Some years ago, I announced to anyone who would listen that knowledge management would be the next big adjacent territory for communication management/PR to occupy.  I said that, if we didn’t do so, I.T. professionals would take our place.  Well, open-source applications have all but overwhelmed my prophecy.  Now, any simple-minded computer user can manage knowledge with far less dependence on programmers.

In this context it’s interesting to talk to colleagues about Yammer and other “enterprise social networks”

The idea of these applications is to provide a secure network within which employees can collaborate efficiently and share knowledge without a whole lot of meetings (It is in-effect a knowledge management system).

Like Facebook and Twitter, Yammer offers profiles, messaging, microblogging, links, images and groups.  It was mentioned by a speaker at a small seminar I attended before Christmas.  Alongside Yammer was Jive – an application that connects the external community with the internal one to allow employees to act on information published on the external site. 

One of Jive’s features is that it can help monitor conversations about your organization a bit like MindTouch, which has traditionally been a tool for developers to produce intranets, extranets, and knowledge bases.

The other application talked about at the Internal Communicators Network seminar I attended in Wellington was Basecamp, so I had a look at it online .

Basecamp is a project management programme in the same genre as MS Project.  It is set up with more functionality and a focus on communication and collaboration within and between workplace teams.  It offers check-lists, wiki-style documents, milestone management, file sharing, time tracking, and a messaging system.  The main thing about it is that it is interactive and web-based, taking it into the realm of social media.

Like most similar applications, it is text-based but available in variety of iPhone and mobile apps with high visual potential for peer-to-peer viewing.

This may be a great strength in the “text-shallow” future of Web 3.0, where sound and images will communicate and colleagues will speak to each other instead of writing messages.

Communication managers and line managers might need to change any project or knowledge management set-up quickly if The Futurist (Nov-Dec 2010) is correct.  In that issue, John Smart noted that Web 3.0, comprising TV-quality peer-to-peer video delivered on the Web will transform content sharing by including features of social media such as many-to-many and chat-while-viewing.   These changes will change the way in which collaborative workplace projects and talked about and managed.

Get ready to wiki while you work!

Posted by Joseph Peart

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