Taking Chatter To The Next Level

I’m interested in organisations becoming more fluid. Chatter offers a way to do this. People’s “About Me” can be annotated so that a machine can extract relevant data and generate a multi-faceted org chart that automatically evolves.

It could show not just the org hierarchy, but who is working on what products, who shares the same pet projects and who has particular skills. It could have a visual, easy-to-navigate interface. Rather than just searching for “Java” and getting a list of people, you would be able to see that most of the people work for Metro and what their other skills are.

It could help people see what pet projects are popular.

Neo4J is a good fit for this: a database for social graphs with a built-in UI for visualising it. I can’t find a screenshot but here is something similar.

Every night, a daemon could crawl chatter (e.g. using HtmlUnit WebDriver), extract data and persist it to Neo4J. The out-of-the-box Neo4J UI should do the rest.

Here’s an example of the “About Me” annotations.

Blah blah blah
#petprojects: Personalisation, AB testing, API
#skills: java, web, agile
#products: Web, Personalisation

Blah double newline terminates list blah

#team: Dev
#boss: David Jensen
#role: Lead Developer
#foo: bar

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