The C's: Communication, Coordination and Collaboration (and Commodity)

Dave nailed it yesterday with these thoughts:

Anyway, this made me start thinking about weblogging software as a commodity. If it is a commodity that means you can't really make money selling weblogging software. You might be able to make money selling weblogging related services as does, or you might be able to make your existing software more valuable by adding weblogging features to it. Seems to me that weblogging features would make sense in an HTML editor/publisher, portal software, or even an e-Commerce suite. I wonder what other categories of software would benefit from weblogging features.

I thought it was a good thought yesterday, and then I noticed today on Jeroen's weblog that there's already a "BloggerTool" ready for Groove. (However, it's Blogger specific right now using only that API which is sort of how I found it... I'm supposed to be working!). So it's already happening... Dave is totally right.

However, I think it's just for the clients. The front end is definitely going to get commoditized, but the Knowledge management back-end of blogging is just starting. People are going to start realizing what a valuable tool weblogging is and start to develop server-side applications that take advantage of its unique characteristics. Right now everyone is just storing the information - the posts - and displaying them by date. And look how useful Weblogs are. There's SOOOO much more to do than that. I look at weblogging as the first step to organizing the information around you.

It all goes back to the Lotus Notes mantra I learned when I first started consulting: Communication, Coordination and Collaboration. Weblogs are touching a few of those items, but has so much more potential.

Look at this article on Microsoft's Intranet:

  • 3,100,000+ pages
  • Content created by and for over 50,000 employees who work in 74 countries
  • 8,000+ separate intranet sites

That's incredible. Microsoft, being the techy-centered company it is, is showing us what the future is going to bring now that technologies like weblogging are making it so much more easy for regular-joes to publish information online. But now you have to find and use that information that you're publishing! And that's where the innovations are going to happen - and it'll almost definitely be on the server side.

Just my thoughts...


A little later...

Of course... all these thoughts are five years or more out of date. Ray Ozzie is reflecting on 5 years at Groove and has published the original thoughts about what the company would do as well as comments on the future:

Although centralized contextual collaboration has been yielding value for many years and continues to mature (congrats) and merge into the application server market, dynamic "desktop collaboration" empirically shows all the signs of a new and substantial growth market, as business units return to basics in terms of understanding how use technology to make their extant interpersonal work practices more productive, and as IT continues to struggle with supporting dynamic interpersonal work in the hostile and unsecure environment that Internet eMail has become.

That original doc is quite the mind-meal... It'll take me several days to digest it all. Cool stuff. It amazes me how much of an Ozzie disciple I am... I mean, he's basically saying exactly opposite of what I just wrote above, but I still totally dig his vibe.

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