Observations from where technology meets business

Ross Mayfield Shares Four Use Cases For Wikis

Some great comments during Ross Mayfield's recent CIO interview.

The net gens, the 16 to 24 year olds, have grown up using the Internet as part of their daily life. This generation, the biggest demographic shift in history, is going to profoundly impact the enterprise. These are the folks who grew up doing their homework on Facebook, and at school that was called cheating. And they come to the workforce and do the same thing and it's called collaboration. They grew up using social software. They've actually look down on email. They think email is only for formal legal business communication. They've got five to seven instant messaging windows open at any one time. They're blogging. They're on social network tools. They leverage Wikipedia as much as they can. And then they come to the workforce and they're given SAP.

But perhaps the best advice from Ross was shared earlier in the interview: "four core areas that pop up in almost every single enterprise deployment that we end up doing":

  1. "collaborative intelligence" - "It's the pattern of the core publishing to the edge, the edge giving feedback, and the edge interacting with the edge. So for example, in marketing and sales operations, you need to communicate to the field organization about an ever changing product line."
  2. "participatory knowledge base" - Ross highlights a good example with a Dell call center that handles exceptions. The wiki provided a way to capture and then easily recall solutions found during previous calls.
  3. "flexible client collaboration" - "This is a professional services firm or other kind of group that sets up a collaborative workspace between them and the client."
  4. "business social networks" - "with your business partners or it's with your customers, where you're communicating to them, getting feedback from them, and they're interacting directly."

These look like patterns (it could also be Ross' use of the word "pattern" that clued me in :-) so I looked for these in wikipatterns and couldn't find any alignment. Perhaps the use cases Ross speaks of are meta-patterns and wikipatterns offer practical day-to-day best practices for implementations.

Enterprise Wikis Seen As a Way to End 'Reply-All' E-Mail Threads

[18-Mar-08 updated: title changed based on feedback from Ross and Stewart]

Too Funny For Words

YouTube - A Vision of Students Today

A thought provoking video from "Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University". Worth investing 4:44 of your time to watch.

a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.

YouTube - A Vision of Students Today

Via: Joining Dots (Via: Microsoft Sharepoint Conference)

Microsoft launches its alternative to Amazon's SimpleDB | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com

My question earlier this week regarding Microsoft's answer to Amazon's SimpleDB and Google's BigTable appears to have been answered.

Microsoft has begun signing up testers for SQL Server Data Services (SSDS), a forthcoming service that will allow customers and developers to host their data in a Microsoft-hosted database.

Microsoft officials were reticent to compare SQL Server Data Services to offerings from any competitors. But Gartner Vice President David Smith said the new Microsoft service was comparable to Amazon’s SimpleDB, a service like Amazon’s SimpleDB.

Microsoft launches its alternative to Amazon’s SimpleDB | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com

Via: Peter O'Kelly

Microsoft: Storage unification still somewhere out there | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com

Given Amazon's recently announced SimpleDB and Google's use of BigTable will we see a similar offering from Microsoft (perhaps with the words "SQL Server" in the name) now that Microsoft wants to consolidate their webstores? If not, can the Microsoft services scale to the size of the others?

SharePoint, from its inception, has been built on top of SQL Server, Gates said. Microsoft is working to allow And other Microsoft applications, like Dynamics CRM, are SQL Server-based, too. Microsoft is moving toward making Active Directory “more of a meta-directory based on SQL Server,” as well, he said. However, Exchange still has its own database that uses a different store than SQL Server, Gates admitted.

“Out in the future, Exchange will be built on SQL,” Gates said again on March 3. But still no firm timetable or delivery vehicle was mentioned.

On the services side of the Microsoft house, storage unification has been a push from the get-go. Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Spaces, Xbox Live, CRM Live, Office Live and a number of other Live services use the same Webstore that runs on SQL Server.

Microsoft: Storage unification still somewhere out there | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com

JotSpot reincarnated as Google Sites | Outside the Lines - CNET News.com

I just checked a couple of my domains managed by Google and the new sites capability hasn't reached them yet.

In October 2006, Google acquired JotSpot, a hosted wiki platform for building collaborative Web sites. Sixteen months later, which is like 10 years in Web time, Google is launching a revamped JotSpot as Google Sites.

