Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Using Content Curation as part of Performance Support (Part 1 of 5 – uncovering the problem)

Following on from the LSG conference (14/06/11) I hope this and the following four blogs, explain how I have been using content curation to curate user generated content in a way that has been positively received by two organisations I’ve been working with:

We provided a wide range of communication and sharing technology through the organisations “learning sites” such as microblogging, forums, wikis, and a version of the Peter Butler BT Dare to Share model which allowed staff to share their knowledge using a wide range of media (eg podcasts, screencasts, slideshows etc).

Take up was good particularly with some staff sectors, and so we believed that everything would continue to go well, but four months in, staff started to report feeling overloaded and that trying to keep up with all that was being shared was having a detrimental effect on their ability to complete their work.  The upshot was that even though they valued the information that was being shared they started to disengage with the learning sites because the felt that staying “in the loop” was too distracting.

We quickly engaged with the staff to find out why this was happening.  The key findings were:

Too much information coming in …  Information was coming at the staff from all directions, not just from our learning site but from their own personal knowledge networks, Linked In, Twitter, blogs etc and of course the omnipresent emails which included white papers, webinar invites etc.

Too many information sources to look at … Staff felt that every day it seemed as if there was yet another new site that they really, really must explore or join or sign up to. 

Information duplicated multiple times … Staff complained that the same information would turn up repeatedly but under different headlines so that they thought it was new and relevant to them and then they’d discover they had already seen it.

Difficulty in separating the relevant, quality information from the junk … Staff felt that they needed help to sort out what was relevant and trustworthy and what was not.

Time … staff felt that staying in the loop was taking up too much of their time.  This was the biggest gripe of all.

By setting up a successful and active learning community we had added an additional layer of information that was causing some of the staff to suffer from Information Overload.
Next Blog (2 of 5) ...Making it worse!

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