Clay Shirky: How enterprises can benefit from social media technology

Organizations prepared to use social media technologies  can take advantage of a “buildup of commercial and organizational intelligence” around the world, according to Clay Shirky.

That information is available from “an available pool of participation that is enormously large” but previously was not networked, according to Shirky, who spoke about the importance of sharing information across traditional lines and outside the firewall during the AIIM Conference 2012 in San Francisco last month.

Shirky, author of the books Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus and an adjunct professor at NYU, discussed new ways of collecting valuable and actionable information during a keynote entitled To Make Sense of Data, First Make Sense of People. He said that while the information management he espoused “uses a messy human aggregate, it moves the data closer to real time.” New enterprise social media tools can get enterprises information about “actual real behavior” and promote active problem solving among employees, he said, and might alter the ways some companies do market research.

Shirky  discussed the development of new information technologies, how some organizations were using social media to derive value from the “cognitive surplus” and what business needed to do to make sure it remained viable in the new mobile business era in a follow-up interview with at the conference.

Viewers of the 11-minute video will learn

  • How organizations might make valuable use of the free time and talent of an existing pool of people connected via social media;
  • What new ways of gathering intuition, resources and insights from employees exist that might help the bottom line;
  • About the potential business value to be found in the data being gathered by social media technologies on a daily basis;
  • Why making a “meta-cultural” change in the organization can lead to lower-cost small-scale projects;
  • Why the old models of market research might not make sense at a time when companies can discover real behavior without long-term research.



Learn more about enterprise social media strategies

Watch an interview with John Mancini on information management from the AIIM conference

Read about the focus on enterprise social media, mobile workforce at the AIIM Conference

Find out about the 10 steps to a practical social media business strategy

Find out why usability and security need to be balanced for mobile content management

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