04. Weblogs and wikis

Clay Shirky, Anil Dash, Peter Thoeny, Ross Mayfield

CONVERSATIONS ('Interjection')

  • Discussion of conversational tools: call & response...
  • Linear, threads & forks
  • Overall conversation = no ownership, cs:
  • WEBLOGS ('Post')

  • More directed
  • Reverse time order: get what's happening now rathre than trawling through stacks of threads
  • 'Person' is prominent
  • WIKIS ('Page')

  • 'Content' is prominent
  • Built on consensus and participatory vs authorial / personal weblogs


  • Business weblogs
  • Simple publishing
  • KM i*nets
  • PR / corporate comms (e.g. GM, Yahoo! & Boeing)
  • ('the head of the long tail' = the e.g. weblogs listed (Gawker, BusinessWeek?, etc)).

    With weblogs, adoption mimics that of email / IM, i.e. low entry bar, used at home, cheap, quick, etc.

    cf. 'The Only Sustainable Advantage' (Browning and Hagel)
    Enterprise software with an imposed, top-down structure... too complex. So people route a way around this, hence the prevalence of email (90% of collaboration in email & 30% of email is for group use -- 'occupational spam').

    SocialText is built on Kwiki (open source). RM focusses on hypertext: associate is key, hence Englebart's dismay at email.

    Re giving up some control to get added value, ensure you accept the consequences (cf. the 'wiki-torials' the LA Times did).

    Move from publish model of intranet to a wiki implementation and expect the unexpected -- the random wee pages popping up, etc.

    What the wiki addresses in the enterprise:

  • static intranets (move away from webmasters to domain experts / casual users)
  • stem email flood (no more post / reply, but post, refine & link)
  • implementation of business processes (cf. formal / informal paper flow & the like)
  • The 'structured wiki' = wiki + db app to provide ACL, workflow, audit trail. Then look to include applications / forms (cf. CallCenterStatus pages on twiki.org)