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Category: Enterprise Blogs & Wikis (page 2 of 7)

Government confronts the new information world

With the rise of Web 2.0 and 3.0, growing Internet traffic, social networking and a host of other technologically driven applications and appetities, government at all levels is confronting the burgeoning changes in its role and participation in the society around it.

An important part of this process is the separation of the paths down which technology is taking society at large from the paths government should and should not follow in performing its essential functions. Experience has shown that not every tool, functionality and resource available to and used by citizens should become part of the governance process. The quandry is deciding up front which is which. This quandry can be seen in the very definition of government being used to described the future: “connected government”, “open government”, “participatory democracy”, “transparent government” are just some of the terms being used to describe what their users think government should be.

The core challenge, it would seem, is to develop an approach that makes government at once more effective in discharging its myriad day to day duties, more open and responsive to the honestly held beliefs and concerns of its citizens, yet still fully capable of discharging its constitutional responsibilities without infringing on or abrogating the rights of its citizens. History shows that this:

  • Will not be an easy process
  • Will not lend itself to a solution based solely on availablle technnology
  • Is likely to be tried unsuccessfully (or disastrously) more than once before we get it right.

This would seem to dictate that, whatever the technological imperatives, government should be changed carefully, in small steps and with well-considered fallbacks from the paths that turn out to be ineffective or dangerous to our liberties. One way to do this, for instance, would be to focus on those government functions we know are broken and understand how to fix (yes, there are such things.)  Then we could focus on applying new technology in areas where the target is familiar, the outcome more easily measured and the impact is less likely to spin out of control.

Socialtext Delivers Socialtext 3.0

Socialtext released Socialtext 3.0, a trio of applications including Socialtext People and Socialtext Dashboard, as well as a major upgrade to its Socialtext Workspace enterprise wiki offering. These products are built on a modular and integrated platform that delivers connected collaboration with context to individuals, workgroups, organizations and extranet communities. People are able to discover, create, and utilize social networks, collaborate in shared workspaces, and work productively, with personalized widget-based dashboards. The company also announced Socialtext Signals, a Twitter-style microblogging interface that goes beyond simple “tweets” by integrating both automated and manual updates with social networking context, expanding the company’s business communications offerings for the enterprise. As with its proven Workspace wiki and weblog product, Socialtext will make all of its offerings available on a hosted ASP as well as an on-premise appliance basis. The entire Socialtext 3.0 trio of products is available immediately on the hosted service, and will be made available to appliance customers starting in October 2008. Socialtext 3.0 profile integration with LDAP or Microsoft Active Directory systems enable rapid population. REST APIs for workspace and profile content are now complemented with a Widget architecture and user interface for the creation of enterprise mashups. Productized Connectors are available with Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM Lotus Connections. You can immediately experience this new release in a free trial at

Atlassian Partners with EditGrid to Expand Features of Hosted Wiki

EditGrid, the online spreadsheet, is now available to customers that use the hosted versions of Confluence, the enterprise wiki from Atlassian. The EditGrid Plugin for Confluence allows for real-time collaboration of spreadsheets within Confluence Hosted or Confluence Enterprise Hosting. With EditGrid, users can create or insert spreadsheets into Confluence pages. They can also edit the spreadsheet collaboratively. The resulting spreadsheet is saved as an attachment within the Confluence pages in Microsoft Excel format, allowing Confluence to manage the revision history. Some of the features of the EditGrid plugin include: Real-time updates – allows multiple users to see dynamic changes to a spreadsheet; Remote data update – retrieves live financial data on the Web and stores it in a spreadsheet; Import and export: accepts file formats such as Microsoft Excel, CSV, HTML, Gnumeric, Lotus, OpenOffice and assigns fine-grained access control; and Live chat – enables multiple users to discuss changes from within EditGrid, no need to switch to another chat application. EditGrid is free for Confluence Hosted and Confluence Enterprise Hosting customers, and it is available starting today. For more information please visit,,

Gilbane Boston – Blogging and Research Reports

It seems hard to believe that we’ve been too busy to blog about our annual upcoming conference in Boston. Fortunately it has a life of its own and doesn’t depend on our blogging activity. This year’s event is our largest yet, and we’ll be blogging more regularly about it to help make sure you don’t miss some of the nuggets.
Today, I just want to note that (one of the reasons we’ve been so busy is) because have a number of research projects and studies underway, and the results of some of these will be discussed at the conference, as well as on some of our track-specific blogs. For example, Geoff blogged yesterday about the research we are doing on collaboration, social computing, and “Web 2.0” technology use in the enterprise. Geoff will be leading a panel on this and other research at the conference. Stay tuned both here and on our topic area blogs for more info on this and other research.

