Posts Tagged ‘wiki’

Apple Entering the Enterprise 2.0 Market?

Last week I was browsing the apple website for software and came across some very interesting features in the new OS X Snow Leopard Server software. It appears apple have have made quite a large contribution to incorporating many collaborative tools into their enterprise product. I then attempted to do some research about how the company have recognised the importance of enterprise 2.0 however the information was very scarce. I couldn’t even find a blogger who has also noted this. So I decided to put it out there as an apple mac user myself to spread the word.

The main collaborative application included in OS X server is titled Wiki server, although contrary to the name suggests it does a lot more then just wiki’s. Apple advertise this simply as “Easy Group Collaboration”. From a collaborative business perspective, they offer the whole shebang. They primarily cater for enterprise level wiki and blog creation. All with fully customizable comments, tags and many other 2.0 goodies. Also they have pushed the idea of sharing information and building your brand by including ‘Podcast Producer’. Which makes recording, editing and publishing podcasts and vodcasts so quick and easy that anyone can do it! Many enterprises can benefit from this software and it is interesting to know the some of the big players are realising the importance of colaboration and including these tools in their enterprise software.

Apple OS X Wiki Server

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Google – taking over your browser one side at a time!

Website annotation has been around for sometime now with services such as shadows, TrailFire, and Dingo but haven’t really taken off…Enter Google with their edition of website annotation titled SideWiki!

So what is it all about?  Sidewiki allows any Google user to place comments on an entire page or even selected sections of a web page. These comments are listed in a retractable toolbar down the side of your browser. They have also included the option to embed images and videos into the comment however in my brief search I haven’t seen it done yet.

So how do they control things like spammers and flamers? The have used a ranking system where users can vote up or down on comments. Comments with more votes up directly affect that users ‘ranking’. Users with high ranking or reputation will be placed towards the top of the sidewiki hierarchy and low rating users will be stomped down to the bottom where no one will read them. In my opinion this sounds like an effective measure. Chris Doble talked about this concept in his recent post disscussing Kevin Rose’s suggestions for taking your site from one to one million users. Kevin suggested that giving users an “ego” to work on gives them an incentive to post good material and to get involved positively. Sidewiki has done that well because not only does one ‘flame’ take down that comments rating, it affects that users overall positioning on all other pages. This is a huge incentive to help other users and collaborate. Very Web 2.0 like.

So I took the liberty of giving SideWiki a go and had some pretty pleasing results. It’s not everywhere yet but found it in heavy use at TechCrunch and also at sites such as reddit. It seems to be currently used as a reviewing type system where users are saying, I use this website for this, it is good for this etc. I can see this being very useful if it is taken on by the wider public as a very, very helpful tool in research. Having short summaries and recommendations before you read an entire journal would be very beneficial to students and researchers in particular.

Overall it seems like a good thing, but like all web 2.0 tools you need people to come on board to get the ball rolling. The only strongly disappointing feature of Google SideWiki is…. it is bundled with Google toolbar (yes, the screen hogging, colourful pictures and auto-filling nightmare). Hence the reason why I am about to uninstall the add on and end my google SideWiki experience for now. Fingers are crossed that they will release a standalone add-on in the near future!

~Jamie

Google SideWiki being used with reddit

Update on Enterprise 2.0 in my workplace

Back in my post titled So who is using it? I mentioned how I was starting to use a wiki in my workplace at Forest. Over the past few weeks I have trialed the wiki and some other Enterprise 2.0 tools, here are my first impressions on their adoption.

Wiki

I introduced a wiki as a reference where everyone in the workplace can contribute and get information when needed. This has been a success so far especially since the office is only small (usually 3 people at a time). The wiki has developed into more than what I originally intended. When I started the wiki I made some pages for ‘Repair Guides’, ‘Procedures’ and ‘Product information’. These three pages have been utilised well, having staff members contribute and use the wiki as the first place to look when seeking information. What I didn’t expect and what really shows the power of collaborative tools in the workplace was the creation of new pages, such as a Clients page and a Things to Do page. After only a few weeks it looks like the wiki is growing well and will prove to be an invaluable tool within Forest.

Micro-Blogging

I suggested to my colleagues that we should try to use twitter as a quick and easy communication tools within our workplace, 50% of us already had a twitter account and were familiar with the idea and all of us had iPhones so the potential was definitely there. We tried to use it as a reminder and notification system, for example; ‘@Jamiecturner you have an appointment at 12:00 with xxx at yyy street’. The problem with this was that it was often followed up by a call to get more information. Also when sending message within the office it seems pointless to send a tweet when we could walk 20m and the person face to face. My final thoughts on micro blogging in our small business : not suited.

So from the two Enterprise 2.0 mediums I have tried so far, one has proved a great success. I was thinking of using mash-ups next but am unsure of how it can specifically benefit us. Any suggestions are welcome, I have been looking at Yahoo Pipes so far and it looks like it has a lot of potential. What other Enterprise 2.0 methods can you suggest we try next?

~Jamie

Is micro-blogging in big business worth it?

There is a lot of talk going around about micro-blogging being used in the enterprise. I’m not just talking about the generic twitter that pop’s into everyone’s mind at the mention of ‘micro-blogging’. As mentioned in some of my previous posts alternatives exist, that are targeted specifically for use in large scale enterprise such as Yammer. These apps are designed to be used as an informal method for collaboration, eg status updates on projects, ideas or activities. I disscuss the uses in greater detail in my previous post Twitter for Business.  So you know the benefits, but are there any drawbcks? Dave Rosenberg recently decided to trial Yammer in his small business. In his opinion it yielded unsatisfying results. The main difficulty was squeezing what they were trying to communicate into the 140 character limit. It  “sounds like a good idea, until you are forced to spend more time trying to figure out what someone meant in 140 characters” Dave stated. This is a very valid point when attempting to replace previous methods of communication such as email but i do not believe that that is the purpose of micro-blogging.

