A manifesto for the Internet by Doc Searls and David Weinberger (who had earlier written The Cluetrain Manifesto) clears some misconceptions about the Net and states:
The Internet isn’t complicated
2. The Internet isn’t a thing. It’s an agreement.
3. The Internet is stupid.
4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
5. All the Internet’s value grows on its edges.
6. Money moves to the suburbs.
7. The end of the world? Nah, the world of ends.
8. The Internets three virtues:
a. No one owns it
b. Everyone can use it
c. Anyone can improve it
9. If the Internet is so simple, why have so many been so boneheaded about it?
10. Some mistakes we can stop making already
The central point: “To connect to the Internet is to agree to grow value on its edges. And then something really interesting happens. We are all connected equally. Distance doesnt matter. The obstacles fall away and for the first time the human need to connect can be realized without artificial barriers. The Internet gives us the means to become a world of ends for the first time.”
Weblogs are another example of how value is being created at the “edges”. Even as big media publishes, flow is being created by tens of thousands individuals who now have a writing space to express their own thinking without having a central authority to moderate or filter it.
Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research gives a roadmap on how one can leverage blogs within the enterprise:
Instead of going for the full corporate monty from the start, first launch an internal IT blog. Start slowly, as you would with any IT project. Create a beta blog that can be viewed only by IT managers, then open it to IT staffers before you roll it out to the entire company. Get a group of folks to volunteer to create your first series of weblogs and use the beta process to weed out the ones who don’t post often enough. Nothing is worse than a stale blog.
Use your blog as a vehicle for communication. Explain what’s going on inside IT operations, link to interesting articles and create forums for internal discussions. While everyone is comfortable using PCs and most software, they still appreciate getting timely advice and opinions from experts in the field. Why shouldn’t they get it from you and your team?
During the beta process, post at least three times a week, keeping your comments pithy and focused on a single point. Don’t make it available to the entire firm until you have at least one month’s worth of content.
Once your blog is established and you begin to find your voice, you might want to advocate an external site. Explore how blog-based external communications can create more business initiatives. Lead by example, and champion the cause.
He points to Jupiter’s Research Analyst Weblogs as an example.
Stewart Alsop writes on what has perhaps become the top propblem facing software developers in search of a “killer app” – how to help us all manage the flow from real killer app (email): “It’s no surprise that entrepreneurs have seen that there’s money to be made in taming this e-mail mess. The most innovative products I saw at Demo were programs designed to keep e-mail away from me, organize it, or make the information it contains accessible to colleagues who need it. ”
Alsop talks about MailFrontier for filtering out spam, Open Field Software’s product “that automatically classifies and sorts e-mail based on your preferences” and Kubi Software’s product “that enables users to store e-mails and all their attachments in one area–and then lets the information be shared with as many workers as necessary.” Most of the email products tend to be Outlook or Notes add-ons.
I am happy to report that my experiment with managing email based on a combination of incoming mail filters and a single folder for storing email is working very well.