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E-mail's fate in an Enterprise 2.0 world

You almost can't not evoke Shakespeare's "Hamlet" when you think about the future of e-mail. "To be, or not to be: That is the question." Indeed. With Enterprise 2.0 continuing to gain momentum in the enterprise, there's growing discussion that e-mail might be on its way out the revolving doors, usurped by social media technologies.

But let's not be so hasty. When was the last time you used e-mail? Two seconds ago? Is it opened on your computer right now? How much of your day is still consumed by e-mail? I rest my case! E-mail continues to be an integral way we communicate and do business, and it's not going away anytime soon. But it is evolving.

E2.0 won't abolish e-mail. It will change the way we use it. The editors of CMSWire invited our CTO Phil Green to expand on this notion in a contributed article, which they posted last week. So I encourage you to flip over to CMSWire to pick up where I leave off here, and see what Phil's take is on the future of e-mail in the enterprise.

Thanks again to CMSWire's editors for taking Phil's piece!

Best of the Inmagic blog 2010

This is one my favorite things to do on our blog. At the end of the year, we like to look back on the year's top posts. It's always interesting to see what captured our readers' attention the most. It tells us what drove your interests this year, and what has shaped and impacted your world as information professionals.

So here are our top 10 posts of 2010, driven by you, our readers. Thank you for keeping us at the top of your reading list. And to all of our guests who were featured in our top posts, thank you for helping us bring insightful musings to our readers.

We look forward to continuing to inform your interests and bringing you more useful content in 2011. So please feel free to let us know what you want to hear about in the new year. We're here to serve your information needs, so don't be shy!

Drum roll please!

10. Why SharePoint 2010 is not a panacea

9. No standardization for E2.0 is its blessing and curse

8. How to sort multi-entry fields in DB/TextWorks

7. Google Wave all washed up

6. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: The Info Pro Version

5. Oscar Berg explores our future with Enterprise 2.0

4.  Five reasons knowledge workers are unproductive

3.  Ross Dawson dishes on E2.0; plus your chance to win his new book!

2.  Metrics for measuring Enterprise 2.0 adoption and ROI

1. Social media is challenging notions of the DIKW hierarchy

What are your thoughts on our list? What do you think it says about you and your 2010? And more importantly, what does it indicate about 2011?

And while you're pondering that, we wish everyone a Happy New Year from all of us at Inmagic!

Will social networks kill e-mail?

That's the question our own Phil Green explored last week on air with Michael Ray Dresher, host of "Dresher After Dark." Many in our industry see e-mail losing its stature as one of our primary forms of communication in the next 10 years. As companies increasingly adopt Enterprise 2.0, we'll instead be using real-time social networking technologies to communicate and collaborate.

Phil and Michael dove into the implications of this during their interview, including how it could change the way we do business. Tune in to catch their interview. It begins about 12 minutes into the clip. Thanks again, Michael, for having Phil on air!

Association 2.0 webinar Q&A: What's the difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?

We've come to the final stretch of our questions and answers from our Association 2.0 webinar. Up until now, we've focused on how social media technology applies to associations. But what's beyond the 2.0 era?

The semantic Web, or Web 3.0, has been increasingly gaining momentum as the next iteration of the Web. And like Web 2.0 technology, we see Web 3.0 technology coming the enterprise -- and in fact, parts of it are already in place.

But what is the semantic Web exactly? And how does it differ from the social Web? Read on for our response.

What is the difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?

Inmagic says ...

This is an interesting and complex question. Although parts of the semantic Web are already here, many Internet experts believe it is still a ways off. And some technology professionals believe we need to get through Web 2.0 before we get to Web 3.0. But one thing's for sure. The semantic Web is continuing to move from an abstract concept to real-world utilization.

Web 2.0 is about dynamic, rich, interactive content. It's driven by shares, views, likes, ratings, comments, etc. The semantic Web is driven by the meaning of that content. It puts content into context, describing the relationships between things (A falls under the category of B) and the properties of things (like size, weight, price, etc.).

