Blogs, Wikis etc.

Seth had recently posted about the use of Blogs and Wikis in the enterprise. He writes:

I too am suspicious (and a little surprised) when I hear these terms together because, other than the fact that they are relatively new to the “enterprise,” blogs and wikis have little to do with each other…

I have had similar experiences. We often get RFPs and RFIs that have  statements like:

  • “…. should support typical web 2.0 features”
  • “… built on the principles of web 2.0 …”
  • ” … release 1 should have basic web 2.0 features and release 2 should be a complete web 2.0 platform”
  • Many more similar statements

Everyone has a different view of what web 2.0 means for them and so it is important to crystallize the requirements like one would do for any other set of requirements. Because of the fuzziness associated with the term 2.0 and the fact that there are too many options out there, coming out with well defined requirements is very important to arrive at a solution, cost, estimates, product selection and a successful implementation. This article describes the popular scenarios quite well.

I am optimistic though that the situation will soon improve. We are seeing trends which show that concepts of web 2.0 are increasingly getting popular with the enterprises. Many companies that require product support for their customers are turning to these tools instead of relying on more formal traditional customer support tools. Similarly, many companies are using these tools for Knowledge Management activities. Instead of regular process oriented KM which “forces” people to contribute, they want to use mechanisms that encourage people who in turn “want” to contribute. This is a huge shift – people don’t like contributing if they are forced to do it but are likely to contribute if they enjoy doing it.