Tag Archives: usage

Communicating the benefits of social media to management

One of the reasons take up of social media within organisations is slower than people anticipated, often comes down to justification to management. On one hand you’d think that the relative low cost and overhead of social media deployments would mean take up would be high. On the other hand you are faced with the fears, confusion and status quo highlighted all too often. So what about that pitch to management?

There are a few things to avoid when making your pitch:

1. Don’t claim the tools will look after themselves and not require additional resource.

Let’s face it, both the culture and audience inside an organisation are very different to that on the internet. On the web, tools ‘seem’ to take off by themselves and attract a massive following. That’s because the potential user base is millions and you only need a small percentage to use your service for it to be seen as a success. Also, you can’t imagine any successful movement to take off without someone behind it, quietly (or not) pushing, facilitating and marketing. The same is true in an organisation, you need at least one or two (absolute minimum) passionate people to encourage use and show the way for how social media can be used. Take the wiki gardener role. It’s almost a must have now to identify a resource dedicated (full or part time) to gardening and evangelising the corporate wiki.

2. Don’t focus on looking for systems to retire in place of social media tools.

Most of the tools we discuss and see implemented inside organisations are adopted differently and fill different needs. These tools often provide linkages between other systems and resources or enhance the use of other tools. Not very often (at the moment) do you see swathes of systems being retired due to social media tools. Remember, this is new, so chances are by adopting Enterprise 2.0 you will be doing new things, having new conversations, finding new markets rather than replacing existing systems.

Here are some things you can do to communicate the benefits of Enterprise 2.0:

1. Identify existing processes and story board the impact of social media

It’s easier to relate benefits of new tools within your organisation against existing processes or practices. Take a wiki for example. It’s easy to identify a ton of processes and tasks that can switch to a wiki. Go and find examples like this in your organisation. Or find teams willing to experiment and pilot new ways of working. Then, present this to management.

2. Do quote success stories and industry examples

They are out there if you look. Books like ‘Here Comes Everybody’, ‘Wikinomics’ and ‘The Long Tail’ have some good sound bites. So do the vendors. Vendors are getting really good at capturing and communicating case studies of how their tools are being used and impacting organisations. Use these stories to highlight what’s happening in your industry, and how new tools are already being used by competitors or otherwise.

3. Communicate differently

Try to be different. Much of what we talk about is a change in culture, design and behaviour. Your communication to management should reflect this. Try not to do the boring old PowerPoint and standard pitch. See if you can usher in some of this new culture with your pitch. Obviously if there are standard processes to follow, then do so, but try not to be constrained. Show them you are thinking differently and ready to adapt to emerging trends.

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A Virtual World Meeting

Yesterday I took part in a meeting with approx 100 people from a multinational company. It was a regular meeting with regular outcomes but there was a twist. The meeting was held in a business equivalent of Second Life. 100 people from around the world immersed themselves in a virtual environment for 3 hours to chat, see presentations, hear from the ‘boss’ and to see how this technology could be leveraged to run large meetings/workshops.

Once inside the environment there was 15 mins of familiarisation by the waters edge before heading off to the main conference centre. The main presentations were shown in a large room with a podium in the middle. The presenter would walk over and control his PowerPoint presentation from there. Yes, PowerPoint in a virtual world….it doesn’t seem right for some reason. There were multiple screens where you could view the presentation, and if you stood on a blue circle you would see the presentation in full screen. As the presenters went through their slides they were talking over the teleconference (just like you would with WebEx etc). Attendees could ask questions via the chat panel at the bottom, whisper to each other or just sit back and watch/listen.

Overall I was impressed. Although it looked like a old video game, just seeing the other attendees move around and talk to each other made it feel like you were really there, all in one room. I even had someone whom I’ve never met, but worked with for a long time, rush over and wave at me before saying “it’s good to finally meet you!”

Elsewhere in the environment you could wander into break out rooms and watch videos that had been uploaded in advance.

