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A Year’s Summary of Personal Reflection II

Posted by Susan Scrupski on June 16, 2008

It’s that time again when I feel compelled not only to wrap up highlights of the Enterprise 2.0 conference, but to divulge my thinking on where we are in the progression of widespread 2.0 adoption — in our personal lives and at work.

It’s hard to top my impassioned first post on this topic from last year: A Year’s Summary of Personal Reflection. Not only was I drinking the Kool-aid, I was mixing the powder and stirring the pitcher. Where last year I was overwhelmed with the newfound freedom that comes with social networking and collaboration, this year I’m focused more on the practical application of how these tools can drive productivity gains and measurable improvements in business performance.

This year’s Enterprise 2.0 conference highlighted several themes I’ve seen over the past year. 1. frustration, 2. abundance of choice, 3. breaking out of the echo chamber, and 4. dividends. Here we go:

Frustration Canyon

The frustration story comes from two directions ending in the same place. Atop one mountain, we have so-called “evangelists” (like me) who are frustrated with the slow pace of adoption in the ROW (the Rest-of-World who is not gung-ho for e2.0). The adjacent mountain has a crowd of interested observers that can’t see the landscape clearly, are somewhat intimidated by the pace of change, and question the utility behind the hype. In the middle is a canyon of confusion. During the latter half of 2008 and by next year’s conference, we should see this gap closing. As more case studies emerge, and more business cases get approved, the evangelists will no longer seem so freakish, and the potential buyers of e2.0 technologies will have settled into a sensible course of action to web-enable their workforce.

Rejoice in Choice

I caught up with Ismael Ghalimi recently who said he is tracking nearly 800 products in the Office 2.0 database. Agile development methods and low-cost cloud computing alternatives are turbocharging startup activity, breaking down time/cost barriers to product development and release. With the welcome addition of major enterprise vendors introducing 2.0 features and product suites, the choices are ever-abundant to start experimenting with these tools at relatively low and sometimes no cost. I was amazed at number of players I had never heard of at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference… and even more amazed at what they could demo. Standouts for me included Newsgator’s Social Sites, Trampoline Systems, Groupswim, Igloo, and Socialcast. The barriers to adoption may be steep, but the barrier to entry in this category is below sea level. Take some of these products for a spin.

The Echo (Prison) Chamber

Whether it’s Twitter, Friendfeed, Plaxo Pulse, blog posts, or the ever-languishing Facebook… the 1% continues to talk to itself and hone the global agenda for Enterprise 2.0. The goal this year is to do the hardcore missionary work and break out of the echo chamber. If you fancy yourself an e2.0 expert, start investigating industry trade shows (like retail, entertainment, banking, hospitality) where you can illuminate the non-converted. The blogosphere has spawned web celebs in various circles and enterprise 2.0 is no different. It’s important to remember that everyone tracking this space or participating in it is dwarfed by the number of people who don’t even know it exists.

And finally,

Lifetime Dividends

I may be taking a more sober, Realpolitik approach to 2.0 evangelism, but I’m still a die-hard believer. Through the pages of this blog, you can see how my life has irrevocably changed since I started tracking this sector. The reason my life changed so dramatically is due entirely to the rich, personal relationships I’ve formed over the course of a few years. I challenge everyone reading this blog to calculate the economic value of their own social network. Contacts and rolladex’s have been driving business for decades, but the deep, penetrating personal understanding we have for each other is unparalleled in modern history. In other words, relationships scale. With each new Twitter follower, with each new blog reader, I compound the likelihood I will achieve some personal or business benefit from simply connecting to a stranger. The 2.0 web begins and ends with people. Imagine the possibilities when everyone in the world is socially connected. That day is coming. I can only imagine it will yield a greater humanity.

Photo credits: (canyon) John Donahue, (night shot) Nosterdamus on Flickr.

