It is a great myth that everyone has something to contribute. By definition a number of people in any organization will be lurkers, people who don’t actually contribute anything to the conversation. A certain number of people are the “well you should have done” or after the fact contributors. It begs the questions below about an information system:
- Who can contribute to the system?
- What can they contribute?
- What happens next?
The who of contribution of the contribution is important. First off the system should have a way to verify who contributes information. If we don’t know who is putting information into the system we can’t really determine the what of that contribution.
Driving to what people can contribute is important. The reality of information is that most people have something to say about virtually everything, but they are only authorities in small number of areas. Knowing who they are allows us to determine what they can contribute.
Finally the reality of information is also what happens next. Information published but never used shows a lack in one of two areas.
1. The information isn’t applicable
2. The information isn’t accessible
Applicability of information is a multi-faceted issue. The first component of the ability to apply the information is the relevance of the information