Collaboration Sprawl

Have you been using Box, Dropbox, Evernote or SugarSync?

These mobility software leaders are but a few of the companies that have changed the way that the modern information professional is creating and using content. ¬†Whether your a power user or your just getting started with these tools, its important to understand some basic principles that will help you maintain some control or ‘governance’ over your collaboration space(s).

Simple guidelines to consider:

Folder, Project, File Names: You need to follow some structure for your metadata, that includes what you name your folders, files, notes and project spaces. As you start to use these tools on an everyday basis your volume of content and searchable metadata will grow. Be consistent and follow a pattern that allows you to differentiate content items that are stored in various folders and apps

Sharing: Be deliberate when you share content with others. When you aren’t cautious you can very easily share files with the wrong audience. The reason is the tools are so simple to use. Most of us are busy and when your multitasking you may miss the finer details of what content your sharing on which tool and with whom.

Commenting: Activity streams and content are everywhere, its on demand and instant. This is a major key to its success but it can also be a major bummer when you comment on a file stored in the wrong location or tool. The downside is your comment gets shared with an unintended audience.

If you follow some structure then this should help you quickly determine the space(s) in which you are working. If your deliberate about who and what you share, you will avoid leaking content to unauthorized people. If you are careful about when and where you post a comment, you can avoid an embarrassing situation like the ones posted in this Forbes Article.

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