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What the Electoral College has to do with social knowledge networks

After penning my post yesterday about role-based security in social knowledge networks, I thought of another way to describe how the security feature works -- one that, I think, is very timely with the presidential election four weeks away.

I call it the "Electoral College" notion of privileged access to social knowledge networks. The level of access and influence each member has on the network can be likened to the degree of influence each state has on the election based on its number of electoral votes.

Let me paint a picture. In most organizations, there are people whose opinions and voices carry more weight than others. Consider a social knowledge network deployed by a marketing department for use by the sales force.

The VP of sales' opinions and ratings have more weight than, say, an entry-level inside sales guy. In this case, the VP might be granted privileges to write his own wiki and blog, and comment on and edit marketing presentations. Meanwhile, the greenhorn would only be able to provide a rating.

The VP of sales is California (great influence), and the greenhorn is Rhode Island (little influence). A principal engineer of a consultancy would be Florida; the engineering student intern is D.C. And so on ...

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