If we deliver the right information to the right people in the right way, it will help us meet our goals
From: Bob Boiko: ”Laughing at the CIO”

New apps are constantly being developed, social media presence seems ever-increasing, video streaming is on the up and the list goes on. New possibilities, products and channels are constantly emerging and are at the disposal of all digital professionals. Management urges you to launch a Facebook-page for your organisation, because “everyone else does it” without formulating a single strategic sentence like the above by Bob Boiko.

At the same time there are numerous tasks relating to daily maintenance of existing systems, updates, applications, routines and content that most often don’t get the attention they need. There simply isn’t enough time to focus on existing solutions and consequently, quality suffers.

Digital productivity is declining and the time has come to consider productivity ahead of the next big thing.

2011: Another unproductive year?

Many a digital editor undoubtedly feels that the online or intranet presence could be much better. We hear this frustration regularly in the J. Boye groups, where members share their pain from working with clunky content management systems where it takes hours to get simple content online.

It will never be perfect, but the quality could and should be improved. Especially when you consider the amount of resources originally put into these digital channels.

The focus has shifted dramatically from a balance between maintenance and development towards development only. The bias is growing and something probably needs to happen.

From a customer perspective, the lacking sense of semantics combined with an ever-growing list of content and content types is one of the fundamental unsolved problems that leads to frustration, stress and an unproductive workday.

Can the semantic web help improve productivity?

Enabling computers to understand the “meaning” of digital information and help the user solve tasks or find information easier is the main idea behind the semantic web.

If you look at its potential, semantic web is clearly still in its infancy. But it holds the promise to substantially improve digital productivity and how we use and benefit from our online skills. It can also help lift the overall quality of the existing content, e.g. by automatically extracting metadata, offering better search and relevant linking.

But don’t be fooled. Semantic web cannot solve the challenge of the ever-growing amount of web content, but it can structure and even manage part of the content in a more meaningful way.

To quote Stéphane Croisier on the IKS Workshop in Paris this week: “Don’t do everything for everyone, but something for someone“. In other words, look at the most obvious problems with digital productivity e.g. lack of data quality and ask how semantic technology can alleviate it.

Do you think the semantic web has elements of the solution toward increased digital productivity?

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