The dangers of social software

Quick question. If a conference runs simultaneous tracks on “Enterprise Search,” “Document Management,” and “Company XYZ’s project to replace the intranet with microwikiblogging,” which will have the largest audience?

I’d venture a guess that most people are drawn to the the experimental and innovative, rather than to the mundane reality of complicated enterprise tools. That’s only natural, certainly at a conference. You go there to be inspired, not to be reminded of that system designed to do essential, but relatively boring stuff; a system which, on top of that, is still exhaustingly difficult to get right. Call it content technology escapism, if you will. Continue reading “The dangers of social software”

photo by: zigazou76

Why you’ll throw away your CMS in 3 years

Over the years, I’ve seen a large number of web site functional designs, technical designs, requirements, wireframes and mock-ups. But usually, the one thing missing from the planning of a WCM-driven web site is what’s most likely to shoot the implementation in the foot: the functional design of the CMS back-end. The form & function of how the CMS will work, look and feel for the end-user of the system, not the visitor to the web site, is too often overlooked. Continue reading “Why you’ll throw away your CMS in 3 years”

photo by: zayzayem

Open source: it’s just a license

A lot of my time is spent evaluating technology, and I have a confession to make: the licensing is one of the least spectacular bits to review. It’s certainly relevant, and always one of the things we discuss, but it rarely makes the top-10 issues in a review. Continue reading “Open source: it’s just a license”

photo by: Joybot

Users don’t know what a browser is (or anything else)

In a clip on YouTube, an interviewer asks passersby in Times Square what a browser is. The surprising result: many think it’s a search engine. Continue reading “Users don’t know what a browser is (or anything else)”

photo by: yimmy149

Google Wave: Tsunami or Wipe Out?

Somewhat stealing the thunder of Microsoft‘s almost-released Bing search, Google presented a preview of Wave yesterday at the I/O Developer conference. So what kind of wave is this?

Well, the short version of Google’s explanation is that Wave intends to provide a modern alternative to the aging paradigm of email (the long version is on YouTube). If you’ve been following the Social Software & Collaboration space, you could recognize it as a collision of Twitter, IM, and blog comment threads. Continue reading “Google Wave: Tsunami or Wipe Out?”

photo by: ahisgett

Google Appliance: the Emperor’s new box

Google has announced its new Search Appliance, version 5.2. As usual, this has been marked by a slew of presentations — and of course, a video on YouTube. Probably the main upgrade: a 10 million document limit on one server.

The box, dressed in imperial yellow — or somewhat more irreverently: the pizza quattro formaggi — of course goes with the times. Faster (probably multi-core) processors allow for the higher document count. That’s not so much Google’s achievement, though you shouldn’t forget that this is one enterprise search solution that actually comes with the hardware to run on, and the company makes sure it can handle its workload. But what else is new? Continue reading “Google Appliance: the Emperor’s new box”

photo by: uberculture

Enterprise search: free as in free beer?

Searching information — really, how hard can it be? So, why wouldn’t you go out and get a search engine that’s for free? Well, to stick to the analogy of “free beer,” you might wake up in the morning with a headache, only to find your wallet gone. Continue reading “Enterprise search: free as in free beer?”

photo by: Jan Krömer

All universities are equal…

…though some (especially the larger, more disparate institutions) may be more equal than others. I remember talking about web content management problems with Gerry McGovern in 2006, and he told me “all universities are the same.” At the time, I was still project manager at Leiden University, so naturally, I had to disagree and say ours really was different — to which he replied “that’s what they all say.” I liked the irony in that comment, and talking to visitors at conferences recently, I’m starting to see his point. Continue reading “All universities are equal…”

photo by: mystic_mabel

Coming second in a one-horse race

While writing reviews for the new Enterprise Search Report, I found myself frequently saying you should test the effectiveness of a given product against your own corpus of content, which is reiterated in the Report’s “Advice” section. But I can’t help but wonder how often an actual bake-off between vendors on a shortlist is organized. Continue reading “Coming second in a one-horse race”

photo by: Paolo Camera

Web standards – can’t you see?

It’s surprising to see how many major WCM implementations still suffer serious cross-browser compatibility problems. Or completely ignore accessibility standards. I like to browse the web with a multitude of browsers and devices – basically, whatever I have at hand or feel like. I don’t particularly enjoy being dictated to run Internet Explorer on a Windows PC because some company decided that’s what the majority of users will use. It annoys me – and I’m not even visually impaired. Continue reading “Web standards – can’t you see?”

photo by: menj