“Neuroeconomist Paul Zak has discovered, for the first time, that social networking triggers the release of the generosity-trust chemical in our brains.
The essence of affection. The cuddle chemical. In other words, oxytocin. If these changes apply in the world of social media, the implications for business — for every brand, company, and marketer trying to understand the now intimately networked world — could be significant.”
So, how much oxytocin are you putting into your user guides?
At the Documentation Managers peer group meeting we hosted earlier this week, one manager commented his organisation was aiming to increase the average time for each support call. This was because it believed it could eliminate all the short duration calls – through redesigning the software and better user documentation. What would be left would be the more complex problems that take longer to solve.
Having worked on a support line when I left college, I can appreciate the benefits of this approach. There’s nothing worse than spending your time repeating the same solution over and over again. So a consequence may be that they’ll also see a reduction in support staff turnover.
Allied to this approach may also be the adoption of micro-blogging communication channels. Yesterday, Yammer announced it will be launching its Communities feature on 1st March. This means organisations will be able to create their own private network channel to communicate with its customers and partners.
Visualisation Magazine has created a diagram showing how you can use Web 2.0 tools to increase the number of readers of your content – “building an online presence”. It shows the extent to which content can be republished today, through free sites, Web feeds and embedded content. It also shows how you can monitor and receive statistical information on its progress.
So why keep your content tucked away in a Help file, when it can be republished in some many other places as well?
At a rough guess, there no more than 20 UK technical authors using Twitter on a regular basis. Given the Social Web is going to play an increasing role in User Assistance and Customer Support, that’s a surprise.
What’s stopping them, I wonder?
It may be they don’t understand how to use Twitter, they might not have the time or they may not be convinced of the value of using Twitter. As I said, it’s a surprise.
Originally delivered as a presentation for the prestigious User Assistance Europe Conference 2009, it has been extended and converted into a training course, containing videos and demonstrations of software applications, to help it all make sense.
You also get access to the full 37 minute, transatlantic video interview we recently conducted with Anne Gentle, author of “Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation”, where we talked about The Social Web for Documentation.