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August 12, 2004
Collaboration Cases and Spaces
Socialtext posted a new case study on the use of wikis in business by Stata Labs. Its a good account of how Social Software is being applied across a medium-sized business for customer care, research & development, marketing, working with partners and project communication. It also describes how they used an intimacy gradient to design spaces:
- The broadest tier is a guest space, available to all.
- The second tier is a knowledgebase, accessible to all employees and contractors.
- The third tier is product development, for employees and contractors bound by a confidentiality agreement
- The fourth tier is for the core management team to share confidential financial and HR information.
Yesterday I participated in a day long training session for a division of a F500 organization to kick off their use of an appliance. The primary use case is project communication to replace group email. What’s interesting is how the four departments initially share a common space. Because its also a shared namespace, this put a focus on defining common language up front and requires groups to work more openly than they had before. Two of the groups quickly agreed to share resources (project blog, project page) on a common project, eliminating redundancy, but also reducing coordination risks. Of course, their usage pattern can and should change, but beginning use without barriers helps determine what barriers to create.
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