In some of my previous posts (the LegalComplex Library and it’s precursor post) I looked at the analysis of the current and future environment of knowledge workers. The challenge many knowledge professional face is that they have a multi-verse of applications and solutions to do research tasks in sequence and within one workflow.
Example: How can one capture web content, annotate, save, organize it for easy retrieval, and share it while preserving context and within this process also be rewarded with a pleasant experience and the ability to showcase your work and expertise? This would ultimately benefit the user through recognition and perhaps more profitable assignments.
Let’s run through this: You’ve discovered an important argument for a copyright case on the web while browsing. You now want to save, annotate, and share it. A browser’s core function is singular in the sense that its main focus is rendering web content. The save, annotate, and share parts are just add-ons.
So one will have to just copy and paste the content and hyperlink (! must not forget) to a word processor. Depending on your tool of choice, you will either have a canon or water pistol in your hands to do the basic saving and annotating. You head over to your email client, hunt down your work via the ‘attach file’ dialog box and send it. It’s now gone and only you and your recipients know what has transpired.
So far we ran through 3 applications (Browser, Word, Email) and I haven’t counted the retrieval part yet. Depending on your set-up you are faced with having these 3 add-on features (Browser History, File Search or Email Search) to do the retention/retrieval or have a fourth application to tie it together.
Some tools might even add a layer of knowledge management but this is most often an afterthought. You could use something like Apple’s Reading List, however, you would still be faced with figuring out the initial integration with your other solutions.
Most of these applications will not have the goal to help you promote, showcase or profile your work. As indicated in this post on The Next Web (“In Social Media: Doctors, Lawyers, and Financiers, oh my!), ’chances are, when you think “open,” “social,” and “sharing,” your doctor, lawyer, and financial person are probably not at the top of your list…But doctors, lawyers, and financiers are people too.
The above link and this article delve into a paradigm of these heavy regulated industries and why being social is so difficult because of compliance or policy. On our own Solutions, Blog Cathy Betz talked about it here and here for the Drug Industry and Leanne Summers also made a passionate plea for sharing with colleagues.
The sheer number of users on Facebook (700+ mln), Twitter (300+mln) and Google+ , reportedly the fastest growing in history, make the case: it isn’t about traffic, searches, or page views anymore, it’s about users and sharing.
“Social Business” is not about technology, or about “corporate culture.” It is a sociopolitical historical shift that is bigger, broader and much more fascinating.” (Social Business Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does, Neither Does Enterprise 2.0)
To sum it up, the core activities to be tied together and simplified are:
- Discover (Search, Read, Browse)
- Organize (Save, Annotate, Group)
Copy/pasting, multitasking and app switching has become so ingrained in our daily workflows that we have grown accustomed to it. We tend to forget the frustration and tediousness until we have to do it on a 3.5-inch screen with no keyboard.
So Zepp is first and foremost an acknowledgment that these four essential research activities for any knowledge professional can and must be simplified and…pleasant. The video below demonstrates how Zepp would look like…plus a sneak peek at what’s next, Enjoy!