Here are my conclusions from the virtual world meeting:

• people still rush over to the boss after a presentation to get his ear (seriously, it must be human nature)
• people feel more confident to speak up
• fooling around does happen but not like I thought and it was over with quickly
• someone needs to facilitate, it’s like any other meeting
• technical barriers were not really a problem (users on a whole got to grips with it very quickly)
• the likes of WebEx do the whole presentation thing a lot better
• the likes of WebEx lack the ability (at the moment) to make you feel like you are really with the other attendees
• drop the corny avatars (knights, princesses, cow boys etc) please – you just don’t need them in a business setting
• you do actually feel like you are in a real meeting with real people – something you don’t quite get in a telecon/videocon
• I can see companies really going for this kind of technology but not just yet

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The use of handouts when launching a site

Using a few traditional communication and advertising methods can be extremely effective when launching a new site or service.

I recently pre-launched a site for a medical research organisation to collaborate and organise their activities. The site introduces the users to many new concepts such as blogging, commenting, file sharing and most importantly a shift away from a reliance on email.

I thought it was important to introduce them to the site gradually and not overwhelm them with a massive feature list. So I decided to produce a series of tri-fold handouts (as above) to give out both in person and in the mail. As soon as I produced the first one, folded it and had it in my hand, I realised you just can’t beat something visual and tangible like this. That’s why magazines and books won’t die out anytime soon. I’m backing this up with some online material, but I just don’t think you can beat handouts. This is especially true when you are working with an audience new to online collaboration.

Not excited yet?

Over on the FASTForward blog there is a post from Bill Ives where he asks “is IT looking over it’s shoulder at web2.0?”. The question is in regards to whether IT are really embracing web2.0 or becoming a victim of this looser and ultimately cheaper operating model. There is one quote from this article stating “We’ve cut IT staff by 20%, and we’re providing a whole lot more in terms of IT services.?

When I first started evangelizing web2.0 /enterprise2.0 I was really eager to have the IT crowd as an audience, as I thought they’d be the first to get excited about this stuff. How wrong I was. Out of all the people I speak to and work with, it’s the IT folk who are the least excited about web2.0 use within a company setting. Even in my own IT department at the time there was only a handful of us who saw the potential in this new breed of tools. However, over time we did find some very supportive IT sponsors and supporters, and it was essential we did as working on web2.0 outside of an IT setting is very tough. Maybe the reason is that this ‘stuff’ doesn’t look like a classic solution to a classic problem. In many cases there is not much to build (if you exclude SOA etc), few need to be involved and classic system lifecycle development does not always apply.

So back to the matter at hand. Can embracing web2.0 really reduce costs and increase revenue? Well think about these examples:

  • You are a big company with a dedicated communications team who write and publish material to the intranet. What would happen if you reduced their publishing time and effort by providing a simple blog? And what if everyone in the company had a way to blog to a central news site? Even the ability to DIGG content they thought was valuable? What about the editing process of internal communications. How about you let the author have control of the message and engage on conversations, rather than pass it through several review cycles before publishing to a static page without the ability for the readers to comment?
  • In this big company you also have a team dedicated to rolling out training and help files to end users via a ‘training portal’. Content is authored, published to the training portal and reviewed at regular intervals by interviewing project teams and gathering user feedback. The material is then revised and re-published. How about placing all this in a wiki, and letting users add to and amend based on their own experiences with the system/process being used. Living and evolving training material in the wiki alongside all other system/process related information, and editable by anyone.

I’m not saying the (two random) examples above will necessarily save money/cut staff, but they would shake things up a bit and turn current models on their head. If nothing else it would cause current roles to be re-purposed and revised to facilitate and nurture this new user contributed model.

BTW, I originally missed the post from Bill, as I’m behind on my RSS feeds due to workload and a whole bunch of other stuff that’s been keeping me away from my laptop. However, as a testament to the power of web2.0 behind the firewall, I picked up a link to the post from the front page of the social bookmarking tool we implemented only a couple of months ago. Thanks for the link Bruce ;)

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The wiki and bookmarks win

Yesterday we had space in a poster session at <insert large company name>, so took the opportunity to display some posters on blogging, RSS, social bookmarking and wikis.  The idea of a poster session like this is to stand next to your posters and engage people in conversation when they stop to look at what you are displaying.  This took place at lunch time in the main canteen, so there were hundreds of people around.

