Enable a flow of signals
Every action in the social intranet – every document created, every blog post published, every comment, every status update – is a signal, and the flow of signals can be channeled to heighten awareness of what is happening in the organization as a whole or, which is more relevant, related to a particular department, interest group, topic or group of people. Integrate the social intranet with other systems (CRM, DMS, your transaction systems) and signals generated in other contexts can be channelled into the main activity stream (including flows from the internet). Each individual defines their own slice of the stream by filtering for relevance and some platforms elegantly lets you subscribe to signals reflecting what your colleagues are finding relevant.
The benefit of signals is in directing attention. Compared to staying up to date with what is happening across the organization by browsing for updates, signals require a modicum of attention to consume. Each signal is typically transmitted with a link to the content that triggered the signal, making it easy to react to a relevant signal.
Signals deliver something that search cannot: Real-time notifications about activities that you might previously not have known about. Search is good at surfacing content related to topics you want to know more about and expect to be represented in the platform. Together, signals and search are the ultimate silo-busters.
- Lars Plougmann, Your social intranet is where work gets done
A great set of insights about the way that flow-based social tools are changing the nature of work, and how they foster social cognition (although Lars doesn’t use that term).
Web anthropologist, futurist, author. My focus is the future, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating future. more.
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