The next move in enterprise social is enterprise scrapbooks

We’ve watched so many ideas move from the consumer world to the workplace in the past several years. Search, iPhones, apps, and social networks have all become standard in the enterprise. The consumerization of IT has had a major impact on the the working world and there’s no reason to believe it is over. So where does it go next?

Scrapbooks

Here’s one likely direction…social ‘scrapbooks’ are already an established way to discover and display a consumer’s interests in digital format. Users can find others who share their passions and can give and take content that builds out each others’ boards.

This ‘pinboard’ model has proven immensely popular in a short time and now 10’s of millions of consumers are users. Pinterest is a well-known example, but there are others like PinchIt that take a geographic approach to digital scrapbooks. This is a rapid growth area that will be interesting to see develop.

And it makes sense. There’s something very satisfying about being ‘represented’ by the things we are passionate about. Go to any tech company, or any company for that matter, and notice the creativity applied just to the cubicle as people strive to personalize even their own workspace. Using a digital scrapbook is a logical next step.

Talking to PinchIt cofounder Aneel Ranadive, he says, “In the consumer space, we’ve created a product that provides for social scrapbooking. It allows people to discover and collect things they’re interested in. We see that the same rules apply to the enterprise where employees discover and capture relevant details about their company, their customers and their work through an interface that’s very easy to pick up. This is a content collaboration tool that is fun to use and helps people to be more productive than traditional platforms.”

It’s a different thing

When asked if this idea competes with other social media tools, Ranadive points out that, “Enterprise social networking tools are great for ongoing communication. We offer content collaboration and discovery via the scrapbook. It’s a different thing.” In the same way that Pinchit organizes consumers around cities, their product allows organizations to align around geographies or functions. Where it gets especially interesting is the gamification that PinchIt uses that allows the users with the most influence to be branded as a “tastemaker”. The same concept applies to the working world but with other terms to describe the most influential workers., like “dealmaker”.

And it doesn’t stop with the pinboard. By using search, workers can find other employees that share the same interest, whether that be a technology, work function, customer, product or project.

Virtual cubicles

For the remote workers, which are increasing in number very day, enterprise scrapbooks allow personalization of their virtual cubicle. What better way to know the person you’re collaborating with than to see the things that they find most interesting and the people they find influential. It is a brilliant way to lower the barrier of idea flow and to disperse culture.

Enterprise scrapbooks, at first glance, sound a bit outside the professional arena, but before judging, consider that just a couple of years ago, the idea of enterprise social networking was met with heavy skepticism. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this concept in the workplace in the near future.

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Categories: Consumerization, Gamification, Social / Collaboration

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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