Defrag Blog

When “as a service” makes nouns into verbs

by Eric Norlin on Oct.05, 2009, under Uncategorized

There has been a lot of discussion (both here and elsewhere) lately about the chasm/connection/convergence/divergence of “social media” and “enterprise 2.0.” Let’s set aside for a moment that both terms are atrocious, and focus in on something that is relevant and caught my eye this morning.

Mike Salami wrote a piece over on paidContent with a nugget in it that is worth cracking open (emphasis mine):

Shipping or downloading a static physical or digital product is a dying business. Pioneers like Salesforce.com, and now Google with their office apps, are showing how a “product” is not a discrete thing. Rather, it’s an ongoing relationship – with continuous updates and two-way communication – with customers and even between customers.

“A product is not a discrete thing, rather it’s an ongoing relationship of continuous updates and two-way communication” - that stuck in my teeth like a popcorn kernel. I’ve been struggling to verbalize some of the connections that underlie the miasmic underbelly which is the shared ground of social media and enterprise 2.0. This is one of the keys.

“Knowledge Management” is dead. It’s dead because it views knowledge as a discrete product and not a two-way relationship of continuous updates.

Dirty little secret: whole swaths of products inside of the enterprise 2.0 world are already DOA for the same exact reason.

Where are social media and enterprise 2.0 converging and finding the future of success? Around this simple fact that products (or knowledge or documents or workflows or promotions or marketing or product development or or or…) are no longer *discrete*. Everything has become a relationship. And by the way, that’s better than being “social”. There’s a cocktail party lack of intimacy in “social.” But there’s a wide open field of possibilities hidden within a relationship.

The pinpoint of leverage, the sweet spot for innovation lies in the idea that all of this “stuff” inside and outside and in between a business (and its employees, customers and partners) is around the fact that stuff is no longer discrete. That a thing has become a relationship; that a noun has transformed into a verb.

Move past the static state of so much in the “collaboration” world; get out to the edge of it all; live at the intersection — and what do you see? Dynamism. The dynamic nature of relationships. Relationships between people, data, groups, knowledge, etc.

Posting documents in shared spaces to increase productivity is NOT the future of this. Obliterating the discrete idea that is a “document” is.

Wanna wrap your head around this and figure this out? You’d better get your butt to defrag.

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