Chief Knowledge Officer

I just read an interesting article called The Four Personas of the Next-Generation CIO.  The four personas listed are:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Integration
  3. Intelligence
  4. Innovation

But I believe they are missing the fifth “i” (like the 5th Beatle) which is: Information.  And what is information?  Well, it is everything employees are doing within (and outside) the firewall.  Such as content, knowledge and data.  Plus, with the explosion of social media (or social business) in organizations, there is information everywhere in blogs, forums, status updates, documents, IM’s, wikis, etc.  Who is managing all of this information?  Driving out best practices?  Ensuring that the knowledge of the company is used, leveraged   and re-used?

And that is where the fifth “i” comes into play.  And I feel it does not belong under the CIO.  I actually believe this is a future role for many organizations.  For the heck of it, let’s modify it (so it is not CIO), to read CKO – Chief Knowledge Officer.

As the saying goes, “knowledge is power”.  But if organization do not properly capture and utilize this knowledge, then they are missing out on a competitive advantage.  But who now is accountable to “empower this knowledge”?

You got it – the Chief Knowledge Officer.

The New Killer App…Your Inbox

With recent releases of Twitter in Microsoft Outlook, Facebook e-mail, Google Buzz in Gmail, plus the existing Lotus Notes sidebar, Zimbra Desktop,  and what Mozilla is doing with Raindrop it seems that the new killer app is…the inbox.   For years we have heard the term killer app and have installed new applications or bookmarked new aggregates to get all of our information in one place.  But, no matter what we did, we always ended up back in our inbox…cc’ing everyone in our address book.  Why?  A few reasons:

E-mail is easy
The learning curve is so easy, that people are hooked instantly.  And it is easier to start building onto an existing platform that people like and use instead of a new experience or application.

No specific company own’s e-mail
As mentioned above, any company can create their own e-mail client…but it still does the same function as all the others.   Thus, no matter which country you live in, language you speak, or religious beliefs (kidding), there is an e-mail client for you.

E-mail has a bigger market share than Twitter, Facebook, YouTube put together.
Maybe they weren’t first to market for connecting people (the telephone beat them to the punch) but it has grown so popular that if you think about it, when was the last time you met someone who did not have an e-mail address?  For goodness sakes, I have three of my own. Robert Scoble has one.  Don’t you?

People will let you tweak it
Sure, go ahead and add Twitter or Google Buzz to my in-box.  It doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to use it.  But, that is the beauty of it.  It is just there, waiting for you.  And if you get curious, or your friends/family/work starts to use it, well, you can take a peak because you already have your e-mail open.  And if you can’t figure out how to DM your mother…well, you can send her an e-mail.  But the power here is you are not forcing people to start communicating in a totally different way or application…you are letting them gradually start to use these tools.

E-mail Content
In an e-mail, you can be formal/informal, long/short, add images/video, put links, add emoticons, write a novel, sell products, and be private/public, communicate with one/thousands of people all in one application.  No other tool can do it all.  Sure, Twitter you can reach a million people with one Tweet…but you can’t add a video, an emoticon, picture of the vacation and a excel spreadsheet.  But Twitter has it’s use…that is why it is a good ‘add-on’ to e-mail.

So the killer app is out there…and everyone is using it…so tell me again why we want everyone to abandon it?  That is why I believe that you will see more and more integration of other tools into the in-box. Or whatever else it will be called in the future.

Customer Service and Social Media

A friend of mine recently asked me to send some information on links between Customer service and knowledge sharing.  So, doing a quick search of the web, I came up with the following:

1. Links to two of thef top marketing bloggers (I have filtered their results using tags to customer service and web marketing):

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/tag/customerservice/
http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/category/case-study/

2.  White Papers:
Link on Mashable
Link from web strategist

3. Good books to read:

Wikinomics
The Best Customer Service is no Customer Service

4. Social Media as Customer Service article (with stats)
I know it is the tip of the iceburg.  Anything else?