New Research: “College Admissions Outpace Corporations in Embracing Social Media”

UMass professor Nora Barnes has added to her earlier research on enterprise adoption of social software, this time focused on use by universities. Below is an intro with a link from her announcement. Also see our Collaboration & Social Computing Blog where Geoff comments on a new report by McKinsey.

Earlier this year, my research partner, Eric Mattson and I revealed that the fast-growing companies of the Inc. 500 are adopting social media faster than anyone would have predicted based on the previous research into corporate social media (summary). I sent you that announcement. Those findings were actually picked up and featured in Business Week in March!

For our most recent research, we followed up on that survey by examining the social media usage of the “marketing teams” (a.k.a. admissions departments) of 453 colleges and universities nationwide. The results are fascinating. I thought you’d be interested.

Generally, the “marketing teams” of academic institutions are more familiar with and adopting social media faster (especially blogs) than even the innovative companies of the Inc. 500. Even more importantly, they are using social media and search engines to research potential students. No longer can applicants behave irresponsibly online without potential consequences to their futures (and their parents’ sanity).

An executive summary of the results entitled The Game Has Changed: College Admissions Outpace Corporations in Embracing Social Media can be downloaded here from the website of the UMD Center for Marketing Research.

More data on Facebook users and Enterprise 2.0

Here is a chart including the data from the poll described yesterday from 500 25-34 year old facebook users combined with the results from the same poll given to 500 18-24 year old facebook users. There is certainly a difference. But the most surprising results are the extremely low expectations about the use of blogs and wikis, and even social networking software. These findings, informal as they are, would make me very nervous if I were a start-up hoping to make it by capturing the facebook generation as they stream into the workforce.

Facebook Generation on Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration Technologies

I joined facebook a few days ago to check it out and to get an idea about the approach’s relevance to enterprise applications. I need to use it some more before I reach any conclusions, but since I am at the Enterprise 2.0 Collaborative Technologies conference this week I decided to use the new facebook poll feature to see what the facebook crowd thinks about collaboration as they enter the workplace. The poll feature is limited (1 multiple choice question) but it provides direct access to the tens of millions of facebook users and you can choose from a couple of demographic options. Also, you can get the results very quickly – in my first poll I received 500 responses in about 9 hours!

I will blog about the results more later and will also include all the graphs, but in the meantime, everyone I mentioned the poll to at the conference has wanted the results, so here they are the basics:

Question: Which collaboration technologies will you use the most in your job in two years?

  • SMS text messaging 6% (30)
  • email will continue to dominate 66% (328)
  • instant messaging 16% (53)
  • facebook-like social networking tools for business 11% (53)
  • blogs and/or wikis 2% (8)

Keep in mind that the 500 responses all came from the 25-34 age group who are presumably mostly in the workforce. I just started the same poll with the 18-24 age group and will provide those results for comparison later tonight. UPDATE: The combined poll results are now available.

Between the two age groups we will have some info direct from the generation that Don Tapscott, Andrew McAfee and others are making predictions about (we refer to some of this here). This is of course a very informal poll, but interesting nonetheless. I wish I had the results in time to provide Andrew and Tom Davenport for yesterday’s debate!

Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 Debate

At last week’s conference in Washington (where Tony Byrne did a great job with the program), we had a lively discussion in the opening keynote panel after I made a disparaging comment about “Web 2.0”. Of course I was referring to the term not to the various technologies or concepts that the term may or may not include depending on who is attempting to define it as a “thing-in-itself”. But somehow I wasn’t clear about that and, judging by the reaction, there appeared to be a generational-like difference of opinion, which was complicated by this classic problem of confusing a name with an object. In any case it was fun, and the debate carried on through some of the other conference sessions. I also brought up “Enterprise 2.0” which I’ve discussed before, but for some reason couldn’t remember Andrew McAfee’s name when I was recommending further reading, so here is his blog.
For those of you attending the Enterprise 2.0 conference next week, or who are local, there will be a debate between Andrew and Tom Davenport, who have different opinions on Enterprise 2.0. The debate itself is open to the public even if not registered for the conference. Here is more info. We are media sponsors of the conference and have a special discount available. Just register and use discount code MLQTEB16 when you register.
Also keep in mind our own annual Boston conference in November where we’ll be continuing our coverage of “enterprise social software” technologies.

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