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Posts Tagged ‘wiki

So Facebook’s Dustin Moskovitz is leaving Facebook to develop a killer version of the platform for the enterprise. Is that something totally new and should all email/collaboration vendors now run in panic? What should Dustin’s killer app be in order to be successful?

Well, obviously the attempt is not new. These days everyone is kind of expecting the tools which got successful with consumers to take the enterprise by storm and leave the old email/documents-on-a-file-share days to history.

There are even some products available today ranging from Microsoft’s SharePoint and lots of open source wiki engines, to a WorkLight (Facebook application adding enterprise security), to Twitter clones (such as laconi.ca), to SocialText’s attempt to merge them all.

So far all these attempts tend to either over-secure and over-control things (because enterprise IT needs controls, right) or take the build-it-and-they-will-come approach (deploy a wiki and wait for everyone to happily jump in). Neither is too successful.

The perfect solution needs to be somewhat in the middle, allowing for the blurred enterprise/private-life world in which we live today:

  1. Should not attempt to be a totally controlled walled garden: SharePoint or similar enterprise products today assume that people will put everything in there. This will never happen. Besides AD accounts and corporate SharePoint/SAP/what-have-you portals, people will have their external blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts, LinkedIn pages and so on. So the answer is to let employees themselves control these flows of information so I can pick my other non-enterprise identities and feeds and add them to the corporate resources.
  2. Should make sense from work/project perspective: Just launching a blogging or twitter-clone platform will not make sense for employees – they do not expect it to be their key enterprise tool – something project-oriented. Email does. CMS/project-collaboration tools like SharePoint do – hence their wide adoption today. SocialText 3.0 is trying to achieve this by building from enterprise dashboard/wiki foundation.
  3. Should integrate with existing tools (e.g. email) and not seek to replace them from day one. Xobni seems to be a rather failing attempt to do that but the direction is definitely interesting.
  4. Should encourage participation: again, lack of such encouragement is making most enterprise wiki project fail today. Some kind of reward system needs to be built in: points, status, or better off some kind of visibility system making sure that my boss and peers know that I am contributing and how valuable I am for the company.

Any other principles I am missing?

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© 2008-2012 Dmitry Sotnikov

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