Archive for January, 2014

Is Facebook’s information overload problem also a problem for the Social Business Workplace?

Posted on: January 2nd, 2014 by Fransgaard 5 Comments

I’ve just read an article called “Facebook Is A Fundamentally Broken Product That Is Collapsing Under Its Own Weight” – The article highlights a growing problem for Facebook users: “there are on average 1,500 potential stories from friends, people they follow and Pages for them to see”. 

And according Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing, this double’s every year so theoretically by Christmas 2014 we will be faced with an average of 3,000 post to deal with.

The historical problem with the Social Workplace

When social media initiatives first hit the workplace, they were hidden in the corners as small isolated grassroots initiatives started, some times with but mostly without, the management’s blessing.

However, as they proved effective, the more forward-looking companies started to join up the dots in order to create a fully connected Social Business using a single, standardised work interface.

I can’t find my information-needle in the data haystack

But with the joining up of isolated networks comes heaps of new data not relevant to most employees.

I did a social business project a while back, which had a filtering option of content by departments, topics, dates, file types etc lots of faceted search filtering the main display to filter out information, but maybe it should be the other way: Maybe it should be filtering in information.

Contextual information

Many companies have a Social Enterprise software such as SalesForce Chatter, IBM Connections, Yammer, etc. that in effect works as a Facebook for the workplace… and increasingly is facing the same problem as Facebook.

What if this stream is filtered by your job role and current project context? It would look at the information available to you and prioritize:

  • Colleagues assigned to the same project
  • Colleagues with relevant subject knowledge
  • Projects/documents of similar nature

This is a crude example and as an employee you would still have the ability to expand the information shown. You may want to always see information from your manager or peers. You may want to turn off company-wide broadcasts and assign those to a digest email.

Channel/ device filtering

In fact, maybe the system could show different information depending your device. If you are a traveling salesman out by a customer, accessing the system via your mobile phone, you probably don’t care about what everybody else is doing and only really want the information relevant to the task at hand.