Garbage in garbage out, can social media in the workplace change that?

garbage in garbage out; social media in the workplace

Garbage in garbage out (GIGO) is a popular computing jargon used in enterprise computing and IT applications in large corporations across the world. Social media in the workplace has the influence to change all that with the introduction of Web 3.0.

Computer applications are designed by logical processes for transaction entry. If there is a poor data entry and the data is nonsensical, the output would also be poor and non-sensical.  Such poor and flawed data have huge implications. People believe what they see on the computers and they rely on the data for decision making.

Owing to the speed, urgency and not much care taken during the data entry in large organizations, such garbage in, garbage out is a common phenomenon. Well, social media in the workplace is set to change all of that. A more recent statement ‘Garbage in, gospel out’ might be a reality in the future.

The introduction of Web 3.0

Web 2.0 enabled us to make connections, create content and share it with our friends. It allowed us to interact with each other through multiple devices. Now with Web 3.0, the internet has become much smarter. We now call it the intelligent internet. It allows us to not just publish content on the internet in a democratized way but also mine data to suit the user’s requirements. Social media in the workplace with Web 3.0 might know the user’s preferences, analyze the meaning, and serve only pages and data which is highly relevant to the users.

You can also read out blog post article on “The global brain and graph theory”.

This affects the way, employees will create and use knowledge. Knowledge and data become more precious and they will be mined democratically where needed and when needed. Social media in the workplace will be more context dependent and context based. There will be smart interconnections among colleagues. People will start realizing the benefits and make an effort to enter the right and relevant information for future use.

Even in the consumer space, there are a number of social media tools in use. We see vandalized information all the time on some social media sites. Even the most popular ones are not left out.

Keeping this mind, the future models of social media sites with Web 3.0 would bring in more contextual information in the likes of ‘Siri’ and ‘Google’ says Cormac Reynolds from the Online marketer, a London-based digital marketing firm. You can find his website here.

‘Siri’ is a computer program for the IOS, macOS and tvOS operating systems from Apple Inc.  What appears to be the future, ‘Siri’  works as a digital personal assistant and makes recommendations and requests to other web services. Interesting !

Within large organizations, the introduction of Web 3.0 will change the ‘garbage in garbage out’ phenomenon. Knowledge generation and usage will be more dynamic, relevant and competitive within the organization. The organization becomes a ‘truly learning organization’. Learners will accelerate.

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Does the internet make you smarter? Can Social media too?

Does the internet make you smarter?

Does the Internet make you smarter? to be honest, is a popular search term on Google shared by millions of people around the globe. Going by the  Search engines parlance, this is a long keyword and the search trend for this keyword is rising.

After all, all of us, if not some of us have spent half of our lives surfing on the internet. My 8-year-old daughter is no newcomer either to the internet. Just like other eight-year-olds on this planet, she spends about 3-4 hours a week watching Youtube and playing games on the internet. Well, I decided to gather some information.

Does the Internet make you smarter? the straight answer is, Yes.

Logging on could spark a little bit of genius in all of us.  When you bounce your thoughts and share your knowledge with others, there is every chance that new ideas can come into this world.

Thinking is not solo anymore

But there still exists some contradictions on this subject around the world. Probably in the past, thinking alone and gazing at the stars would result in a sudden epiphany of sorts, a flash, a spark or a light bulb moment. Well, that was the past. A popular belief that emerged partly from passed on stories and life histories of some of the inventors.

Increasingly, there is research pointing out that new ideas and innovations do not stem from a single moment of euphoric thought but from bouncing and successive iteration of ideas over a period of time.

It all starts with a slow hunch says Steven Johnson, the author of the best-selling book  “Where do good ideas com from”, you can find his TED talk show here. And still Clive Thomson, the author of the popular book  “Smarter than you think” is very optimistic on the use of social media. A good review on the book can be found here from Newyork Times.

You can also read our blog post:  The age of social media: Our participation makes it a way of life

The current trend of using social media for mere trivia and gossip would change. Instead, people would find interesting and creative ways to spend their time on the internet. This includes thinking differently and solving new problems by sharing and bouncing ideas with each other.

There is nothing to fear from Facebook and Twitter.

Associate trails of the web is analogous to the human brain

Tim Berners-Lee created the internet architecture. The simplicity and the beauty of the Web lie in its interconnected hypertext Webpages. The web pages are connected through a primary channel called the link.

