Friday, February 29, 2008

Eight Essential Components for Wiki Adoption

Earlier this week, Andrew McAfee and Dan Tapscott presented some of the key elements to adapting a wiki in the enterprise. Thy were summed up on this post at Wiki Patterns.

1. Tools are intuitive and easy to use – these are tools that are easy to use, this should be understood by the employees.
2. Tools are egalitarian and freeform – these tools are free to use and an outlet for work.
3. Borders seem appropriate to users – people will naturally understand the content that needs to be shared on the site, so the wealth of relevant information will be huge.
4. Patient and dedicated evangelists exist -- Experts are out there to help you easily
adapt your wiki.
5. Effort has official and unofficial support from the top – Senior management will show their consideration by funding and understanding. Also, when they start contributing to the wiki.
6. Slack exists in the workweek -- Allow this time during the week for your employees to contribute to your wiki.
7. Top management accepts lateralization – Pure public content is being created by everyone, and it’s not edited first. It’s pure, whole valuable information being put out there for all your employees to gain a better understanding of work processes in your company.
8. There are lots of young people – This generation knows how to use the technology provided by the new age of internet and they won’t be afraid to use it. They’ll fully adopt the idea of the corporate wiki.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Move over SharePoint, Google’s got a challenge

The New York Times posted a blog today about Google’s latest venture. It was announced yesterday that Google has unveiled their own version of Enterprise 2.0 software. With the announcement of Google Sites, Google has unveiled a tool that incorporates email, calendars, excels, documents and presentation software. What should Microsoft be the most worried about? It can be free of charge. And who is the brains behind this project? Joe Kraus, who was behind the website Excite which experienced its peak a few years ago, is the developer of this software.

The problem that Google might face when it comes to the technologies is that the information stored within the program is not on companies personal servers. The software also has limitations and is not as precise as SharePoint, but, since the application is free, many companies can overlook that.

I think Google is targeting little businesses. Huge corporations can afford that millions and millions of dollars it costs to finance Microsoft products. They probably already have SharePoint and are using the product effectively. However, for the millions of start ups and tiny companies that cannot pay the fees associated with keeping the Microsoft Suite up to date, this is a decent alternative. I think these programs will grow slowing into a developing marketplace.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Enterprise Social Networking Goes Mobile

Tailored applications of Myspace and Facebook has been available on mobile phones like the iPhone, Blackberry, and Treo for months, but LinkedIn was still missing from the picture. The latest article on eWeek announces the launch of LinkedIn Mobile apps that is now available for the iPhone; versions for the Treo and Blackberry will soon follow.

What took LinkedIn so long to tap into mobile networking? Clearly, the majority of business executives live with their smartphones, and yet the social networking site tailored to the enterprise trailed Myspace and Facebook in the race to create mobile versions. The iPhone can no longer be considered a consumer gadget, but an enterprise mobile device. It’s making collaboration that much easier within organizations again…

There are a few things that come to mind when thinking about what is next for the enterprise in regards to mobile devices:

  1. How long will it take for other enterprise apps to join the bandwagon and create tailored mobile versions?
  2. How will this affect the usage of enterprise apps in the corporate office as more and more enterprise apps go mobile?

Access to information has been made that much simpler while on the go. This is an exciting time for enterprise 2.0…

Monday, February 25, 2008

Need a new personal assistant?

There’s a new Web 2.0 tool that can now effectively help you get rid of all the clutter you have sitting around your desk. Remindo is a web 2.0 tool that can essentially become your personal assistant. It includes a variety of tools that will help you organize your work day.

The front page, which is called the work page, is customizable. You can change the layout to include whatever you want. Widgets are available; news feeds can be imported as well as other tools to help you organize your day.

The address book is kept up to date automatically, and you can also sort your contacts into groups and further organize it. The third tool the website mentions is messaging service. The mail service alleviates spam while also allowing you to send mail to however many people you choose at one time.

