Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Chuck Hollis on Social Media

I don't know if your aware of Chuck Hollis of EMC, I have been reading his 'external' o r 'main' blog for sometime, but having followed a link from there, I came across his 'other' blog: A Journey In Social Media - this is fascinating stuff taking the reader along with Chuck as he leads the move to instill social media awareness and use within the worlds sixth biggest software company.

If your not aware of 'A Journey.....' I suggest you go right back to the beggining and follow the story through. What is really interesting in our own internal context is the early postings on EMC's use of its own eRoom's product - one colleague suggesting we lift the text of one posting and make it our 'eRoom usage policy' :-) (p.s. Chuck - we haven't done this !)

I have to say I am happy that we seem to have foreseen most, if not all of the issues Chuck notes, and put policy in place to prevent them. However our use of eRooms is for 'content centric' collaboration (linked to Documentum Content Server) or the more traditional eRoom 'project management' use case, and definately not the social media 'conversational collaboration' use case that Chuck is looking to spread.

I noticed some other postings which themselves suggested the amount of postings about 'collaboration' seem to be on the increase, thus it must be a trendy, or hot topic. Now I know there are arguements that humans have been collaborating since we discovered fire and developed language, but I also think we can't deny that the new 'social networking' dimension and the various "Web 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0" tools bring some new elements to the mix, and I like Chucks definition of "conversational collaboration" - perhaps its time for a "Collaboration Maturity Model" (oh no, another CMM, only kidding....!) :

Messaging Centric Collaboration (eMail / IM) -> Content Centric Collaboration (DM / ECM) -> Conversation Centric Collab (forums / blogs / wikis)

Chuck's team decided to go with Jive Software's Clearspace - an excellent product by all due accounts, but not one I think we could afford, so whilst we don't get the benefits of the integration, we are developing 'skins' for our internal WordPress, MediaWiki and PHPForums systems to give as common a user experience as we can.

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