When we describe workplace technologies as “social,” we imply that the creation of their content can be near-instantaneous and fluid.
The upside is that new contributions, often shared between those who might not work together or know each other, can make quickly for great leaps in new understanding and insight.
When material is created purely for social purposes, imposing order on it might be unimportant.
This, however, presents clear and obvious challenges when referencing or adding context to fluid and dynamic content intended to function as a source of learning.
We can also predict that without proper guidance, or checking, not all contributors will be as diligent about the consistency with which they tag, reference and index their own contributions.
Yet, effective indexing and search are really important to the learning experience by providing for continuity of thought, attention and understanding.
An index that clearly sets out the order and rationale for what is being documented establishes a starting point, against which context can be understood and purpose can be inferred.
Where doubt remains, it can then be checked.
As in the sidebar to the right, the menu of pieces in this series runs as follows: