Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Social Media: Going Internal and Measuring the conversation

I just discovered an article by Chris Brogan titled Putting Social Media to Work Internally. It got me thinking about another cool app I saw on a videocast title Conversation Targeting: Getting To The Heart of Blogs and Social Media. The app is called BuzzLogic and it has fascinating way of measuring the world of online social, informal, conversations.

I've been giving my Learning2.0 schtick for about 2 years now and everyone asks, "how do we measure informal learning". My usual response is, "why the heck do you want too"? If you were measuring the RIGHT things like, oh, say, BUSINESS goals and objectives, you wouldn't worry so much about it. But I digress...

They didn't talk about it in the interview, and so I'm wondering if you can run their app behind a firewall and use it to evaluate and measure your companies internal conversations. Why? Well understanding who your influencers truly are is critical information to have. Many organizations are far to convinced that 360degree review tools and other HR/OD measures get to a fair and balanced picture of who is awesome in your business.

In my years at Intel my favorite managers always talked about the "sphere or influence". But of course they had no real, honest, way to measure one's total impact on his/her sphere of influence. I believe Web2.0 gives us the tools to not only become more empowered, but they give us the ability to see where the real knowledge value rests on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder.

On a side note, I'll bet BuzzLogic has never thought about their tool as a learning measurement tool or how it could be integrated into an enterprise LMS or HR system. But I think they should. I've talked about this before and so I'll mention it again. The web and web-based tools for eLearning will always follow the path of Marketing and PR when it comes to technology. The MarComm world has the budgets and the money...training/education does not. However our goals are very similar. We look to change behavior through media and measure its impact.

If you want to be on the cutting edge of your learning2.0 initiative in your company I'd take a look at BuzzLogic.

Remember, the conversations are happening whether you like it or not. And your employees are learning more of what they need to know from those conversations, NOT your elearning course. If you are one of the many who believe informal learning and web2.0 social conversations to simply be a fad, then you will also be wondering why your job no longer exists in the next few years. Don't close your eyes to this incredible shift in technology.

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