Thanks to the generosity of Randy Corke of Chaordix, this Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to a meeting of the Ad Club. The Ad Club is the trade organization for marketing, advertising and communications in New England. A different crowd for me. So why was I invited? Why did I go? The topic was crowd sourcing - an Enterprise 2.0 subject near and dear to me. The speakers were Edward Boches and John Winsor.
The event was most interesting, mainly because it allowed me to see Enterprise 2.0 from a different perspective - that of the advertising professional (e.g. copy writer, illustrator, designer, layout artists, creative director, etc.).
No its not about being ecologically friendly...
I live in one of the "greenest" American cities, Boston. Aside from Chicago, I do not know of any American city that rivals us on the "wearing of the green" on St. Patrick's Day. Boston is also known for its citizens' enthusiasm. (There have been riots and death as a result of celebrating our city's major league teams winning.)
So this year, during Boston's St. Patrick's Day festivities, Boston police have decided to use Twitter, the burgeoning microblogging tool, as a way to manage the crowds.
So for all of you who struggle to see the business value of Twitter, or fail to provide clear example to your potential corporate sponsors - look to the Boston Police Department. They get it. When you need sub-second, mission critical, timely sharing of dynamic information, insight and developments - Twitter Away.
And don't forget - next Tuesday, March 17th, to be "wearing the green".
Those of you who follow this blog know that I am an advocate of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0, but an equal zealot of Content Security. Indeed, it is no coincidence that the first two AIIM Market IQs focus on Content Security (released - available for download), and Enterprise 2.0 (in progress and slated for Q1 2008 availability.
New, more flexible and far reaching approaches to social computing and networking are very powerful, but all too often, proposers of such functionality feel that such forums need to be self-policing - free and open. Yeah - no. Earlier posts have made this case. Today, one of the poster children for Web 2.0 and social computing, Facebook, made my case once again.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly backed down on Facebook's Beacon advertisements and announced new modifications, aimed at better security and filters (see article). In my opinion, Zuckerberg is lucky that so far no one has sought legal action against him and his company. Zuckerberg is learning the hard way that even Web 2.0-inclined users still believe that some of their personal content is just that "personal". Things we may share with our "real friends", may not be things we want to publicly share with our several hundred "Facebook friends".
This event is an especially powerful commentary on the need to "manage" social networking. Facebook is often pointed to as a quintessential example of the power of social computing, popular with "generation millenials", representing the new attitude to networking and "making friends." When these millenials were personally exposed to the risks involved with unbridled access and sharing of their web experiences, they quickly cried foul, and demanded the protection that generations before them fought for - right to privacy.
In his post, Zuckerberg stated "We missed the right balance,". Oh yes indeed, and that is the balance between collaboration/innovation and protection/compliance that is the focus of the AIIM Market IQ on Content Security. Zuckerberg also apologized for the PR fiasco that followed, "It took us too long after people started contacting us to change the product so that users had to explicitly approve what they wanted to share," he wrote. "Instead of acting quickly, we took too long to decide on the right solution." Success in business today, more than ever, is founded in agility. This Web 2.0 company has many a enterprise 1.0 lessons to learn. (Interesting to note that the Market IQ slated for Q3 2008 is on process management and agility.)
It is also interesting to note that this current mistake made by Facebook is more complex than other privacy mistakes made by Facebook because it involved business partners (i.e advertisers). A number of Beacon participants are now also crying foul - stating that they will either temporarily or permanently pull out of the program. This level of complexity is just the tip of the iceberg regarding multi-client/partner relationships and collaborative processes.
The moral here, and one that is likely to be echoed in our upcoming Market IQ on Enterprise 2.0, the functionality available through Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 represents great opportunity, but tread cautiously and intelligently. Do not abandon "older" best practices and common sense when embracing new models. Deploying Facebook-like functionality inside the firewall (Enterprise 2.0) requires careful deployment and strategy, that includes good old fashioned management and security. Enterprises who have contemplated bringing Facebook inside the firewall may want to rethink that approach. This is not the first time Facebook has gotten access/security wrong. This popular millenial social tool may not be ready for business prime time.
