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Enterprise Blog, Wiki and RSS Debate

We are getting ready for our upcoming Boston conference and hope to see you there. But whether you join us or not, you can contribute to the debate by commenting on this blog entry. Below is the session description with links to the participant’s bios and their blogs. Comments and trackbacks are on.
Keynote Debate: Blog, Wiki, and RSS Technology – Are they Enterprise Ready? Applicable? Or a Passing Tempest in a Teacup?
Most of you have probably not seriously considered using these technologies in enterprise applications. Yet there are companies using these technologies for collaboration, knowledge management, and publishing applications in corporate environments, and there are vendors marketing products based on these to businesses like yours. Do these companies only represent the experimental fringe, or are they early adopters of technologies that will soon be part of every IT department’s bag of tricks? In this session we’ll take a look at the suitability of these for corporate use and hear from both skeptics and proponents of, for example enterprise or group blogs. You will come away from this session able to discuss these issues with your colleagues back in the office.
Moderator: Frank Gilbane, Conference Chair — Blog
David Berlind, Executive Editor, ZDNet — Blog
Ross Mayfield, CEO, Socialtext, Inc. — Blog
Bill Zoellick Senior Analyst, The Gilbane Report — Blog
Charlie Wood, Principal, Spanning Partners, LLC — Blog


  1. Rod Boothby

    Enterprise blogs are certainly not a passing fad. But it is also true that the technology for broad enterprise adoption has not yet arrived. Although it is close.
    Blogging will revolutionize the way that companies communicate internally. While there are a few applications for external blogging, the use of internal blogs will dwarf the number of external blogs.
    Companies will use blogs to keep track of simple things like the biographies of each of the people working for the company. The Bio blogs will track things like what projects a team member is working on, it’ll list the skills that the team member brings to the table, their past experience, etc.
    Why will something as simple as a Bio blog revolutionize how companies share information internally? In a large company, people do not know much about their co-workers. Think about all the people you work with. Have you seen resumes for all of them? When the company hired you, it thought it was really important to understand the skills and experience that you brought to the table. After you were hired, what steps did it take to share all the important information with your co-workers? In most cases, the resume is forgotten the minute you walk in the door. And yet, this information could be really useful to someone, maybe in another department, who is struggling with something that, unbeknown to them, you have deep experience with.
    The Bio blog is only one example. Some companies will set up client blogs, product blogs and project blogs.
    The technology isn’t there yet in four ways – although it is close in both.
    First, the exact recipe for the types of internal blog templates needed is unique to each organization. A consulting firm does not need a blog for tracking information about each of its suppliers. The problem with the technology today, is that no blogging platform provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating Blog Type Templates. It is possible to rig up MovableType, but it would be nice if the system was designed to work this way, straight out of the box.
    Second, for mass internal adoption, AJAX type tools will need to be cleanly integrated into the Enterprise Blogging platform. Again, the technology isn’t quite there yet. For example, if I am creating a new Project Blog, I will want a pull down of all the employees in the firm, so I can add them to the list of people working on the project.
    Third, no Blogging Platform has yet full come to terms with the massive scope of the number of internal blogs that will be created. In a way, it will look like a hybrid of a Wiki and blogs. Each blog would, in many ways be akin to a Wiki topic. The thing is that blogs will provide a more flexible, and easy to understand, paradigm than Wikis for most internal communication.
    Fourth, Blogging Platforms also have an opportunity to revolutionize the way that firms track and keep data on everything that is important to them, using shadow XML pages that store information on what ever the blog is about. For example, if your Bio blog has a shadow XML page, that XML page can track who you work for, the projects you work on, etc. These XML pages act as valuable stores of semantic information about each person, project, client, etc. Imagine the powerful things that could be built on top of such an up to date store of enterprise information. Think about that Project Blog I was talking about creating earlier. The AJAX pull-down list needs to get it’s list of employees from somewhere. The “right” place for that list is in the tool that stored each blog instance of the Bio Blog Template. When defining the Bio Blog Template, I would want to also define what information needs to be gathered centrally from each Bio Blog. And, I would want to define what information the Bio Blog central list should be pinged about should it change with the Bio Blogs.
    So, there is work still to be done, on the technology end. However, once it is complete, Enterprise Blogging is really going to change the way we work.

  2. Larry Bouthillier's eMedia Blog

    Enterprise Blogs as Content Management

    This week’s Gilbane Conference on Content  Management will feature a number of sessions related to Blogs, Wikis and RSS as tools for collaboration, knowledge management, and publishing applications in corporate environments.   Coincidentally,…

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