On directories

I came across a particular photo on Flikr by chance. The photo is of a decrepit old telephone directory, entitled a call never made. The image got me thinking about whether or not paper-based directories had come to the end of their lives, overtaken by digital equivalents. I certainly don’t see telephone books in phone booths any more.

Well written directories are still useful. However, accuracy, convenience, reliability, and speed of information delivery favour digital and mobile technologies. Of course, directories still need to be updated and administered which explains why some organisations baulk at introducing a skills directory for their workplace.

Within an organisation, perhaps we need to reframe the information contained in traditional directories and make them easier to maintain and administer by having the individual take responsibility for the information, accuracy and its currency. And do you think they will do that with a boring long list of facts and figures? Or do you think a blog format might be more appealing? What are some great ideas to inspire user generated content for skills directories in organisations?

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