Category Archives: enterprise2.0

Enterprise 2.0 Camp

I signed up to give a presentation on the human side of social computing in the enterprise at today’s Enterprise 2.0 Toronto barcamp. It was tons of fun! I told them three stories – being a newbie in Big Blue, stalking looking up interesting people, and having a much more human experience. It sparked a terrific conversation with lots of thought-provoking bits. I’ll put aside time to blog about this tomorrow. =)

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Random Japanese sentence: その少年たちはかわいい猫と一緒に2人きりで暮らしていた。 The two boys lived alone with a lovely cat.

As Web 2.0 moves behind the firewall…

I’m not sure how much I can say because I’m doing my research with IBM, which is a pity because we’re working on some *really* cool enterprise applications of these newfangled Web 2.0 ideas. It’s beyond blogging or social bookmarking – talk about mashups, situational apps, integration, web as platform… fun!

Microsoft’s getting into the game, too. Liz Lawley dropped a few hints about the social bookmarking thing she’s working on, and it sounds awesome.

I’m not too worried about missing the boat or being late to market on
this one. I think we’ve got something unique and really really cool,
and I have a feeling that I’m close to the edge.


Stowe Boyd

Tom Purves, Enterprise 2.0 overview

I’m at Enterprise2.0Camp right now. Tom Purves
gave a good overview of what Enterprise 2.0 is and what it means for
businesses. “Social media” is fine for Web 2.0, but it raises eyebrows
in business. Tom suggested “tacit media” as a better term, and went
into more detail.

Bryce Johnson pointed out a difference
between wiki and wiki – barcamp wiki was
where organization happened, whereas usabilitycamp wiki happened after
the organization. Tom shared something from Office 2.0: “A blank wiki
is a room without chairs.” (Esther Dyson)

Comments: Seeding a wiki can affect how it goes. Any best practices?
Tom suggested deliberately making small mistakes, which encourages
people to look for how to edit it. Another person points out that this
also lowers the psychological barrier to entry – things don’t have to
be perfect. There are social issues, though, such as implied
permissions. Bob Logan pointed out that you can’t design emergence.
Alex Petrov noted that you can’t predict innovation if you’re going
bottoms-up. Tom acknowledged the loss of control, but talked about
unorganizations that emerge as well.

Another person explicitly distinguished between innovation and
collaboration. Innovation is never really been successful without some
sort of direction, he continues. A wiki is like a blank piece of
paper, which is difficult to work with. Tom replied that collaboration
is a good stepping stone toward innovation or the dispersion of
innovation. The first person continued that R&D expenditure has no
correlation to the performance of the company. Innovation is a very
different function than collaboration. Another person talked about
skunkworks and the possible value of having a skunkworks wiki, which
could be a very powerful tool. Greg Van Alstyne supported Tom’s point
that innovation requires diffusion and adoption, and differentiated
innovation from invention. You have to see it happening in a network.
The person beside him talked about emergence and levels of complexity.

Another person talked about the nature of a corporation as a tree
structure, push instead of pull. You have to fuse them together. Tom
wondered if wikis need critical mass, and if the software isn’t as
good as they thought.

Deb brought the conversation back to the empty wiki. Anything
successful has at the core of it a real problem, so that people have a
motivation to do whatever. Carsten pointed out that it needs to be
appropriate. Bryce brought up the idea of voice. Tom agreed that
different kinds of media fit different tasks.
Brent Ashley pointed out that there’s a
certain constituency of the population who are going to be involved.
So we need to draw out the people in the organization who would be
good adopters of these tools, so that the tools will be built by
people who care about it. Tom agreed absolutely. Firestoker saying:
“Learn to stop worrying and love your 1%.” Rohan said that the key is
to make sure that something there is important. People don’t want to
be left behind. As long as what’s on the wiki is a hobby thing, then
they’re not going to go there. Jevon of Firestoker: A moment of
crisis. Work gets done and operational efficiencies come into play. In
that moment of crisis, it’s a chance for leadership to let go and give
up some of their silos. It’s after that point that we see innovation
and collaboration really come into play, because that’s when people
trust the space. Carsten: I think what makes collaboration
unattractive is the lack of integration. The browser is the great
equalizer. [But it’s not integrated into the applications that I live
in, like Outlook]. Maybe the wiki is not all that appropriate or

Jevon: Story about Big 5 banks. They had computers in managers’
offices, but no one was reading e-mail because computers were handled
by their secretaries. Then the CEO sent the final paper memo, and then
everyone used e-mail.

Person: If you build technology that does not conform to the way
people behave, no one will use it. Noted problem with signup wiki. UX
experience is the story. The experience of using a device should
complement what you want to use it for.

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The return on investment of social computing

Luis Suarez has another good post on Making the Business Case for Social Computing. He realized that the arguments for informal learning are the same for social computing: the intangible can make a big difference, and these initiatives should be measured the way you measure other changes in the organizations—by the overall outcomes.

The most common objection I hear after my presentations on Enterprise
2.0 is, “I don’t have the time to blog.” The underlying questions are,
“What’s in it for me? What can I expect to get out of blogging? What’s
the return on investment on my time?” It’s hard to give a dollar
amount (“You will earn XXX more”) or a firm idea of time savings
(“You’ll save YYY minutes every week”). I’m still trying to figure out
how to explain the intangible benefits of better connection and
collaboration to people who already think they’re maxed out. Maybe
learning more about how to establish the business case for informal
learning and related concepts will allow me to be more effective at
evangelizing Enterprise 2.0.

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Meet Enterprise 2.0

Here are some great presentations on what people who use Enterprise 2.0 look like. =)

Someday I’m going to make slides like that.

Thanks to The Shed 2.0 for pointing me to this group of Slideshare presentations.

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