Systems and technology for managing documents, content and knowledge have been developed in recent years to address the increasingly complex need for easy access to large collections of data and information. While traditional knowledge management systems do their best to aid organizations in increasing the effectiveness of the information it generates, for the most part, these systems are not as successful as desired. In many cases, while the system is working as designed, the “human element” in terms of how people approach using and sharing information is overlooked. This case study will describe how the application of social media is improving the effectiveness and increasing the adoption of knowledge management in an academic research environment. Specifically, the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has been using a mix of social media technologies in combination with their knowledge management system to improve usability, increase the rate and frequency of use and contribution, and provide a satisfying, contextual search and find experience for their audience of senior academic researchers. The audience will learn about our journey from a large, unsorted data and document collection to what we are building now, which is a comprehensive research resource that uses a variety of social media tools, including wikis, blogs and Twitter, to manage and share our research collection internally, to collaborate within our family of international research affiliates, and to communicate our research agenda and findings to our academic community. Challenges we faced and resolved will be included, as well as costs (financial and otherwise), and our future plans.

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