The question is from Charlie Wood’s entry where he references a couple of reports by James Governor on Traction beating Lotus out at a European pharmaceutical organization, and Movable Type beating Lotus out at Alcatel. There is a free case study written by Suw Charman for the former on her blog.
Socialtext also has some increasingly interesting enterprise apps at e.g., Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Nokia, and has recent investment and a new board member from SAP.
We’ll be looking at some more detail on exactly what organizations like these are doing with blog and wiki tools in a follow-on report to Lauren’s earlier article, so let us know of any interesting case studies.
In answer to Charlie’s question, I would say ‘yes’ to collaboration and ‘partially’ to content management.
Joe Kraus has a post that applies the now famous long tail argument to software. He admits that the argument applies to software like his own company’s JotSpot, and plugs it in. But if he is right, his argument applies to other products including JotSpot’s competitors.
It is easy to agree with the premises:
- the vast majority of business applications require customization
- most enterprise solutions focus on a few large semi-well-defined application areas because the economics don’t reward small (long tail) opportunity harvesting, and
- there is opportunity here for software entrepreneurs.
Joe argues that a combination of Excel and email are being used to fill the long tail gap, but that they are inadequate. This may be true, but it is a bit of a leap to an implied conclusion that one piece of "blockbuster" software could better meet the needs of the long tail of business requirements in all their diversity.
This is not to say that there won’t be more blockbuster successes that help with long tail business needs — Excel, email, and web browsers are all examples of such a wild horizontal success — and Groove of one that didn’t catch fire (see Bill Trippe’s comment on the Microsoft acquisition), but will some combination of enterprise blog and wiki software be equally successful? Well… maybe. In any case, Joe’s post is thought provoking and his analogy might be richer than he, or any of his commenters to date, realize.
Lauren’s report on enterprise blog and wiki use has been getting phenomenal attention. We have decided to probe a little more into actual corporate use of blog and wiki technology with a survey. We’ll pull the complete results together for our conference in San Francisco in April, but will also publish some of it on our site as it comes in. Take the survey!
There’s been at least one very public war story from the field in terms of enterprise blogging sans corporate policy – and this one has a fatality. Seems that Mark Jen’s foray into blogging on his experiences as a Google employee went awry pretty quickly. Despite a single-day record of 60,000 unique visitors, Google was not amused by the inclusion of “sensitive information about finances and products.” Here’s the full story.
Jen is no longer a Google employee, fired on Jan 28th after 11 days of work. He maintains that Google gave him no reason for the termination. He continues to blog at 99zeros with a subhead of “Life After Google.”
Although many may remain skeptical about blogging’s potential impact on enterprise collaboration and productivity, the evolution of use should spur enterprises to take a look at P&P development sooner, rather than later.
Tim Bray is skeptical of enterprise and/or group blogging. I have also been skeptical, but now think there is something there, though just what remains to be seen. One barrier to enterprise, and group, blogging is the perception that blogging is only for personal journals or a new tool for both professional and amateur journalists. This is understandable given the state of today’s blogosphere, but it is a mistake to conflate the use of a technology with the technology itself. Obviously we think a group blog on business and technology issues is a good idea since we started one, but we also suspect our effort will evolve in unexpected (and some planned) ways.