A couple of interesting posts from Nathan Wallace on his organization's experiences in implementing a wiki and then a year later, a customized microblogging platform called Jitter. You need to read both, but here are some key points:
The organizational wiki seems to have been adopted more quickly and used more extensively than the Jitter solution. This is in part, Nathan says, because the wiki was responding to a need, while Jitter was trying to create demand:
While Jitter is a highly flexible tool that people are already using for a wide range of purposes, we didn’t do enough to position this new communication medium or to demonstrate the business value. People didn’t know how to use this new tool. Some feedback was negative, but overwhelmingly people asked “What do I post to it?”, “What’s the business value?”. Without clear answers, people just waited to see what others would do.
Related to the idea of launching a social media solution in response to a particular need, the organization's wiki was piloted as an information source related to the moving of the company's head office. As Nathan points out, "Nothing drives traffic like a seating plan for a new office."
He also has some great advice on dealing with people's concerns about people making "improper" changes to a wiki:
- There are two ways to control people's behaviour: social forces and technical forces. Currently, we successfully rely on social forces to control a wide range of things like who calls or emails the CEO with their latest crazy idea. Technical forces are powerful, but with each technical feature we increase training and raise the bar against collaboration. Surely, we can see if social forces will be enough for all but the most critical of content?
- Anyone can choose to monitor any content that they are concerned about (e.g. automatic email alert with changes). So, they can quickly jump in and correct any mistakes.
- For exceptional cases, we may choose to lock down critical content and define clear ownership and responsibility for its maintenance.
It also seems that there are real challenges to implementing microblogging in the enterprise:
Note that this doesn't say that microblogging shouldn't be used in the enterprise. Nathan suggests that it might not be a great starting point though.
Finally, check out this excellent article on implementing Web 2.0 in a 1.0 Culture. In it Nathan discusses the two cultural barriers to collaborative tools in the organization--sharing knowledge adds more work and sharing knowledge increases personal risk. Then he outlines some strategies for minimizing these barriers. He also proposes four values for building Enterprise 2.0:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
- Ease of use over comprehensive training.
- Flexible tools over completeness.
- Responding to needs over creating demand.
Really great stuff, well worth your time.