Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wikis ... Out And In

This is something i have been thinking about, and trying out ... and something i finally decided to write about. I came across a very interesting post ... If the US State Department Can Use Wikis and Blogs Effectively, So Can Your Organization ... Must read, i must say.

Why? Simple ... One of the major reasons which are given for people in organizations not even looking at wikis and blogs is the whole idea of data security. Every team believes that they have some data which they cannot share with anyone in the organization. More often than not, this is not the scene, but this is one reason you cannot argue with, and hence ...

Now, come on ... Nobody could be more bothered about information confidentiality than these guys Jon Husband has written about. So, why not ...

Having said that, there is definitely the point that there is always some information which one would not like to share outside of a particular team. And this is where some of the concepts of closed wikis can come in. Take for example, the knol ... as i have written before, this kind of tool, somewhere between a multi-author blog, and a wiki, is something which could be quite the thing that organizations might be looking for ... of course, if they can implement within the firewall.

Having said this, let us also understand that the challenge is not so much the concern for information confidentiality, rather than the unwillingness to share. Luis talks about the kind of transparency that social computing can bring in, but then, how many folks actually appreciate transparency. Those who do, love it. For instance, i find, in my discussions, that wikis can be quite popular with Project Managers, because it gives them the tool to get the team to collaborate each other, but this is more so because this is in their own interest. Which means, that rather than the tool, we need to address the "need to share" of people, rather than the ability or inability to use the tool (hey, how difficult can it get to use a wiki!).

For example, the McKinsey report on Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise says, there are quite a few organizations which are not satisfied with the web 2.0 tools they have deployed. I would not quite look at it in this light ... because, i would look at the adoption rather than the tool. Lets face it, the social in social computing has been around for centuries ... but unless the organization is able to sell the idea of social computing to people, and show them that they stand to gain, adoption will continue to be something which would be the challenge.

Which is why, when folks ask me what my job as a Knowledge Manager is, the way i see it ... its basically Sales! Selling the concept ...

4 comments:

Ruchira said...

You know something? The way you write your posts is amazing - a person like me also understands everything about social computing, to wikis, to knowledge management - n if you know me, I AM A PERSON WHO HAD NO CLUE WHAT THESE TERMS MEANT even a few months back. :-)

and i did read your reply - my pleasure :-)

Anonymous said...

i like the way the jargon is done away with.

Anjali said...

Hey Atul, I'll check out Burrp and this blog slowly read a few of your post. The batman jr is adorable and you are on my blog roll now.

Atul said...

Thanks, Anjali ... Your two blogs are on my google reader (i still havent figured out the blogroll, so if you could educate me, maybe ...), and i am reading all about the Food, even if i gain weight! :-)