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augustus 13, 2014

Searching the web versus searching your company's collective intellgence

One of the key objectives of implementing a social business software tool is to help employees share knowledge and expertise.
I just stumbled upon a great tiny feature that will allow me to search my company's collective knowledge, right from my browser!

Social business software lets you find relevant and valued information

Often, without a social business tool, employees of different departments or countries are often re-inventing the wheel. Because they don not have the tool to work openly (share what they do and why) there is no way of finding information by colleagues that could be very useful to them.
Maybe these colleagues have done something similar or have been confronted with a similar challenge or issue. Maybe someone wrote exactly that kind of report or made a presentation you could re-use. Yet, without social software in place, how could you learn from them? How would you find that information? Or even know if the information is out there?

So they Google, to see if the internet can provide an answer.

Not that I don't like Google. It ususally helps me find things fast and good. BUT, there is also a lot o junk to go through. Google finds relevant stuff, but cannot put value on the content. How do I know if this information is up to date? Can I trust the source? Is it applicabe to our company?
When you're searching the web, in general, it takes a lot of time to find the gems, the truely useful information, vaued by my peers. How do I filter out the mass of information?

In comes the social business tool ...

Why not search within my company instead? Why not first try to find what my colleagues have found before me on this big internet? Find what my colleagues before me found useful, and saved in the tool, maybe even with comments, tips, and context (what project/issue/client they used it for). Find what our own matter experts have written down before. And be able to find the colleague behind the shared information to see their background in their Profile, to assess it's value, and possibly to get in touch if I need to know more.

What usually happens though

I see it time and again. There is a social software tool available, but our first instinct whenever we need to find information is to use Google search again. Not using the collective intelligence available in the company, waisting a lot of time searching and filtering.

Adding IBM Connections search to your browser

I just stumbled upon this tiny feature when reading the IBM Connections Knowledge Center wiki:
Add IBM® Connections to the list of search engines used by your web browser so that you can search IBM Connections content directly from the browser.
 When following the instructions for your browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome) provided in the article you will get your Connections search added to your bwoser search bar.

It's really easy to get Connections added to your Firefox search bar:
  1. Open the search page of your company's IBM Connections environment:
  2. Click on the arrow in your Search toolbar
  3. Click Add Connections

Wouldn't it be cool if we would have all employees' webbrowsers fitted with this Connections search instead of Google? I'm curious as to what would happen. Awareness? Confusion? Irritation? Joy?

For now, I'm putting this knowledge in our Connections platform.