Monday, March 31, 2008

Go with the flow

Twitter is a wonderful service. Feel free to follow me. I will probably add you to the flow by following you. There are some great services that have grown up around twitter. Two of my favorites are: 
If you follow hashtags on twitter it will catalog any term you prefix with a #. So for example, if you say something on #openid you can follow all #openid comments by going to
Quotably dips in to the river of twitter conversation and pieces together the thread of a conversation. It means you don't have to worry about losing the thread. It is also a great way to find contributions from other twitterers that you might not be connected with. 
Last week Stowe Boyd commented on how the conversation has moved beyond blogs and in to the "flow." Stowe is right. Twitter is one of the linchpin places that is hosting a communal conversation and tools - like Quotably and hashtags are springing up to enable us to keep pace with the conversation as we deal with a world of continual partial attention.
When you think about this evolution we will know that it has firmly taken root when we see twitter-like services being deployed internally within enterprises where internal issues can be surfaced through an ongoing conversation flow.
It is that thought of Enterprise deployment that takes me back to a discussion I had last week with Reid Conrad, CEO of Near-Time, an Enterprise Wiki Software as a Service platform provider. Security is the big opportunity in the Enterprise market. Security - data security and application security are the big hurdles to overcome in moving more enterprises in to a hosted service model. Too many enterprises are not ready for open collaboration and the realities of the transparent enterprise. 
In closing that brings me full circle back to a Jeff Jarvis quote that Stowe Boyd pointed to (via Deborah Shultz) from the twitter flow:
"Before the public can learn to trust the powerful, the powerful must learn to trust the public."
 Enterprises have a lot to learn.

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