Conference Notes

Notes on the "Enterprise 2.0 Town Hall Session"

This is the final session of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference … this is an interactive session with Questions from the floor, and we’ll be doing a text message survey at the end. Jessica leads off, and gets everyone to stand up and say names and organizations. There’s about 100 people to through. Jessica says, “imagine, if we all knew each other, what could we do after the conference.”

Re-Doing the Vote
Steve Wylie (conference chair), re-did the vote from day 1, asking about perspectives on Enterprise 2.0:
– who’s going to win … Web 2.0 startups (75%, up from 55% on Tuesday), vs. Established incumbents (25%)
– who’s going to be in control … End Users (83% , up from 77% on Tuesday), vs. IT Control (16%)
– it is hype or reality … Hype (10%, down from 30%), vs. Reality (90%)

Note that if you have ideas for the conference next year, go add them at

Stowe’s Wrap Up
– The enterprise people attending from organizations are willing to explore 2.0 ideas, but they want to retain the best of what they have from the previous generations. However, they don’t know what the best parts are. They don’t know what parts of today are not going to be relevant going forward. They don’t know how to decide this … maybe it’s too early, maybe there’s insufficient case studies.
– The enterprise vendors say that they have the answer. And that they will decide for you (very un-Web 2.0). Always want to say that it’s new vine in old bottle. Advocates that this is a dangerous perspective.
– Argues that the deep structure of Web 2.0 (non-enterprise space) … the ideas and things that are happening in that space, have not been assimilated by the vendors that are positioning themselves as “2.0” enterprise players. Is a fundamental believer in Web 2.0 vs. Web 1.0.
– If he gave grades, he would give a B- to users for effort. There’s a lot left to be done.
– Doesn’t believe that the big vendors will make it work.

Jessica’s Wrap Up
– The former movie star.
– Key lesson … it is really ultimately about the people. Have seen a ground-swell of people outside of the meeting rooms talking with others. That’s a driving need in this audience … for cross-communication.
– Big organizations have huge challenges in making this work. Full kudos to them.
– Delighted with the new entrant vendors. Doing very innovative things.

What Did You Hear Here That You Never Heard Before?
– (Chuck, from a US university) … had the cloud idea, but “emergence” was key. Emergent behavior, structure, processes … this is so different from what’s come before. We keep on talking about “if we build it, they will come”, but in reality, it’s “if they come, they will build it”. Going home with “folksonomy” as an organizing metaphor, not taxonomy.
– (Shawn, FedEx) … security kept coming up in almost every talk. The whole thing about blogs and wikis … these are the same people that we’re trusting with email, who can send anything to anyone. Controlling the data and controlling the people … that conversation doesn’t seem like it should be here. Be careful who you hire in the first place. Key principle … “don’t do anything stupid”
– (Tory, OpenTeams) … when people question software-as-a-service and security of beyond-the-firewall, another precious resource of the organization is “cash”, and so you keep it in the basement, right? The organization says … “no, it’s in the bank”. Same idea for SaaS in the coming years.
– (Grier, Techdirt) … McAfee said some interesting things in terms of his evolution of the last year. “The blogosphere is now my single most important source of information”. The other thing is the realization that you can really get to know and understand someone by and through their blog. Powerful.
– (Mary, Supreme Court) … “what is my incentive?” … has been asked so frequently. Many different ideas. However, the initial incentive comes from all of us. We need to talk it back to work.
– (Casey, BP) … very intrigued by the final comments … particularly with “what will happen with all of the tools?” But then was worried by the concern about users not being capable. Users have much to learn, to experiment. (Stowe clarifies) … it’s just too early.
– (…, ShareMethods) … two unanswered questions. (1) many organizations have a pre-established taxonomy, but there was little talk about how to convert from taxonomy to folksonomy … what’s the middle ground? (2) the three major themes were blogs, wikis and RSS … but the discussions around online collaborative project / document management … no discussion around how to manage documents in the new world. How do we pull this all together.
– (Catherine, Merced Group) … it’s a conversation … hopefully the conference will catalyze the conversation. We need a repository of case studies (per McAfee). Sense is that end users came with questions and concerns … hopes that the conference people can provide a way to facilitate the conversation to continue.
– (Dave, Fidelity) … struck by the idea of opening up intellectual property … companies can really go from “R&D” to “C&D” (connect & develop). Loves the theme around “people”
– (David, –) … great conference. Get more enterprises here. Came here with the sole goal of addressing Web 2.0 and corporate content management … and the intersection of both of those.
– (Kim, –) … refreshed by Stowe’s closing comments. Trying to figure out Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and how they interact.
– (Carl, Boeing) … how do we integrate existing resources rather than re-inventing them? Has loaded taxonomy pages into a MediaWiki at Boeing, so that people can start generating knowledge about that. It was a starting point for the wiki. Didn’t see enough open source presentations / tools being made.
– (Jen, CMP Media) … when we first started it a couple of years ago … it was hard to find customers / end user organizations to participate. But we’ve come a long way. Would like more organization representation on the advisory board for next year. Also, let’s start some year-long networks … 7-10 people who are facing similar issues, can work together over a year and co-learn about how to deal with things. Facilitate a conversation throughout the year, and then feed that into the conference next year. See Jen or Steve if you are interested in this.
– (Tom, InfoCloud) … create a feedback page for upcoming presentations … so that speakers can see what questions are being asked before they turn up. Capture the feedback before coming and speaking. Secondly, we need to push the vendors more … they aren’t providing what we need tools to do.
– (Mark, Deloitte) … previously with the military for 21 years. In the military, wanted to focus on how to create community between military people in battle. This technology not only offers efficiency, but within the military context, it also saves lives. It’s all about generating confidence within people.
– (Steve, IntelliPedia) … please make the presentations available beforehand. Take away is that it’s tempting to make large groups going immediately … these tools needs to start with individuals and small groups, and build from there.
– (Mary, Supreme Court) … at the Court, ensures that the data is secure on the network. Haven’t heard anything about security at this conference. Would love to see some information security ideas within the conference next year. The only course this year was a recap on something that’s been around for a long time.
– (Shawn, CIA) … trying to bring Enterprise 2.0 tools into the CIA. Brought in some experts for a 2 day conference last year. At the end of it, one of the senior executives stood up and said “I don’t get it”. The panel said “you won’t, unless you use them and participate”. Thus it goes back to personal interaction and individuals cultivating their own knowledge for network effects.
– (Mike, Burton Group) … key things … (1) people issues … the methods and practices are critical; (2) interested in the security and open source ideas; and (3) people appreciate the live demos … which got a round of applause … people get it via demos rather than slides.

Closing Comments
(Jessica) … have gotten more business cards this year than any previous conference. She’s going to send an email to everyone who gave her a card. To everyone … do the same. Let’s stay connected.
(Stowe) … I’ll invite people who have questions that bother them to get in contact with me. Pester away.
(Steve) … this has been really great. Couple of final thoughts … (1) McAfee suggested a repository for case studies … CMP Media is going to push ahead with this. Maybe we should do video and podcasts as well in the next year. (2) Conference next year is early June, same place.

Categories: Conference Notes