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Posted in blogs, conferences, Enterprise 2.0, Personal Commentary, Social Media, social networking | 2 Comments »

Splommenters– please “no comment”

Posted by Susan Scrupski on May 16, 2008

Correction: Spammenters*

Shame, shame, shame. I realize Social Media is the new black in the art of PR, but how irritating is this? Tammy Erickson, our in-house workforce guru, published a post today on women’s progress in the workplace on her Harvard Business School discussion leader blog. Her first comment was from Ms. Kimberly Rosenberg who lavishes her with praise then notso deftly segues into how she is using Microsoft Office Live for Small Business (no hyperlinks intended) to increase her productivity.

I sleuthed around online on Ms. Rosenberg, and it appears she has left virtually the same comment on at least 4 other blogs in the past few weeks. Ewwww.

http://www.blissfullydomestic.com/2008/04/an-organized-ho.html

http://experts.internetbasedmoms.com/aurelia/finding-balance-as-a-wahm

http://www.entrepremusings.com/index.php/2008/04/24/why-arent-there-more-rich-women-entrepreneurs/

http://empowerwomennow.com/news-women-entrepreneurs/index.php/how-to-get-your-partner-from-zero-to-hero-in-your-business/

Microsoft Office Live for Small Business product management– what are you thinking? So blatant an attempt to hawk your wares? Buy an ad. There are right ways and wrong ways to engage the blogosphere. Please start feeding any number of the excellent social media blogs that will instruct you on how to do this right. If Ms. Rosenberg works for a PR agency, send her to social media school. Or send her to start doing some homework here (Chris Brogan) and here (Brian Solis).

The smoking gun:

splomment

*Update: Thanks to Lara Kretler, the best term to describe this practice is “spammenting.”

Posted in blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Personal Commentary, Social Media, social networking | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

What’s your nGen Era Story?

Posted by Susan Scrupski on April 29, 2008

BSG Alliance, my employer, changed its name to nGenera (en-gen-ER-a) this week. I really like the new name and logo. Because we’ve grown so fast (acquiring 5 companies in less than a year), it was important to mash-up all the humans under one single identity and brand.

I’m sure someone in my company will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it was my idea to center on this meme we call “Next Generation Enterprises.” We kicked around a lot of strategic messaging ideas in the early days and this one stuck. Everyone and their half-brother is now moving into the space we scoped out about a year ago. Of course, we are ahead of the game and have a strong revenue story, so we can be smug for about 5 seconds.

The nGen meme comes to us by way of our in-house guru, Don Tapscott. Most readers of my blog should have already seen Don’s talk this year at one conference or another. I’m incredibly proud to be associated with the think-tankers up at Don’s research organization in Toronto. If you aren’t feeding the Wikinomics blog, today’s the day to start. Terrific bits of brilliance on the 2.0 scene come out of there on a daily basis.

We also have a deep and wide reservoir of expertise in the Talent arena with voices such as Tammy Erickson who is blogging on Harvard Business Online. One of the areas where we excel is pegging trends in the demographics of the workplace. Don refers to the cohort of kids who’ve grown up digital as N-Gens. In Don’s talk, he tells a story about how he thought his son was a prodigy when he was young, but soon realized all his son’s friends were prodigies too. They’re born digitally wired.

So it’s this particular slice of our nGenera story I want to focus on in this post– how different the “youngsters” are from us. This weekend I took my son and his friends to see “Shine a Light” the Martin Scorsese concert film of the Rolling Stones. I kid myself that just because I share an appreciation for 70s bands with my son, I’m cooler than my parents. I’m so not cool in his eyes at all.

I already blogged a while ago about how my son is a guild master on World of Warcraft, but the latest development came this year when his 6th grade teacher asked the class to take a keyboarding speed test. I remember taking typing in high school. A passing grade was 40 wpm, and it was tough for most of my peers to pass that test. My son Alex types 118 wpm with one error. He’s 11.

