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Stepping up to topic-based info through SmartShare

Substrate is about collaboration and user participation around product information. But when established information producers look at Substrate, one of the key ideas is topic-based information production.

The step from producing documents to producing collections of topics, each corresponding to one question, can be quite daunting. Enter SmartShare.

The idea is to provide a lightweight tool for sharing information in work groups and on intranets. Initially, we expect it to be used mainly as a tool for sharing files. When you share a file through SmartShare, you can easily tag it and add some other metadata; access to shared files is through searching and faceting in a flat list, just like in the regular Substrate environment.

In fact, part of the point is that files shared through SmartShare are stored in Substrate as topics, and SmartShare users will also see Substrate-created topics appear and perhaps happen upon them when they search in SmartShare.

Thus, we expect to be able to support a heterogeneous production environment where most users stick with current information management practices and use SmartShare to coordinate sharing, but where some users make the transition to Substrate and become internal change agents for a more topic-based approach to collaborative information production.