Priming Social Software Adoption

From Michael Idinopulos this very nifty little acronym/summary of how to get going with wikis (the principle should work with any social software implementation in my view):

Structure the wiki up-front with stubs and links
Populate it with real content
Review what you’ve done within your core group and refine the structure as needed
Invite a few people who have relevant knowledge and relationships and will be into the idea
Garden the wiki content as things get going.

That makes SPRIG!

At its heart, it’s pretty close to what you might do in establishing a community: find a topic or problem as an attractor, pull people together, get some structure around the focus area, and then get stuck in. I’ve written about wiki raids, and other folks talk about barn-raisings (which makes the community connection much more clearly).

What all this has in common is the willingness just to get stuck in. I saw the importance of this recently at a technology company’s event for their sales partners. The company has a support wiki set up with all sorts of technical information, guidelines, suggestions etc, but it’s being used very passively by only a few sales partners. Meanwhile they are complaining about how long it takes to get an answer to a question, to which the reply was, “but it’s on the wiki!”. I suggested they do a barn-raising then and there to (a) learn how the wiki works, and (b) get used to the idea of sharing their knowledge about the product and the sales process by contributing stuff that everyone could share.

There were two distinct types of people in the room: the ones who wanted to keep talking about the issues, and the ones who just wanted to give it a go then and there. Fortunately the latter half won, and a barn raising was duly held. Sometimes we need to stop talking and just do something.


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