So this raises the question, is it worth it?

In my opinion it is definitely worth it. However. It can not be expected to replace the current communication such as email and IM alone as Dave attempted to do. These tools needs to be combined with other web 2.0 technologies to reap the complete benefits, for example wikis or blogs can be used to share or collaborate on complex issues. Micro-blogging could compliment this by drawing attention to the key ideas within these blogs and to update on new information. In the very near future I will write a progress report on how the wiki has been adopted in my workplace as i introduced it in So who is using it, maybe there is some potential in my workplace for micro-blogging.

How do you think micro-blogging should be used within organisations and what do you think is the most effective strategy?

~Jamie

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So who is using it?

So far i’ve been talking about what is out there to be used and how it can be used. This week i set out to find who is actually using these technologies, in particular i tried to find some australian examples. To my surpirise i was having some trouble finding information on some large companies using web 2.0 tools regularly but i did find some results.

RaboPlus, an australian bank currently are using web 2 tools such as podcasts and blogs, as a way to communicate with their customers. You can view the community pages at http://www.raboplus.com.au/investor_centre. They use it as a way to communicate with their customers on a regular basis to give them up to date information. (This information was found at OnlineBankingReview).

Another Australian company Chochlear use a wiki internally to spread information to its engeneering team and also to keep staff up to date with current project status.

Cochlear software development manager Victor Rodrigues says it has changed the way the company works.

“People are a lot more aware of things that are happening around them just by the mere fact that anyone can go to a wiki and publish information internally. Its use certainly has picked up.

“Over the past two months, for example, the number of contributors has increased by almost 100 per cent,” Rodrigues says.

(found at australianit.news)

Over the past weeks of researching enterprise 2.0 i have been developing ideas of how this can help me at my workplace and started putting them into action. For those who don’t know i work at forest computers, we deal with apple computers, repairs, web development, networking, voip, security and many more IT related services. This is a small business so i am usually chopping and changing between these areas and it often becomes confusing. So i have created a wiki to be used by the staff. The reason for this was to have a place where all staff can go to reference all the services and processes that need to be done in the business. For example we had a staff member who specialised with dealing with iphones and vodafone contracts. When he left, the rest of the company was left relatively in the dark as to where to pick up where he left off. With the inclusion of a wiki it can be a place where all the processes that need to be done to sign up a customer contract for example could be so we can have access to the information if ever needed. I have spoken my colleuges and they all agree that a wiki would be a great addition to the company and some have already began contributing. I will keep you guys updated as to how the wiki is adopted in the company and my thoughts on its effectiveness but so far so good.

These example show the power and versatility of web 2.0 tools, the same tools can have different applications in different companies and reap many kinds of benefits. In my opinion incorporating enterprise 2.0 in your business means that you are engaging your employees and encouraging them to get involved. Tomorrow i will continue this post by further analysing the use of enterprise 2 by these companies and how these cases relate to patterns developed by Dion Hithcliffe and Andrew McAfee.

Until then, do you know of any other Australian companies embracing web 2.0 tools?

~Jamie

Wikipedia contributors going down?

Wikipedia Contributors drop

Wikipedia Contributors drop

I read an article is the free brisbane paper ‘MX’ last week that explained how the number of contributors to wikipedia has decreased by one third in recent years. Considering the massive amount of people this number is quite large. This article suggests that a reason for this could be that “occasional contributors, those with just one edit per month, had their changes reverted or deleted 25 percent of the time”.

What other reasons can you suggest on why this could have happened? A wiki is all about contribution, so what will happen if these figures keep decreasing?Is the wiki another passing fad? Share your thoughts and contributions as to why this could have happened.

Jamie

we blog…

I’m relatively new to the blogging world and i must say it has opened my eyes. The amount of information out there that people are sharing is fantastic. However blogging is only the tip of the ice burg in the scope to web 2.0 technologies such as wiki’s, social networks, podcasts, video sharing and more. All of these tools have massive potential in the enterprise world and also can be used to market yourself in the business realm.

Ross Dawson(a very well known keynote speaker in the field of business and technology) has written a great book about implementing enterprise 2.0 and harnessing web technologies, some of the chapters are available on line. Here is a great excerpt that identifies web 2.0 and how it fits into the enterprise and the issues involved with this topic. Definitely a good read to start off our learning and get some background info.

As i was saying in my post while testing my iphone blogging, Andrew McAfee has developed the SLATES paradigm which outlines in his opinion the six primary components of enterprise 2.0.

  • S – The ability to search for information
  • L – Generating Links between pages
  • A – Authoring your own information in blogs & wiki’s
  • T – Tagging information to help create categories
  • E – generating recommendations by extension on current  searches and content
  • S – Signal users when new content is available

In my opinion this really sums up enterprise 2.0 and all focuses around the idea of making it easier to collaborate and share information. To finish off today i will leave you with  some reading to do from Dion Hinchcliffe he discusses the SLATES paradigm in this blog entry and also introduces a similar concept titled FLATNESSES which is an extension on SLATES. This image below was taken from the same entry.

Dion Hithcliffe - State of Enterprise 2.0

Dion Hithcliffe - State of Enterprise 2.0

Comment this post and let me know what your thoughts and opinions are on this extension and any other comments about this post. Hope to hear from you all soon!

Jamie