Creating an effective online community is a challenge. The biggest complaint I hear in this arena ... I can't find content within my own company. Put another way, how do you assist the knowledge transfer (VPD) process if an engineer or marketing representative in Kansas has no idea about work being done in Nevada (or Shanghai)? Here are some reviews of social bookmarking services which may help you solve this dilemma.
Just yesterday IBM announced a new entry into this field: Lotus Connections. Here is a podcast link from IBM's DeveloperWorks series ... "Carol Jones: IBM Fellow talks about social networking, advances in collaboration, and the tools growing up to facilitate them" (podcast link)
Finally, my thanks to the CEO of ConnectBeam, Puneet Gupta, who emailed me the link to the bookmarks review.
An update to this posting may be found here
Hi this is Tom Mandel -- also w/ Connectbeam
Not to take over your post, Rich, but a couple of additions to what Puneet mentions as essentials:
1. integration: beyond search there is integration w/ directory services. If my ldap/ad profile shows *dynamic* information about my interests, tagging, bookmarking, etc. it becomes *much* more useful. This is possible w/ Connectbeam.
2. APIs - in the long run, the customer wants to control how all these technologies play together. Connectbeam is working on a full suite of REST APIs to enable this. The benefit to the customer is clear. The benefit to the vendor is that your technology vision can weave through everything the enterprise user engages. Bookmarking/tagging are ideal for this role.
Posted by: tmandel | January 24, 2007 at 07:49 AM
Questions is - what is that killer combination of features/events/incentives/hierachies/... that will drive adoption of these "2.0" style collaboration applications toward that inflexion point of (mass) usage resulting in ushering its real value? We certainly asked this question of ourselves when we first started out at Connectbeam.
Trust, grass roots evangelism, lead by example, incentive alignment, ... all play an important part toward acceptance and adoption of these application.
However, when we first started out at Connectbeam - we placed our bet on what we felt were the two overriding aspects that if addressed would overcome and drive the rest, namely -
1. A 'handshake to the past’
2. Dead simple application interface (feature) that would cut across all business units and users and had the potential of becoming the superset of all other 2.0 derivative technology/features.
As we started to think through and whiteboard out the use cases, we further solidified in our belief - that putting social bookmarking at the center piece of the entire 2.0 collaborative framework helped us achieve our two key objectives.
The handshake to the past came in couple of ways:
1. For starters, and coming out of the gate, an out-of-the-box integration that we are able to provide to existing enterprise search applications. This allowed Connectbeam to come inside the enterprise, bolt on top of existing IT infrastructure, and thereby immediately providing a seamless transition for users into Connectbeam - from what the users already use and do on a daily basis (search for keywords on company Intranets).
2. (Social) bookmarking is as old as the browser itself. Of all the 2.0 derivative technologies it is the most widely used, and understood. Generating user awareness or training is not an issue in this case (or compared to the rest, what is required here is significantly less). This undoubtedly, helps in broader reach and quicker acceptance among different constituents
Simple application interface:
Goes beyond the ease of use of the UI. We felt with social bookmarking we could deliver all the key attributes of 2.0 (alerts-RSS, groups, privacy, sharing, virtual communities, content aggregation, subscription, notifications, content discovery, user profiles, …) without having to introduce a completely new paradigm to the end user, and do it in a way that was akin to watching email subject headers. Meaning – without having to really read the entire page, the user would simply get a real-time view into bookmarks (akin to seeing email subject headers). If a bookmark was of interest the user would simply click on it to dig deeper and this in turn could actually lead to a page out of a wiki, or blog, or any other webpage.
A little long post, but thought you might find it somewhat interesting to hear little bit of the ‘inside view’ from Connectbeam.
Posted by: Puneet Gupta | January 24, 2007 at 01:19 AM
Rich - I would appreciate hearing your comments on this since it touches on some of the the things you are probably wrestling with:
Posted by: Dennis McDonald | January 23, 2007 at 09:42 PM