In the past month, Alex figured out how to use iMovie. He is now the neighborhood film director/producer/publisher. I am arranging for tutoring lessons so he can learn Final Cut from an nGenera GenY who works in our office. Like Don’s son, my son seems like a prodigy to me, but he’s just a normal nGen kid. He lives online. T.V. is a background noise if it’s on at all. He goes to school with his iPod, txts his friends with his phone, and IMs from his MySpace page most of the night, while surfing YouTube for skating videos.

Is Enterprise ready for my son and his friends? No. That’s my mission for nGenera: To make work like play so you can make more money doing what you do.

I’ll leave you with one of Alex’s videos. Taking a page out of Debbie Weil’s comment handbook, feel free to leave a comment for Alex. “No need to say you know me.” 😉

What is your nGen story?

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Next Net, nGen, Personal Commentary, Social Media, social networking, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Happy Anniversary to ITSinsider

Posted by Susan Scrupski on January 30, 2008

I appreciate bloggers who celebrate their longevity… I decided to give myself an atta girl today. I started this blog two years ago, the end of January 2006. At the time, I had NO idea what I was doing, what I was going to track in the market– let alone blog about. It’s somewhat comical looking back now at my early journey back into the workforce from being out over 5 years as a stay-at-home-Mom.

Happy Anniversary

I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out, despite my rocky beginnings, fits and starts. I’m seriously enjoying blogging and participating in the global conversation.

I might even suggest I’ve learned more in these past two years about people and technology than I did in the prior two decades combined.

Exciting times and interesting friends. What more could a career woman ask for?

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, Personal Commentary | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Happy New Year!

Posted by Susan Scrupski on January 1, 2008

Lots of folks on Twitter today this first day of 2008. Lots of reflecting, predicting, resolving going on… For my part, I took up Luis Suarez’s challenge to participate in his “Eight things you don’t know about me.” This is a fun blogging game of tag, somewhat, where we all randomly choose other bloggers to reveal morsels about themselves that we may not otherwise glean from regularly reading of their blogs. I chose to start a personal blog this year, so I included my “8 things” over there.

I then tagged these folks:

  • Todd Stephens, Collaborage blog. Also author of Trademark 2.0, which I highly recommend.
  • Maggie Fox, Social Media Group blog. Ms. Fox is the IT GIRL in corp. social media. We all need to know 8 more things about her.
  • JP Rangaswami, Confused of Calcutta blog. I think JP is approaching deity status; does he need an introduction?
  • Stephanie Agresta, Internetgeekgirl blog. I don’t know Stephanie, but I hear she claimed “Jersey Girl” before I could. She always seems to be having a lot of fun, and I’ve been following her on Twitter.
  • Shiv Singh, Going Social Now blog. Shiv is just one of those smart cats in the blogosphere. Hope he participates!
  • Thomas Otter, Vendorprisey blog. Thomas is my lone EI pick. He is a man of many surprises. I welcome his secrets.
  • Mike Stopworth. Mike is CEO of Cerebra, South Africa’s leading social media consultancy and one of the “planet’s special people.”
  • Vaughan Merlyn. IT Organization Circa 2017. Vaughan is my lone BSG Alliance pick. I’ve been coaching him on blogging. He’s a brilliant guy; I just need him to start linking more… Sorry Vaughan! It’s a little tough love. 🙂

My comment facility isn’t working correctly yet on the new blog, either, so anyone can comment here in the interim on that post.

As we roll into the New Year, I am wishing all ITSinsiders a tremendous ’08. May the web with with you– each and every one group!

Posted in Personal Commentary, Social Media, social networking | 2 Comments »

Enterprise 2.0 at the Crossroads

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 13, 2007

So, I moved half-way across the country and have just returned from the second highly successful Office 2.0 conference. I started to live-blog the sessions, but soon gave up. There were a number of folks live-blogging, and I was really interested in the sessions, so I just wanted to listen. Sorry.

Let’s Celebrate the Entrepreneur, Shall We?