When I arrived I had a quick look round at the other posters and they were all of a pretty standard format, with a mix of molecular diagrams, data slices, screen shots of scientific applications etc, and all very well produced with a ton of information on each. 

Compare that to what we had.  Very minimalist, large, slick posters with images of the corporate wiki front page, one with a massive RSS logo, another with a big image of Charlotte next to a tag cloud and another of the front page of the beta social bookmarking application.  We also had two large plasma screens cycling slide shows of the web 2.0 powered super hero himself (Charlie) and his most recent acquaintance Charlotte.  Oh, and a bunch of laptops with one hooked up to yet another large plasma ready to demo the tools.

We stood out.  Maybe we stood out too much as the rest of the poster stands seemed much busier to start with but trade soon started piling in. 

So began the conversations and engagements which went something like this:

Wiki -

Hi, so this poster is about the corporate wiki.  Have you seen <insert company name>pedia before?  No, well ok, have you seen Wikipedia?  Yes, good, well this is the same thing, same software, same goal and same ethos.  We want this to be the default entry point to find out anything about anything at the company.  Do you want to see it in action?  Good, step this way and we’ll get you started by creating a profile page.

Social Bookmarking -

Hi, so this poster is about the beta corporate bookmarking service. Have you seen tags.<insert company name>.com before? No, well ok, have you seen Del.icio.us?  No, er, Ok.  Well, let me guess, you find a site you like and your bookmark it in your Internet Explorer favorites, right?  Yes, good.  So you have a long list of bookmarks that only you can see and use when you are at your computer, right?  Yes, OK, well I’ve got something you might really like, come with me and I will show you how you can store all of your bookmarks online, give them descriptions, tag them, share them and discover new and interesting bookmarks and people based upon your interests.

And so it continued.  The interesting thing was the people at the session were your classic target customers.  This was all so new to them and most reacted in a very positive way.  Here are some of the comments:

Social Bookmarking -

Wow, this is really useful.  Everyone should be using this, why isn’t it advertised to the whole company?  You should send out an email to everyone.  I’m definitely going to use this.

Wiki -

It’s my last day on Friday and I wish I had known about this before, it would have really benefited me on so many levels.

A system like this could transform the way we collect information. It’s a real change to what we do now.

There were a few surprises for me in seeing what the customers took to and what they struggled to get to grips with.  I thought RSS would be the real show stealer, but the response was warm at best.  They liked the concept but I think the combination of needing a reader AND a feed put a barrier in the way.  Also, explaining that not all sites supported RSS seemed to confuse some people.  So there is work to do in packaging a core RSS reader into every desktop build and advertising RSS feeds and RSS as a concept more widely.  The people who saw RSS in action really got it, but as a concept alone I think it was hard to sell.

By far the best received concepts were that of the wiki and the bookmarking, they were really really popular.  I put this down to the fact it’s one tool, one concept and it’s there and ready for people to use.  Nothing to install, nothing to piece together, just visit the site, sign in and go.  Also they offer immediate and obvious payback.

My highlight was the the guy who brought his laptop down so he could import his 100+ bookmarks from IE into tags.<insert company name>.com, literally seconds after he signed himself up for an account.

Credit has to go to Sid who pulled together most of the posters and organized the space, all outside of his official role.  I just swooped in at the last minute and enjoyed engaging, educating and selling.

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Users are the spiders

My earlier post was prompted partly by a conversation with a friend who has recently moved from a small, less than 20 person law firm, to a legal department in a large company.  At the small company they implemented a social bookmarking system and let the staff loose as ‘spiders’, finding and tagging content and implementing tagging practices and taxonomies for all client artifacts.  The result was an estimated 95% of all electronic records being tagged in the system providing both online bookmarking, social networking (via shared tags and profiles) and a kind of user generated search engine.

He contrasts this to life in the big firm where there is a constant struggle to find information, even local to a small team of 10.  Corporate IT is said to be implementing a company wide solution for both search and tagging, but based on the latest timelines implementation would be at least 8 months away.

Whilst I sympathize for my friend as a user wanting the same tagging experience as in the smaller firm, I also appreciate the pressures and considerations that come in to play when you try to implement new solutions to a massive user base.  That’s why I think it’s an exciting time for smaller firms, who have the ability to get quick successes and pay back by implementing an enterprise 2.0 strategy. 

