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Gabriela Avram - Where is the knowledge: reflections on social networking in corporate environments

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Presentation about social networks and instant messaging use in corporations at the WebCamp workshop.

Presentation about social networks and instant messaging use in corporations at the WebCamp workshop.

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  • 1. Where is the Knowledge?!Where is the Knowledge?! -- reflections on social networking inreflections on social networking in corporate environmentscorporate environments Gabriela AvramGabriela Avram Interaction Design Centre & LeroInteraction Design Centre & Lero University of LimerickUniversity of Limerick
  • 2. 2 OutlineOutline  BackgroundBackground  Context – current researchContext – current research  KM & Social Capital as lensesKM & Social Capital as lenses  IM – vehicle for communication – its usesIM – vehicle for communication – its uses  Research in a distributed environmentResearch in a distributed environment  An alternative to SNA?An alternative to SNA?  Tools mash-upTools mash-up
  • 3. 3 My backgroundMy background  13 years in software development13 years in software development  9 years in academia9 years in academia  ERCIM postdoc research grant (2003-ERCIM postdoc research grant (2003- 2005) on KM and e-learning in Software2005) on KM and e-learning in Software EngineeringEngineering  Fraunhofer IESEFraunhofer IESE  CRP Henri Tudor LuxembourgCRP Henri Tudor Luxembourg  Strong interest in social software, Web 2.0Strong interest in social software, Web 2.0
  • 4. 4 My background(2)My background(2)  Currently at UL (since 2005) as senior research fellowCurrently at UL (since 2005) as senior research fellow  Project: Social Organisational and Cultural Practices ofProject: Social Organisational and Cultural Practices of Global Software DevelopmentGlobal Software Development  Topic:Topic: Collaborative Work Practices in GSDCollaborative Work Practices in GSD  Research approach:Research approach:  Focused on: participants in workplaces in GSD settings,Focused on: participants in workplaces in GSD settings, organising and evolving working arrangements live, in real time;organising and evolving working arrangements live, in real time;  Field studies of workplace activity over extended spans of timeField studies of workplace activity over extended spans of time informed by CSCW and Knowledge Management;informed by CSCW and Knowledge Management;  Work in progress:Work in progress:  MNC – CROWOLF team(45 observation days since March 06)MNC – CROWOLF team(45 observation days since March 06)  OS community –PyPy – ongoing observation of the communityOS community –PyPy – ongoing observation of the community since August 06since August 06  Small-scale study on Romanian vendors as partners inSmall-scale study on Romanian vendors as partners in outsourcing relationshipsoutsourcing relationships
  • 5. 5 How do people make decisions?How do people make decisions? “We found that despite easy access to a world class knowledge management system and other accessible information sources, 85% of the managers indicated getting information that had an impact on the success of a project from their personal network. Four attributes of these relationships were discovered to promote effective learning: 1) knowing another person’s expertise and thus when to turn to them; 2) being able to gain timely access to that person; 3) willingness of the person sought out to engage in problem solving and 4) a degree of safety in the relationship that promotes learning and creativity.” Knowing What We Know: Supporting Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Social NetworksKnowing What We Know: Supporting Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Social Networks Rob Cross, Andrew Parker, Laurence Prusak, Stephen P. BorgattiRob Cross, Andrew Parker, Laurence Prusak, Stephen P. Borgatti
  • 6. 6 Knowledge ManagementKnowledge Management  Two directionsTwo directions  Dave SnowdenDave Snowden onon techno-fetishists vs.techno-fetishists vs. fluffy-bunniesfluffy-bunnies Source: Gurteen Knowledge Knowledge Management is the explicit and systematic management of vital knowledge - and its associated processes of creation, organization, diffusion, use and exploitation. (David Skyrme)
  • 7. 7 Knowledge ManagementKnowledge Management  The need for human guides to point us toThe need for human guides to point us to knowledge repositoriesknowledge repositories  Otherwise, they turn into knowledgeOtherwise, they turn into knowledge cemeteriescemeteries  Multiple factors here:Multiple factors here:  technical,technical,  organisational,organisational,  socialsocial
  • 8. 8 Navigating through the organisationNavigating through the organisation  It’s not what you know, it’s WHO youIt’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know!know!  How do you find the right people?How do you find the right people?  IM as a vehicle; the tool and theIM as a vehicle; the tool and the organisational culture surrounding itorganisational culture surrounding it  The perceived importance of social capitalThe perceived importance of social capital
  • 9. 9 Instant MessagingInstant Messaging  Synchronous communication tool  Alternative to the phone and e-mail  Used by 70% of all businesses (Gartner), 13570% of all businesses (Gartner), 135 million usersmillion users  Status visibility, persistent, less intrusive  “In many ways instant messaging does seem to support the serendipitous kinds of interactions that are lost when employees are not co- located.” (Parker et al)  IM as an alternative to the break room, coffee meeting, water cooler?!
