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Chris Collison • Hi Susan,

I think there are several dimensions of knowledge sharing where social media have significantly accelerated, amplified, or positively skewed good old-fashioned KM. [You know – the kind of knowledge-sharing activities that we’ll tell our kids about one day, and they’ll laugh at us… just like they can’t believe that we once used land-line telephones with wires connected to the receiver]

Here are five areas/behaviours which I can think of for starters…

Immediacy: – Presence, IM and microblogging have all changed expectations in terms of how quickly people respond and react. Most transactions happen within minutes or hours. I almost hesitate to respond to things what are a few days old now… That never used to happen.

Imperfect incompleteness: – This is related to the immediacy point above. People don’t wait until they have the ideal solution before they share now – you get raw, partly formed ideas, suggestions, contacts, 140 characters. Responding is now less pressurised – it’s no longer about competition, it’s about contribution. That has to be a good thing in not-invented-here cultures. There’s less pressure to reject something which is delightfully imperfect.

Serendipity: – Twitter and its equivalent now connect me with people and content that I would have never have stumbled across. It’s like those Brownian motion experiments we did in chemistry – increase the intensity of temperature or pressure, and the chances of a collision increases.

Connectivity: – It’s just so easy now to get plugged into everything. Barriers to entry are minimal. And the connections you don’t know about, you get alerted to.

Transparency: – I’ve had to get used to doing more of my thinking out loud, and have often been surprised by a proactive response to something as simple as a status update. Sometimes help comes when you didn’t even ask.

Any more, anyone? 2010 2010