Think beyond the content
So you have to build out a list of items you want to be built upon, you build it in an xls spreadsheet, attach it in an email, and just about to hit enter to 5 recipients you want contributions from. Seems the natural way to go, right?
Before you hit Send, STOP, ask yourself some questions first:
- Should it be useful over the next months? Can I reuse the item in future?
- How is the process going to scale? Do I as the author also want to be the gatekeeper for including more contributors, version control?
- Would people feel motivated to contribute? What if I missed somebody, how would they feel to be included later?
If that still does not appear scary, then imagine the driver having to service his car himself at the pit stop - You get the idea?
- Notify (intended audience) about your content and get notified on any activity on it - No need for you to attach & email.
- Version. Everyone in the group can edit this single living doc enabling the true power of the crowd.
- Findability. The doc is never lost and can always be Searched and bookmarked.
- Availability. The doc can be moved to a different location whenever the need be and shared with a new audience.
- Social powered. If it is not sensitive data, you can enable your audience to share it with their social networks fuelling more feedback/traffic.
Does this approach look more like the what's going on in the picture?
You Bet! Because now you've not only built a document but also designed a process that answers your pain points, all in one step. Isn't that sweet?
Now you know better
Today, when you set out to write a piece of content, or ask a question, I want you to think, not only about your information, but the lifecycle you want your content to go through, Scalability, Users. Sure we keep using email conversations often as a reminder or a heads-up, but hardly to foster online collaboration.