Check out Remindo’s blog here. Is this a tool you will use in the future? And if you’re already using it, let us know that you think about it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mobile Web 2.0 for the Enterprise

Nowadays it’s hard to turn off your blackberry for a split second, even while eating dinner with the family. This tells us that blackberries and mobile devices have become a popular commodity amongst business individuals. As enterprise executives spend less and less time in the office, how will Web 2.0 applications adapt to this? The latest post on the Open Gardens blog touches on the process of implementing Web 2.0 features on mobile devices.

According to Ajit Jaokar, Mobile Web 2.0 means “harnessing collective intelligence through restricted devices.” How does Web 2.0 work though? It works sort of like an iPod...You retrieve data from your mobile device through a web backbone, configuring the service through a PC. I think this diagram just about sums it up…

Mobile users are capable of retrieving simple data now, but when will executives be able to view the latest presentation on YouTube or Flickr accounts from their blackberries. We are still a long way from where we want to be in terms of mobile Web 2.0, but we are slowly getting there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The IMing Revolution

At, they wrote a recent post on instant messengers and their needed collaboration to stay in the game. Ten years ago, everyone used AIM. Over the years, a few more programs came along such as MSN, Yahoo and Google. The one problem most people have with the networks is that they can’t be combined. They all do the same thing, but no crossing of the networks. The reason for this is that originally each networked used a proprietary network that was closed.

So when Google came along, they started using Jabber, which is now the open protocol of XMPP. So this has motivated the networks to start banding together. Last month, Google Chat opened its doors and now collaborates with AIM. So, Yahoo, which is feeling pressure from many directions, is left standing and needs to join somewhere or it’ll get left behind.

Is all of this important for the enterprise? Communication is the key to making enterprise 2.0 works. So what if a company’s branch in Chicago uses AIM and the branch in Miami is using Yahoo? Well, there is potential that shows communication can soon be coming. It’s important that all of these software programs perform together, because as we’ve seen many times in the digital world, if you don’t keep up, it’s only a matter of months and you’re not in business anymore. Do you use the tools in a corporate setting? What’s your take on this?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Big Chess Game: Microsoft and Yahoo

Yesterday, word came out that Yahoo went to the Securities and Exchange Commission and negotiated a severance package for all it’s employees who have a paid salary. The deal will be taken to the share holders, and then it will be voted on whether they want to cede to Microsoft. Since Yahoo is incorporated in Delaware, there are some laws that play into this. Yahoo legally cannot interfere with a vote by it’s share holders when they decide if they want to go to Microsoft.

The Deal Book at the New York Times lists several ways Yahoo can opt out of this situation, none of which are very easy.

1. Fight it out in a proxy contest – Yahoo can state that Microsoft is undervaluing it and aren’t willing to pay enough for it to sell. This would be very entertaining because the two companies would end up appealing to consumers by running a national ad war along with mass mailings to the share holders.
2. Severance and other change of control contracts – Just in case someone bought Yahoo!, employees then terminated would covered. However, this does not go into affect if you are fired by Yahoo.
3. 3rd Party Buyout -- Someone else can buy Yahoo! However, if more than one corporation was interested, the highest price is the winner.
4. Alliance or Acquisition -- The New York Times finds this to be the best option. This is when we look to AOL, however, this has been rumored for a while and nothing has panned out.
5. Crown Jewel Sale – Yahoo can sell a part of it’s company to make the buy less appealing.
6. Leveraged Recapitalization – Yahoo buys back stocks from the share holders at a premium price. This will be very expensive. Cost is not a problem for Yahoo, if they want the company, they will buy it. This will also make the whole thing more public than it already is. Share holders will know what is going on.

