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April 12, 2009


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Carl Tyler

Hi Mike,

Not sure if you saw this, but kind of timely with what you wrote, it's almost a micro blogging platform within Sametime using Status Descriptions.


Arthur G.

Thanks for the posting. Interesting read. I'm trying to educate myself on the UC space as part of some research I am doing for a client. I understand all the promise of UC, and I think I understand the value of social technologies, but I don't necessarily believe that Twitter and IM can be compared to one another in an enterprise setting.
IM is communication delivered to specific individuals. It is quick and effective at getting answers.
Twitter, on the other hand, is a collective stream of consciousness... it's a conversation in the ether, which one tunes into... I think of Twitterers as people broadcasting their own news channel, in a sense... except they are only really the little tidbits scrolling on the bottom.
While I agree that there is a fun and engaging factor here, it is not necessarily an effective communication tool... communication generally has one of three major purposes: to inform, to entertain, or to persuade. Twitter can inform you as to what people (some) are talking about... for most people, however, Twitter is one-way communication... real communication has to be two-way. One has to build their social Twitter capital (Lord knows how) in order to get a voice, in my experience.
So, without getting to sidetracked, what are the exact potential benefits of integrating this kind of social phenomenon into UC? Expert finding? Yes, I can see that... but only if you get that personal attention and someone responds to you...
Can you elaborate?


Ok, I can't help but jump in here. I came across your blog while researching DDB lifestyle data. Here goes; the problem with IM, Twitter and Blogs, such as this one and others, is it's risky to post because it's like thinking out loud. Imagine a person with security clearance making a mindless post and then reflecting whoops! How do I take that back?

What's needed and used is a reflexive model for communicating in real time. That’s why emails and message boards have a sticking quality to them. Authoring a message, thinking about it, editing it and posting it, is called meta-cognition and/or reflexive learning. This approach is more psychologically valid than the deliberative model: humans, in general, cannot help but learn from our experiences, and we certainly are not able to explicitly 'unlearn' something even if we decide that it is not worth retaining. An example of this is taste aversion, a reflex resulting from eating tainted food. So, what happens is, we get a lot of messages that are mostly babble. How do you filter noise from valuable and reliable information?

Another problem with IM, Twitter and blogs is narcissism, that is, the more ‘me” culture. There’s a different kind of voice in these forums. The focus is on me and not we or us. I believe we are witnessing a transformation from me to we, over the course of the next 12 – 18 months. We are tired of blowing alone and seek a return to community and values.

Who is leading change on the Net? Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and Google all are adopting green policies while developing collaborative communications and acquiring social networking technologies. We all know that Microsoft invested $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. While it's apparent that the development of Internet-based technology is being led by entrepreneurs, not corporate skunk works, what's less obvious is that consumers are now driving the trend toward social-technology—building a framework around human capital—a transformation involving information technology and human connectedness. It is an example of social networking at its best and worst. Perhaps the single greatest barrier to enterprise adoption of social anything, is the reality that social networking turns the leadership paradigm upside-down.

Nevertheless, Egroups or online discussion forums are reshaping the Web, creating casual unstructured information distribution systems. These informal structures will become more formal knowledge centers. Harvesting unstructured information and converting it into usable knowledge for sale is the logical next step. We are already there. In the very near future, human-like Web guides will direct online discussions matching personalities with e-zines and e-groups. The first organic search engines will emerge; (moletronics) involves the integration of organic molecular transducers used for increasing speed and memory. Imagine a network with a heart-felt purpose for connecting knowledge workers with subject matter experts (SME) for on-demand decision making, for example. Many socio-technical researchers are calling this convergent collaboration.

What do you think?

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