Observing the success of social networking and content
search tools reminds me of one of my favorite books called "Connections"
Burke. What I find they have common
is that a business' success is very much dependent on content being utilized
meaningful ways, e.g. connecting that content to the right people who can then
leverage the information for multiple purposes. Mr. Burke sites that one of the
biggest catalysts that changed the world was the establishment of the Library
As James Burke often points out, the library concept expands knowledge transfer at the same time it can be a great catalyst for change. Connecting content with people can be the greatest incubator for expanding abstract ideas. One case in point that happened to me just last week was one of my colleagues found a WIKI link which I had authored and tagged in IBM's Internal Connections site. What I found so interesting was how the person discovered me. I had tagged a document inside the wiki with meta-data tags for content analytics and social collaboration. I turns out this person is working with several customers and was looking for an expert on the topic of Social Content and any presentation materials that could serve as educational tool for the customer. Reaching the assets was only small part of her solution to her challenge. The fundamental piece she needed was connecting with the right subject matter expert who could help present these concepts. I'm happy to say I made her day because she was able to intuitively navigate our internal Social Content community, locating both the content and expert, literally giving life to the meaning “context to content and people”.
In closing, as James Burke so brilliantly points out, the transfer of knowledge is the greatest catalysts for change. Consider what wonders man has been able to expand upon when the transfer of information happened at a wind and sails pace and the medium was primarily paper in the form of books or correspondence. Back then, the sharing of content and knowledge was rarely done face-to-face because of the time it took to travel long distances, e.g. weeks, months and many instances even years. It is unfathomable to me the impact that these new social tools will have when you consider that connecting content with people on opposite ends of the world can now be linked at the speed of Ethernet, not to mention the ability to share that information through multiple social and mobile content mediums. These new technologies will definitely contribute to the "The Day the Universe Changed" or at minimum a Smarter Planet.