Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What People Are Saying ...

One of the important aspects of blogging is reading. Yes, reading, understanding what people are saying is probably a more important aspect of blogging than the actual writing. Many a times, ideas come from some of the conversation that goes on. And this brings me to the blogs i subscribe to. And this is what gives me the idea to write this.

On the blogs that i am reading these days, there is a lot of stuff being written about technology. About the technology of web 2.0. Thing is, there is not much being written about the basic concept, and the implications of something like the tools which we are seeing today, on the organization. Does this mean that we have figured them out? Not many folks think so ... we are yet to completely figure out the web 2.0 tools, and their impact on the organization. We are yet to figure out what are the possibilities for trying to attract people to the corporate blog, or the wiki, or to communities which are there within the firewall.

On the other hand, I am reading more and more about the disillusion with web 2.0. There are more folks writing today, about the non-utility of web 2.0 tools. I have written about this. This then brings up the question ... does this mean that web 2.0 tools have no utility? No matter how cynical one might be, this is not what one would think. Then, could this mean that some of the tools, and hence, their potential, was maybe hyped beyond actual utility? Could be. But by and large, i feel, more and more of the discussion, and the euphoria about web 2.0 has been directed to outside the firewall, with not much thought going towards how this would work within the firewall.

So what, one might ask. Not much. Except that some thought needs to go into this as well. Lets face it ... web 2.0 is not a tool which is the end by itself. It has to be part of a larger picture, and somehow, i think this aspect is not being discussed too much. And this is where i think the problem is.

For one, inside the firewall, web 2.0 tools may not be deployed the way they are outside the firewall. For instance, wikis may be more acceptable within a team, where the team-members can collaborate, using the wiki as a notice-board kind of application. This is different from the wikipedia style of implementation, which a lot of organizations are looking at. Or, blogs which are centred around a particular aspect of the business, which are part of a group of tools, which are focussed around the business function. In other words, i feel that web 2.0 implementations in organizations would be people focussed, but demarcated based on business functions or processes. These would probably not be the one big-bang application the way we see it outside the firewall.

I would like to hear your opinions about this. All thoughts more than welcome. Do drop in a note.

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