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Social Media and PpcSoft iKnow

"Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings"
- Wikipedia


There is no doubt that e-mail has become a huge success. Compared to face-to-face communication and phone calls, e-mail is very flexible and powerful.

e-mail vs. phone:
- e-mail is less intrusive
- e-mail leaves a paper trail
- e-mail can be refined, spell-checked and verified
- you can easily communicate with many people at a time
Social media - in the beginning was e-mail...


However, we now have many different tools for communication in addition to e-mail. Social media tools - blogs, wikis, twitter, e-mail etc
As this illustration shows, different tools have different uses. For example, Twitter can reach a lot of people, but requires high attention or you'll miss it. A blog article will slowly "disappear" as time goes by (and new blog articles are posted), but a Wiki will be more "stable" and permanent.

However, most of these tools are flexible and can therefore be used in different ways. The main point is that we can replace e-mail with other tools for many use-cases (but not for all - e-mail is still the best tool for some uses).

Some social media examples

Phone one-to-one Info/Question Unstructured, instant, temporary, personal

IM one-to-one Info/Question Unstructured, instant, temporary, personal

Twitter one/many-to-one/many Info/Question Unstructured, instant, temporary

e-mail one-to-one/many Info/Question Unstructured, personal

Blog one-to-many Info Semi-structured

Discussion one-to-many Questions Unstructured, temporary

Wiki many-to-many Info Structured

Web one-to-many Info Structured



Other advanced tools, like Facebook, offers multiple solutions and can therefore be both unstructured or structured, one-to-one or many-to-many etc.

Difference at a glance:
For a quick question you need NOW from a person you know: IM or phone
For a quick question you need NOW from a group you know: twitter
For a quick question you need from a group you DON'T know: discussion group
For a complicated question you need from a person you know: e-mail
For a complicated question you need from anyone: wiki
To inform anyone about anything: blog (twitter if NOW)
To inform someone about anything: IM ("Lunch in 10 minutes ?")
To inform someone/a group about something they need to know: e-mail
To inform someone/a group about something they MIGHT need to know: blog or wiki
To inform a group about something they need to know: wiki or e-mail

Different tools for different situations. We used to have only the phone. This is a very intrusive tool which demands your attention NOW.

Then we got e-mail where we could inform/ask questions without disturbing the other person(s).

IM and Twitter are tools that are more instant than e-mail, but less intrusive than phone. Blogs, discussion forums and wikis are tools that are better suited for mass-communication than e-mail.

The main advantage with all the new social media tools is "to give e-mail a break"; a lot of the information overload caused by e-mail is because of misuse of e-mail. Often, using IM, twitter, blogs, discussion forums or wikis would be a better alternative than e-mail. Social media in a business context is often referred to as Enterprise 2.0.

It is important to note that all these new tools make it very easy to increase the quantity of communication and information - and therefore increase the information overload problem. However, if used correctly, the quality could be increased by giving/getting the right information at the right time using the right tool to/from the right people.

Using PpcSoft iKnow to increase your efficiency

Common for all of these social media tools: communication and sharing.

The new social media tools gives you a chance to communicate with your co-workers and your customers in new ways.

Where do you get the information/question/answer from ? Most people rely on their memory. What they don't remember, they try to find again in their inbox, or in the IM log, or searching some blogs or a wiki, or searching a Twitter archive, or on a yellow note somewhere on the desk, in a response on a discussion board, or on a web page somewhere on the internet, or in a notebook etc.

PpcSoft iKnow is designed to help you with all the details while you keep the big picture. When you want to create knowledge (you cannot share what you don't have), PpcSoft iKnow is designed to collect and connect different pieces of information to enable you to create new knowledge for you.

Use the different social media tools for communicating and sharing, and use PpcSoft iKnow to collect and convert the communication to personal knowledge. Most communication is not sharing of knowledge (much of it isn't even "useful information"), and that is fine - maintaining social networks is very important too. However, the useful information is often "lost" in the many communication tools, and PpcSoft iKnow is designed to collect the things that are useful to you.

Someone wants the procedure to enter a customer in your CRM system ? Give them the 500-page manual, or find the 'CRM' note in PpcSoft iKnow and simply copy and paste the information you've collected to them (e-mail/IM/discussion group/wiki etc).

Someone wants to know how they can use Twitter ? Give them the wikipedia link with an overview, history, reactions, revenue etc or give them a copy of your knowledge of Twitter (quick overview, basic use, tips for using in your company) etc.



Links (various interesting opinions):
- Social media vs. KM
- Social Media Will Change Your Business
- Is web 2.0 living on thin air ?
- Where's the "working" in social networking ?
- Why Your Company Needs To Be on Facebook
- Why I stopped using Twitter
- Is e-mail a dying technology ?
- A humbling experience
- The most popular topic

About

My name is Atle Iversen, and I'm the founder of PpcSoft (read more).

Contact me at atle.iversen@ppcsoft.com

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