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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Introductory Article Re Corporate Blogs and Wikis

A great looking blog called WikiSquared (motto: In the world of wikis, everyone is smarter than anyone) just reposted a terrific article titled INFOCONOMY Review of Corporate Blogs and Wikis. It's an interesting and thorough overview of both technologies, and the type of thing (as the reposter writes) you could plop on some one's desk and as an explanation of the phenomena and evidence of the need to adopt.

New info I gleaned from the article included the following:

I really liked the introduction.
THE Internet is evolving, and finally showing signs of delivering some of the interactivity that has been promised since its inception. At the forefront of this evolution are technologies like weblogs (online diaries usually referred to as 'blogs') and wikis (a web page that anyone can edit).

On the future of blogs, the article cites Forrester Research:
Although only around 5% of the online populace regularly reads blogs, Forrester Research likens the current situation to the mid-1990s, when companies were beginning to launch their own websites. Analysts predict readership (predominantly young and male today) and applications will change as more corporate blogs appear. Forrester even envisions a day when all new employees are given a blog URL alongside their phone number and email address.

Something I'd never heard before: Microsoft now employs wiki inventor Ward Cunningham!

On the psychology of adoption:
THE most significant barrier to corporate adoption of blogs and wikis is a psychological one. With wikis, the problem is not getting people to read them but to realise that they can and should edit them too. For blogs, there can be a fear of the candour and honesty which the pages encourage - though this can be their most rewarding feature.

On wikis vs. group email, the article uses this quote:
"A wiki is really a substitute for a group email. 90% of collaboration and 75% of a company's knowledge assets exist in emails, but there is no value for the organisation apart from what people produce from the information." Ross Mayfield, CEO and founder of wiki vendor SocialText.

The full article is available here and it's really worth reading as an introduction. I just selected the things that were newest or most noteworthy to me for the above excerpts. The blog WikiSquared looks like something worth watching too, I'm going to add it to my RSS reader.

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