We don’t know the whole story to this point. Microsoft and Yahoo could be at the negotiating table right now. Whatever way this chess game ends, it’s been fun watching the ups and downs of two companies battling head to head to keep in the technology world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Strive to make Enterprise 2.0 Fit, and It Can Make the Difference

Enterprise 2.0 presents a company with something new. And, as we know, organizations, just like humans, are not warm to new ways of working. So, that’s why many of today’s organizations are wondering why they need to learn about Enterprise 2.0 if they’re not going to use it. It’s simple, it’s the future. In this blog post by Bertrand Duperrin, he looks at the key factors that are essential to change when adapting enterprise 2.0 into an organization.

As he points out, organizations are built to repeat the same task endlessly. With this new software, we can work together and help each other adapting to tasks that are not usually repetitive.

The company’s intranet is usually one of the first things companies try to start with to adapt Enterprise 2.0. So they ask the experts whether they should adapt 1.0 web software or 2.0. Well, the answer truly is that the company has to find what works for them. This is usually a mix between 1.0 and 2.0.

Current organizations are built on a top down managerial model. The interaction that Enterprise 2.0 encourages makes the defined lines shift. As the next generation of workers enters the workplace, they will have a better idea of how the internet tools work. Collaboration between all can promote a fully successful Enterprise 2.0 atmosphere.

The last main topic Duperrin pulls on is brand and corporate culture. Your company has evolved over the years, and so has the way the business industry has been. It’s all about differentiation now, and that’s where you’re going to get the future talent to work for your company. Adapt to what is right for your company, and your talent will find you.

Look into the future, don’t be afraid to adapt to the coming revolution.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Enterprise Social Networking: It Has Value!

There is a constant battle sage brewing over the concept of including an enterprise social networking application within organizations. Top level executives have been arguing whether it has any real business value and IT departments claim it brings about too many security risks. As the new generation of young executives rise into power, social networking apps like Facebook, Plaxo, and Google will become increasingly popular collaboration tools in the enterprise.

I came across this article on ZdNet, which includes a thought from Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee. He explains why certain Enterprise tools are still not being accepted in organizations:

"We need to keep in mind that most E2.0 tools are new, and that their acceptance depends on shifts in perspective on the part of business leaders and decision makers, shifts for which the word ‘seismic’ might not be an overstatement. Enterprise 2.0 tools have no inherent respect for organizational boundaries, hierarchies, or job titles. They facilitate self-organization and emergent rather than imposed structure. They require line managers, compliance officers, and other stewards to trust that users will not deliberately or inadvertently use them inappropriately. They require these stewards to become comfortable with collaboration environments that “practice the philosophy of making it easy to correct mistakes, rather than making it difficult to make them” as Jimmy Wales has said. They require, in short, the re-examination and often the reversal of many longstanding assumptions and practices. It is not in the least disrespectful or contemptuous of today’s managers to say that it will take them some time to get used to this."

Out of all Web 2.0 tools, social networking still receives the most skepticism. In our previous post we discuss how companies like BEA have incorporated a Facebook-like social solution to ease collaboration and sharing of documents, and how has launched its social networking platform Ideaforce to share ideas on product development. If companies like these can find value in enterprise networking, other businesses are missing out on its benefits. Clearly, organizations are slowly catching on, but not quick enough...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Is bookmarking behind the Web 2.0 curve?

In a recent article at CNet, Gordon Haff ponders the subject of community book marking. He points out that there have really been no additions to this field since the start of the Enterprise 2.0 revolution. Yes, we have, but even that hasn’t changed format or updated recently. The parent company of is Yahoo!.

There is also no real social connection between people on the site. Yes, you can look at your friends’ bookmarked sites, but who takes much time to go through their websites? Another archaic feature to this is after things are bookmarked, you can’t rearrange them. Unless you bookmark a second time your page will forever be marked with the date you originally bookmarked it on. There is also the fact that one can only describe the webpage in so many words.

So where does that leave this application? It’s old fashioned and has failed to keep up with the Web 2.0 movement. Perhaps Microsoft, if it acquires Yahoo!, will remake into a more sophisticated business tool.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Liquid Planner makes project management easy

In a recent post at ReadWrite Web, they introduce us to the tool Liquid Planner. This is a tool for project management that allows users to host projects and have access to them no matter where they are in the world, as long as they have an internet connection. The tool focuses on three main things: task management, project scheduling, and collaboration.

