This week for class I watched a video of a talk by Nicole Ellison, of University of Michigan, and Matthew Weber, of Rutgers University, discuss how social media is involved in knowledge sharing and collaboration of distributed teams. Below is the video:
Ellison first talks about the general scheme of social media and how it plays its role in knowledge sharing. She discusses context awareness, which relates to, for example, media stream as in a News Feed on Facebook, which connects knowledge shared by users to other users. Ellis describes greater network transparency; an example of that is a Friend’s list on Facebook, which is knowledge of who knows who. Ellis also goes into a social graph, which includes mutual friends. Mutual friends is knowledge of who should know who, and also who you should connect with. Information like this on social media is a great example of knowledge transfer. Sharing information on a feed or seeing who you’re connected to, is information being transferred everyday from a person to person or a person to a group of people.
Ellies goes into more detail describing how networks and knowledge are a central focus of organizations today. Knowledge must be able to be shared across contents through relationships and networks. Ellis says distributed teams facilitate the acquisition and application of knowledge and create diverse knowledge. In all, the use of social media increases knowledge in organizations. A social media networking site that describes Ellis’ collaboration is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking site that connects job professionals to other professionals and also to job organizations and groups. Users can create a profile where they update their work experience, essentially creating an online resume for employers to look at. Users can also apply to job postings and can look at employer and organization profile pages. LinkedIn creates team building by introducing groups of organizations together and connecting like-minded networks to collaborate and grow.
Social media can share knowledge in a positive way. LinkedIn is a prime example of this because it connects business-oriented groups and people to similar goals and needs.