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Harvesting knowledge from computer mediated social networks

Oluwafemi S. Ogunseye (Department of Computer Science, University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Philip K. Adetiloye (Department of Computer Science, University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Samuel O. Idowu (Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)
Olusegun Folorunso (Department of Computer Science, University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Adio T. Akinwale (Department of Computer Science, University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Abeokuta, Nigeria)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




This paper aims to focus on how the advantages of computer mediated social networks (CMSN) can be effectively harnessed to create value for organizations in the form of ready knowledge and quick solutions to problems.


A knowledge capture technique – the Delphi technique – was fused into the social networking process. A model was designed to help show how this can be achieved and further illustrated through a case study of the dotCSC intranet portal – a social networking project conceptualized and designed by the authors for the Department of Computer Science, in the authors' university. An online survey was carried out to determine the efficacy of the prototype dotCSC.


The results show that, though computer mediated social networks are regarded as major sources of social capital development and potential sources of knowledge capital, there is still room for improvement in their present design if they are to be effectively used for knowledge creation and management attaining their optimum potential. Conversely, the bad spells and pitfalls of KM acceptance and deployment in organizations tend to be reduced when it is amalgamated with SN. The survey conducted showed that the users of the dotCSC enjoyed using the prototype as they would any other CMSN and that the strategies employed in the development of the dotCSC was effective in problem solving, knowledge creation, capturing, and indeed, management.

Research limitations/implications

This improvement strategy is by no means exhaustive of the creative ways that knowledge capturing and management concepts can be combined and applied in the actual design of CMSNs for the benefit of organizations. It is meant to be an eye opener, a clarion call to developers and IS managers. It will also serve as a starting point into the future of objective KM oriented CMSN. Possible response bias from some respondents can be considered a primary limitation of the research.


Looking through existing documentation and literature would show that this research presents a novel approach/model in the design of CMSNs. It is able to aid knowledge generation or synthesis in organizations by objectively structuring staff conversations through the CMSNs to facilitate knowledge management. It can also help organizations leverage the success and appeal of CMSN in their design of KMSs.



Ogunseye, O.S., Adetiloye, P.K., Idowu, S.O., Folorunso, O. and Akinwale, A.T. (2011), "Harvesting knowledge from computer mediated social networks", VINE, Vol. 41 No. 3, pp. 252-264.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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