Measurement And E2.0 …


Back after a week … and, Diwali! And here’s wishing all of you Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year. The Mahurat trading session yesterday had most stocks going up on the BSE, so thats a nice start.

Andrew McAfee has a rather interesting conversationg going … about a topic which tends to have about the most divergent views when it comes to social computing … yes, you got it … measurement. Andrew has written a rather interesting post about the whole idea of rating knowledge workers, encapsulating a large range of divergent views on the subject.

What i believe comes out of the entire discussion is that while the whole idea of putting a rating to someone’s contribution to a social computing platform is quite against the entire idea of social computing, there has to be a way this can be addressed. After all, when we look at anything in the organizational perspective, there has to be a way of finding out whether we are on the right track, and whether there need to be changes to the way things are being done.

There could be two ways of looking at this … one could be in terms of a performance appraisal type of rating on contributions and knowledge sharing efforts, and the other in terms of community feedback on these. While the first could end up stifling the entire effort (because this would look at it more quantitatively, rather than qualitatively … how many blog posts could your boss go through to give you a rating …), the second option is actually quite in line with the overall idea of social computing.

Lets take an example … when someone from your network posts something on their profile, say, on facebook, you, and lots of others have the means to comment on this. These comments are essentially feedback, and could work as a form of ranking on this contribution. Take this one step further, into the organizational context … if people had the possibility of giving you stars (ya, this is something i picked up from my son … they get stars for doing well at school), they could show their appreciation of whatever you have contributed. The nice part is that there is no limit to the supply of these stars … so, you dont necessarily rank someone to the exclusion of someone else, and considered over the larger audience, this could be a reasonable way for people to show their appreciation of your work, at the same time, work well in terms of recommending things to others.

In addition to this, different people look at the same contribution from different perspective. An expert looks at it trying to understand how well this could communicate a concept to a larger audience, a novice could look at it to learn something new, while someone who is simply trying to solve a problem would look at it from the perspective of relevance. Aggregating feedback from such diverse viewpoints would, i think, give an overall qualitative perspective.

In other words, if we take a scenario where feedback could be gathered by the larger community, this could be a reasonably nice way of understanding how the entire idea of social computing is working in the organization.

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