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Charlie Goes Mobile – Enterprise 2.0 on the road

From the description on Slideshare:

A conversational follow up to Meet Charlie – What is Enterprise 2.0?  This slide show is being used to engage commercial sales departments in dialogue around the use of Enterprise 2.0 tools and data on the road.

I needed a conversational piece to strike up ideas and conversations with commercial sales folk.  With the roll out of hybrid PDA/Mobile devices, and the success of the iPhone and associated optimized web applications, I want to explore what’s around the corner for the Enterprise 2.0 powered road warrior.

Although only his second, this could be Charlie’s last official appearance as Mr Enterprise 2.0, but we’ll have to see.

AT&T embracing Enterprise 2.0

Whilst the organizations I am working with are still in the early phases of Enterprise 2.0 adoption, AT&T are clearly ahead of the game.  Dr. Todd Stephens reports today that his Social Software and and Sharepoint offerings are generating so much demand he’s stopped promoting them in order to satisfy the sudden surge.

Our team is working 12 hours a day just to try to keep up with the enormous demand for our products and services. Our collaborative sites have jumped to almost 25,000 and the Social Software components have doubled in the last 3 weeks.

I spoke  to Todd a few weeks back to share experiences and views on the work we are involved in.  It was clear from our discussion that he’s done a great job in bringing Enterprise 2.0 to a massive company, and it’s also clear that the company is embracing his offerings whole heartedly.  Well done.

http://www.rtodd.com/collaborage/2007/09/crying_uncle_in_enterprise_20.html

 

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Taking ad-hoc connections for granted on the Internet

I’m off to Valencia soon where part of my trip will involve meeting up with friends and attending the annual tomato festival.

In build up to the trip I searched Flickr for both Valencia and the tomato festival and found a whole bunch of photo sets from people who have been there on holiday, stag parties, for work etc etc.  One set stood out as it looked like the people in the pictures were having a great time.  So I sent the owner of the set an email via the site asking for any recommendations on where to go and where to avoid based on my itinerary.  Within an hour I had the most comprehensive response containing recommendations and tips on what to do and places to visit.  Fantastic!  And I’m sure I could repeat the experience by doing something similar on Facebook or a number of other user generated content sites.

I take these sort of interactions for granted on the Internet, using the power of social platforms and the willingness of people to connect.  However could you do the same within a large company?  Say you are off to a conference in a few weeks and want to see if anyone else from your company is going, or you want to ask advice from people who may have attended a similar conference in the past.  How would you do it?  I imagine in most large companies you would struggle to connect with those people, and this is where you can start to identify the business case for social software behind the firewall.

I’ve already created a conference reports site on an open source platform for a large company.  From start to finish it took 2 days, and now anyone attending a conference or similar event can register on the site and blog about their experiences.  Anyone within the company can benefit from that person attending the  conference, and if they choose to connect with them.  However this is just the tip of the iceberg and was a quick win.  What I want to do is re-create the Flickr/Valencia experience and to be able to connect with anyone in a company based upon a shared interest/topic.  Enterprise 2.0 holds the key to this experience, but time will tell how easily the potential is realized.

Let us kick-start your own DIGWWW

So I’m in San Francisco from the 4th to the 7th September, speaking at the Office 2.0 Conference. The subject of the talk will be around the DIGWWW, a grass roots group who has brought social software into a global health care company.

I’ve been thinking what would be better than to go into a company in SF (small or large) for a few hours and kick start their very own DIGWWW group. It would work best for a company who currently does not have too much in the way or web 2.0 or is struggling with their current processes and systems. So any business is in scope, as almost any business can benefit from exploiting trends from the WWW.

There are many unique qualities to the DIGWWW, and we’ll set you off down the path just as we started. It will be a fun, energetic and perhaps culture changing.

So if you are part of or know of a company who would like to benefit from our experience, either email me or leave a comment!

