The goal of the Beehive service was to aid corporate users with various people-related challenges in an enterprise, categorized as relationship building and people-sensemaking challenges. Relationship-building challenges include new employees who struggle with making connections that are important for their current project and professional growth, remote workers who have difficulties with team building and staying in touch with their team members, or employees moving on to new assignments who are not easily able to stay touch with former colleges. People-sensemaking includes the difficulties of discovering people with the right skills and common interests, or learning more about someone personally as well as professionally to facilitate making contact, or getting to know about ongoing projects and activities beyond one's immediate team.
In contrast to existing person-centric profile pages with the IBM intranet (W3), such as BluePages (the IBM staff directory and expertise location application) and Fringe, Beehive provides rich, customizable profiles that users control, which gives them control over how they are represented inside the enterprise, giving them a means for reputation management. People-sensemaking in the Beehive profile is not only supported by how people describe themselves but also through the content they create, the connections they make, and the people with whom they communicate.
Beehive supports three different content types: events, lists, and photos. Events provide an online place to coordinate before and reminisce after a shared face-to-face experience. They support the sharing of comments, information, and pictures surrounding an event, resulting in a more permanent and meaningful connection between the participants. Examples of events include team lunches, seminars, and conferences. Lists (called hive fives in Beehive-land) provide an informal, semi-structured way of expressing ordered likes or dislikes. Examples of lists include "My favorite programming languages" and "Top BCG Bloggers." Not only do lists provide valuable business-related content, but they also stimulate social interaction through controversy. In Beehive, users can reuse lists and create their own lists from existing lists. Photo sharing provides rich representations of shared experiences such as events, and they are visual memories that connect people socially.
Creating a buzz
Communication between users in Beehive is provided through comments on any content type and on the profile pages of Beehive users. Each profile has a section called "the buzz" through which Beehive users can leave comments. The buzz also includes actions related to the profile owner giving visitors a more complete picture of what is happening with this person in Beehive.
Beehive takes the social aspects of Lotus Connections networking tools (blogging, social bookmarking, and profiles) to a more extreme level, with free-form profile content and photo sharing, so that the impact of these features can be more fully understood. The Beehive team’s discoveries about user adoption, usage, and motivation are informing the future directions of the Connections product platform.
For more information
For more information about Beehive, go to the IBM Watson Research Center.