Building Community and Improving Search

April 9, 2012

Christian Buckley at AIIM maintains that improving search is not just about improving the methods and the systems, but about improving the community.  He lays out his argument in, “Stop Complaining and Improve Your Search.”

As with any successful online or offline community, the SharePoint community continues to grow and evolve as the collective unconscious of its members grows and evolves. As new ideas and community members join, they add to the dialog and to the content of the community. In some cases, old ideas are purged, but in most cases they simply add to the perspectives and content already out there. This makes finding content and identifying expertise more difficult. The wrong thing is to say ‘we need to reduce the amount of content’ or ‘there are too many opinions here.’ Limit the sample size of your query, and you limit the quality of the results you will find.

A strong community does strengthen enterprise search solutions and options.  In fact, we would argue that the third-party solutions surrounding SharePoint have done more to improve SharePoint itself than perhaps any other factor.  Many of these add-ons can also stand alone, and all seek to increase the efficiency of the search and improve the user experience.

One that we particularly like is Fabasoft Mindbreeze, with its suite of complimentary and smart search solutions.  Mindbreeze has built quite a community around its products as well, with numerous customers trading ideas and success stories.  Additionally, Fabasoft Mindbreeze offers support through tutorials, wikis, phone assistance, and one-on-one training sessions.  You can use these tools to create your own local Mindbreeze community, increasing the effectiveness of this intuitive solution.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 9, 2012

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