Online Information 07 – Day 2

First of all, some observations:

  • Wifi is much better, and there’s decent acess from inside the auditorium now.
  • "Web two point naught" is perhaps the most irritating pronunciation, and makes me cringe every time.
  • I confirmed the person sitting behind me was indeed Dominic Campbell by holding up my laptop showing his Twitter profile photo and asking "this is you, isn’t it?".
  • Dominic Waghorn ( thinks teenagers share about themselves online because they’re self-centred.
  • The exhibition hall is enormous.

Online Information - Exhibition Hall

Today I made notes on

  • How should Web 2.0 co-exist with Intranets? – Sam Marshall, ClearBox Consulting
  • Web 2.0 inside the corporate firewall: latest research and case in action: BT – Helen Day, Intranet Benchmarking Forum and Mark Morrell, BT
  • Intranet 2.0 Maturity: Survey Results – Jane McConnell, NetStrategy/JMC
  • Collective Intelligence and the Wisdom of Crowds – Jeffrey Walker – Jeffrey Walker, Atlassian

How should Web 2.0 co-exist with Intranets?Sam Marshall, ClearBox Consulting

Intranet 2.0

  • Arguments against web 2.0 in the intranet:
    • loss of control
    • risk of leaks
    • "not really work". No business case, it’s just chit-chat
    • search might not trawl
    • "Build it and they will still drink coffee"
    • If you’re such an expert, how do you have time to blog about it
  • Citizens…
    • employees are there for the good of the company. Top down
    • management knows what employees should see
    • competing for employee attention is wasteful
  • …vs Consumers
    • Employees are partners
    • freedom to choose is key to employee satisfaction
    • jobs are too complex to predict what info will be needed
    • organisation must compete for employee’s attentio
  • But organisations are not free markets
    • Competition costs
    • They pay you, so you have fewer rights
  • Although some free market elements are appealing
    • Volunteers are more committed
  • Envisions a publication pyramid
    • Cporporate content
    • Dept communities, mailing lists, jams
    • Ad hoc collaboration. Team wikis
    • Personal blogs "and email". [email?]
  • Each user belongs to five types of community
    • Department / Community of Practice
    • Business Unit
    • Function (marketing, finance)
    • Brand
    • Location
  • Use appropriate governance
    • clarify who publishes what
    • For IT: not everything has to be industrial strength
    • If you don’t provide central services, people will create their own under their desk, with all the mess that involves.

Web 2.0 inside the corporate firewall: latest research and case in action: BT – Helen Day, Intranet Benchmarking Forum and Mark Morrell, BT

  • Mark is BT Intranet Manager. Aims to turn BT into a vibrant social networking environment.
  • Helen. Information Professional, and has been coming to Online Information conference for 14 years.
  • The death of the formal intranet never happened. Social software tends to work alongside top-down intranet content.
  • Andrew McAfee: "social software can mean traditional hierarchies short-circuited…"
  • Discussion Groups and Forums.
    • you need a sense of community and a critical mass of users before you start
    • important to prevent anonymous postings to prevent problems
    • Mark: BT senses a mood-swing towards knowledge sharing. A new generation expects it.
  • Blogs:
    • BT policy is to allow anyone to blog internally and externally. provides policies and guidelines.
    • CEO engages in dialogue, but won’t blog. "Doesn’t have the time".
    • WordPress was chosen inside BT after testing different platforms.
  • Feeds and newsreaders:
    • reduces email (though should reduce it more)
    • Feeds profiled for employees
    • BT uses Feedreader internally (looking at web-based solutions too). Mark: "I’m no expert on technology, but I can use this". [I should hope so. He’s the intranet manager.]
  • Wikis
    • Version control and history.
    • BT has BTpedia. Nearly 600 articles published. [so few?]
    • Project teams can use Confluence, MediaWiki or SharePoint.

Intranet 2.0 Maturity: Survey Results – Jane McConnell, NetStrategy/JMC

  • Global Intranet Strategies Survey. Intranet managers from 178 organisations completed a 1 hour survey in 2007.
  • Is the intranet the way of working in your org? 11%, already is the way people work. 43% say it will be within 1-2 years, 45% 3-5 years, 1% not forseeable.
  • There is a correlation between orgs in which the intranet is already the way of doing business ("class 1") and "2.0" features.
  • Over 25% of class1 orgs already have partial, or general use of virtual worlds. Over 30% if you include ‘testing’ phase.
  • Less than 50% of orgs have content aggregation (feed readers)
  • Quotes: "project collab communities using wikis, blogs etc. Gradual process to wean people off of email"
  • For companies not doing 2.0, why not? Highest response was "organisational culture not ready"

Collective Intelligence and the Wisdom of Crowds – Jeffrey Walker, Atlassian

  • Is it like Infinite Monkeys?
  • Wisdom of Crowds – James Surowiecki
  • Google, Racetrack. Lots of participants.
  • Alan Kay quote:
    Engelbart, right from his very first proposal to ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency], said that when adults accomplish something that’s important, they almost always do it through some sort of group activity. If computing was going to amount to anything, it should be an amplifier of the collective intelligence of groups. But Engelbart pointed out that most organizations don’t really know what they know, and are poor at transmitting new ideas and new plans in a way that’s understandable. Organizations are mostly organized around their current goals. Some organizations have a part that tries to improve the process for attaining current goals. But very few organizations improve the process of figuring out what the goals should be.
  • Blogging to open your company.
    • transparent
    • personal
    • authentic
  • Best example he’s seen is Sun Microsystems. Any employee can have an external blog on
  • On the other hand, if you work for Cisco and want to blog externally,you have to fill in a form and you are judged as to whether you are indeed an expert.
  • Highlighted IBM’s blogging guidelines, and pointed out that it supports the company’s corporate values.
  • has over 800,000 registered users. (NB: Craig Cmehil points out via Twitter, in response to live-twittering by Dominic, that it’s now over 950000).
  • Pixar uses wikis for all project management of film production
  • Driving the wiki
    • useful, necessary content
    • repetition. Meetings drive update cycles
    • Encourage non-work use. It’s social.
  • Do you ban Facebook?
    • Trust your employees!
  • Jeffrey blogs at

Communities of Practice in Local Government – Steve Dale, Semantix

  • It’s not just about how information is organised, it’s about how people use it.
  • Moving away from a culture of people-to-information to people-to-people.
  • How to introduce a skeptical and mature staff demographic to the concept of virtual collaboration using web 2.0 technologies.
  • Local government (as an example) is huge, and very hierarchical. Lots of information, but no RSS feeds.
  • Components of building Communities of Practice
    • purpose
    • place
    • profile
    • participation
    • process
    • trust

4 replies on “Online Information 07 – Day 2”

  1. Heh – thanks for the succinct summary of my point Roo (“teenagers share because they are self-centered”).

    I stand by my comment and don’t see it as negative.

    Young people who use our services are often finding their way in life, discovering who they are and what it means to be “me”. The advent of usser generated content and simplified web publishing means they have a platform to practice, try stuff out and express themselves. A good thing I reckon.


  2. Hi Dominic. I don’t think it’s negative either. Just interesting. It’s quite possible true, too. Humans on the whole are self centered, regardless of their age. My friend Kyb argues it’s natural, because we always see things from our own point of view.

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