Content and information fuel the semantic Web. This is one way we're seeing the semantic Web carrying over to the enterprise. Companies are increasingly using meta tags to enhance their information repositories.

However, meta tagging falls short of achieving the semantic Web objective because it's not domain specific. What we see missing in the enterprise still is a technology known as the "fielded wiki." Fielded wikis allow domain-specific information to be added to the system. The key to effective fielded wikis is adding information that can be rapidly found and easily understood by other users in the proper context.

Semantic Web technology will be another important piece of the E2.0 pie, letting users dynamically discover and consume information, which becomes critically important for productivity.

For more on how Web 3.0 technology could impact associations, see this article, "The Next Traditions of Associations 3.0," from the AssociationNOW blog.

In sum: Semantic Web technology will be another important piece of the E2.0 pie, letting users dynamically discover and consume information, which becomes critically important for productivity.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas: The Info Pro Version

Every year, we send out holidays cards. This time around, something in me sparked some extra creativity (or silliness. You be the judge!). I wrote a poem inspired by the old classic, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the cloud,
There was not a tweet posted, no one was "working out loud."
The software was purchased and implemented with care,
In hopes that social technologies would make us all share.

The project teams stopped scrambling and scratching their heads,
They found the information they needed, then dragged their tired a$$es to bed.
With sales off the phones and finance done with their stats,
Everyone had just settled in, for a long online chat.

Then what did appear on the flat screen before me?
A Social Knowledge Network, and an online community.
I searched the new content and found experts like a flash,
I collaborated, and rated, and added value to my "favorites" stash.

Now, HR! Now, product development! Now, sales and marketing!
On, end users! On, management! On, CXOs in the executive wing!
From top-down vetted content, to bottom-up socialization,
Collaborate! Communicate! Share your knowledge creation!

I sprang to my office, to give my team a whistle,
And we become more productive. You could hear our ideas sizzle.
I heard our CEO exclaim, "You guys are dy-no-mite!"
Social Knowledge Networks for all, and to all a good night!"
But we couldn't stop there. We turned it into a book -- well, an e-book, that is!
But here's the icing on the cake. We coerced our CTO, Phil Green, to wear a Santa hat and recite it on video.

Hope it sparks a smile -- or laugh! (Come on, humor us ...) Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

David Weinberger predicts the end of the Internet

David Weinberger
We know David Weinberger as a renowned futurist and business visionary. We probably know him best as the co-author of the Internet marketing bestseller, "The Cluetrain Manifesto."

But David, whose life's work has focused on how the Internet is changing human relationships, communication, and society, is now predicting the Internet's demise. You can listen to it all in our podcast interview with him, or get the full transcript.

David made some provocative, yet hard-to-argue-with propositions about the end of the Internet as we know it -- and why it might have happened already.

He also argued why miscellany benefits us in our digital world, and why authenticity is meaningless, the subject of his latest book, "Everything is Miscellaneous."

He challenged the use of the word "community." And he revealed the premise behind his forthcoming book which he plans to title "Too Big to Know."

Click play above to hear it all. For more from David, you can read his blog,, and follow him on Twitter @dweinberger.

Thanks again, David, for taking our interview.

Association 2.0 webinar Q&A: How fast are members adopting social technologies?

Associations have to be where their members are. And increasingly, that involves the growing number of online communities, forums, and discussions. Where does the association industry stand in its efforts to engage online and manage its social media strategies? Peter Hutchins from ASAE gave us his perspective during the Q&A session of our Association 2.0 webinar.

Any sense of adoption rates across the industry, or among your members? Are there any segments adopting faster or slower from your perspective?

ASAE says ...

That's really a hard question to answer when we're talking about so many different tools. Each tool has the potential to have higher or lower adoption within certain subsets of our community.

Facebook is a great example. More "social" people seem to be interacting with Facebook, with each other, and with us. But we're also seeing those typically less socially inclined gravitating toward LinkedIn, which is a system where ASAE actually has an ROI instead of an ROE.