The task management feature allows users to view their tasks and prioritize them. There is a timeline function as well as folders that can be further divided into sub folders.

The project scheduling function gives realistic time lines of when projects can be done. The Probabilistic Search Engine uses things such as math functions, ranged estimates and automated tracking to give proper times lines of when projects can be realistically finished.

The collaboration feature is very impressive. For each task, there is a wiki function that allows users to communicate, not only employees but anyone who needs to be given access to the project. There is also a place for documents to be uploaded.

Don Dedge gives a review in this blog post:

Liquid Planner has focused on a couple areas that strike that balance. Most project planning tools require you to declare a "single point" starting date and end date. The reality is that most times you aren't certain about the end date. So, Liquid Planner lets you enter a date range like 6 to 8 weeks. As the project goes along you can refine your estimates. They manage uncertainty with what they call Probabilistic Planning.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Let the Wars Begin

As fast as the news of the bid from Microsoft for Yahoo, so did the news that Yahoo! officially rejected the officer yesterday.

In this letter from Jerry Yang to his employees, he claims that the Yahoo! bid was unfair, and didn’t value what Yahoo! really was to the internet world. Here’s a part of the letter:

We believe Microsoft’s proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo! including our highly recognizable global brand, large worldwide audience, significant recent investments in advertising platforms, future growth prospects, our ability to generate free cash flow and our earnings potential as well as substantial unconsolidated investments (like alibaba and yahoo! japan).

You deserve the credit for the tremendously valuable business we have built. all of us in management, as well as the members of the board, deeply appreciate and respect what you have done and continue to do in order to maintain and enhance yahoo!'s leadership position in the online world.

However, with all this said in his letter, there is word that there could be more layoffs in the future. In this article at the New York Times, Microsoft didn’t appreciate Yahoo!’s rejection of their bid and called it “unfortunate.” They want this deal, and are making indications that they’re not willing to stop until they have Yahoo! as their own. Sources also report that Microsoft would like to keep it friendly, and stay on good terms with Yahoo. In today’s New York Times, they state that stocks closed 2% higher yesterday at Yahoo because of the belief that Microsoft will increase the bid. The other thing speculated about the bid is that Microsoft will put an end date and have the offer expire.

I think the easiest way to take in this situation is to look at it from both sides. I’ll start with Yahoo. It’s understandable that Jerry Yang doesn’t want to sell his business. They are currently the leaders in many things on the internet, such as music, gaming, and personalized pages. They were the search engine to use a decade ago. However, they’ve fallen behind in the one thing they started out doing: the internet search. They can’t compete with Google in the search world. They’re also loosing money and laying off employees left and right.

Microsoft is clearly threatened by the surge of Google’s dominance in the Enterprise 2.0 world and their overall dominance of the internet market. Microsoft isn’t used to loosing when it comes to deals and world dominance on software. They buy Yahoo! and they have a whole new staff with knowledge that can help them attack Google and give them an official competitor.

However, Yahoo! does have other options. It’s come back into the news that they’ve resurrected talks to merge with AOL. I see no advantages into this. Although it’s probably not going to happen because its one last attempt to keep business going, two struggling companies in a desperate last minute merger has failure written all over it. Google has also offered to help out Yahoo! In this article, Yahoo would start running AdSense on its pages, but this would show that Yahoo! is defeated, because in a sense it’s working for its one true competitor. In a sense, Google will be the one winning everything here, they’ve gotten a signed letter of defeat from their relatively only major competitor. And they don’t have to worry about the biggest software vendor in the world starting to compete anytime soon in the majority of the realms they do work in.