I feel the urge to pontificate on where I think we are with Enterprise 2.0. But first, let me say a few words on behalf of the heroes of the Office 2.0 conference. The true heroes of that event are the entrepreneurs, the startup CEOs and founders/developers who are taking the career risks and living on sheer faith. I believe it was John Creason, Chief Technology Officer, Smartsheet.com who you can watch here (Office 2.0 Set-up) who summed up the conference’s RON (Return on Networking) best:

“If I look at the Office 2.0 conference and what it’s meant to our company… A year ago, on this stage, I felt like we were giving our birth announcement for our company. We were young; I think we had less than 100 customers– most of those were friends and family… What happens here is a exchange of ideas. I was at the cocktail party Wednesday night. I walked out of the cocktail party with enough good ideas from talking to smart people here that if I would have went home [then], I would have been happy… Last year, Rafe Needleman beat us up on some ideas about our model– our pricing, our distribution– and in the last year, we’ve gone from under one hundred customers to 15,000 teams using our product, close to a Series A with Madrona, and we have paying customers in 15 countries. So, the ideas, the network, what happens here, is important…”

While I was scouting about recruiting folks to speak for the conference, I attempted to get some 1.0 (and 0.0) tech icons to talk about the Future of Computing. I talked about Ismael Ghalimi’s vision for Office 2.0. Because Ismael has planned the Office 2.0 conference from soup to nuts in 6-8 weeks each year– which is remarkable in its own right– it was tough recruiting anyone at the last minute. For the record, it’s worth noting that I truly believe Ismael is one of this generation’s leading visionaries. He has been faithful to his No Installed Apps pledge and has been running completely “in the cloud” for the past 18 months. I know there are others who have made the all-online transformation, like Dennis Howlett, but Ismael runs a fairly intense open source BPM company, Intalio, with customers and employees all over the world. More importantly, he is pushing the community to extend the limits of the “officeless office” including mobile platforms and helping to establish standards such as the OpenSAM framework. At the end of the day, it’s leadership that makes the difference for movements and “paradigm shifts” to succeed in technology. As I solicited recruits for speakers, I found myself comparing Ismael to a young Steve Jobs. He has a lot of heart, energy, smarts, a passionate network of friends and supporters, and runs somewhat counter-culture to the mainstream. Interesting comparison.

I just love entrepreneurs– the successful ones, the struggling ones, even the obnoxious ones (should we name names?) I was reminded here in Austin of the power of entrepreneurs when I signed up for my new Chase account here in Texas. When I told the Chase branch manager I worked for BSG Alliance, he told me BSG Alliance was a key account for Chase and I was entitled to a host of privileged banking services. Now, at the risk of sounding like a (gulp) Republican (does it happen that fast in Texas?), it occurred to me how badly we need to encourage entrepreneurs in our tech economy. I remember Steve Papermaster (BSG Alliance CEO) when he was just a young guy, a struggling entrepreneur. Some twenty years later, he’s created hundreds, maybe thousands of jobs. That’s awesome.

Maybe for the next Office 2.0 conference I will give away tee shirts that say, “Have you hugged an entrepreneur today?”

Enterprise 2.0 Rubber will meet the Road this year

Dr. Phil Over the past six months, I’ve had more exposure to large customers. I’ve come to the simplistic conclusion that just because you “can” DIY doesn’t necessarily mean you should in the enterprise. About this time last year, I was writing about user angst and dissatisfaction with the IT department and how this pent up demand will propel maverick departments to choose alternate methods to collaborate “under the radar” of IT. I believe that will continue. But what will be the result? Isolated uses of wikis, blogs, RSS aggregators that will be disenfranchised from enterprise applications. The reality is– you need IT on board with enterprise 2.0 adoption to really maximize the depth and breadth of these tools for the enterprise. For large enterprises, that is.

