The shadow proves the sunshine

Phil Windley blogged about his user-centric reputation talk about AOL in Virginia today. “User-centric reputation” set off a cascade of thoughts, which are highlighted here (i.e. beware stream of consciousness)…

Recently the above catch phrase (i.e. Switchfoot song/lyric from Nothing Is Sound) came to mind while I was thinking again about content management and the role of people. That is, content proves authorship, and a fair bit of authoring is still a human-based endeavor.

Yet, much of information analytics within content management is focused on the results of authoring–the content–and its about-ness. This is an asset-centric or information-centric view to analytics embodied in clustering, classifying, tagging, summarizing, transcribing, translating, etc. There is value in this form of analysis; however, it simply creates more information–more content–while tending to cap the visibility of original authors and potential collaborators. I mean, folks are still out there, but I have to work to find them, to recall them, to (re-)engage with them.

Why aren’t there more systems that promote people first–treat people as the pre-eminent metadata? That is, why isn’t ECM more user-centric? Why doesn’t it promote reputation more effectively?

Information (+collaboration/behavioral) analytics can just as easily assume a contextual view centered upon people. It can help me understand potential collaborators in light of my current task or role or community affiliation. It can inform me of the “emotion” of a digital workspace (e.g. present a panel color or icon to flag a “heated” discussion currently underway–one that I may wish to avoid to run headlong into straightaway). It can go beyond mere presence display to mood display based on recent content-related activities by colleagues. It can help set my expectations for collaborative outcomes based on related process knowledge, social context and reputation.

Back to Phil’s blog and referenced presentation. Slide 50 talks about reputation in relation to trust, reciprocity and social benefit, in the context of social platforms like Facebook. I’ve recreated and redlined his graphic to emphasize business value where promotion of people and reputation is concerned (e.g. reduced time-to-innovation):

Business benefit of reputation

More on this topic to come, I suspect…