.. as the pendulum swings carelessly from people to people, to machine to people and back, somehow, someone decided that the answer to enterprise social network ghost towns was to pipe transactional data into activity feeds and that would make it all all right.
Newsfeeds which automatically draw in data from people's actions seem to be the quickest way to populate collaboration ghost-towns, but with newsfeeds containing tonnes of information that is not tied together using context, they can be useless and distracting in many scenarios.
Trying to draw an analogy between the ability of the Facebook or Twitter newsfeed to engage with potential engagement with the newsfeeds in social collaboration tools can be pointless. The set of motivations that make people engage heavily with their Facebook newsfeeds are just not present in a work setup.
What is even more pointless is the argument that a newsfeed is the panacea for all our email woes. It is completely lost on most enterprise social collaboration tool proponents that a collaboration newsfeed can be way more 'clutter-y' than an email inbox. We talked about in detail in our post on why Atos' zero email policy does not make sense.
The cure to email overload and to fostering better collaboration is to bring about fundamental behavioral changes in how people work, collaborate and use the tools that they have at their disposal, and not the introduction of a new set of tools built using paradigms that work in completely disconnected scenarios.
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About the author:
Niraj is the Founder of GrexIt. GrexIt turns Gmail into a powerful collaboration tool by letting you share your Gmail labels. When not working at GrexIt on programming or customer support, Niraj likes to play guitar.
Niraj can be reached on Twitter at nirajr.