Thursday, July 5, 2007

WSJ on IBM -- Social Computing

In one his recent blogs, Luis Suarez (if you havent been following his blogs on ITToolBox, I suggest you should), mentioned a piece WSJ did on IBM. You could find this at

WSJ has done a very nice piece on some of the awesome work that IBM is doing in the Social Computing area, from ST (Lotus Sametime 7.5 or higher ...), from where you could navigate to the person's Blue Pages entry, see the things the person works on (the coolest part is that every employee is free to fill in details about themselves, and there can be plenty of details that can be filled in ...), to some exciting work using SecondLife.

The tools are huge, and they surely have the potential of changing the way we work, but I think the largest challenge will be adoption. There will certainly be people who love the latest gizmos, who will love to play with these, but then, there will also be people who are tech-dinosaurs. The key lies in either bringing these guys on board, or finding means to have them collaborate, and "social compute" in the real world, and bringing these interactions into the collaboration domain.

In a nutshell, two aspects which organizations need to focus on (and this has been waed eloquent about ad nauseum, but I thought it would be necessary to mention these in the midst of the Social Computing euphoria):

1. The collaboration culture, and overcoming the information silo mindset.

2. Bridging the digital divide between the "Geeks", and the "Technologically Challenged" (and, oh yes, even the Information Technology industry has its fair share of them!)

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