Tuesday 20 June 2006

Eating the two-dot-zero elephant

I said I had more to say about the traditional and the new wave of Web 2.0 inspired collaboration technologies, but the more I think about it the more I feel trying to get a grip on the two-dot-zero landscape (you know - Web 2.0, Intranet 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0) is like trying to eat an elephant - you need to do it in small pieces.

Today, JP Rangaswami's post about Web browser standards within the enterprise provided a useful distraction in respect to one piece of that elephant. I added a comment that referred to a point referenced by Tim O'Reilly is his Web 2.0 explanation about the idea of "software written above the level of the single device". This is infact a quote from a short essay written in 2003 by ex-Microsoft developer, Dave Stutz. I note in his bio he mentions at the end that he has "always tried to highlight product development paths that lead beyond standalone PC software to the far larger opportunities that exist in networked software".

This is in part, whether Web 2.0 or Intranet 2.0, what the two-dot-zero world is all about. The problem then with proprietory software from this perspective is not about cost, but the barriers it creates in determining how, with what and when the end-users - or to quote Jon Udell, the "amateurs" - get to do useful and innovative things with it. And here is the risk with some of the enterprise-level wikis I see emerging, they too may eventually lock you into a single interface and this will ultimately limit participation and we'll be back where we started.

UPDATE: Read JP's follow up post - he is spot on where he describes a "plethora of sources, working within an ecosystem approach to standards, market-driven, market-maintained, community-enriched... With the right things done in terms of identity, permissioning, authentication."

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