Breathing new life into projects with Enterprise 2.0 culture and tools

Something that’s become key to how I approach projects now is community involvement. Successful web 2.0 sites on the Internet have been doing this for years and owe a lot of their success to embracing the end users throughout the development cycle, launch and feedback sequence. Traditionally myself and others who have led or are involved in leading IT projects have engaged a captive (identified by role rather than desire) audience at just the mandatory stages throughout the project. Just over a year and a half ago I started to use a project blog and project wiki pages, the difference was amazing. It turned a rather dull project with LOTS of PM only tasks to a more evenly distributed, fun project with real community involvement.

Any project I’m involved in outside of a large company now automatically gets the BaseCamp and Wiki treatment. However, now I’m actually looking forward to my next ‘corporate’ project to give it the full enterprise 2.0 treatment.

I guess what I’m saying is that having new tools to use can inspire you to look at your old work in a different way, and in turn breathe new life into something which had become same old same old…..


Enterprise 2.0 Case Study…

…well sort of. This is the presentation I’ve pulled together to highlight the work of an unofficial group who explore and push web2.0/enterprise2.0 technology and culture at a global blue chip company. We started the group in July 2006 and have enjoyed a great deal of success (and enjoyment) in the year that followed. I’ve removed any references which identify the company, so sorry if some bits seem vague.

http://www.slideshare.net/slgavin/an-enterprise-20-case-study

More Enterprise 2.0 goodness on Slideshare

Caroline Gagnon who translated the original Meet Charlie – What is Enterprise 2.0 into French has just released her own slide deck examining new ways to define a productive worker.

The presentation uses a familiar style with contrasting actors Jessica and David, who differ in their approach to work. David is your all too familiar corporate worker, whilst Jessica has a more enterprise 2.0 approach to her work.

There will be no innovation or collaboration

I was at a small conference/workshop recently called ‘Social Software in the Enterprise’. We were there to discuss how social software is changing the way businesses operate and innovate from within. Or at least I was……

There was the usual mix of management and technical types, all getting to grips with wikis, blogs, tagging, mash-ups etc, and how these things can change company culture and ultimately their bottom line.

Towards the end of day the guy I was next to started to ask who was already using this ‘stuff’ and how they see it fitting in with their current business.

The first response was from a guy opposite who quite bluntly said he was there to find out about this ‘stuff’ so they can prevent anyone using/doing it. He then went on to say he worked for a company who does not encourage open collaboration and innovation and they didn’t want their staff ‘getting creative’ or wasting time. The bottom line was they didn’t trust their staff and felt that all innovation etc should come from management or above.

Mr ‘there will be no innovation on my shift’ didn’t reveal who he worked for, but I wish I knew who it was so I could cross them off any potential future employer list!

Seriously though, there are people and companies out there who see Web/Enterprise 2.0 as a massive waste of time, or something to be feared. Old fashioned managers and CEO’s might see only the bad potential of their staff collaborating and getting creative. It’s an alien concept to me as I have seen first hand how some of the simplest and lightweight software ever installed behind the firewall (MediaWiki) has transformed the way not only I but hundreds of people work. The problem is no-one has been able to effectively communicate the power of Enterprise 2.0 to these people. They’ve probably just read a few tabloid articles on how a rouge blogger published some company secrets, or how a secretary spent 37 hours a week on MySpace……

Yes there are some things to exercise caution over, but on the whole it’s a no brainier for most companies. In fact I’m pretty sure even the guy in question will start to see Enterprise 2.0 within his company over the next few years, he might just not recognize it. It will either creep in by some resourceful users, or someone like Microsoft will sell it to them under a different name.

Enterprise 2.0 BBC Style

I first saw this sometime last year when it created quite a buzz during an Enterprise 2.0 week we were running.

It’s a 25 minute informal interview with Nigel Paine, head of BBC Learning and Development. Nigel provides a fascinating and down to earth insight into how Enterprise 2.0 culture and tools have revolutionized knowledge sharing at the BBC.

The videocast is here, but be warned it only seems to play in Internet Explorer.

The BBC really are the poster child of Enterprise 2.0 adoption and experimentation.

RSS and the Enterprise – Examples

I often refer to RSS as the glue needed to hold any Enterprise 2.0 implementation together. Or at the very least RSS is needed to get the most of your shiny new Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Companies are already drowning in data, and the introduction of social software will add to the data being created, or at least shift data to different platforms and means of delivery.

