E2.0 Adoption Patterns and the Information Hub
By billy.cripe on Mar 05, 2009
It's the image that got me thinking. When enterprises jump on the E2.0 band wagon without understanding that they are the driver and the wagon is only as big as their organization, then they often implement a piecemeal hodgepodge of different point solutions. One department rolls out JZWiki, another person starts a company blog, someone else has a Sharepoint site for their working group. It becomes difficult (impossible?) to secure the adoption quantities that guarantee the network effects E20 promises. If I rate a document in Sharepoint and someone else rates a good Wiki article, there is no way to (easily) aggregate those ratings and automatically promote the sharepoint document in the wiki and the wiki article in sharepoint. Furthermore individuals have to choose to participate in both forums using different access tools (IE, FF, Desktop Widgets etc) for any meaningful adoption to occur.
What happens is that adoption lags the promise and folks end up "making do" with one of the point solutions while IT works harder than ever to keep atop the pile of spaghetti that is cross application integrations (creating wiki links for SP docs and writing about it on the blog or building lots of different feed widgets for the portal etc). Pretty soon the E20 experiment starts to smell bad and employees don't understand why the company can't do something as simple as Facebook.
That's where the information hub and E20 platform come in. Blog posts are textual (Vlogs are Video, Podcasts are audio) but they're all electronic representations that can be objectified. They are content items displayed in a certain way. Wrapped with functionality for commenting (mini blog posts? discussion threads?), trackbacks and ratings. They have tags, metadata, and other attributes that get stored but not displayed. Wikis are socially created content - information with many authors/editors also wrapped in certain presentation modes. Social groupings are organic and/or explicit relationships between people - in the enterprise - usually around shared interests or business processes.
When information surfaced through the Enterprise 2.0 channels is logically centralized (though perhaps physically disbursed) and managed in an information hub, it is easily tagged, rated, aggregated, interacted with, shared, linked and socially consumed. This means that information is able to be re-used rather than re-created. If a good document is socially created by a working group it does not need to be cut and pasted into another wiki tool and then clipped and copied into a blog post. It can be singly referenced and presented multiple ways, for multiple people for multiple purposes.
This means that the adoption barriers to realizing the network effects that boost the importance of that information item are substantially reduced. Rating it on the wiki informs it's rating on the blog which informs the collaborative team who created the information in their collaboration workspace because it's the same item being rated - it's not 3. As more people interact with the same information object through the different channels the network effects and adoption patterns feed on themselves.
What is needed though, is the information hub and the E20 platform that can deliver the information wrapped with the functionality that is expected. Oracle has something to talk about there. Talk to us about our Information Hub and Enterprise 2.0 platform.