I’m looking for examples of collaboration tools doing actual work in the workplace.
Notice how deftly I avoided saying “web 2.0” tools? That’s what a lot of these things are, but I have a suspicion that the examples I’m looking for will be from people who don’t say “web 2.0” a lot. Or “blogosphere.” Like the people in this video from BNet Intercom.
What I hope to find is a collection of mini case studies:
- Here’s a problem we had at Montcrieffe Heraldry and Landscaping.
- Here’s what we tried because we thought it would let us do X, Y, and Z.
- Here’s what happened in reality.
- Here’s where we’re going next.
Why am I looking? Rather than saying to people “you ought to have a blog” (or a wiki, or a mashup, or whatever), I’d like to show real-word examples in terms of the problems they addressed and the results they delivered.
For example, procurement people at a petrochemical company wanted to track and share what they learned in dealing with suppliers. You may recall this saying:
Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.
The corollary is that the bad judgment doesn’t have to be yours. So the procurement people used an online tool to report on negotiating strategy, dealings with particular vendors, and other things that procurement people pay attention to. They restricted access to just their department, but allowed people in that department to revise or add to the information. So, over time, topics emerged, as did cross-references, as did changes in thinking.
It was a wiki.
The key is that if you’re reading this, you probably know what a wiki is. You’re likely to have written or edited something on a wiki. But, when you say “wiki” to many people in the corporate world, they think of Wikipedia, which means they think of:
- Political staffers and folks with agendas trying to change the pages for Barack Obama or John McCain
- Featured articles like these (shown on the main page on the last four Fridays):
- The Buffyverse, an astonishing number of pages related to Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
What are you seeing that’s working? Let me know, either in a comment, or by email to dferguson at strathlorne youknowwhatgoeshere com.