WaterCooler: Exploring an Organization Through Enterprise Social Media

Download Now Date Added: May 2009
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As organizations scale up, their collective knowledge increases, and the potential for serendipitous collaboration between members grows dramatically. However, finding people with the right expertise or interests becomes much more difficult. Semi-structured social media, such as blogs, forums, and bookmarking, present a viable platform for collaboration - if enough people participate, and if shared content is easily findable. Within the trusted confines of an organization, users can trade anonymity for a rich identity that carries information about their role, location, and position in its hierarchy. This paper describes WaterCooler, a tool that aggregates shared internal social media and cross-references it with an organization's directory. The paper deployed WaterCooler in a large global enterprise and presents the results of a preliminary user study.