Making a process ‘social’ on your intranet

Consider a project plan, i.e. only the artifact and now you want to make the plan review process ‘social’ on a platform. How will it happen, say on your collaboration or other platform? My idea for this post is to enlist actions from various dimensions and possibly facet them for doing requirements to make a process ‘social’.

Content Responses:

Predominantly 2 types of responses depending on where

In-situ, in this case wherever the plan is located

While we are looking primarily at text, the responses could actually be a same content type e.g. idea on top of an idea or just a related idea, responding to an youtube video with another video, in this case responding to a plan with another plan that may be similar or related

Ex-situ, example as a link back from elsewhere or even back channels

These off site response could be within the intranet, or outside. I have not seen simple ping backs being implemented within intranets, so we are little far away from this future.

Giving some direction to content responses have been tried for example deBono’s 6 Thinking Hats or simple cost/risk/revenue comments

Emotional Responses:

We will only consider ‘like’ emotional response here, this will get overly complex when we add other emotions e.g. hope/fear, happy/sad, pride/shame

“Why only ‘like’, why not ‘dislike’?” is a fundamental question. Response to this comes from Max Weber "I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am; I am what I think that you think I am."

If you see too much of what I dislike, you may not like me, and I don’t like it.

So what if there are 20 ‘likes’ for the project plan in question, would you commission them for the project?

Would it affect adversely on recruitment for the project if many ‘dislike’ the plan

Social demand / Cost-benefit Actions:

In our example, Project has a plan > Project has a Manager > Plan has a reviewer > Reviewer is a volunteer > Reviewer spends time (cost) > Reviewer benefits from review > Manager benefits from review > Review costs the Manager > Review costs/benefits others (externality)

While these are not direct actions on the artifact, they provide an important basis for reasons to act. Specifically on the demand side i.e. desire to get the plan reviewed, ability to review, and willingness to review.

Network Actions:

These include share, tag, and follow type actions across a network. Every intranet worth its salt respects its users to subscribe on content, tags, person, groups, with almost no push to inbox actions. Negative action here would be removal from personal stream, reporting spam or abuse.

Another phenomenon that has to be taken into account is the back-channel of social. In the case of a plan, there may be a private email thread floating around or a twitter conversation that neither the PM nor others are even aware. But it happens socially anyways.

Here is the taxonomy for all actions from above


On Reading Notes and Ugly Deprecation of Google Reader

What you see as Reading Notes in the right side column of this blog is a snapshot from Google Reader, auto refreshed as I read and comment on Reader.

With some limited period notice (i.e. 1 day), Google released the following

What this means now is most of the functionality that I was using with bundles and shared items from Google Reader will no longer be available.

All this is done in favor of Google+ with the assumption that my network/a circle in Google+ and the human readers on this modest blog are portable across.

That is so not true.

Anyway with such grand user demography and usage data at click level that Google has,

even a mature product’s evolution seems to me as a victim of some arbitrary decision.