6 Oct 2006

Why People Don't Use Collaborative Tools

Dave Pollard on the motivation of using or not using social networking tools. It's a wide range of issues, less on the characteristics of the tool itself than on the motivation users plus the ease of use:

  • Most people are still unfamiliar with the tools (...).
  • Many of these tools are unintuitive and hence not easy to learn to use.
  • The way you have to use these tools is not the way most people converse and collaborate, i.e. they're awkward.
  • Most people have poor listening, communication and collaboration skills, and these tools don't solve (and can exacerbate) this underlying problem of ineffective interpersonal skills.
  • The training materials for these tools don't match the way most of us learn and discover (i.e. by doing, by watching others, and iteratively by trial and error).
  • Often the people we most want to converse or collaborate with aren't online.
  • Often we don't even know who the right people are to converse or collaborate with, so we need to go through a process of discovering who those people are first, which these tools cannot yet effectively help us with; once we've discovered who the right people are, we're likely already talking with them using the ubiquitous tools in the left column above.

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