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Collaboration in your business in a Web 2.0 world

September 22, 2008

One of the sessions at Web 2.0 featured a presentation by IDEO. They are a design company with offices in seven different cities. To succeed, they needed to foster collaboration.

Their entire presentation consisted of them telling people how they collaborated. They

  1. Started an internal blog.
  2. Started an internal Wiki
  3. Gave everyone their own page, where people could connect to other people through likes, dislikes, job function, job skills.
  4. They automatically signed everyone up to it.

This last point is important because they launched their Wiki a year ago and now have over 10,000 entries.

Social Networking #4 - Web 2.0

Image by basswulf via Flickr

The reason that this is frustrating is that we have all that stuff at our agency. We have offices in seven different cities, we need to collaborate. We need to engage.

And there are better ways to do it. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an e-mail string then you know the problems.

1. Conversations are backwards. The early parts of the conversations are at the bottom, but they have to be read first to be understood. That’s dumb. Web 2.0 is better than that.

2. They are lost in the ether that is e-mail. Lets face facts: unless you’re one of those people, you have an e-mail inbox that you lose control of fast. Yes, you can find messages by changing the search criteria, and you can even throw them in your folders for keeping. But you can’t really share them.

There’s a better way to organize all the information.

If web 2.0 is all about collaboration, and listening, and conversations, then step #1 is to let you be exposed to the conversations. Exposure is a good first step.

Because this is community rule #1: the amount of people who will start a conversation is much smaller than the number of people who will join one that is going on.

Your company doesn’t need multiple offices to collaborate. There’s most-likely a community out there someone of people like you sharing their thoughts. Somewhere between a blog about your category, and a NING social network about it, there’s a sweet spot. find it.

And get in the conversation.

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