Twitter classically asks, "What's happening?" when it gives you the new tweet window. (It used to ask "What are you doing?") Other status-update services ask variations on this seeder question too. Facebook asks, "What's on your mind?" Yammer uses, "What are you working on?" to compliment its enterprise focus.
But what about questions to help inspire more collaboration amongst colleagues? Nick Milton suggests that the Yammer question isn't the only one - or even a good one for knowledge management and collaboration. He has a few suggestions, and here are some others that come to mind:
- What help can you offer today?
- What will help you deliver faster?
- What can you do to help your colleagues deliver?
- What question is bothering you today?
- What success are you planning today?
Rather than having just one question that people end up ignoring, maybe a rotating set of questions could inspire different responses from people. (Hrmm, I wonder if anyone has done A/B testing along these lines?)
Of course, expecting only substantive responses within an internal microblogging service isn't realistic either. You have to expect the odd complaint or comments about the world outside of business too (sporting events being a big one). The company perspective on these entries will be telling about the longevity of such services - or the opportunity for these seeder questions to create anything that looks like collaboration.