During a presentation at Burton Catalyst last year, the presenter described a particular feature they had implemented in their version of social software. Rather than just listing colleagues, which ends up looking like Facebook's bidirectional "friends" feature, users could define one-way links to specific individuals and provide keywords to describe what they looked to that person for and, perhaps, why, e.g., I go to So-and-so for any questions I have about Sharepoint. After Gia Lyons' presentation at this year's Catalyst, I asked if this capability was present in Jive Software's product, which we have implemented here at Kaiser as IdeaBook. Gia said the feature was present in the API, but had not been elevated to the place where it was either easily accessible or obvious, and that I should raise this point in a discussion on this board to see if there was sufficient interest to elevate it.
This is an incredibly useful and, potentially, organization-changing capability. Individuals within a company build a reputation for their knowledge, participation and contribution to the goals of the firm. One of the most significant pieces of that knowledge is whom they look to for information in specific areas. Allowing the individual to list those people and for what reason (or subject) is extraordinarily helpful to those who might value the person they trust's recommendation. The current Colleagues feature within IdeaBook does not appear to provide this level of that capability.
This can be organization-changing, as it was at Booz Allen, in that the company discovered through network analysis that some individuals who were defined by the company as SMEs simply were not commonly recognized by others as such, while other individuals who were not defined as SMEs were valued for specific content or process knowledge by both their peers and others within the company, essentially SMEs.
Would this be of value to you?