One of the most annoying habits of self-appointed technology gurus, sheikhs, czars or experts is that they take their own behaviour as the basis for extrapolation to predict how the rest of the world will/could/should use tools. A side effect of this is an inability to empathise or understand the needs and culture of non-geek workers in non-technology companies. What they do as individual consultants sitting in their pyjamas in a home-office, eating Granola and ego-surfing is regarded as a template for people trying to get things done inside a corporation or a government department.
I’m glad someone is putting these sort of views out there. I’ve been struggling with the ‘scene’ for some time now in that every other person you meet nowadays is an independent consultant on something or another, often without a grounding in big company politics or IT that brings balance to their views. I recently met a CIO of a very large company that told me that he’s sick and tired of ‘fresh’ independent gurus telling him that he needs tools like Twitter to run his business and that things like RSS are ‘dead’.
Lee also very eloquently and insightfully highlights the current state of enterprise RSS adoption, noting that it’s still motoring up the adoption curve and we’re a long way off seeing it’s wide spread ROI being realized across the corporate world.
I am convinced that enterprise RSS is only just beginning it adoption curve, and it has tremendous value to offer both individuals and groups. Solving the information needs of an individual is pretty easy. Finding better ways to co-ordinate the activities of thousands of people is a lot more difficult, and flocking from new tool to new tool every six months is not an option. Weaning people off the Outlook or Blackberry inbox for actionable information and intelligence is widely recognised as an important need, but it will take time. RSS and similar syndication approaches will be a key part of that solution.
I encourage you to read Lee’s full post.