I personally think Yahoo! did well by rejecting the first offer. They know Microsoft is serious about their bid. So, I believe that when Microsoft comes back with a higher bid price, Yahoo! should take it. Their business is suffering, they’ve lost dominance. I think giving in to Google is a bad idea and would kill all dignity this once powerful search engine has left. So, Yahoo!, let another big name company come in, buy and begin to watch what happens when the collaboration starts to take off for Microsoft and Yahoo!.

Why Internal Blogging Makes Sense

Ever wonder why it is beneficial for a company to maintain a blog? The truth of the matter is that organizations are just starting to warm up to the concepts of Web 2.0 technologies and do not see an attractive ROI just yet. I came across this slideshow by Benjamin Greenberg posted on Beth Kanter’s blog that highlights the purpose of having an internal blog, and it also gives us sort of an introductory training to its method. Folks, its 2008 already…Let’s start this year right. Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tiinker….soon to replace your Digg?

In a new article at Read Write Webb, they discuss the new Australian application that will rate web pages for you. Contrary to what Google is looking to work toward and what Digg does, Tiinker results are completely generated by A-I technology.

According to the news articles you rate, it will show you other articles that interest you. After you rate items, your account (or cookie, no need to log in), will begin recognizing what your preferences are. Emails and feeds are available to your data generated based on the articles you enjoy. There is even a new taste function which will give you new articles on topics you might enjoy.

The content is generated to your interest, and no one else has an influence. This appeals to me, because I find information based on organic searches that are influenced by what is in the document. It could be a great supplement to my Google Reader. Do you think that this is a good way to go about bookmarking and reading new articles? Although it isn’t social, it can lead you to find more sites you personally think are interesting. Does this have room in this quickly evolving technological world?

The Forgotten Tool: Enterprise Mashups

Many times in this blog, we cover blogs and wikis as an important tool in order to create an Enterprise 2.0 environment in your workplace. In Ross Dawson’s recent post he points out not to forget one of the most important: the enterprise mashup. We must remember it’s definition in order to see the power it can hold as a tool in the enterprise:

Enterprise Mashup – A combination of different types of content or data, usually from different sources to create something new

When introduced to employees, they fully take the power. The employees can begin combining different tools such as sales, market research, transactions or other important data and keep it on the enterprise intranet. There is no need to have the IT department involved with many tools out there for the employee such as Yahoo Pipes, Microsoft’s Popfly and IBM’s QEDwiki or Lotus Mashups.

I think mashups will get your employees more involved in the adapting of the Enterprise 2.0 tools. It’s not like the wiki where they dump off a huge file for everyone to collaborate on. One employee may need to see the locations of the country that generate the most revenue for statistical purposes. So they create a mashup. Later, the sales team sees the hot areas and begins to research more in depth why these areas are hot spots. This could ultimately lead to seeing more opportunities for your company. It can also foster two key elements of the Enterprise 2.0 process: the tool (the Mashup) and collaboration. More collaboration means more productivity.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Can I “Poke” My Colleagues?

Social networking can be used in the enterprise if we take popular ideas from sites like Facebook and Myspace and incorporate them in a controlled environment where collaboration and shared distribution of business documents can be managed. The latest article from CMSWire shows us how the Ektron Intranet has done just that in order to bridge the gap between the corporate intranet and social networking.

Employees are able to create personalized information pages and search for business documents in a timely manner within this portal. Intranets are generally used for finding employee information, HR documents, and IT documents, but Ektron is taking it a step further by connecting various offices together and building a distinct corporate culture. William Rogers, CEO of Ektron Inc., shared his thoughts:

“The last place most managers are going to think to look for ideas on how to increase workforce productivity would be Internet sites like MySpace or Facebook. However, as deployed on the Ektron Intranet, the same tools that make employees want to spend their personal time on social networking sites, will get them interacting on your intranet in a way that they are comfortable with and that has real business value”

With the growing number of younger executives, corporate intranets will have to begin to shift into the new age in order to keep productivity at its maximum. Social networking and Web 2.0 is here to stay, let us start applying this into the business realm.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Social Applications can survive the pending recession

