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Best Way to Share Information With a Group Online

You can share knowledge and information with a lot of people in this world, but that doesn’t mean they’re learning anything. The learning process requires structure. Today I want to talk about the best ways to share knowledge with a group online in an educational sense.

1. Define your communication “stack”

Something we often do as a technology business is think about our “technology stack”; these are all the different softwares and products we use to build something.One example is a “front end stack” made up of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

When it comes to thinking about sharing information, you can use the same method. For example, splitting communication into online and offline channels:

Ways to communicate online in a company

  • Instant messaging (e.g. Slack) – for quick communication
  • Email – for official notices
  • Company wiki – for shared knowledge
  • Google docs – for information sharing
  • Yammer – for “water cooler” chat

Ways to communicate offline in a company

  • Daily standups
  • Weekly team meetings
  • Monthly all-company meetings
  • Quarterly all hands meetings
  • Annual company retreats

2. Determine transparency

When it comes to sharing information, transparency is incredibly important; it’s one of the foundation stones of employee engagement. In some startups like Buffer, everything from company salaries to equity and even company revenue is shared transparently on a series of dashboards. Whether you’re that transparent, completely private or somewhere in between, it’ll have an effect on how you share information.

At ScreenCloud we like to have a flat hierarchy of communication wherever possible. This means that most of our communication happens in Slack. Messages are categorized in different channels (#HR, for example), and important messagings can be pinned to the top of these channels. These channels can also be made public or private, and individuals can be notified of messages by tagging them. 

3. Information to share vs information to capture

The instant nature tools like Slack, Yammer and Skype invite you to decide what information you want to share and what you need to capture.

Here’s an example: you may Whatsapp your thoughts on a presentation to a colleague on your way to the office. Is this information just to share or information that needs to be captured?

Helping to build a culture and structure for managing knowledge is an important part of sharing information more effectively.

4. New-age methods of sharing information

Depending on the age and experience of your team, some will have been born into an era where information sharing was firmly entrenched in email.

Now it’s much more common to receive a company memo by message. It’s instantaneous, more likely to be seen and gets the information to where it needs to be more quickly. At the same time, that information becomes siloed to just the sender and recipient. It’s not even on “digital company property”.  But what about if that message were an important presentation, or some key figures?

Working out how new methods of information sharing fit with your organization, and your team, is key to deciding what you share and where.

5. Share where employees already are

Which leads us nicely onto thinking about sharing information where your employees already are. One of our customers – 3M – has employees in more than 150 locations. We asked them why they use digital signage to communicate to staff:

“At 3M we have lots of updates happening internally all of the time and it’s very difficult for us to conduct a meeting every time to announce something. We might send an email with information but our scientists already have hundreds of emails in their inbox. Our idea was to find a system where we could publish a message and everyone at the same time would see that message across three office locations.”

Finding gaps where your employees are already and using them to communicate is a great way to share information more holistically.

6. Tell people how to communicate

Everyone knows how to communicate, but not everyone knows how to communicate effectively.

Human Made is a development agency that creates Wordpress websites. In their handbook they have an entire section dedicated to “Communication”.

This covers areas such as:

  • The importance of meeting up in person
  • How much information an employee needs to “keep up with” (clue: only those things important to their specific role)
  • How to share information through a variety of channels like Slack, email and P2 (a micro-blogging system)

This is a great way to set up expectations early and help everyone understand exactly what is expected of them when it comes to communication.

7. Foster two-way dialogue

Most modern companies know that sharing information isn’t solely a company-to-employee interaction. Two-way dialogue and increasing the feedback loop is essential to sharing and understanding information.

Image source

Feedback loops, like the example shown above, foster authentic communication and lead to a positive relationship where everyone feels heard and responded to.

8. Look for blind spots

If you have a hybrid, remote or deskless team, there will be “blind spots” around how and where information is shared. For example, if an employee misses a meeting how will they gain access to what was shared? Or, how will you share important announcements to deskless workers?