As I learn more about large organizations, I feel like each CIO I meet transmogrifies into Dr. Phil and says, “Get real, dude. We run a serious company here. We’re not going to put our assets at risk by exposing them to anything beyond our complete control.” It’s not that they’re control freaks; they’re liable for where, when, how, and why the information in the enterprise is handled. Period. That’s their job. You would think IT’s only stakeholders are users (err, people who work), but they’re also accountable to lawyers, the government, the board of directors, investors, stockholders, who did I miss? You see my point. So, I’m getting real. Not liking it, but I’m getting real. And, is it their fault that enterprise applications are so godawful impenetrable? So, I’m lightening up on IT. Hoping to see more idealistic enterprise 2.0 principles coming from Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Oracle (MISO). SAP seems to be leading the pack here. Just about every blogger I know (okay, an exaggeration) lists SAP as a client, so they’re getting lots of 2.0 advice.

I’ve begun to see some good posts lately in the e2.0 “getting real” vein, such as this one, “Enterprise 2.0 Show me the ROI.” Perhaps it’s my bias, but I was happy to see Bill Ives’ post this week on Serena Software. In the grab-bag of Enterprise 2.0 tricks for the enterprise that have the most promise, my money is on mash-ups. We were having a conversation about this at the Office 2.0 cocktail party. (By the way, please VOTE for my panel hosted by David Berlind at SXSW on mash-ups). Mash-ups are technical enough to be interesting to IT folks, and simple enough in the way they solve business problems so that business users will clamor for them.

Then, what is at the intersection of Office 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0? No doubt we will see liberal infiltration of social networking in the enterprise via blogs, Facebook and Facebook-esque platforms (for instance, we use a private instance of Ning at BSG, which we love) to communicate and connect, as well as online communities and ad-hoc wikis for collaborating. Knowledge workers (ordinary web-savvy folk) will also graft on their own instances of Google apps for the enterprise, as well as experiment with dozens of online apps such as all of those represented at the Office 2.0 conference. I’m certain individuals and small groups will see productivity gains and experience the synergies 2.0 fusion brings to newcomers. But, until IT embraces and synchronizes its own Enterprise 2.0 strategy for the global-intergalactic-infrastructure-labyrinth, chances are we won’t see the technicolor dream unfold… it will take a village (IT, enterprise vendors, knowledge workers, 2.0 startups, evangelists) to raise this child.

Ismael asked me to plan the next Enterprise 2.0 track for next year again. I tentatively said yes. If I do accept the challenge, I will continue to look for case studies of hard core evidence of Enterprise 2.0 working in large organizations. Whether it came in through the back door– bottom up (like Scott Gavin and Simon Revell who formed a rebel working 2.0 collaborative committee that is now the delight of Pfizer) or top down (like Adam Carson at Morgan Stanley after getting the nod from Chairman and CEO John Mack to pursue the strategy), the stories are excellent and everyone takes away something they can relate to.

I will continue to blog about developments in Enterprise 2.0; I’m still a stalwart believer. I’ve never known greater freedom and creativity as a knowledge worker 2.0 (see Stephen Collins’ fab presentation), but I know there is a tough mission ahead of us. The reality should be sinking in for all of us right about now.

 

 

Posted in conferences, Enterprise 2.0, Office 2.0, Personal Commentary, Social Media, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday, Ross

Posted by Susan Scrupski on June 27, 2007

Ross Perot

At the risk of alienating (confusing?) all my friends on Facebook and in the blogosphere… I’m taking a public moment to wish Ross Perot a Happy Birthday. If it were not for him, I would not have enjoyed the 20+ excellent years I have had in the technology business. I joined EDS as a young writer in 1986. Perot meant a great deal to the early employees of EDS. I will always have a place in my heart for him and his first management team.

Posted in General IT Services, IT Outsourcing, Personal Commentary, Systems Integration | Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Ross

A Year’s Summary of Personal Reflection

Posted by Susan Scrupski on June 25, 2007

I took some time to think about this post before I committed fingers to keypad. Readers of this blog know I’ve been tracking the burgeoning market in what is now a popular meme called “Enterprise 2.0” for about a year– almost to the day in fact. First, let me say– the Enterprise 2.0 Conference was such an enormous success. It far surpassed my expectations, and I’m still reeling from the widespread coverage and insightful analysis coming out of the conference sessions. The bottom line is– the market I once referred to as a baby, is now indeed a strong, healthy child, growing stronger and bigger every day. I have nothing more intelligent, or more meaningful to add to the dialog that is out in the blogosphere or in the trade media on the various presentations, panels, and informal meetings that took place in Boston last week. I highly recommend you set some bots for “enterprise2conf” and catch everything that has been written from the conference and about the conference. I’ve been tagging several of the posts in my del.icio.us “Reading Room” list you can view on the lower right hand side of my blog.

