Liveblogging Enterprise 2.0: Ross Mayfield

Ross Mayfield, SocialText

Enterprises are made up of people.

In building enterprise software, we’ve screwed up several ways. First, we’ve designed software for buyers, not users.

We’ve also tried to push structure and complexity into the tools – taking it out of the social network and trying to put it in the software. This makes it really easy for others to replicate, and hard for your users to embrace.

Instead what we should do is allow the complexity to live in the social network, in the human realm, and leave the tools much more open and simple.

Power law of participation – low threshold to high engagement – depth of engagement rises as you get closer to core. Some folks will just freeride and listen – some folks will get much more deeply involved. We need to think about the whole spectrum, not just the active users.

Read / Favorite / Tag / Comment / Subscribe / Share / Network / Write / Refactor / Collaborate / Moderate / Lead

(Mitch Kapor on Collective Intelligence / Collaborative Intelligence and the difference between them)

Recognizing I’m doing a 10 minute thing I’m going to dive into practicality.

What to wiki? Depends on your goals.

The four Ps: Process, Practice, Projects, People.

The hardest part is to get agreement on the goal. Start with a group of people and try to define a goal.

Potential goals:

  • Wikipedia inside
  • Editable intranet
  • Small group communication / email replacement

Or, start with with Practices – not best practices (too formal) but practices – just getting people to write down and share what they are doing – FAQs, Glossaries – you will get “happy accidents” – a link to a page I never thought existed, but find someone has already created.

Sidebar: check out – wikis which allow debate around various bills with user participation.

Or, start with a Project. This is the classic technical case – which is not a bad place to start so long as you start at the beginning, not throwing a wiki at a project at the end or even in the middle.

Lastly, what about starting with Processes – this is perhaps the most complicated piece. Exception handling – what is the actual process we are supposed to be following. Is this really process?

Large computer manufacturer example – call center for business processes – they check to see if there is a script available, if not, they go into the wiki – they’ve gone from 20 clicks to find info down to 4.

Today we launched WikiWidgets as a small feature – including a mechanism for doing really complex editing in a very simple fashion. Also SocialCalc 1.1 released today.

With that I will stop so that we have more time.