Having a process for documenting, recording and sharing missed information and making this accessible to all employees is a good way to circumvent blind spots. For example, each month when we hold our monthly All Hands we record the session and share it via tools like Wistia, Loom or Crowdcast so that employees can catch up. This is especially useful for offices based in different time zones.

9. Give the power to employees

Some employees will thrive on being asked to document their knowledge and company processes. It’s a fact. Bringing in specific “information evangelists” from your company can help keep internal Wikis, documents and user bases up to date without being a huge strain on resources.

Think about reddit: a community where information and ideas are shared in the form of “threads” with millions of new messages arising each day. Most of reddit’s moderation is done by users, or “moderators” as they’re named. This ensures that reddit doesn’t need to employ hundreds of staff members to sift through comments. Instead, they hand over the reins to people who are experts in those subjects, for example having a science graduate to moderate the r/science thread.

Employees are often best placed to moderate and look after the sections of information they know best, so why not let them?

10. Measure success

When it comes to sharing information, it’s a good idea to measure how successful your methods are. This could be running an employee survey to locate information gaps, blocks and bind spots. It could also be finding out where information isn’t being shared and the causes. 

If you use a web-based wiki or knowledge system you could even use analytics to see the most clicked on or searched terms, plus a voting system for employees to feedback how useful they find the information. This is something you’d often employ for a customer information base, so why not use the same for your internal knowledge?

Effective Ways to Share Information and Collaborate with Clients and Colleagues

By Smith Big -April 29, 20176609


Collaboration is an integral part of modern business. We live and work in an increasingly connected world, so it stands to reason that we want quick and easy ways to share information with colleagues and clients. Whereas our predecessors would have posted files and documents, we are more accustomed to sharing information via digital platforms.

Sharing is crucial. The sharing of knowledge enables everyone within an organization to remain in sync with the latest developments. After all, it’s not helpful if one department is acting in isolation to the rest of the business, as is often the case within public sector organizations. However, it is essential that you create the right platform for sharing information.

Whatever method you use to share data and collaborate on shared documents, it needs to be easy to use. Always aim for the lowest common denominator, or you will run into problems with employees who struggle to grasp the basics or who can’t log-in to a shared interface. This is especially true when sharing information with clients who are not familiar with your business processes and systems.


DropBox and other cloud storage services are very useful for small businesses. Anyone can open a DropBox and as long as you don’t need a huge amount of storage, it’s free. The beauty of DropBox is that you can share folders with colleagues and clients, which allows you to pass documents between two or more people. Any updates you make to a document in a shared folder is synchronized in the other person’s folder when their device is connected to the internet. DropBox is accessible from any internet enabled device, so you can upload documents or access files from anywhere.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a useful way to collaborate on shared spreadsheets and other documents. Changes to shared documents are tracked, so you can see who has made what changes. All changes are saved in real-time. The only downside is that you need to be online if you want to work on shared documents.


A shared newsfeed is useful if you want your employees to share documents, images, and news articles. Anyone can upload a link or document for others to read, which creates a permanent feed of interesting and useful content.

Secure Data Room

There may be times when you want to share confidential documents with a client or other colleagues. A virtual data room is an ideal solution. One party sets up the virtual data room and then grants access to other individuals. Secure data rooms are typically used for sharing sensitive financial or legal data, corporate documents, and HR files.


If you need to collaborate in real-time, VoIP services like Skype are invaluable. Make a call to a colleague or client and invite others to join in the conversation. You can even use video chat if you prefer to see the people you are talking to.

Consider using a combination of all of the above for maximum effectiveness.


Workgroups or Meetings are an everyday occurrence for many of us. Few of us actually enjoy the experience, but it’s something you just have to deal with in order to get the work done. Meetings might be necessary for communication between different departments within a company or to share information with a group online. Since there’s so many different people involved in these, they also require communication between different platforms, using various communication apps and tools. This can become very time-consuming since they would all need to sign up for every app and platform involved

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