  • 10. 10 The specific tool and the practicesThe specific tool and the practices around itaround it  IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5  FeaturesFeatures  presence awareness,presence awareness,  business instant messaging andbusiness instant messaging and  Web conferencing.Web conferencing.  Benefits:Benefits:  brings together geographically dispersed individuals andbrings together geographically dispersed individuals and teamsteams  Helps enable decision-making by bringing experts togetherHelps enable decision-making by bringing experts together  Provides the ability to inject presence awareness and instantProvides the ability to inject presence awareness and instant messaging into other applicationsmessaging into other applications  Enables social networking via white pages, open discussionEnables social networking via white pages, open discussion forums, instant polls and moreforums, instant polls and more Source: www.ibm.com/lotus/sametime
  • 11. 11 Presence indicatorPresence indicator  When to talk toWhen to talk to someonesomeone  When to walk to hisWhen to walk to his deskdesk  When to callWhen to call someone to join asomeone to join a meetingmeeting Status informationStatus information Source: www.ibm.com/lotus/sametime
  • 12. 12 Checking availabilityChecking availability  assistant organising aassistant organising a meeting (phone call)meeting (phone call)  Initiating face-to-faceInitiating face-to-face meetingsmeetings  Inviting people ad-hocInviting people ad-hoc in ongoing meetingsin ongoing meetings Source: www.ibm.com/lotus/sametime
  • 13. 13 Contacting peopleContacting people Existing contactsExisting contacts  Team matesTeam mates  ManagersManagers  Support staffSupport staff  ExpertsExperts  Knowledgeable peersKnowledgeable peers  LiaisonsLiaisons New contactsNew contacts  FollowingFollowing recommendationsrecommendations  Found on theFound on the organisation chartorganisation chart  Authors of documentsAuthors of documents published on thepublished on the intranetintranet  Indicated byIndicated by folksonomiesfolksonomies
  • 14. 14 Solving an urgent situationSolving an urgent situation  Context: translation testing;Context: translation testing;  Two days before the deadlineTwo days before the deadline  Coordinator at the Irish siteCoordinator at the Irish site  Fix provided; tester refuses toFix provided; tester refuses to apply it, because “he got tiredapply it, because “he got tired of fixes that don’t work”of fixes that don’t work”  Extended chat: the coordinatorExtended chat: the coordinator explains the situationexplains the situation  He asks again the tester toHe asks again the tester to apply the fixapply the fix A BC
  • 15. 15 Web conference back channelWeb conference back channel  A back-upA back-up channel forchannel for privateprivate conversationsconversations duringduring meetingsmeetings Source: www.ibm.com/lotus/sametime
  • 16. 16 Obtaining information from thirdObtaining information from third partiesparties  18 people in five different18 people in five different locations are taking partlocations are taking part in a virtual meetingin a virtual meeting  On the agenda - defectOn the agenda - defect prioritizationprioritization  A runs the show – audio,A runs the show – audio, screen sharingscreen sharing  Back channel: B contactsBack channel: B contacts C(different location) forC(different location) for detailsdetails A B C D E
  • 17. 17 IM contact list as directoryIM contact list as directory  OrganisingOrganising contacts listcontacts list  Keeping trackKeeping track ofof conversationsconversations (chat archive)(chat archive) Source: www.ibm.com/lotus/sametime
