Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr "I prefer to call people"
* For the less educated professionals in the Netherlands, English communication is still a barrier. It pays off to look for tools with a Dutch interface (like Ning, you can adjust the interface in many different languages).
* Some people get discouraged upfront by "technical hurdles" and a new way of working, change. If the login does not succeed right away, they see their view that online communication seems hard and difficult confirmed. Many web2.0 services have changing interfaces because they are in development...Hence, there is also some perseverance and experimental interest required from the participants. What can be helpful is to support the first steps from a distance so that people do not immediately frustrated. At the same time promoting an attitude of selfreliance and help them experience that they can figure it out without being disappointed and frustrated.
* Perhaps the way of working online, 'wikily' with a lot of information overload is not for everyone. As a participant at the end said: "It is not something for me, I prefer to call people. I only do it if I'm forced". It is therefore important to allow an array of ways of working and encourage people; not to force the use of a certain technology.
* I was already quite used to the fact that social networking and wikis are more popular in general than social bookmarking. But in this case several people got excited about social bookmarking (to my surprise!). It was exactly the application they needed to pass information between colleagues to about the topic of 'expertise'. This shows once again that it depends on personal preferences and work situation what tools strike a cord.
* In this case there was a chat module introduced at company level - organization-wide. People showed quite some resistance: 'we are not going to use it'. This shows how difficult it is at company level to purchase a package, install it and roll it out throughout the organisation. By offering a wider range of tools and linking the use of tools to practical issues some got eager to get started and explore pro-actively. People prefer to experiment and make a decision rather then be forced to use something introduced in a top-down manner.