Users are the spiders

My earlier post was prompted partly by a conversation with a friend who has recently moved from a small, less than 20 person law firm, to a legal department in a large company.  At the small company they implemented a social bookmarking system and let the staff loose as ‘spiders’, finding and tagging content and implementing tagging practices and taxonomies for all client artifacts.  The result was an estimated 95% of all electronic records being tagged in the system providing both online bookmarking, social networking (via shared tags and profiles) and a kind of user generated search engine.

He contrasts this to life in the big firm where there is a constant struggle to find information, even local to a small team of 10.  Corporate IT is said to be implementing a company wide solution for both search and tagging, but based on the latest timelines implementation would be at least 8 months away.

Whilst I sympathize for my friend as a user wanting the same tagging experience as in the smaller firm, I also appreciate the pressures and considerations that come in to play when you try to implement new solutions to a massive user base.  That’s why I think it’s an exciting time for smaller firms, who have the ability to get quick successes and pay back by implementing an enterprise 2.0 strategy. 

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