Nick Carr argues that Enterprise 2.0 deployments are made successful through adoption, which I concur. But he takes the elitist view that it's not just if enough people adopt it, but if the talented people do. There is some truth to this in theory, most of it is based on public perception of Wikipedia and blogspace, but what is missing is the actual details of what happens behind the firewall:
- In three years of running Socialtext, we have not had a single report of inappropriate use of these tools by an employee. Sure it can happen, but that does not discredit the data point, nor that you could infer from it that people are, on the whole, good.
- Mass adoption does not simply happen because of grassroots interest. But when it does, it explodes. At DrKW, wiki traffic outpaced the intranet in just six months.
- These are productivity tools. They are simply more efficient than the way intranets and email works in the enterprise today. Busy people like them.
- There is a Power Law of Participation. Not everyone has to be highly engaged, a very good thing. And a core community can take hold to do the heavy lifting.
- Do we really have to point out this is not KM?
- Perhaps most interesting, inherent transparency rewards sharing, punishes hoarding and fosters trust.
Any adoption initative should seek out key contributors for what they can contribute. But one man's expert is another one's nimcompoop. At a certain point, the content generated stand on it's own. It is either a valuable resource worth returning to, or people will not. Arguing for quality or expertise makes sense in theory, but a little practice and understanding of wabi sabi provides greater understanding.