Is Social Impact worth rewarding?

Impact is one of those vague and nebulous terms that people throw out there, but which frequently means something different to everyone. However, when looking at social network analysis it’s a measurement that we could quite precisely define and mathematically measure. Let’s suggest that Social Impact is a measure of the impact someone has in driving a change in behavior in others as captured by the social network. For example; if my interactions with someone drives them to increase their use of the social network in general (not just their interactions with me and my content) or maybe the fact that I’ve directly (co-mentions) or indirectly (shared content) connected two people increases future connectivity between them and their teams, shouldn’t I be recognized and rewarded for such behaviors.

This question of putting a value on collaboration is something that is frequently raised, but in most cases there is very little done to recognize or value those people who keep the human network alive. A focus on valuing individual contribution often neglects collective contribution.

Our IBM Engagement Analytics solution can measure individual Engagement, Reputation, Influence, and Brokerage, but maybe we need to add a new score for Impact? This impact measure could give folks credit for moving their interactions into the social platform and for bringing others with them. It could  reward people for going that extra mile to share their insight, experience, contacts, or network. It could recognize those people who are the connectors, who introduce folks across divides to improve the depth, breadth, and ultimately efficacy of the corporate networks.

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