I held this little personal and authentic speech as intro to a presentation.
When I was a boy back in the 70ies, I loved to watch US TV crime series. Like “Kojak”. Every time a murder occurred and the investigation got stuck, Kojak would say: „We’ve got to ask the computer!“. They would go into a computer room and would type in some clues of the crime like: brown hair, blue eyes, bullet between the eyes.
Magnetic tapes in racks would spin back and forth and after a while, the printer would start to rattle and print five or so names of suspects. Three of them would already have been in jail and one would be dead. Kojak would tear the paper out of the printer — he knew what to do next …
Of course, I was very impressed by the computers. One night I asked my mother, „How did the computer know?“ To my disappointment, she told me that computers didn’t know anything at all; they had to be fed with information first. Her response bothered me. „How stupid can this be? I have to tell it the answers before I can ask for them?“ My interest in computers vanished for a while.
In the 80ies, I bought some home computers including an Apple II and studied computer sciences. On my first assignment, I worked with PDP 11’s and VAXes. Ever since, I have been looking for a computer that would give me answers I did not have to enter in advance.
I know what some of you are saying right now: „That guy was looking for Google!“, or: „He is talking about the IBM Watson!“ But no. I finally found my grail in social networking and collaboration. It gives me answers to questions like „Who is a recognized expert in topic X?“ / „Where can I find information on topic Y that was also helpful for colleagues?
For methods that motivate users to contribute information and qualify it as a group, social collaboration is imperative. Social networking and collaboration offer techniques which have been proven on the internet and are absolutely integral requirements for companies today.
Using these facilitating networks gives the result as more than the individual pieces of information entered by each user.
— After the presentation i said:
If your boss ever gets murdered, Kojak might come over and check your Connections.