At this juncture, at my one year anniversary of covering enterprise 2.0, I want to reflect personally on 1.) how the next generation web has changed me 2.) how I believe it is reshaping business and the global online village of “friends,” 3.) the collective responsibility we share by virtue of this powerful medium, and finally 4.) what to expect from those who are “left behind.” This is a long post and a bit of a departure from my typical posts, so I hope you’ll be forgiving and permit me to self-indulge. Don’t worry; it’s a once in a year thing.

Me 2.0

Who wouldda thunk? Where I used to be opinionated and somewhat obnoxious in my 30s as a leading industry observer in the IT services tech sector– quoted hundreds and hundreds of times in every trade pub and major business publication of record, even made it onto TV as a talking head… the blogosphere has humbled me. With sheer humility, I’ve come to realize I am, well, not all that. Even though I participate in this market as a contributor, I feel badly that I take more than I give. The discussion, opinion, and worldwide classroom experience of the blogosphere has rendered me a full-time student for life. As I continue to learn, I hope to contribute more. One lesson I have learned in this experience, is there is no room for arrogance in the next generation web. There will always be someone more insightful, more interesting than you contributing to the worldwide repository of metadata on the web—even if you think you are all that. What’s different in this era is that voice could come from a corner shadow in a faraway place, and not from the pages of the Wall Street Journal or from the stage of a large industry event. What’s really different is the respect these voices command on impact as you read them in blog comments, see them on YouTube or hear them in podcasts. NoName gurus churning out genius. I celebrate them.

Busciety 2.0

Yep. It’s a mashup. Business is mashing up with society at a fast and furious pace as social media networking and blogging continues to blur the lines between people and their professions. We’re learning more about who we are as well as what we do. Hierarchies are breaking down and the zeitgeist of this era is integrating our networks (social and physical) in ways we never before imagined possible. The spirit of trust, respect, and collaboration is propagating around the digital village emerging in different geographies, time zones, and in artificial environments such as online gaming where rules of engagement are being rewritten from the bottom up. My son, for instance, is a World of Warcraft Guild Master. He leads a guild of about 120, with members ranging from the age of 8 to about 35. He says he thinks the average player is about 16 years old. He knows this because he has told me he has spent time with each member individually as he helps them progress through their levels. At one point he had over 200 in his guild, but he parsed it down to about 100. I asked him, “Why would you do that?” He told me, “It’s not how many friends you have; it’s how many you trust.” We just celebrated my son’s birthday this past weekend. He turned 11 this year. He’s a fifth grader learning lessons in organizational psychology that took me decades of professional trial and error to hone.

Over 60 of my professional “friends” have joined me recently on Facebook. We use this word “friends” loosely, but Facebook sure humanizes us, and we act a lot more friendly. Because of an incredibly powerful post I read on Tara Hunt’s blog, I put up photos of my children on Facebook this week. That woman effected a change in my behavior. She touched my life and caused me to take a risk I might otherwise not have taken. Now, I don’t really know Tara. I’ve met her, but I wouldn’t say we’re friends, yet I admire her and thank her for impacting my life. There are many, many examples of ways I have interacted with my social networks and blogger comrades this year. All experiences have been positive, even ones where I had to learn a few hard lessons about digital village etiquette. I have come to know many of my online “friends” who I share tweets (Twitter) banter with, blog comments, and the occasional email. Some I have met in person; some not yet. Invariably, I feel relatively confident I will do business with all of them in some way, some day. Either directly or through an introduction I make through my clients or another part of my network.

