How to boost online collaboration

Posted by HR Analytics on Friday, February 13, 2015

Web 1.0, information was simply displayed for the users to read and consume.  With Web 1.0, the inherent flow of knowledge is unidirectional in which information flows from the content developer and the designers down to the users. Users’ roles are simply readers of information.  In the ‘second generation,’ Web 2.0, the flow of knowledge becomes multidirectional expanding the role of the users and enabling them to contribute their own informational contents.  Information not only flows down from the content developer but it now has the ability to flow up from the mass of users, thus enabling each user to be an active participant and contributor to the dynamic flow of information.  Online social networking in which the the Internet is used to create value through mass user participation is a distinguishing characteristic of Web 2.0.  Blogs, wikis, and social networks are some of the interactive technologies characterized as “Web 2.0.”  Communication between the users is enhanced and can now be done one-to-one (e.g., email, chats), one-to-many (e.g., web pages or blogs), or many-to-many (e.g., wiki communities).  The new collaborative Web platform not only allows the users to consume the information but to also generate and share their information with the larger community.  The traffic of information can now be active and dynamic because information can be shared, requested, and consumed by all users.  

Such technology is widely used by many industries nowadays including the medical field (see McLean et al., 2007), government (see Osimo, 2008), education, library science (see Aharony, 2009), and market research (see Cooke & Buckley, 2008) revolutionizing the ways organizations build and manage their knowledge, disseminate information, and engage their stakeholders.  Users are enabled and empowered to move knowledge around by learning from one another and by contributing first-hand to the learning dynamics. This online collaboration is supposed to facilitate the rapid and widespread building of knowledge coming from the hands of potentially all users thus enabiling the continuous enrichment of the collective intelligence of the community.   But, how exactly do you ensure wide participation? How do you know that you're not missing out on some points of views from people who might not be interested in participating online? These may be vocal people who have a lot to say but may not be as interested in going online to type up their opinions. When creating your own online community, how do you make sure that the conversations are active and dynamic? Do you have a collaboration portal that just sits there? What can you do to boost traffic, interactions, and knowledge-sharing?

Tags: collaboration  knowledge management 
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