Introducing Social Bookmarking on a Corporate Intranet
October 7, 2008 5:49 AM   Subscribe

Social Bookmarking on a corporate intranet: How can I introduce it successfully?

I am involved in a project to introduce a social bookmarking application on our corporate intranet. We have chosen Scuttle, a clone as our vehicle.

The company I work for is a big global one (~100k employees). Availability and understanding of Web2.0 technology and principles is low, even among communications people, except for the few social media geeks around.

Do you have a social bookmarking app on your company intranet?

What advice can you give me on a successful introduction of such a tool - in terms of change management, communication, education, and convincing management?
posted by lord_yo to Technology (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could use this video as education. They do paid-for high-res versions for businesses.

Are you bookmarking internal knowledge? I.e. using people's knowledge of subjects to effectively backtag an existing load of data?
posted by Happy Dave at 6:15 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @Happy Dave: Excellent video, thanks for that!

The idea was to map people's internet and intranet bookmarks, which to some degree represent their knowledge and interests. Does that answer your question?
posted by lord_yo at 8:32 AM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: Good plan - although you may run into resistance with people importing personal bookmarks, if you have a laissez faire internet policy (i.e. I wouldn't necessarily want to share the fact that I have, say, eBay searches for vintage comics saved in my bookmarks with my colleagues). Although if people are able to selectively import things, that's a non-issue.

I do this kind of introduction/comms work for a living, and I'd say you're going to have two main humps to get over:

1. Understanding - you need to clearly show a benefit and help people understand the point of it, otherwise it will come across as crazy internet kid stuff. The constant refrain is 'what's the point of that?' and the answer has to be - here, this is the point. You can do this through a mixture of 'burning platform' demos (i.e. challenge them to find something quickly on your intranet, then compare it to how fast it can be found through well-tagged bookmarks), explanation (what is a 'tag'? why is this 'social'? why are you on my lawn?) and illustration (team and area specific examples, i.e. this is what this would mean to you).

2. Ongoing motivation and interest - you're going to have to do a lot of the work up front for people, and keep tabs on things. For example, you can get everyone to export their bookmarks, but you may have to do the initial backtagging yourself, or recruit a few of the more enthusiastic people in your audience to backtag with you (better, as they can act as advocates to the rest of the audience). Once you have a good starting database of bookmarks and their associated tags, you will start to see an uptick as people start using the tags of their own accord. Occasionally people will dump a bookmark in with no tags, and you'll have to add them, but once people grasp the fact that if they need to research topic XYZ they've got a ready-made database of links and info sitting waiting for them, it will acquire its own momentum.

Communications and education-wise, things like the approachable video above are good, but you can also create interest with round-the-office teaser campaigns (a poster above the coffee machine that says 'What is Scuttle?' then a week later one saying 'Ask your doctor about Scuttle, the answer to all your knowledge management ills!', then another one saying 'Knowledge is as easy as Scuttling' etc etc. Run training sessions. If you have an internal comms channel (website, newsletter, whatever) put reports in as you roll it out.

One major thing - don't get lost in social web jargon like 'folksonomy' and 'user-generated content'. Place things in real-world contexts and talk about hard business benefits. Off the top of my head, this would provide:

a) robust and reliable access to relevant information
b) increased retention of knowledge capital
c) more effective selling through knowledge sharing and easy access

etc etc etc.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:13 AM on October 7, 2008

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