According to a new post out by Forrester, the current social revolution will survive the recession. Why? Forrester gave five reasons:

1. No tech bubble. This time, the recession may or may not have started because of the housing market. In addition, companies have smartly invested in technology (ie. No dot com crash).
2. Awareness ads loose effectiveness. Those Google Ad words on the side become much less effective once no one has any dispensable cash. They’re easily cut out of the budget. If they’re not going to be effective, why spend money on them?
3. Social applications are about consideration not awareness. In applications like this, the point is to connect with other people. So, with smart use, a little word of mouth advertising can go a long way.
4. It’s cheap. Social advertising is relatively free. Facebook, blogger, all things that can be used for no cost at all that can contribute to the social networking.
5. It’s measurable. As long as there is a way you can calculate how many leads your tool generates for you, or how much buzz you’ve created around the web, the social tools have done their job.

So what does this mean for the enterprise? With the impending recession, not only consumers will cut back spending, but large corporations will as well. So when they’re looking at all these new tools and ways to innovate in the enterprise, they’re look to web 2.0. Not only is it a way to promote collaboration among their employees, every employee in the enterprise can have access to the same information. In addition, companies have to invest very little money on training, because the majority of Enterprise 2.0 applications free for the taking are the ones that the business world knows how to use due employees personal use of the application.

This is just one more way to keep your enterprise innovating and staying ahead of the ball while money grows scarce. Have you seen an increase of these tools in your enterprise in the recent months?

Google: Team Collaboration Within Its Grasp

Where does Google go after having the dominant market share in search and its hold on Enterprise collaboration growing by the day? The latest article from ZDNet came through my reader today and it highlights Google’s newest release of Google Apps Team Edition. Rajen Sheth, senior product manager for Google Apps, sums up how it works:

“In previous versions of Google Apps, Standard and Premier, the IT department had to get involved in verifying domains and centrally managing users. With the Team Edition a project group can use Google Docs on a project or the Calendar, and individuals on a team can sign up just using their email address.”

Projects in business enterprise environments are handled by teams, so any application that can ease collaboration between users without having to burden IT departments constantly are valuable. Now by simply entering their email addresses users are instantly able to share documents, calendar events, and form connections with other users.

Over the next couple of months we will see many users doubt the security of data sharing on Google’s portal, since most corporations out there are still using Office, but over time this trend will change. Sheth has mentioned that over 2,000 businesses sign up for Google Apps daily combined for a total of over 500,000 companies activated to date ranging from small, medium, and large organizations.

Google has found a way to reduce IT involvement in project management, but will Microsoft be releasing a similar application soon? We have an exciting couple of months ahead of us…

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Social Productivity: One Company’s Name for Enterprise 2.0

As we all know, this current “2.0” fad will eventually wear off. It won’t be hip, and we’ll begin to look for a word that can replace this collaboration revolution that’s going on in the business world.

The Go Big Always blog recently wrote about this fad. They set out to use a new name that wouldn’t be out of date come the mid-2010s. They believed adding “social” to the beginning of the word let it start off as an extremely negative word, because then it sounds like nothing is productive.

We saw this with the “e”s of the mid 1990s. Many of the words are familiar: email, e learning, e bay, e commerce, and so forth and so on.

However, they have begun to use a new term. “Social productivity” is now to them what “Enterprise 2.0” is to the rest of the world.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Enterprise 2.0: One View of Implementation

On this blog, we’ve written many articles about how to implement Web 2.0 to foster collaboration in your enterprise. However, I came across this article by Jay Cross, and he has taken time to interview many experts on Web 2.0, and has written an article detailing exactly how to get your enterprise to buy into the success of how Enterprise 2.0 works.

We all know that people produce better ideas and work when they work together, but getting top management to buy into this new strange system can be difficult. Web 2.0 leads to full email boxes and pages and pages of web browsers with a few paragraphs of relevant information.

