As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, Web 2.0 technologies are of great interest to me because of the potential I see to amplify communication, collaboration and business processes in general. I’ve been working on the creation of a social layer on top of ITIL service management right now, and almost daily I’m seeing other applications of this too.
I’d like to bring to your attention an article by Edward Cone for CIO Instight that just came across my screen today. This article raises the notion that Web 2.0 technologies can be in fact, counter productive. There is wisdom to be found in contrarian views as well.
First mentioned in the piece is the idea of “cognitive overload,” which frankly I’m having a hard time coming to terms with (maybe I’m cognitively overloaded, who knows). This suggests that collaborative technologies such as Web 2.0 tools can have the tendency to overwhelm the user with content and options. At the moment, this seems somewhat trite to me. I think this also ignores the obvious generational trends with comfort in multi-tasking and simultaneous content management.
Secondly mentioned is the potential that the creation of a product using this sort of collaboration could produce something that doesn’t look or work like anything else they’ve created. Hmmm, this could be good rather than bad, right? Without projecting my own view too strongly on the topic, the gentleman could have a point here. I’d rather that point be placed in the context of how the development of the product is managed and governed, rather than casting a negative light on the effects of creative collaboration. This does though, highlight the importance of fully assessing the business benefits and impacts expected with the application of a social layer to the target environment.
Anyway, while the source quoted in the article does admit he’s not sold on “the wisdom of crowds,” I think these somewhat contrarian view points give us good food for thought.