RSS allows the user to subscribe to content or a source, and then be notified when the content changes, or when new content is available from a source.

There are many benefits and applied uses for RSS, so here are some of the ways I’m using it:

Tools

  • Google Reader

This is my general purpose, browser based reader. It’s neat as it’s available anywhere including on my mobile phone. I subscribe to a number of blogs, industry sites, tags, news alerts and some smart filtering.

  • Attensa Outlook Plugin

Attensa provide a FREE plugin for Outlook which gives you an RSS reader in your normal folder hierarchy. They also provide a feed server (not free) from which administrators can publish and manage enterprise RSS feeds.

Uses

  • RSS as a ‘Smart Filter’

So let’s say you want to subscribe to content from a certain blog or application but you are only interested in a particular category or taxonomy. If the source site/system supports it you can subscribe to just the content you are interested in.

  • Persistent Searching

One of the great things about the Attensa Outlook plugin is it’s persistent search functionality. You set up a search term to be run against a number of search engines and you get a daily dose of new content/results against the search. If your company is in the news a lot it’s a good way to keep up with who’s referencing you and in what way.

  • Corporate Wiki

I receive a list at the start of each day for all new wiki pages. Sometimes I will spot something which makes me reach out to the author to either collaborate or to just say hi. It’s also amazing how much info you take in without knowing it. You can be sitting in a meeting and someone will mention system ‘xyz’ and you’ll know there’s already some information available in the wiki.

  • Corporate Blogs & Podcasts

There’s not a large number of blog and podcast creators at the company I work for, but for the ones which do exist I subscribe to them with the Attensa Outlook plugin.

  • Tags from Delicious

If you browse to http://del.icio.us/rss/tag/ and then the your tag, you expose the RSS feed for the particular tag. This is great because it means I receive a daily stream of new content tagged with ‘Enterprise 2.0′ etc. You could try it out for your company name….. could be interesting as a market intelligence source (coupled with persistent searching).

  • RSS Mash-ups/feedbot

I use http://www.mysyndicaat.com to mash a number of different RSS feeds into one super feed. For example I’ve created an RSS ‘feedbot’ in MySyndicaat for a number of tags within delicious and technorati I am keeping an eye on. Normally you would need to add a feed into your reader for each tag you are watching, but with MySyndicaat you can mash them all together into a feedbot. If you want to you can also opt for username and password authentication to your feedbot .

  • RSS Live News Feeds at point of Operation

Another team here are using an RSS feed from a certain taxonomy (smart filter) to feed content directly to engineers building desktops and servers at the build screen. The build screen has a news pane displaying content from the RSS feed notifying engineers of issues, developments, things to look out for or to alert them to new versions of software etc.

So all this information is available to me on a daily basis, without me looking for it. Nice. If nothing else, knowledge management and market intelligence professionals should get switched on to RSS.

Of course this is just scratching the surface of RSS use, and it’s not really specific to usage just within the enterprise. However as application builders and content providers add RSS support into their apps, we’ll see a whole bunch of new tools and uses for RSS. Widgets are set to be the big thing this year, and with good reason. We’re currently looking at how we can expose more corporate (user selected) content in a user friendly way by using funky desktop widgets.

Getting started with the corporate wiki

I’ve already covered some of this in my last post It’s not always obvious, but a friend who works in local government IT recently asked me “how do you get started with a wiki?” He has just installed an instance of MediaWiki for his department, and is faced with ‘blank page syndrome’. So here are a few ways I hooked into the corporate wiki and in turn inspired others follow suit:

  • A personal bio describing who I am, what I do and links to current work/involvements
  • A link to the personal bio in my email signatures and presentations
  • Meeting agenda’s (link sent with invite)
  • Meeting minutes
  • Project outlines
  • Project landing pages (or shop fronts) linking off to all project resources/info
  • Status reports
  • Definitions of work
  • Definitions of systems
  • There’s lots more, but you get the idea…

The personal bio was the catalyst for my rapid wiki take-up. Having links to blank pages for things I am working on really got the ball rolling and provided the starting point I personally needed. It also helped me get a lot more organised (which there is always room for).

