Jinfo BlogEncouraging Curation and Sharing to Facilitate Discovery

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By Steve Bynghall

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Helping users to find information which they didn't know existed is undoubtedly a challenge. Steve Bynghall identifies some of the key tactics which can be used to help make discovery more of a "push" activity and some steps central teams can take to encourage changes in user behaviour.


In an age of ever-increasing amounts of data and digital activity as a source of commercial advantage, being able to do discovery well in the enterprise is becoming ever-more critical. 

Highlighting Critical Information

Discovery is not only about increasing efficiency by reducing the time employees spend finding things they want, but also it's about anticipating their needs and alerting them to critical information which they didn't necessarily know existed.

This type of discovery can aid better decision-making, enable commercial opportunities, spark innovation, facilitate collaboration, increase learning and minimise risk. Read more about this in my article "Facilitating Discovery and Delivering Awareness for Users".

Intelligent Software

With ever-more powerful "intelligent" software which can predict the type of content users need based on their behaviour and profile data, it's likely that increasingly discovery will be more of a "push" activity with increasingly accurate suggestions for content. The launch of Delve in Office 365 and other imminent offerings from IBM may see significant advances in this area over the next few years.

Other approaches which organisations choose to help this type of discovery include using activity streams, designing digital channels which bring different sources of information together, and creating very usable search interfaces.

It's All About Behaviours

However, a key tactic is to encourage curation and knowledge-sharing behaviours. In many ways this is the most important activity of all, as the most effective and important discovery is likely to happen across personal networks, both within the enterprise and also externally.

One major approach is to make it very easy for users to carry out knowledge sharing. Within the enterprise this usually means providing social tools with easy to use interfaces. Employees can then easily carry out social bookmarking by sharing both internal and external links which can then be readily posted into activity streams. 

Keys to Changing Behaviour

The other major approach is to work on more deep seated user behaviours around sharing knowledge and encouraging curation. This will be more of a challenge for some organisations, less so for others. 

While change can take a while to happen, central teams can carry out a number of interventions to encourage change:

  • Communicating success stories and use-cases
  • Providing support and targeted training around use of social tools
  • Encouraging visible use and support from senior management
  • Working with networks of advocates and super-users to act as local champions and experts and to promote use.

This Blog Item is part of the FreePint Topic Series "Making Information Visible".

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