Here's another selection of articles I've read and planned to blog about but couldn't muster up the gumption to actually write an entry. So instead, I'm just going to link to them with quotes.
Sounds like knowledge management doesn't it? Well, it's not. There's none of the coercive aspects of that particular discipline. And, before you ask, it's much more free-form and less centrally-directed than groupware. In fact, social computing is a curious mix of top-down initiation and bottom-up implementation... The main software elements are wikis, blogs, RSS and tags. Other, more traditional elements like forums, directories and discussion boards may form part of the mix. Instant messaging and email are more communication channels, still used but not inherently social.
[H]ow Google uses a simple system that manages project information using relatively unstructured email as the interface. The system mails employees every week asking what they worked on the week prior and what they plan to work on during the current week. The response is parsed, fed and indexed into a searchable system that is open to the enterprise so that anyone else can track other employees projects that they are interested in. They call it "living out loud".
It's an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.
It's no secret these days (just look at the gazillions of studies) that it's not necessarily cheaper to run a business with open source software than it is to run "closed-source" commercial software. The actual costs just show up in different places. But what rarely gets explored are the trade-offs that are made when your fixed budget is spent in different places
What happens with open source is you actually spend the same amount of money, but you don't have lock-in and you pay for really good people to run it. And so you still end up paying. But you just pay in a different place. And I think it's a much more sustainable model...