Lee, however, drew some of his ideas for the web from the Memex. The Memex was an information storage system that was first described by the inventor, Vannevar Bush. The system works analogously to how the human brain works.

Just as how the human brain indexes new ideas and information through associative memory for later use,  the internet system connects information web pages through certain cues (Hypertext links) thereby creating associative trails for ease of access and for later use. This brings us to understand a bit on how ideas pop up in our brain.

The human brain network is as complex as the internet

As Steve Johnson talks about it in his book, any idea that pops out of our consciousness is a work of millions of neurons in our brain all firing in sync with each other to produce an idea.

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Social media in the workplace: Intel, a case study in a nutshell

Intel social media check list

Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturing company. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, Intel is a global company with its employees spread all over the world.  All the employees work together to make Intel, the world’s largest and a highly valued silicon chip maker company. Intel, the name stands for Integrated Electronics.

True to its name, the company has a commendable and highly integrated social media computing infrastructure and tools for use for its employees. It does not stop just at that, the important thing is social media collaboration is quite successful here.

In fact, Intel is one of the early adopters of social media which is extensively used by its employees successfully in all the functional domains of the company. From recruiting, talent management to product engineering, social media collaboration at Intel has set benchmark standards in business performance and scores high in employee satisfaction rankings.

Intel is a trailblazer in this sphere and is all set to make effective use of social media in the future.

An example business challenge at Intel

Before I jump to write about a social media collaboration example at Intel or rather a specific challenge faced by Intel Engineers, I would like to thank the authors of the book “Social media at work” who have done extensive studies and interviewing executives at world-class organizations.

The author’s study, research, and findings have culminated in writing this book.

I have referenced content from this book to write about best practices in social media usage at Intel. The book is available at Amazon. It can be found here at this link.

At Intel, solving engineering problems has been a regular challenge. The engineers use the ‘follow the sun’ model. Through this model, work gets passed on from one geographical region to another and work happens 24 hours a day.

The real challenge is the absence of asynchronous communication. An instant two-way communication which can help the engineers was missing.

This communication bottleneck had to be sorted out and they introduced social computing tools like ‘Wiki’s’ and Forum for social media collaboration. This facilitated the engineers to capture their ideas, talk in real time, record backlog history, build trust with each other and above all collaborate without hindrance.

Productivity misconceptions

Intel did have its scary moments. For example, bosses do ask their employees “When would you finish your real job?” The mixed opinion is that social media usage does hurt productivity.

Intel learned it the hard way. To face such issues, Intel integrated business problems with social media collaboration and developed a proof of concept. Social media collaboration had to be built into its core processes.

Please do read our blog post on how  Corporate social network can be made successful.

Best practices for social media collaboration at Intel

Over the years, Intel, after many rigorous exercises and lessons learned, had compiled some of its best practices for implementing and using social media collaboration in workplaces. Please find them below.

The below best practices from Intel have been referenced from the book “Social media at work”.  My sincere thanks to Arthur Jue, Jackie Alcade Marr, Mary Ellen Kassotakis, the authors of the book.

  1. It is best to implement social media tools over integrated business processes. Standalone processes need to be integrated with the rest of the core processes. It would be futile and social media usage may be not be accepted well among users, prior to this integration.
  2. The consumer use of social media is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Employees are bound to bring in outside practices, inside the organization. Open source technology is freely available.There is every chance that employees will drive the IT function for implementing social media in workplaces. We have seen it already happening. There is a need for the democratizing the usage of social media.
  3. IT departments need to be quick to recognize changes in the social media usage otherwise they are bound to face more work in the future.
  4. Allow innovation to occur in a more natural way. Grass roots development need to take place. For mass adoption, “Executive buy-in” is necessary.
  5. It is good to allow employees to have their own blogs. Blogs give employees a voice and a means of contributing their knowledge, experience, and perspectives.
  6. To get work done from the grass roots level, it is good to integrate social media into the existing business processes of the company.
  7. It is good not to force anybody in the company to adopt social media usage. Social media usage needs to be encouraged only as a good option.

Finally, the important one – Social media should be easy to use

8. The important thing is to focus on the ‘Simplicity of the tool’. The simpler the tool, the easier it is to use it. It is good to involve all representative users for a user acceptance testing. It is good to take their feedback and make relevant changes.

Intel always sees social media usage as big contributor and a key enabler of business performance. As a company, Intel is committed to integrating social media into its key processes which make the greatest impact.

Cheers.