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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Ross Mayfield Covers Gilbane Panel Discussion On Blogs & Wikis

Ross Mayfield covers the presentation by Joe Kraus of Jotspot and Dan Farber of Cnet. Excerpts with edits and comments:
Ross presents on the basics of wiki - presentation available here.Joe Kraus from Jotspot talks about his personal story, democratizing the web, wiki use for consulting firms, facilitating conversations and building proposals. Says wikis become kitchen sinks, and the solution is adding structure into a wiki (another view is wikis are messy when they are poorly implemented and don't take advantage of empowering practices - the tool is not a panacea)I totally agree about this.
Dan Farber from Cnet emphasizes on Keeping it simple...collaboration, communication, easy to set up, low cost, doesn't take programming talent, makes it accessible for people in a corporation to contribute in ways they haven't before, easy to scale. In the past everything is high cost, complex, difficult to use, feature rich - like Lotus Notes and even Groove to a degree. From the bottom up, we have different tools that are simpler and more accessible. They have source content that you can push out through alerts and syndication, but then you have RSS and syndication APIs that lets others build upon your content. With blogs and content refactoring tools like wikis, you have new ways to use content and take advantage of it to make your people smarter and get more points of view. What we want is somewhat standard connumications infrastructure. Compose your own blog or wiki with whatever features you want, some blogs won't stay simple as people add features. Will all be refactored in some way.Don't get accustomed to what we have today, as all are bound to change. I think Dan is right- the transformative power comes from bottom up in voluntary grassroots movement like wikis. Dan makes correct observations about the evolution of the technology.
Ross also points to Deeje's coverage of the event.

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