In what could be a continuation from my previous post about some of the technology features that facilitate in the social phenomenon of enterprise2.0, here is another aspect that clearly differentiates the emerging tools (or mechanisms) from our traditional ones.
Traditional KM systems were heavily focused on content management with a folder structure to store documented information. One was probably not even allowed to create the folder they would like to in the earlier days, however later in point of time we could create our own folder structure; which however lead to a lot of chaos and duplication. These systems typically were centered on structured data with a standard taxonomy. Lately, we did start seeing a bit of unstructured data coming into play with things like discussion forums as part of these systems. However, we could not consolidate all of this information of different types, stored in various places, in one single view; which not only lead to information being unavailable (not findable) but also creation of a lot of duplicates. This obviously was not the most efficient way to manage the information and hence was not as effective as it was expected to be.
Now, if we turn our attention to some of the emerging technologies which we classify as enterprise2.0, you might notice that some of these have really helped us in solving the above situation to a large extent. With the likes of micro-blogs, blogs, wikis and others, we really are tapping onto the unstructured information available to us. And this is where tags come into picture. With the emergence of user-generated tags, and the possibility of tagging almost anything and everything these days, people are finding it more comfortable to aggregate all the information they seek and in the way they prefer to have. A typical example is the way hashtags are utilized by events these days; one tag aggregates all the blogs, tweets, photos, and videos amongst others which are associated with that event. Tags allow people to create their own taxonomy which can be re-used by them and others too and hence it is recognized as Folksonomy.
Now it’s all about the way one manages the information available in the way they want. In fact there are a couple of sources that I came across recently which not only help us understand how tagging can assist inside the enterprises, but also what extreme tagging with appropriate visualization could lead to in the future. We could soon be heading to a situation where the web (and the one inside an enterprise) would look like a mesh of tags interlinking each of its facets. The future sure looks exciting!
Nikhil Nulkar is a knowledge management consultant within Capgemini and is passionate about web2.0, specifically in enterprise2.0 & social media. Want to know what he is up to? Follow him on Twitter