Social Media’s Influence on Knowledge Management

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In an interview with Alakh Asthana of eClerx Services, Dr. Madanmohan Rao talks about the influence of social media on knowledge management.

Madan believes that social media has had an excellent impact on knowledge management and most KM missions and visions need some component of social media. In a very lucid style Madan then goes on to explain the three genres of social media — archival, personal profile based, and narrative social media.

The archival type would be the Wikipedia form of collaboration where people jointly contribute and create archives of information linked with other pages. Many organizations use Wikis as part of their project management toolkit as it brings in a less rigid, intuitive and flexible way of working.

The personal profile based social media comprises of LinkedIn and Facebook forms of social networking platforms where users come together virtually, have their individual profiles, and interact through shared communities and manage events.

Lastly, narrative social media tools like Twitter and blogs help users to share granular snippets of knowledge. Madan also talks about an interesting new trend where some companies are investing in training their SMEs to become better at tweeting and blogging.

In the last leg of the talk Madan explains that various forms of social media have been in existence for a few years now and embedding these tool within KM practices is adding great value to the sharing of explicit knowledge. However, there are a few challenges in implementing social media at the workplace. For instance, personal profile based social media may lead to loss of productivity at the workplace. Madan concludes that the sweet spot for a KM practitioner lies in the archival and narrative forms, which can be easily implemented and managed in an organization.


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