Sunday, January 06, 2008

Building Knowledge capital through social media

A lot of discussion has already gone into social media's contribution to building brand/customer equity and as a tool to build networks of relationships/friendships- social capital as it is termed.
However, in this era of knowledge management and elearning, two more dimensions of social media’s contribution cannot be ignored-
1.A tool for building a company’s knowledge capital and
2.A tool for learning.

Organisations have started harnessing collaborative intelligence for learning leading to cognitive involvement of the community members. Research has already proven the positive correlation between interactivity and learning outcomes. Interactivity interfaced with technology not only increases learning effectiveness, but also enhances the knowledge base of the community which includes organizational employees, customers and partners.

Be it the Microsoft Developer Network which hosts a series of employee blogs to share tips on software, programming tips and solutions to programming issues or the GE research blogs, or the Sun Microsystem employee Blogs, the volume of company specific knowledge available on these is huge. Sun Microsystem CEO Jonathan Schwartz uses his blog for product announcements and discussion of new knowledge issues as part of his bid to interact with the community. Think of a layman’s ability to gain access to Sun’s whitepaper on multiplatform virtualisation through his online blog!!!!

The accumulation of this company specific information have also made these blogs/online communities virtual repositories to be tapped whenever required. For that matter, think of the quantum of knowledge that can be retrieved regarding a person’s work in an organisation once he leaves, through his contributions to his blogs etc. The human capital may be dynamic, but the knowledge capital stays with the organisation…

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