies that ensure that IM or Web 2.0 applications are managed consistently across the agency. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Information management policies Address the authorized use of technology and provide guidelines for the management of the records generated during the use of Blogs, Wikis, etc. Explain clearly that users may have no expectation of privacy. Maritime Information Management Day_2009
Compliance The Canadian General Standards Board’ s Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence (CAN/CGSB-72.34-2005) outlines the main requirements for ensuring that electronic records generated from electronic information systems are reliable, authentic and trustworthy. CAN/CGSB-72.34-2005 is intended to assist both the public and private sectors in meeting one of the evidentiary requirements for acceptance of electronic records in legal proceedings. Government of Canada. Canadian General Standards Board. (2006). CGSB releases new national standard on electronic records as documentary evidence. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://www.pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/info/news/calibre/011_001/article01-e.html Maritime Information Management Day_2009
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