In his book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida asks a thought provoking question. I'll paraphrase - If you took a person from 1900 and dropped them into 1950, then took someone form 1950 and dropped him into 2000, who would experience the most marvel, confusion and degree of change? Florida states that for most of us, the obvious answer is the man from 1900, transported to 1950. Agree? Think of the changes is technology. The 1900 - 1950 time traveler would encounter a dizzying uptake of automobiles, proliferation of telephone, air travel, modern sky-reaching architecture, bridges spanning waterways once only crossable by boat (bridges covered in automobiles), homes filled with electric appliances to do everything from play stereo music to open cans and keep foods frozen indefinitely. He would witness advances in medicine that significantly altered life expectancy and the elimination of many diseases. Although the 1950 - 2000 time traveler would encounter many advances in transportation, architecture and health care, the ability to absorb them and comprehend them would not be as difficult. Florida proposes that although cars may be easier to drive for longer distances, planes are faster and bigger and home appliances are more slick and efficient the degree of fundamental change would not be as great or difficult to comprehend. New cars are still driven on basically the same roads. Trains still run on the same tracks. Telephones, though now even more plentiful and operating wirelessly, are in essence still the same appliance providing the same type of connection, and operated in a very similar fashion. Television, in all its cable-enabled interactive glory is still basically the same form of entertainment (Florida points out that indeed the time traveler could still watch his same favorite TV shows from the 1950s in re-runs.) Ah but what of the computer? Florida proposes that even the PC, while an impressive example of progress, the time traveler from 1950 would not be too hard pressed to learn how to operate it, as it shares the same input (keyboard) device as the typewriter. He, nor I mean to make light of the power and value of the computer, but to grasp the concept perhaps not as major a leap as seeing a plane for the first time. So the "winner" is the 1900 - 1950 time traveler. WRONG - Florida quickly turns the reader's attention back to a different level of change, one far more dramatic in the latter part of the last century. He proposes the level of social change would spin the head of the 1950 - 2000 time traveler to a dizzying level that far exceeds that caused by technology changes in the first half of the century. The 1050 - 2000 time traveler may indeed be boggled by work-from home business models, woman and minority executives leading global firms, woman and minorities holding significant political power, smokers banished to parking lots, relaxed dress codes at work and at leisure, an intolerance for ethnic demeaning humor, job-hoppers (as opposed to the life time loyal employee) and a far greater exchange of ideas - individuality over conformity. A ready mixing of inputs from myriad individuals regardless of geographic location, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and to some degree age.
The agent of change from 1950 - 2000? Florida proposes many, including increased individual creativity (individualism) and openness in the transfer of ideas - increased communication and collaboration across multiple "barriers". Herein lies the link to this website. Florida is, in some part speaking to Enterprise 2.0, the positive side of Enterprise 2.0 (I have earlier blogged on the darker side of Enterprise 2.0). With the open exchange of experience and ideas, we achieve greater creativity.
I am particularly excited and focused about this at the moment because I just returned from an AIIM ATM meeting and AIIM Board of Directors meeting. One of the topics discussed was the approaches that will be used to create more of an open exchange among the AIIM community. To my delight, the ATMS and board embraced the ideas. The ECM association will soon be building its knowledge base and creative directions with far greater agility and speed. Why, because every member will be given a real voice and collectively we should become smarter and more creative. Collaboration and exchange will not only be supported, but facilitated and encouraged. Individuals from around the world, across verticals, suppliers of ECM and users of ECM will be open to exchange. Online communities around verticals, horizontals, products and locality will be born. Market IQ reports will be published as "live documents", organically growing with individual reactions and related experiences. Wikipedias will act as knowledge repositories and navigation tools. In the spirit of Enterprise 2.0, AIIM, the ECM Association will become a highly interactive community of ECM practitioners, thought leaders, solution developers, technicians and business people.
Yeah, I am pumped with excitement. The only bad news, in my mind, is that this will take some time, from an infrastructure standpoint to completely deliver on. But the cultural shift, away from a command and control/push communication model has been made, and that is a huge first step.
In the interim there are many small next steps in which we can all participate, embryonic though they may be. This blog and a family of other AIIM blogs are available for ongoing commentary. I encourage you to post your comments to this posting. What do you think of AIIM's direction? What tools, functionality, communities do you want? Also be aware that AIIM hosts an ECM community in Facebook and an AIIM Linkedin group. Join, comment - get engaged and be part of the community that ushers in AIIM 2.0.
Tonight the Democratic presidential candidates will be debating, but this is not a patriotic call to tune in. I chose to blog about this on TakingAIIM, because this is a monumental event in the ECM industry. For the first time in U.S. history, the debate will be covered not by one of the leading television networks, but by YouTube (and CNN), and voters will have an opportunity to submit questions via YouTube to the participating Democratic candidates. This marks a new era in American politics, no less dramatic then FDR’s fire-side radio chats and the Kennedy/Nixon debates. FDR was the first president to use the radio to radically change the way the executive branch communicated with and thus influenced the masses. The Kennedy/Nixon debates were the first to be televised. Kennedy, was a far better master of the “new” media than his formidable opponent and many historians cite the debates as a major positive factor in his ultimate victory. It will be most interesting to see who among the candidates is more adept in using Web 2.0. The GOP candidates will get their turn in September.
