I'm in Boston at the Collaborative Technologies Conference this week. John Seely Brown kicked it off with a great keynote, but I just got off the red eye and couldn't take notes. He gave a nice mention of Socialtext and emergent collaboration.
Mike Rhodin, IBM GM of Lotus, gave a talk on Mashups (largely as a rebranding of SoA). Organizations have been investing in productivity through very formalized systems,but that profit has been maximized, and they now are looking to collaboration for further gain. Personal productivity in the 1980s focused on standalone use and authoring tools. Team productivity in the 1990s was driven by LANs with proprietary client/server, doc formats, multi-year development cycles and a focus on email and documents. Open standards and open source are about to break this open. Next is what they call the Dynamic Workplace. Standards, open source, composite applications across boundaries, SoA, etc. The slide lists lots of buzzwords, but doesn't say what the focus of this era is.
Sees collaboration at a converging industry, mostly because of disparate user experiences. An auto company spent 70% looking for information and 30% of the time making decisions, and wanted to reverse the ratio (presumably because they wanted to make decisions based on less information).
Hannover, the next gen of Lotus Notes, provides contextual collaboration with applications dynamically shifting. Saving time switching apps, tracking revisions. Hannover will have an updated UI, supports legacy apps, enables composite applications and will be open: ODF provides 125 milion Lotus Notes users alternatives to proprietary Office formats. Mashups are composite applications that are role-based and in the context as a process. OMG, he just described Notes as the first Situational Software. 87% of CEOs believe that fundamental change is required in the next two-years.
Portals will be the initial SoA project for an enterprise. The primary communication tool in IBM is SameTime (IM), not email. Presence and location is being integrated into multiple apps and Mike sees things evolving to real-time application solutions. Sametime is build upon Eclipse and can be extended through plugins. Shows a couple of mashups that leverage backend data and multiple modalities. There is a heirarchy to to network heirarchy (heterarchy).
By 2009, wikis are predicted to become mainstream collaboration tools in at least half of all companies. Wikis are going to become very very important, disruptive, because they invert the content authoring pyramid (an author gathers sources, out of date, applies wisdoms and publishes something inherently out of date). A wiki is an inversion, the ideas and framework for the information is contributed and a community can form around that wiki. The reason I think this is going to happen is because it already has happened, in open source communities -- the dynamic is the same. Content will have a similar path. If all of your publishing was done through a wiki, what would you use a word processor for? The value of artifact centric tools will decline.
He concludes by highlighting tagging and activity-centric collaboration (a collection of materials, communications and processes that emerge when peopel work together on a common goal).