To start off the implementation of social software, start small. Begin implementing the tools in a few small departments. Make sure participants will use the software for the same thing, that they see the benefits for themselves of using this software, and the use of the software here will prove that it will be beneficial in other places.

So what are the questions you need to ask in order to show the benefits of the new found collaboration tools?
· What is the goal of the collaboration?
· What’s the current situation?
· What do expect it to be after the project?
· How will this be accomplished?
· What is the business benefit? (In business terms.)
· Who’s going to take part?
· What might go wrong?
· Is this a one-time project or an on-going process?
· Do we have sponsorship high up?
· Who will participate on the team?
· If it’s a one-timer, when will it be completed? What is the kill date?
· Who is the project champion?

Show the answers to this on your new corporate wiki. Then begin to gather people face to face to explain the software. Many times, it is easier to collaborate with people if you know them on an individual basis, because people work better with people they know.
How can you keep the momentum flowing? These are just a few ways that Cross suggests:
· Make the goal and ground rules clear at the outset.
· Structure the initial framework to fit the task.
· Make the online environment attracting and inviting.
· Pre-load templates, background info, and defaults.

How do you find it best that Enterprise 2.0 is implemented? Do you agree or disagree with any of the procedures Jay Cross takes?


Jay Cross emailed me to clarify that he did extensive research and the article is about how companies implemented Enterprise 2.0. Therefore, these are not recommendations, it is solely the points of view he gathered from interviewing enterprises and how they implemented Enterprise 2.0.

Organize Your Enterprise Wiki!

Why does the majority of wikis within organizations fail? The main point discussed in Michael Idinopulos's latest post on Transparent Office is that corporate wikis have become dumping grounds for research information, and have stepped away from its collaborative nature. Sure it provides somewhat useful information for employees, but this process eliminates connections and new insights shared between people. So how do we prevent the “dumping ground” phenomenon from occurring?

Michael’s advice is to change a wikis position from being supply-led to demand-led. As long as wikis are still driven by supply, an abundance of research information with no practical structure will continue to pour in. So here’s a simple four step process Michael provides us with to help organize corporate wikis:

  1. Get a small group of core community members to whiteboard a high-level information architecture in the form of a few categories (not more than 4-8) and subcategories (not more than 1-2 levels deep)
  2. Create a series of blank pages or "stubs" hyperlinked to reflect the category structure
  3. Assign each category to an individual member of the group to flesh out
  4. Reconvene in 1-2 weeks to review what everyone has done, share learnings, and revise the category structure

Follow these steps to ensure collaboration deprivation doesn’t happen to your enterprise wiki…

Monday, February 4, 2008

Social Searching: Google’s New Goal

Aside from Google’s latest advancements to help Yahoo! stay out of the grasp of Microsoft, they are also looking into providing a social search engine. The details of this quest are at ReadWrite Web.

In a recent interview with Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of Search Products & User Experience, she details how Google is looking to make your social networks influence the way your searches on the web are helped out by what your “friends” are doing on the web. As always, they are looking to protect the privacy of their users, because this is always one of the main concerns of the users. But there are four main ways Google is looking to do this: Labeling, users like you, social network integration, and socially influenced page rank.

Labeling would consist of other labeling web pages, like tags, and then they would be stored in their profiles. When the words were searched, tags would be provided by what your contacts have been searching.

With the Users like you function, Google would display what others searched for.

The Social Network Integration function would show you what your friends had been searching for in one day. Third party Social Networks such as Facebook and MySpace would eventually be brought into the picture, but for now this would just be Google’s social network.

Finally the social influenced page rank would be considered. This is set up believing that you would much more prefer to visit pages your friends visit. The more authority (or friends you have visiting the site) a site has, the more likely you are to see it in your search.

