Thursday, October 02, 2014

Community Health Index for Collaboration Software

The internet and social software have brought down the cost of organizing a group of people. Bringing people together who care about a cause or a topic does not cost any money anymore. You can do it for free in the public web using software such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Within organizations you can use software such as SAP Jam, Yammer, Jive and others

Within SAP, I was told that we create thousands of Jam groups every month. With the proliferation of such communities, it becomes harder and harder to separate the good communities from the mediocre ones. One of the ways collaboration tools could help users identify valuable communities is by creating a Community Health Index and prominently displaying that index in the front page of the community. The formula used to calculate the health index could be clearly explained so that everyone know what drives the index up.

Such an index also gives community managers a clear measurable goal to achieve. SAP Jam already has many clear indicators that show the value of a community. The number of members is a good indication of health. Number of total views are also a proxy for health. All these factors could be taken into account to calculate the index.
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