Considering the variety of products that exist on the collaboration marketplace nowadays, somebody looking for a knowledge sharing solution may feel overwhelmed. Or have a hard time distinguishing between the various types of products.
To make it easier for people to understand what Quandora, our Question & Answer product, brings to knowledge sharing compared to other tools, we decided to start a new blog post series: How is Quandora different from…
Episode 2: Enterprise Social Networks
Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) adopt the processes and technology of social networking and use it in business environment, in order to facilitate internal communications. The move to social is a growing trend due to its many benefits – to name a few: improving communication with leadership, boosting employee engagement, discovering organization’s interests, supporting collaboration.
There are two main aspects that you should be considering though, if you’re on a mission to find a knowledge sharing tool for your organization – content and structure.
Employees use ESNs to post all kind of information, like reports, articles, best practices, notices. Though its mixed content has the ability to get under one roof the know-what, the know-how, the know-who and also explicit knowledge content, it’s precisely this detail that’s turning it into noisy information when you’re searching for an answer to a specific problem. The information you’re trying to get is probably there, but it’s flooded by all other content, making it more a matter of luck to discover it.
So ESNs are great for overall communication and it’s the appropriate type of platform to share all kind of resources, but this can be also seen as a weakness for someone who searches for knowledge on a specific topic, at a specific time. If you can’t find relevant information in
ESNs are centered on real time content, which makes its UX to be designed around same idea. As shown above, knowledge doesn’t have a particular importance and this has a profound influence in the UX. This is why this type of structure is unwillingly creating a knowledge vs. real time updates issue.
Even organized under different group posting or tags, the information in your newsfeed is still fraught with noise. Users may get access to pieces of knowledge that are in accordance with their history and skills and they may browse information by tags, but this doesn’t necessarily help them find the answer to their question.
Comparison with Quandora
Being a dedicated solution for knowledge sharing, Quandora’s content and structure are organized to easily capture, centralize and communicate both explicit and implicit knowledge.
So unlike ESNs, it’s entirely knowledge focused, making information easily discoverable.
Let’s list some of its particular features, as advantages over using an ESN for knowledge sharing:
- the Q&A format supports organizations to create a clean and relevant content;
- faster and more accurate search option – it supports stemming and auto-completion;
- the advanced tagging system free form tags and or using them as custom fields;
- filter questions by newest, popular, unanswered, active or open.
ESNs are first of all a place to centralize information – this is its main pursuit: to keep people updated about everything that’s happening in their organization and groups of interest, but in the form of notifications.
ESNs are not focused on functional content and they don’t claim to be – thus the purpose of having a marketplace. This way, different content dedicated application can plug to companies’ social networks and endorse information broadcasting. Just like the knowledge in your Quandora domain can be distributed in your Yammer network.
It would be a mistake to see ESNs and Quandora as competitors. In fact, we believe they’re entirely complementary. The diverse content of ESNs and the knowledge orientated one in Quandora are two facets of internal collaboration, sharing a common purpose: to facilitate communication within an organization.
Happy Knowledge Sharing!