Google sees this as the future. Why not incorporate what your personal profile says about you with the results you get in your search engine? I personally don’t agree with this. I don’t want to see pages because of what my friends searched for. I want to see naturally generated searches with results on exactly what I’m looking for. I want the influence of the actual webpage and its content to tell me why it’s at the top of the webpage, not because I had three friends visit the website in one day. I think Google is overstepping privacy boundaries here. I think this is the job of web pages like, not Google. What do you feel?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Enterprise Social Media Apps and Beyond

Social media applications are plentiful, so which one is the right one for the enterprise? That seems to be the main theme in this latest article from eWeek. Most social media applications being used by the enterprise now originally came from the consumer side, for example Facebook. Even though applications like Facebook can be tailored and adapted to fit specific needs of the enterprise, an application that focuses solely on these needs should be built…

BEA plans to launch a Facebook-like enterprise social solution called AcquaLogic which will focus on these specific enterprise needs, especially around security and governance. AcquaLogic will allow enterprise users to do social networking within their own environment, have profile pages, and collaborate and share information easily on this platform.

Other companies like seem to get it too. Their recent launch of Ideaforce provides users a platform where they can debate and new features and enhancements they most want included in future product releases. Anshu Sharma, senior director at puts everything in perspective for us:

"The enterprise wants social media applications that allow them to connect information that can then be extracted and used in a meaningful way"

The enterprise must first decide which Web 2.0 tools are most vital to improving collaboration before launching social media platforms. The application that consolidates these tools and makes it useful for everyone within organizations will ultimately come out on top.

Microsoft sets out to take over Yahoo!

News out today tells us that Microsoft made a $44.6 billion bid to take over Yahoo. The Enterprise 2.0 world has been wondering where Microsoft has been in this revolution, and now Microsoft has finally come to the party. In this blog, we’ve written several times about Microsoft’s lack of effort to match Google (Taking the lead in enterprise search, Future Product Releases for Google Apps, Whatcha Gonna do when Google Comes for You?) and their increasing interest in Office like software to help the revolution of collaboration online.

Now we see what Microsoft has been waiting on: the ideal time to buy Yahoo! This week in the New York Times, an article discussed Yahoo and its tough final quarter in 2007, and they are expected to lay off at least 1,000 people. It’s not hard to see why this is happening. At the end of 2007, Google had a 68.1% search engine market share, and Yahoo had 17% of the search engine market share. They were #2 on the list.

From an Enterprise 2.0 perspective, we automatically wonder what this merger means for the Google/Microsoft rivalry? Google has been trying to take the Internet market for the software they’ve been developing specifically for Internet collaboration in Google Docs. They’re one up on collaborative work essential to E2.0. Now Microsoft, with a few modifications to their software, can unleash a landslide on this market. We all know that people like to use what they are familiar with. When it comes to word processing, it’s defiantly Microsoft Word. If Microsoft can collaborate with Yahoo, and bring this technology to the web, it will take off.

From a commercial search standpoint, Yahoo now has a huge sponsor that is not willing to let its ship sink. Microsoft will take the proper actions to change what needs to be changed and update the Yahoo! Platform to something the people will use. They will be able to give consumers a choice again when it comes to Google.

Web 2.0: Being Adopted by a Company Near You

In a recent article at CIO, they address the new report by Forrester. Web 2.0 strategies are being slowly picked up by enterprises. Employees want to use them, too.

"A lot of CIOs and CEOs are starting to get the message that employees want these tools," says Oliver Young, the Forrester analyst who authored the report. "There also isn't a good way to stop them from using them."

According to CIO, out of 1000 companies, 18% of IT employees said that adapting Web 2.0 into their business would take priority.

One of the most commonly adapted tools will be RSS feeds and Enterprise Social Networks. Out of these companies 12% planned to adapt some type of an RSS feed, and an addition 15% would invest in the technology. As for social networks, 7% of enterprises would like to adapt them. Wikis and blogs, the other technologies at the heart of Enterprise 2.0, are also gaining speed. Sixteen percent of companies are considering pilots or initial investments into the growing technology.

As for the tools, traditional companies will most likely use Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM’s Lotus Connection. Companies looking to save some money will go with smaller names, such as Jive Software, Awareness and Atlassian.