Social technologies for collaboration

Adrianne Jones Washburn, a doctoral candidate from the University of North Texas, presented this session at the 2010 SLA Conference on Tuesday, June 15th. She was a great and engaging speaker, and she covered a good number of social technologies that corporations are using for internal and external communications.  She works for a major defense firm in the Southwest region of the United States.

Here are some slices from the presentation.

  • Librarians shouldn’t just focus on current technologies.  By the time we get them implemented, they will be old hat and out of date.  We need to focus on the leading edge technologies that have a promising future. Always look for and be aware of “what’s next.”
  • Collaborative tools are used to help employees find and connect to other people (usually inside the organization) with quick communication.
  • Some employees and managers may ask, “why do you want to have fun at work?” Some employers just don’t get 2.0 — yet.  Companies should let the employees play with the social technologies, since that is how people learn to connect to one another.
  • Definition of collaboration.  It is a group of people who work to create value — a new product or enhancement, an information product or other type of IP. When collaborating, one should criticize the idea, not the person.
  • When collaborating, one should criticizing criticize the idea, not the person.
  • We are growing more comfortable with virtual presence. Hence, enterprise 2.0 will grow in use, and so will telecommuting.
  • Focus on the behavior in the organization, not on the tools. Email is overused and misused.  Recommend that employees use IM (or another technology) instead of email for conversation.  But, it is very difficult to change email use and behavior in the org.
  • She really liked the presentation from James Kane at the SLA Leadership Institute back in January, 2010.  He said that just because patrons are satisfied does not mean that they are loyal or even predisposed to use the library’s services in the future.
  • Tap your own organization’s intelligence, not just competitive intelligence.
  • She discussed standard tools such as Facebook, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube and enterprise services like Lotus Connections, Sharepoint, Oracle, EMC and Livelink.

Near the end of the presentation, she showed a video of a corporate social network.

Lockheed Martin has its own social networking sites to keep employees connected. Its internal site, Unity, promotes employee collaboration.

I asked her about Yammer, but she said that the product was not usable for her company, but that it might be useful for other organizations.

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