Several thousand video questions have already been submitted, not just from the U.S. but from Europeans and South Americans as well. CNN editors will select from among these, to air in the two-hour broadcast. All of the submissions, however, can be viewed at Youtube.com.
It will be even more interesting to see how the Republican candidates react. I recall an article that ran in a local paper a few weeks ago that reported how Scooter Libby’s lawyers moved to prevent letters written by Libby supporters from being made public in fear that the “blogging community” may pick up on them and not treat Mr. Libby and his supporters kindly. While the Democrats thus far are (trying) to embrace Web 2.0, the current Republican administration appears to recognize the power of Web 2.0, but is only seeing the down side. The Republican presidential candidates will have their chance at Web 2.0 debates in September.
ECM in the form of Web 2.0 is on the cusp of making a major difference in national politics. This is powerfully indicative of the powers of Enterprise 2.0, and the challenge for organizations to “get it right.” Later this year, AIIM Market Intelligence will be issuing its study on Enterprise 2.0 for this very reason.
So tune in tonight and watch history being made, whether you are politically interested or not. As an ECMer how can you resist?
The ECM industry has reached another milestone – Enterprise 2.0. Now before you get the impression that I am among the many that position Enterprise 2.0 as the next big disruptive technology, one that will redefine business – read on. If we listen to some of the more vocal pundits, such as Andrew McAfee, we are led to believe that collaboration is a whole new concept in business. Or maybe the aspect of Enterprise 2.0 that is "revolutionary" is the proactive approach to building communities online. Well, neither is new. Indeed, I, among others, have been talking about the virtues of collaboration and social network analysis for many years. In my many writings and lectures on Knowledge Management, I have positioned collaboration and networking as one of the four primary applications of Knowledge Management, under the label "Intermediation". (See Chapter 2 of my book, Knowledge Management.)
Now before you get the impression that I am dismissing Enterprise 2.0 – read on. There is real value and promise in Enterprise 2.0. It is not defining or introducing collaboration and networking into our business communities, but it is enabling wider, more flexible and less costly approaches to collaboration. Herein lies the real promise of Enterprise 2.0. A new class of tools have emerged that allow us to build online communities with little to no technical skills, with little to now major investments in integration, customization and time. These web-enabled tools allow us to create and link into and participate in far more communities than ever before. What they provide is flexibility, reach and reduced cost. Organizations that have struggled with the "left hand not knowing what the right is doing", have a serious set of tools with which to combat this problem.
So then, why am I not among the radically positive who are shouting the virtues of Enterprise 2.0 from every blog and podium they can get on? Because Enterprise 2.0 is a new set of tools to enable collaboration and intermediation – not invent them. The basic tenets of business and business models are not changed forever. In fact, if these tools are used blindly, without paying attention to underlying needs for knowledge leadership, the environments they build are destined to pale and wither. All communities, whether face-to-face, in an online chat room, or via a blog or wiki require focus/purpose, trust among its members, and management. ( A topic I promise to post more on in the near future.) Enterprise 2.0 will no more revolutionize business than the internet. Oh sure, web-based commerce has had a serious impact on business – but need I use the "dot-bomb" word to reminds us of the reality of that "revolution"?
A word of realism here – Enterprise 2.0 is innovation sure – but it is a little i not a big I. (I will write more about innovation management and the concept of big and little I in the near future.) All too often analysts and "inventors" want us to think that new technologies are disruptive and revolutionary. These individuals seem to think that innovation must be huge (the Big I), in order to have real value. In reality, many valuable and lasting innovations are incremental changes to existing technologies and practices (the little i). That is the case with Enterprise 2.0. Innovative, yes. Valuable, yes. Lasting, yes. Totally redefining community and business, no. It’s a tool set that enables faster, wider and more flexible communities, a function of knowledge management.
I am not alone in my thinking – thank goodness. There are a handful of analysts and knowledge management "gurus" who see Enterprise 2.0 for what it is - "a little i." I was most encouraged by the debate at the recent Enterprise 2.0 show in Boston, between Tom Davenport and Andrew McAfee. Davenport did a great job, I believe, in positioning Enterprise 2.0 along the lines of this blog posting, and succeeded in getting McAfee, credited with coining the term Enterprise 2.0, with admitting that Enterprise 2.0 will not likely transform most companies.