What's wrong with email?

(Image by Biscarotte on Flickr used under Creative Commons)

Over the coming months I’ll be working with new groups on Knowledge Hub, helping them set up and learn how to use the platform and some of these groups will be built around a project. I’ve been lucky lately in that people have been coming to me to set up a Knowledge Hub group to help their project move along but so far it’s only ever been one or two people in a project group coming forward and so my task is to convince the others in the group Knowledge Hub is the way to go (if indeed it is- if it isn’t I’m happy to tell people about alternative web based platforms.) There is inevitably someone in the group who says there is nothing wrong with the way they are working now- opening folders on a shared drive and using group emails- and want to know why they should have to use something new. It’s a fair point I suppose. Working inefficiently is second nature to some of our colleagues and being stuck in habits means the idea of learning to use a new tool seems time consuming and unnecessary. And who do I think I am coming and telling people they’re working inefficiently anyway? Well, using the Knowledge Hub can save time and money. Here’s how:

- Eliminates the need to send piecemeal group emails meaning information doesn't get lost and people are not spending time finding emails to pass on. And is it even the most up to date email about the topic?

- All information is available to everyone in the group at all times meaning all exchanges are transparent and inclusive. It also services staff over various geographical and departmental areas. A shared drive is great until you find out half your group can’t access it because of their departmental restrictions.

- Users will have some ownership of the group which will make sharing experience, ideas and issues easier. Being at the recieving end of a barrage of emails doesn’t really instill a sense of collaboration or enthusiasm.

- Eliminates the need to create or buy storage space on a common drive- which not all users may have access to anyway.

- Makes it possible for members to access the group from anywhere. This is useful for mobile workers, shift workers, home workers, the gal wanting to check in on the bus on her way in to work, the guy who stores his meeting agendas in his Knowledge Hub group...and on and on.

- The platform is safe, secure and accessible by all staff and it is free to use. IL2 secure and not blocked by your IT security. Ticks many boxes.
- Need your email fix? Daily email alerts from your group means there is no additional work needed to access the group- users simply follow a link in an email to see the most current activity from the group.

- Reduces/eliminates the need for frequent face to face meetings cutting down on travel costs, meeting costs and the disruption that meetings bring to every day work.

- Helps take you to the 21st century. People who don’t start looking into working online now will have a sore catching up job to take on soon.

If anyone in Scotland would like some support in getting colleagues on the Knowledge Hub to work and share just get in touch with me.

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Liz Copeland 9 Years Ago
Thanks for this Leah. You highlight here the very reason I was keen to start working in this way from the beginning back in 2006 when communities of practice first started. I used to get all sorts of email enquiries from all sorts of people asking very similar questions about what kind of things other people were doing. The opportunity to share that good practice with a wider group of people from the very start by asking the group to share and provide practical solutions to problems was fantastic, as it saved me an awful lot of time in emailing round for answers and then passing on information. And of course, the group got all the knowledge first hand rather than having to wait for it to come through me. The great thing about taking this a step further in the Knowledge Hub is that if you want your group to remain restricted to a small number of people, that's fine. However, the access Knowledge Hub gives you to an even broader network of connections, views and information can help you plug into stuff that's happening outside your group that might be relevant too. Look out for the suggestions panels and the related content that appears on the right hand side of the page to get an idea of what else is going on. Likewise, if colleagues need help using Knowledge Hub, you can always get in touch with any of the Knowledge Hub Team and we'd also be happy to help.