I think this post will get renamed ‘Getting started with corporate wikis part 1’ as there are loads more examples I can drill down on, but for now I hope that helps you Toby!

It’s not always obvious

For the last year I have been evangelising the use of wikis, blogs, social bookmarking etc both within and outside of my current work assignment. For example I’ll often suggest using a wiki when a project team is just about to go off and start a new Word document, place it in the corporate document repository, send round the link and take it in tunrs to edit, followed by a painful review cycle. Following my recommendation I’ll usually distill the benefits and applied usage of wikis in general and for the particular scenario in question. I usually manage to convince people to give it a go, or at least take a look, but this wasn’t always the case.

It took me a while to really appreciate the power of wikis behind the firewall, and it wasn’t until I’d built up a handful of project pages which linked to various parts of each other and external sources, that I really started to see how wikis will transform information sharing and collaboration within a company.

Wikis are now default for me and I tend not to go near MS Word if at all possible. Everything from my bio, project documentation, status reports, project outlines, team to do lists, agendas, minutes and project resource catalogues are in the wiki.


To me the benefits are now obvious and the concept of company knowledge just sitting in a corporate repository with ‘check in’ and ‘check outs’ and layered security seem alien. However, I completely see why probably the vast majority of corporate IT users don’t instantly see why they should default to using a wiki, at least in the early information gathering stages of their work.

So I’ve started to build up a collection of usage scenarios and real life examples within the corporate wiki to pull out of my back pocket during a ‘sales pitch’. Something simple like a project landing page with descriptions of work streams, links to team member bio’s and a list of upcoming and past meetings will do. Then actually edit one of the pages in a ten second live demo, and you should have them hooked.

If you are out there evangelising any aspect of Enterprise 2.0 at your company, build up some of these real life examples, as the benefits are definitely not instantly obvious to most users. This included me at one point, and I know it includes a large section of the IT community at the companies I have contact with.

See also Microsoft Word is Dead by CorporatePunk.

 

Amazing response to ‘Meet Charlie’

I just want to say a big thanks to everyone who has been in touch regarding the ‘Meet Charlie – What is Enterprise2.0?’ presentation. Within a week of producing the slide deck and uploading it to SlideShare.net I’ve had almost 1500 views and a whole bunch of emails from folk around the world.

So from producing a visually attractive and content rich set of slides, uploading them to a web2.0 service and sending the link out to a few people I have been:

  • contacted by CEO’s and IT managers to say they loved the slides, and now really get Enterprise 2.0.
  • contacted by numerous people from many countries just to say hi or to ask if they can use the slides
  • asked to give the presentation again at the company I work for
  • linked to by a number of blogs and sites

So this really demonstrates the power of web2.0, the opportunities it can present and the contacts it can create. What it also does is provide a glimpse into the potential of Enterprise2.0. So imagine your company has an equivalent of SlideShare installed within the firewall where everyone shares their slide decks within the organisation. If you were to post an equivalent of the ‘Meet Charlie’ presentation, and it were to be as popular, were to be linked to from employee and director blogs, were to be discussed at meetings, were to be sent round via email/messenger…..you’d be creating some pretty serious contacts and opportunities! Not to mention raising your profile, getting your message heard, presenting you ideas or passion to the whole company…………..This is what really excites me about Enterprise2.0…it’s fairly untapped, yet to be adopted by the masses, but bubbling with opportunity for better communication, collaboration and innovation!

I’d like to give a quick mention for Cheree Moore of Ethos 3 Communications and Presentation Revolution for providing the visual inspiration for a Meet _____ presentation.

http://www.slideshare.net/slgavin/meet-charlie-what-is-enterprise20

Meet Charlie – What is Enterprise2.0?

Meet Charlie – What is Enterprise2.0? is the presentation I created for my talk to the British Computer Society on the 25th April 2007. It’s a generic look at what web2.0 looks like in the corporate environment. Even if you’re new to all this stuff it’s a quick, fun and visually entertaining intro to Enterprise2.0:

http://www.slideshare.net/slgavin/meet-charlie-what-is-enterprise20