We are gaining four or five members a month off a notion that in order to be engaged in the conversations on LinkedIn, you have to be a member. Twitter is an entity that early adopters are gravitating towards quickly, regardless of age. Social engagement is really more about the type of individual than an age range.

It's very interesting to see how things redirect and change for us. Even conference to conference, the level and/or the type of interaction shifts. But my answer really comes down to: It depends. Probably not the answer you're looking for, but I think that's how the tools in the industry relate, or rather, what the tools in the industry are reflecting these days.

In sum: Social engagement is really more about the type of individual than an age range.

Association 2.0 webinar Q&A: Why did you opt to use Presto over SharePoint?

Many companies want to foster collaboration across their organization. Often, one of their first steps in going about this is to look at what technologies they can deploy to increase knowledge sharing and teaming. Microsoft SharePoint is usually top of mind.

But while SharePoint continues to be one of the most popular platforms for enterprise content management, many organizations find SharePoint is not a panacea. They face challenges managing content, consolidating information silos, and supporting the IT resources and development costs involved.

That's why many companies are integrating complementary, third-party applications with SharePoint to better leverage specific SharePoint functionality that suits the way they work, as well as enables them to get more out of their technology investment. And others are steering away from SharePoint all together.

HRPA can speak from experience. When it sought a way to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration, it looked at SharePoint. But it also looked at Presto.

During our recent Association 2.0 webinar with HRPA, the association's Chris Larsen and Corrina Mason told us what went into their evaluation process, and why they decided to use Presto and not SharePoint to meet their business needs.

We are thinking about using SharePoint for collaboration. Do you use SharePoint? If so, why did you use Presto instead?

HRPA says ...

When we were considering Presto, I reached out to the Special Library Association (SLA) list serv, and I asked other librarians what they thought. The response was that Presto was a good application, and I did have some in-depth conversations with people about their implementation processes.

I also asked about SharePoint, because a lot of special libraries use SharePoint, and from a librarian standpoint, it's actually an imperfect tool. It's not as easy to use or navigate. I went on the recommendation of others that Presto was actually a better application for our members to use.

To further elaborate, we are also a Microsoft Canada reference account. We are a SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamic shop. But in this particular case, Presto is optimized for exactly what it's supposed to do. If we had tried to do this with SharePoint, it would have taken a lot longer and it would have been a lot costlier.

At the end of the day, it's hard to believe that we would have ended up with anything that works as well. Based on employee feedback, it was snap to learn and use. Now, I like SharePoint, but I wouldn't exactly call it a snap to learn and use, so we're very happy with the decision that we made.

In sum: If we had tried to do this with SharePoint, it would have taken a lot longer and it would have been a lot costlier.

Association 2.0 webinar Q&A: What staff is needed to administer Presto?

HRPA's Presto-powered Resource Centre
During our recent Association 2.0 webinar, HRPA's Chris Larsen and Corrina Mason showed us their new Resource Centre, a searchable online HR knowledgebase that's powered by Presto. They were asked during our Q&A session about what staff is needed to administer their Resource Centre, and what IT resources were required. Read on for their response.

What staffing requirements are needed to administer your Presto application? Specifically, can you comment on IT support resources required?

HRPA says ...

The Resource Centre at HRPA has two information specialists who are able to keep up with demands. During the implementation we hired a library assistant, and that was helpful for getting the system up and running, and ensuring that we had the right content and clean records.

Originally, we thought we might have to hire incremental staff because the turnaround time on member inquiries at the time was just unacceptable. That has changed completely and we’re able to manage it with existing staff.

From an IT involvement point of view, our IT manager spent roughly 25 hours working on this project, which is about three-to-four days of his time. So over a nine-week period, a nominal amount of his time was spent on the implementation.

Now that the system is up and running -- and it’s running on our servers -- we have some additional integration work in terms of migrating social media tools from where we were to where we want to be. But it’s insignificant, frankly.

