Friday, September 29, 2006

Web 2.0 and business

The concept of Web2.0, for those not familiar with the term, refers to a shift in the content of the World Wide Web from creation and publication to something more akin to evolution where readers can leave their mark. Blogs, for example, allow readers to post their comments meaning that the next time someone reads the blog entry, it is different to the last time. Wikis are another example. The best known is Wikipedia which allows individuals to update entries. I could go into the problems of allowing anyone to edit an entry – mainly authority and accuracy of the entry – but others (such as The Guardian) have already done so and done so better than I can.

What interests me is the use of Wikis in a business setting. Don’t laugh – why shouldn’t businesses use wikis? They have web pages, online purchasing, email, Intranets and bulletin boards. Wikis basically allow your organisation to generate documents in a truly collaborative fashion - a challenge with which many organisations struggle. The challenge then becomes how you protect that content with your content management system (CMS). According to an article in the August 2006 issue of Information Age, The impact of wikis on ECM systems, Gartner recommends “positioning wikis as an authoring environment only, and when the document is ocomplete a copy should be moved to a formal content repository”. While I can see the logic here, it seems to me that we’re back to Web 1.0 – create and publish.

How does a business protect content generated on a company wiki while maintaining all of the benefits that a wiki offers?

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