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Context is the king of enterprise content

Context has a tremendous impact on how we understand data. Take something simple, like weather, for instance. V Mary Abraham penned a post on her blog, Above and Beyond KM, about how even metrics surrounding weather need context.

"... would you wear a sweater if it were 50 degrees Fahrenheit in September? Yes, most probably. Now think about a 50 degree day in March. In New York City, you’re likely to see folks wearing shorts and T-shirts," she writes. The time of year provides crucial context to how one might dress.

I agree. But I'll take that analysis one step further. As I wrote in my comment, imagine if weather data was socialized. For example, say those other people who were about to head out the door commented about their choice of light jackets and shirtsleeves. It might have given you pause to think of that data in another way, with a new perspective.

Let's translate this to the enterprise. Say a proposal is in the works for a major client. The proposal is about to be finalized, when someone looks at it and notices there’s a missing piece of crucial data -- one that the author had not thought to include.

If the proposal is stored in a social knowledge management system, the astute employee can leave a comment about the missing data. Other people can see the comment, reply in agreement or disagreement, tag it ... and the proposal is now stronger than the original.

Just as the metrics by themselves don’t tell the complete story, neither does most enterprise content. But the community can socialize content and provide the context needed to make content valuable and actionable.


Carl said...

Could not agree more - Context is King - and blogged on topic myself few weeks back.

Mike Cassettari said...

We are on the same page, and it's good to see the word out about the importance of context when looking at enterprise content. I think context is what will ultimately tie E2.0 to business objectives and drive ROI.


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