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Social Knowledge Management in an Academic Environment: A Case Study

Presentation to TRY: The 6th Annual Library Staff Conference, April 2010, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Kimberly Silk

on 25 April 2010

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Transcript of Social Knowledge Management in an Academic Environment: A Case Study

Who is the
Martin Prosperity Institute? The Challenge:
Inspiring Academics to
Collaborate & Share The MPI Portal
(drumroll, please!) Why v1.0
(mostly) Failed What we learned,
and what we're doing next A sneak peak of
our latest prototype Meanwhile, some of our other social media experiments didn't fail We are an academic think tank that studies global prosperity in terms of location, place and city regions.

Led by Director Richard Florida, we take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.

We’re part of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
SharePoint was an Easy Win (for now):
Already installed on server
Compliant with our IT dept
Great document mgmt
Version control
Integration with MS Office
Multi-level user access
Accessible via web
Quick to implement
Research Directors Operations Team Research Team Growing community of
international research affiliates Requirements Quick 'n Dirty
Evaluation Process Good Enough,
For Now What Works:

•Great integration w/ MS Office
•Web-based interface is available anywhere
•Version control is very good
•Easy to roll back to previous versions
•Easy to see who edited the document last What Doesn’t:

•Requires users to log in repeatedly; no single-sign-on
•Dependent on IE browser; other browsers render the page incorrectly
•Limited features, especially when wanting to add feeds and other external content
•Heavy simultaneous use causes it to freeze;
•Users have to remember to access all their work via SharePoint
•Limited social media tools
•No fun!!
We began by thinking about content, and organization, which are both important;

Diving in without any planning or strategy provided us with a great way to learn about how we work, both online and offline;

SharePoint works, although it’s not completely successful;

We didn’t think enough about the most important component: people.
There is
Joy & Sorrow with
Iterative Design &
Rapid Prototyping Moving towards Social Knowledge Management KM is not just about managing knowledge; it’s about mining the social interactions that create knowledge.

We want to capture knowledge, and then place it in a context to the people who have created it, and use it.
SharePoint Strengths:
It’s already installed, and our files are already there
Our users are familiar with it
Our IT dept supports it (MS platform)
Lots of space
Excellent security Confluence Strengths:
Better user experience (UX)
Easy to add social media
Easy to add external content
Personal spaces that are easy to customize
Lots of plugins The Best of Both:

Cross-product searching
Content sharing between SharePoint and Confluence
Take advantage of the easy-to-use Confluence interface, and still have our documents and data supported by IT. Thank you for your attention.

Find me at:
E: kimberly.silk@rotman.utoronto.ca
Twitter: kimberlysilk
Social Knowledge Management in an
Academic Research Environment:A Case Study

Presented by Kimberly Silk, MLS
Data Librarian, Martin Prosperity Institute Report released to Premier February 2009 Project begun May 2008
15 on-site researchers
22 off-site academics contributing working papers
Full transcript