A story about connections, search and blogging

So I recently met a new colleague who had worked at Merck & Co. and shared his experience with using a expert finding and knowledge sharing platform. He reached out to me to find out if we have a comparable platform, so he could use that to meet his needs.

I was curious which platform he had experienced. But he wasn't sure. So I googled a bit during our call - of course I told him I was googling, I don't want to be rude and divide my attention between him and the web... - and there is was. A clear blogpost from 2009 about Merck's experiences with an internal knowledge sharing platform. It also described the underlying technology.

What's so special about this? Several things:

  1. The power of (Google) search. It still continues to amaze me how easily you can type in a few words in a search engine and find what you're looking for. In this case what I was looking for popped up in the first three results.
  2. The power of blogging. I found what I was looking for in a blogpost. Someone shared her conference notes about this case in 20011 and it's still easily accessible on the web.
  3. The power of connections and serendipity. The blogpost was written by V Mary Abraham. This is actually someone I have never met in real life, but know well from the web. It's been a while but there have been times we interacted a lot over the web, sharing insights about our Enterprise 2.0 journeys. At one time I won a ticket to the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, but couldn't go. And I gave the ticket to her. I didn't check (yet) but the blogpost I found could have even been this conference.* The blogpost mentions Jim Worth as one of the speakers. He too was one of the people I interacted with quite a bit at the time.
  4. It underlines the long journey Social Business, Enterprise 2.0, Digital Transformation or whatever-you-want-to-call-it is. The post I mentioned goes back to 2011. That's 6 years ago! Then I was at Oce and the post is about experiences at Merck. Oce and Merck have probably carried on with their journey. And we all are. We're still looking for great ways to support and accellerate our business process and network to improve key business strategies. And it still not an easy 1-2-3 and your instantly successful project.
Oh and by the way, the technology Merck used (at the time) was SharePoint and Newsgator (now Sitrion). My colleague couldn't remember this. I think this shows what's important. The tools provided real value. Knowing the exact names of the tool is then of hardly any importance. This too was said 6+ years ago. When you visit conferences you can still hear speakers stressing this important fact.

* I checked in the meantime. It wasn't the conference in 2011, but the 2010 edition. :)

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