In sum: Over a nine-week period, a nominal amount of IT’s time was spent on the implementation.

Association 2.0 webinar Q&A: How do you decide what content to socialize?

Associations are information-centric organizations. Social technology is changing the way associations share and manage this information. But does that mean all content must now be socialized with comments, ratings, and other social tools? Is social knowledge management an all-or-nothing initiative?
Peter Hutchins from ASAE gave us his response during the Q&A session of our Association 2.0 webinar. Read on for his perspective.

You talked about "democratization of content." There are some pieces of content we simply want to publish as fact or policy. Any tips for balancing both?

ASAE says ...

I truly believe that making content available is a balancing act -- and this ability is an association's greatest asset to its members. You can create an environment that fulfills everyone's needs. You can have research-based content with authoritative answers or benchmarking information, but you can also have members able to comment on designated information to add meaning or value within their organization. And not everything needs to be socialized.

In sum: Making content available is a balancing act -- and this ability is an association's greatest asset to its members.

Enterprise 2.0 best practice: Unite internal collaboration with external communication

2010 has seen Enterprise 2.0 go from an abstract term to a more concrete practice area. Companies have deployed E2.0 pilots and are measuring and analyzing results. Information professionals are beginning to identify what's working and what's not.

In our experience working with organizations around the globe, we've seen some commonalities begin to emerge among what our clients consider successful E2.0 implementations. Those common threads are the formations of Enterprise 2.0 best practices.

A big one we're seeing is to unite internal collaboration with external communication. The editors of CMSWire recently invited me to contribute an article covering this. They published it this week, and you can read it now online.

In my article, I talk about how many organizations still have internal collaboration with staff and external communication with customers as mutually exclusive operations. But with the advent of social technologies, many are finding real benefit to having both internal and external groups operating under the same umbrella.

In my article, I paint an example of how this would play out in a product life cycle management (PLM) scenario, and explain how you can integrate collaboration and communication to foster innovation, information discovery, and more effective business practices. Thanks again to CMSWire for taking my piece.

Inmagic named EContent 100 company

One of the industry's leading trade publications has recognized the work we've been doing this year to help companies improve the way they manage knowledge. The editors of EContent Magazine have named us to their EContent 100 List, the magazine's annual compilation of companies that matter most in the digital content industry.

EContent Editor-in-Chief Michelle Manafy had this to say: “The need to integrate social tools into the business landscape is growing, and Inmagic continues to play a key role in enabling organizations to help achieve their business objectives.”

Thank you to EContent's editors for recognizing us! If you're interested in more details on the award and how companies were chosen, read on for our press release announcing the news.

Inmagic Named to EContent 100 List

Award recognizes Inmagic as a company that matters most in the digital content industry

WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inmagic®, a company that enables non-technical business users to create and manage Social Knowledge Networks through its application, Inmagic® Presto, today announced it has been named an EContent 100 company by the editors of EContent magazine. The EContent 100 is the publication’s list of the 100 companies that matter most in the digital content industry.

“This year’s winners were chosen based on innovation and the ability to meet customer needs,” says Michelle Manafy, Editor-in-Chief of EContent Magazine. “Companies use Inmagic Presto to improve the way they organize, manage, and share content and knowledge across all parts of their organizations. The need to integrate social tools into the business landscape is growing, and Inmagic continues to play a key role in enabling organizations to help achieve their business objectives.”

Presto sits at the intersection of enterprise search, social technologies, and information access and discovery, enabling information professionals to create KnowledgeNets -- combining top-down vetted information with bottom-up social intelligence for a 360-degree view of information assets. By merging content with social tools such as ratings and commenting, Presto helps companies meet the need for better collaboration and increased knowledge retention in the workplace.

This award adds to the company’s list of industry accolades this year, with Presto named as a KMWorld Trend-Setting Product and a Company that Matters in Knowledge Management, both for the second consecutive years. Organizations that have adopted Presto include The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), NASA, The National Endowment for Democracy, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited, The San Francisco Symphony, and The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


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