  • 18. 18 Office etiquette for IMOffice etiquette for IM  Introduce yourself.Introduce yourself.  Don't confuse "presence" with permission.Don't confuse "presence" with permission.  Mute the "ping."Mute the "ping."  Keep chats fast and simple.Keep chats fast and simple.  Act professionally.Act professionally.  Keep personal chatting to a minimumKeep personal chatting to a minimum  Limit multitasking.Limit multitasking.  Use abbreviations sparingly.Use abbreviations sparingly.  Instant messages may be more permanent thanInstant messages may be more permanent than you think.you think. Source: Ken Bisconti -Taming the ping: Office etiquette for instant messages
  • 19. 19 Mapping social networksMapping social networks  ““Tell me who are theTell me who are the people you communicatepeople you communicate with most frequently,with most frequently, both on site and inboth on site and in remote locations.”remote locations.”  ““Can I go and check myCan I go and check my IM list?”IM list?”
  • 20. 20 Conversations vs.SNAConversations vs.SNA  Possible for collocated small teamsPossible for collocated small teams  Limited – uni-directionalLimited – uni-directional  Teaser for informal conversationTeaser for informal conversation  Not possible when looking at a largeNot possible when looking at a large distributed team/communitydistributed team/community  SNA as a diagnose step to guideSNA as a diagnose step to guide organisational changeorganisational change
  • 21. 21 The researcher’s perspectiveThe researcher’s perspective  Making appointmentsMaking appointments  Interviewing people inInterviewing people in remote locationsremote locations  Obtaining transcriptsObtaining transcripts  Observing virtualObserving virtual interactioninteraction  Netnography(Kozinets),Netnography(Kozinets),  Virtual Ethnography (ChristineVirtual Ethnography (Christine Hine)Hine)
  • 22. 22 Organising a field tripOrganising a field trip Fri – visit at the Irish siteFri – visit at the Irish site  idea approved in principleidea approved in principle  Selection of possibleSelection of possible intervieweesinterviewees  Introduction mail to beIntroduction mail to be forwarded to 12 Germanforwarded to 12 German counterpartscounterparts Mon – Bank HolidayMon – Bank Holiday  Contacting people at theContacting people at the German siteGerman site  5 yes, 1 tentatively5 yes, 1 tentatively acceptedaccepted  Tue – off line dayTue – off line day  Wed – holiday inWed – holiday in GermanyGermany  Thu – visit at the GermanThu – visit at the German sitesite  False assumptions:False assumptions:  Office configurationOffice configuration  PeoplePeople  Finding placesFinding places  Meeting spacesMeeting spaces
  • 23. 23 Dealing with distance(s)Dealing with distance(s)  IM instead of email for solving mattersIM instead of email for solving matters asapasap  Culture of communication and availabilityCulture of communication and availability  Newcomers learn by responding andNewcomers learn by responding and lurkinglurking  Hierarchy, coded language – process ofHierarchy, coded language – process of “enculturation”“enculturation”
  • 24. 24 Seamless integrationSeamless integration  IM integrated with White Pages and withIM integrated with White Pages and with the organization chartthe organization chart  Blogs, social bookmarking, wikis,activitiesBlogs, social bookmarking, wikis,activities  Integration with MS Office, other IM clientsIntegration with MS Office, other IM clients  Audio integrationAudio integration  Version Control, defect trackingVersion Control, defect tracking  What next?!What next?!
  • 25. 25
  • 26. 26 Thank you!