The most interesting comment is:

The term "wiki" has been banished from Googlespeak as the company tries to mainstream its collaborative applications. "There shouldn't be a distinction between wikis and sites," said product manager Scott Johnston. He hopes that the "edit button" becomes pervasive as the collaborative Web takes hold.

I don't expect the term "wiki" ever to be uttered by Google. Products providing wikis could be their main competition in the future (serving documents as webpages or online documents).

Google shouldn't mention "wiki" anymore than they should mention "SharePoint" (beyond the need for PR). Both wikis and Microsoft SharePoint are competition to Google Sites.

So don't expect to see Google Sites be described as a wiki. It would be like Ford describing the Fusion as "Camry-like" in the owner's manual (although Ford will reference Toyota in their advertising). Or Puffs describing their tissues as Kleenex.

JotSpot reincarnated as Google Sites | Outside the Lines - CNET News.com

Via: Peter O'Kelly

Obama rising in Iowa Electronic Market

If you are fascinated by prediction markets like me you might enjoy this chart below showing Barack Obama surging in the Iowa Electronic Market.

Via: Paul Kedrosky


BurtonSign I am excited to announce that I now work for the Burton Group as an analyst on the Collaboration and Content Strategies team. This is all quite new so expect more information after I get settled in to my new position.

Wikipatterns Book

I missed the announced release of the Wikipatterns book but I am thrilled for Stewart that it has been published.

I first noticed the Wikipatterns wiki almost a year ago and wrote about it on Collaboration Loop. The site is a tremendous resource for Enterprise 2.0 advocates. I am also intrigued by the application of patterns to wiki adoption and wonder if they can be applied elsewhere.

I had the pleasure of meeting Stewart at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference last year. We happened to be sitting next to each other at the same table during lunch and had one of those pleasant small-world "Oh, you're the one that...!" moments.

The Wikipatterns book is now available both online and in “brick and mortar” stores in 10 countries! To help you find it, I’ve compiled a list of stores currently selling the book. Just find your country and choose the bookseller you prefer. The link will take you directly to the product page for Wikipatterns on that store’s website.

Source: Where to find the Wikipatterns book in online and retail stores around the world

Library of Congress photos now on Flickr

The more I think about what the Library of Congress has done here the more excited I get. The copyright restrictions for many of these photos appears to be unknown and the LoC advises caution when using them. However, just imagine the possible uses for these photos: presentations, blog posts, papers, etc.

This is another example of the incredible learning resources available on the Internet.

The Library of Congress and photosharing site Flickr today announced a partnership that will put photos from the LoC's collection online in a social environment and users to interact with them. The Library is home to more than 14 million photographs and other visual materials, and to start they've selected about 1500 works each from two of their collections that are known to exist in the public domain. The images come from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information and The George Grantham Bain Collection, for which no known copyright exists. The collections will be housed on the LoC's Flickr page.

It appears the power of tagging is gaining wider recognition. Of course, these ARE librarians after all. Still, this is a progressive move, especially for a government entity.

As part of the pilot program with the Library of Congress, Flickr has launched a new tagging initiative called The Commons. The Commons encourages people to help describe the historical photos being added to Flickr by institutions like the Library of Congress by tagging them or commenting on them.

"From the Library’s perspective, this pilot project is a statement about the power of the Web and user communities to help people better acquire information, knowledge and -- most importantly -- wisdom," said Matt Raymond, the LoC's blogger-in-chief. "One of our goals, frankly, is to learn as much as we can about that power simply through the process of making constructive use of it."

My hope is this pilot becomes permanent and the LoC's librarians convince their managers to keep it. They have certainly done a good job so far just getting this pilot launched.

The photos, which are already available on the Library's photo and prints page (along with over 1 million others), may not be on Flickr permanently. The length of the pilot program will be determined by the amount of interest and activity shown by Flickr users, according to the LoC.

According to George Oates, at Flickr, the pilot program with the Library has two main goals, "firstly, to increase exposure to the amazing content currently held in the public collections of civic institutions around the world, and secondly, to facilitate the collection of general knowledge about these collections, with the hope that this information can feed back into the catalogues, making them richer and easier to search."

Source: Library of Congress Teams with Flickr

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