Supernova: Connected Work

Cydni Tetro and Tom Ngo, NextPage

Missed most of this presentation, although what I did see looked really interesting – it’s a way to version-track MS Office documents from user to user so that you can easily tell who has created the latest version, which edits were made by whom and when. Considering the mess that can be made by several people editing the same document at the same time, and the fact that wikis are not always appropriate for long or complex documents, this software looks like a really good app.

I didn’t see, however, a way to actually amalgamate concurrent edits, and someone has just asked that exact question. You still have to make the edits manually but the system will help you compare documents so that you can incorporate changes.

Greg Lloyd, Traction Software, on Enterprise Weblogs

– Email’s perfect for point-to-point communication, but really bad for collaboration.

– Blogs are good for conversations extended over time.

– Good for situational awareness, and aggregation from many sources.

– Scales like the web to handle the largest enterprises.

– Can cross the firewall: internal blogs; external limited access blogs; external open blogs.

Question: Is it possible to over-codify enterprise blogging with too much in the way of permissions and management. How do you ‘Scobleize’ an intranet?

Answer: Most intranets are open to the majority of people within a company, but where permissions become useful is when one is crossing the firewall and dealing with off-site stakeholders like contractors or clients.

Point: Is there an issue with culture – if everyone doesn’t play then you have a problem. There are plenty of people who aren’t into blogging, so the concept of people commenting and reaching out to others and creating a record of interactions can be greatly reduced if people are too busy.

Question: People look at blogging software in competition with collaboration software. Hard to get senior people to blog [externally], even though they me prolific writers as they see external writing as the job of the marketing department.

Answer: How do you differentiate between collaboration [from blogs]. The most powerful force is people’s expectations of what they could do, and those are set by what they are seeing on the internet. If they see things being done within the public web, then they want to do the same thing on the intranet.

Point: Blog content is richer than simple collaboration – more context.

Point: Easily scaled.

One thought on “Supernova: Connected Work

  1. Suw, thanks for posting! Since you missed part of it, let me fill in.

    Problem #1: Version chaos (as you said).

    Problem #2: E-mail is blind. I can’t tell what work you’ve done.

    Problem #3: Coordinating document work is hard. Near a deadline, you walk around, make phone calls, and send e-mails that people misinterpret as nastygrams.

    I just got back from Supernova and I’ve hit the gorund running because I’m peripherally aware of work my team did while I was gone.

    Re: amalgamating concurrent edits – it’s about as automatic as you’d want it to be. (Three clicks.) As document owner, you often don’t want people adding things willy nilly.

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