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SaaS Week

Krissi Danielson

When Web 1.0 Trumps Web 2.0

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Doug Henschen at Intelligent Enterprise has written a terrific essay that expressed a lot of what I'd been suspecting about some Web 2.0 type technologies -- at least in the enterprise. He ran an experiment in which he attempted to get a simple answer to a question through an executive's Twitter page as compared to good old fashioned email, and surprise surprise, the email answer came first.

I know Twitter is all the rage, but I can't see how "microblogging" (along with several other Web 2.0 tools) would have a very wide range of applicability in the enterprise. It's too time consuming. People are already expected to handle their desk phones, their cell phones, their email, etc. in addition to doing some actual work -- who has the extra time to maintain a microblog, much less check it regularly for people asking you questions?

(Not too surprising that 27 percent of IT decision makers worry that Web 2.0 will lead to employees wasting time.)

It doesn't surprise me that email would be handled more quickly. I confess, of course, to never having attempted microblogging but the few I've looked at were very cluttered and hard to follow with a lot of irrelevant information that I wasn't interested in. Email is easy. It floats into your inbox as it arrives, playing a sound to alert you to its presence, and the discussion threads are generally right there in the email. You don't have to search it out or wade through a mess to find it.

So I tend to agree with Henschen's conclusion that email is still the killer collaboration app and that microblogging is unlikely to become a serious force in the enterprise. I am sure there are a few exceptions when microblogging makes sense, but for the most part, it isn't better than email.

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