I met yesterday with our CIO to talk through social media in general. I had sent her the articles Genie in a Bottle and Where's your wiki? (from the excellent Sviokla's Context blog) and she very diligently read them. She took time to look at the internal blog site and our wiki. In general I was very impressed and pleased with the time she gave before we met to 'check things out'.
We talked a lot about the different social media applications are (i.e. blogs, wikis) but we also discussed the culture of the company and how relevant the challenges talked about in the Genie in a Bottle article are to us. I related some of my experiences and the apparent reticence of people to enter into the conversation. I think she was surprised, but then so have I been. When I began going down this route I didn't have an appreciation for this cultural challenge. I wonder, when we publicise the blog, what percentage will begin to blog and what will continue longer term. I think 10% will be high. Will this be enough to derive value?
The wiki editor was a bit off putting – and I agree. Forcing people to learn a syntax to write into a wiki is not good. This application has to improve if it is to widen its appeal to the average business professional. It needs a WYSIWIG editor, so I wonder if MediaWiki is the right platform.
Right at the end we talked about RSS, which from the beginning is the technology I have seen as most necessary. I am firmly convinced that any IT department should be enabling the desktop with an RSS Feed Reader. This capability to be part of the plumbing. I still have some way to go to win this argument – but this meeting has moved it on a step. My CIO committed herself to read the blog site for the next week. I said, that if she finds herself not going back to it, it is because she doesn't have a feed reader – so we agreed that after a week I'd return to install RSS Bandit (both of us lamented the unprofessional name and logo of the product) and she'd then compare the experience with and without.