Why knowledge search is broken, and how to fix it

Illustration of a man fixing a search bar with tools

An employee asks “Where is the latest NDA?” Or “How do I set up a Python virtual environment on my office desktop? Or “What’s our favorite bakery for birthdays?”

You used to know all of the answers to those questions. And it was easy for other people to ask you for answers because everyone sat together in the same small office. But now your company has swelled to two hundred, expanded across the country. Today, you wish you had a penny for every time you’ve sent out the link to the travel reimbursement form.

So you decide it’s time to create a system that helps you share the company’s evolving internal knowledge—event calendars, legal documents, IT FAQs, org charts, HR policies, etc.—so that the employees who work in those domains aren’t constantly interrupted by questions.

If you’re thinking about using Slack as a help desk, you need Spoke.

Illustration of support team member sitting at a Slack-styled desk

If your company uses Slack for most of its internal communications, switching to a separate ticketing system to raise a request with your help desk is cumbersome. Even if your internal support teams don’t mind switching back and forth, the people they support probably do.

There’s an easier way. Using Slack as a help desk—with Spoke’s help—lets your coworkers raise support tickets without ever leaving their preferred communication tool. Spoke removes the overhead of managing two separate systems, lets you build a searchable knowledge base, and even answers questions for you automatically.

Starter Kit, Survival Guide: The people side of being the first IT hire

Being the first and/or only IT support technician at your company is hard for many reasons—from defining systems architecture to working within a tight budget. But some of those reasons have nothing to do with the tech. Instead, they have everything to do with the people. This guide will teach you how to form positive and collaborative working relationships with your coworkers, leaders, employees—and even other support professionals—as an early IT hire. You’ll learn how to:

  • connect with company leaders,
  • build positive relationships with the people you support,
  • get tips and support from external IT communities,
  • hire the right people, and
  • become an effective leader.

Marie Kondo your knowledge

A few years ago, a petite Japanese woman named Marie Kondo took YouTube by storm by evangelizing the concept that we should only hang on to items that “spark joy.” By letting go of old things that no longer spark joy, we can “live a life filled only with the items we truly cherish.” All of a sudden, my friends were hoarding shoe boxes and purging their lives of objects that no longer sparked joy. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” appeared on countless coffee tables and bookshelves and the entire movement was both beguiling and liberating.

Marie in one of her in-home visits, tackling one clutter at a time.

Marie in one of her in-home visits, tackling one clutter at a time.

The issues with traditional ticketing systems

Frustrated person holding a long ticket form

Ticketing systems solve your support teams’ biggest problems… right? After all, they claim to be better than email support, to automate workflows, and to make your team more productive.

But when it comes to delivering on these promises, most traditional systems fall short. In this post, I’ll take a look at a few of the reasons why and how those problems have inspired what we’re doing here at Spoke.

New in Spoke: Turn any Slack message into a request

One of the most magical things about Spoke is how easy it is to use alongside tools like Slack. People love the convenience of making requests directly by DM’ing Spoke, or @mentioning Spoke in a channel. But let’s be honest: some people continue to throw their question in #general or DM you directly, where it risks becoming lost in the fray. And nobody likes nagging others to file support requests.

Knowledge Management 2.0.: Using AI to Knock Down Silos and Unlock Productivity

Half of our modern economy is built on knowledge workers and knowledge-based work.

But “knowledge management” as a concept carries a lot of baggage. When people in companies bother to think of it at all, it brings to mind menial, thankless tasks like updating the company wiki.

And, wow. What a disservice that perception does to a company’s opportunities for success.

Employee Onboarding Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

Every company wants the best possible talent.

They build elaborate and expensive recruitment strategies. They invest in lavish perks and benefits to attract and then keep people around.

But many companies seem to overlook linchpin that can bridge the promises of recruitment to the likelihood of high employee engagement and retention—employee onboarding.

No One’s Using Your Google Drive Knowledge Base? Read This.

Here at Spoke, we’ve spoken to people at many, many companies who at some point decided to use Google Drive as a knowledge base.

And from almost every one of those people, we’ve heard almost the exact same thing:

“We spent a lot of time creating and organizing documents in Google Drive so people could help themselves to useful information, but nobody uses it!

21 Ways AI Is Transforming the Workplace in 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a boon to modern workforces.

AI can handle mundane and repetitive tasks across the organization, freeing up people in HR, IT, marketing, and more to exercise creativity, solve complex problems, and otherwise focus on getting impactful work done.