Enterprise 2.0 Standards Needed: Avoiding the Web 2.0 Prison

November 9, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Posted in collaboration, communication, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

Whatever happened to the idea of owning your own content?  In the rush to jump on Web 2.0 bandwagons and start publishing every which way, it seems people have lost track of the idea of how to get a hold of their content.  Having import/export mechanisms is the first step. Having those exported files being in a standardized format that could be imported into another system is even better.

If you use on-premises versions of Enterprise 2.0 tools that gives you a lot more control.  But SaaS has become a popular distribution model for these types of services and it has a lot to recommend it.  The problem is that there aren’t easy answers to the questions any organization opening up an end-user content generation tool (e.g., discussion groups, wikis, blogs, social bookmarking/tagging) should be asking:

  • How are we going to do contingency planning or do we trust the hoster with what may become critical business data? 
  • How are we going to mitigate the risk of using a small vendor or a new product from a large vendor that may be ditched if a juicy acquisition comes along?
  • How can we upscale the content that is generated by starting with a body of end-user content and taking it to a more professional, formal level?

These questions could be answered by providing access to the data in standardized XML formats.  At this point it seems the best answer is writing an application against the APIs (if they exist) to pull all the data out into whatever format you like or to utilize robots that can do huge amounts of screen scraping.  Hopefully standards efforts (like this one for wikis) can advance quickly before enormous amounts of enterprise content finds itself in a web 2.0 prison with no means of escape.

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