 

Don’t be a John Mayer

Why is John Mayer waiting for the world to change?

Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood

We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population

So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change

With millions and millions blogging (70M+), social networking (160M+), sharing, collaborating, mashing up, feeding, linking, tagging, texting, Twittering, and online gaming… we do have the means to, well, change the world now. Our world, anyway. The online world. I recently looked up the stats and it seems about only 15% of the worldwide population is online, but it’s a good start. It covers 100% the wealthiest countries dominating the globe. No need to wait for John Mayer’s generation to rule the population. So, what is your issue? Is it the environment? Is it a political issue? Is it race/religion/sex? Is it a rights issue? Is it a local issue to your community? The power to influence others is at your fingertips. I’d urge you to use the tools you’re learning in the workforce to do some good for society—to change your world. We’re all passionate about something in our private lives. Use your emergent, user power in the online world for good. Make a difference. It doesn’t even matter if we all disagree with each other and ignite passions for opposing sides—activism is a healthy gift you give yourself first, and then share with others.

 

The Digital Rapture

In the wink of an eye, the “get-its” got it and the resistors didn’t. It was a little scary this year for me. The old schoolers wanted to cling to their power base regardless of where that power emanated from. The range of dissent covered enterprise application vendors, high-priced gurus, consultants who catered to the IT department, traditional IT analysts and editors, old school research houses and publishers, and sometimes even users who just didn’t want to bother to learn something new and really weren’t even protecting a power base. But as the light bulbs went off around me, and I witnessed the viral adoption of how liberating web 2.0, emergent, user-driven collaboration took off in the communities where I participated and in the blogosphere… it was exhilarating. I’ve talked a lot in this blog about the “movement” and have referred to the adoption of web 2.0 in the enterprise in terms of a “revolution.” I’ve even taken Andy McAfee on myself in this regard (yikes!). Now he’s poking me on Facebook. It’s been an amazingly great year. I rejoice with every startup success, and I don’t sweat the case studies. I know they’re coming. Some breakout business model will be borne on a wiki and stand to reinvent some industry because an enlightened executive gave free rein to a smart team of design engineers or product managers, and they collaborated freely—uploading documents, designs, video—sharing ideas around the world until they got it right. It’s only a matter of time. The energy that comes with this digital addiction is infectious. You can’t stop yourself from innovating.

For those who are “left behind,” I imagine there will be gnashing of teeth when all data on the planet finally transcends up into the cloud in the final days. Not because they’ll miss the data, they’ll miss the community. We may be a reckless, rumpled and disorderly group, but we share a common vision about information—its ownership and the right to access it. More importantly, we’re all connected in the blogosphere. This post is more like a column or a speech than a traditional blog post (and if you’re still with me, you’re a trooper). You’ll notice it has very few links or references. It’s a bad example of a blog post, actually. Those who have resisted embracing the web 2.0 gestalt are disconnected from this vast interconnected community. Further, they’re not even connected to each other, save for email and maybe instant messaging. Not even a close comparison to what we’re talking about with social media and web 2.0.

I’ll end my year-end harangue with this: blog. I know it’s short for weblog. But what an unattractive word. I know I’ve seen this mentioned before, but I need to reiterate it. Blog has an onomatopoeia quality to it like the sound an upset stomach might make. Or maybe it’s a really unattractive verb: “blogging” which might be what I look like on the treadmill in the morning. Fits somewhere between plodding and blobbing?

I think the new word for blog should be bond. When we are blogging, we are bonding. We are stitching together the fabric of a new digital society with many voices. The next generation internet has become an always-on lecture hall and playground where those of us who wish to engage in the dialog can participate and thoroughly enjoy the community we built and continue to build.

Thanks for listening. We will now return to our normally scheduled programming.

Up Next? That long-awaited Vyew review.

Posted in blogs, Enterprise 2.0, Irregulars, Next Net, Personal Commentary, Social Media, Web 2.0, Wikis | 6 Comments »