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juli 17, 2012

Collaborate in the open

A significant characteristic of collaborating with social software such as IBM Connections, is that you work 'in the open'. When you share your work, your experiences and what you're doing you may do so only with specific people. But preferably you can share your knowledge with anyone in your organisation, by making it completely public. When you collaborate openly all your knowledge and experience is available to anyone in your organisation. With all your colleagues doing the same, thecollaborative brain will be leveraged.

When you work in the open, your knowledge and experience may be seen and used by others in your organisation. Possibly it could expose you are working on exactly the same thing as one of your colleagues from another department. And now you can get in touch to share and collabrate!
Maybe you will get an answer to a question or problem you wrote about, from an unexpected colleague outside your personal network or your community. Why? Because you posted your problem out in the open, maybe in a statusupdate or your personal or community blog (which is public). And maybe it caught some colleagues' eye. That is serendipity.

Share what you are doing


By posting statusupdates on your profile board that indicate what you are currently working on, or where or with whom, your colleagues in your network can easily keep up to date. Anything you post is always connected to your profile page. Your profile is what provides the context: who you are, who you are connected with and what you specified as your expertise through personal tags.

Share what you are contributing, build your expertise


With anything you do in Connections you leave your footprint in the sand. All the files you share, communities you take active part in, blogs you write, they are all footprints, that lead back to your profile page. When you provide your contribution with the appropriate tags your colleagues will be able to find your footprints. While doing your work in Connections you build your knowledge and expertise and leave a legacy.

Discover knowledge and expertise


When you do a search in Connections you can find someone's legacy. Any file, wiki page, discussion in a forum or blog entry can be found through search. Especially when the information is properly tagged finding information on a specific topic is easy. And then when you find information, you always see the person behind this information, the knowledge expert. How different this is to collaborating through email! When sharing information using email it is contained in a silo, consisting of just the addressees. For example a report of a project meeting being sent to the whole project team is only available to those who are team members at that point. Any possible newcomer will not have access to past information. If the information was shared through a community blog though, all the newcomer needs to do to get all past information and communication is to become a member of that community.