The ideal collaborative workspace

We are looking for the perfect tool/workspace for the knowledge worker. Applying the tools and mindset now available on the Internet’s Social Network arena in the Enterprise in a dynamic collaborative workspace allow us now to come closer to that vision than ever.
You are invited to join this idea-spinning exercise on creating the ideal collaborative workspace to aid the knowledge worker of today to be truly effective.
(Check out this presentation which puts the collaborative web in a historic perspective)


Why is it that corporations spend millions on ERP systems, while systems to make the knowledge worker truly effective have had so little attention? Corporations and organizations that  appreciate the value of the knowledge worker invest in such environments, thereby creating more value for and from its work force.

Tool focus or not…?

I invite you also to vote for tools that most closely measure up to the list of features we create below. The ideal is to have one tool/environment that could cover all our requirements.

The idea of  one tool has been challenged. We have at least two aspects here: One tool in the sense of one killer app that does it all – and I agree, that is probably unrealistic and perhaps not desirable , One tool or environment in the sense of bringing together all the dispersed info in current SM tools (Twitter or other chat/microblogs, Blogs, Discussion Threads, FB, LI, emails, etc.) – that is defintely an aim. We want information  gathering, not information scattering.

Will an extension of the current knowledge/document management systems in the corporation do, or will the traditional document/print centric view of such systems (eg. MS Office/Sharepoint) with their complexity and heritage, hamper the creativity and development of real collaborative, compound/interactive content creation that is characteristic of clean Hypertext-based Web2.0/Enterprise2.0 systems.  (see: Reinventing the Web and Whatever happened to the Web?)

Submit your ideas to the list below:  “Working models…?”

Features of the ideal collaborative workspace

When you look at features/technologies present in Google, Yahoo, etc. where you are immediately presented with Ads relevant to what you are viewing or writing about, we know that the technology is there. Let’s just use it for some more than ads and marketing. Let’s use it to bring up all current information items on the issue we are currently discussing.

I see Vannevar Bush‘s vision here in As We May Think”  (1945),  or Doug Engelbart (1968) vision of augmenting a team’s collective IQ, or even realizing www inventor Tim Berners-Lee vision of the Internet

(This has been copied from a developement of ideas here)
  1. When we put an article (which could be just a question) out on the collaborative workspace, the following happens:
    1. the article is automatically linked to all relevant information produced (self-configured view filters applied)
    2. anybody else working on the same or related issues will know of the presence of this article or question
    3. you can be informed of who these other persons/organisations are
    4. like when you write or read a google mail – lots of ads are coming up to the side and top of what you are writing. we want useful information items there in stead: what is the group I’m working with currenty saying about this issue, worldwide research on the issue, what are company policies saying, national laws, technical specifictaions, current news stories on the issue, etc. etc. Bring it to me – automatically.
  2. Comments to or even modifications to what I’m asking/writing about is right there in the article, in rich text format grained down to paragraph level, with individual access rights to comments/paragraphs
  3. This is not an email system, but a common repository of  information items. Everybody is viewing/editing on the same item not dispersed copies of them like we have in email systems. The notification function is inherent in the system.
  4. The true collaborative workspace is a place where we can spend most of our productive time
  5. It is automatically fed and updated with to-the-point relevant information of what you are working on / have an interest in
  6. The engine behind combines tagging, auto-tagging, smart search, etc. to produce this to the user
  7. All workflow flows through this main portal
  8. It is individual, based on your profile, interests and work assignment
  9. You can easily discover and collect contributions from people with similar focus as yourself across org borders
  10. Available information you need either flows to you or is easily searchable (include both internal and external sources).
  11. Views and searches can be time filtered.
  12. The tools to update/input/output should be generic and readily available to any collaborator (internal or external), any place and on any device that could http-communicate on the Internet.
  13. The content characteristics are not document/print centric, but rather compound, collaborative, interactive centric (see Whatever happened to the Web?)
  14. All relevant input are encouraged, available and appreciated – the wisdom of the crowd
  15. There are good mechanisms for interaction and contributions are rewarded
  16. The employee feel empowered and appreciated
  17. The company/employer will benefit from a lot more value and contributions from each employee

Working models…?

  • ……
  • …your suggestions …..
  1. 2010-01-13 at 14:31

    I would love to share what we built, with similar thinking and lots of passion. We are soon launching Qontext, an Enterprise 2.0 platform that combines contextual collaboration with workplace social networking. More info

  2. 2010-02-12 at 08:01

    This is a very resourceful article that is establishing best practices of the emerging E 2.0 environment. At Mindtouch, we have combined the speed, agility and ease of use of a wiki with the extensibility, scalability, security and integration of an enterprise portal. So, our customers use MindTouch instead of a traditional enterprise portal or web content management system. With MindTouch, users can connect enterprise applications and data silos to create a real time information fabric that even novice computer users can collaborate on:

  3. 2011-01-13 at 17:06

    A great collection of thoughts to mull through, which I indeed may do over a period of time. For now, I’m making my way through the presentation, finding lots of pearls there. I love the decidedly subtle but powerful reference by Vannevar Bush to “infostructure”. I’ll be adopting that immediately.

    As well, there is a particular vendor which has always relied on reference to ‘hypertext’. I’ve always had a problem with their doing so because we’ve had exposure to hypertext for years — and can do so via any general HTML or blog function — not a big deal. But to me, hypermedia is an entirely different matter. It may be subtle, but it’s important. Words take on a certain baggage that prevent them from conveying ‘something more’.

    The frustration that Berners-Lee was describing in the TED talk about all of the different formats was effectively the challenge I posed to Bill Gates in 1991 (mentioned here

    I also think that there is something extremely understated in what Tim was saying about the ‘leap’ required in understanding: that people were already familiar with hypertext (they could do so in multimedia, self-contained scenarios), but that what he was proposing was that the link to be aligned to an entire universe of unending content. That was different and they had nothing to base that vision upon. The cognitive leap was too great.

    Cognitive leaps are the greatest point of opportunity and the largest point of frustration. Most of the potential and the focus for successful E2.0 lies in both creating and mitigating cognitive leaps.

  4. 2011-01-13 at 20:06

    If you take the diagram Burners-Lee used in his TED presentation — which I found a direct link to — it is obvious that what you need is something to bore a hole through the walls or float everyone over the walls.

    That indeed, sadly, was exactly the vision that FAST search was talking about in their annual conferences, before Microsoft bought them. They were demonstrating a desktop in which it didn’t matter if you were searching for content or data. Indeed, they had even approached an era of the zero-search paradigm — where content was simply delivered based on searches occurring in the background. Google delivers on some of this, but imagine what it would look like on steroids.

  5. 2013-01-17 at 02:10

    I have a tendency to go along with every aspect that ended up being written
    throughout “Enterprise 2.0 and the collaborative workspace”.

    Thank you for pretty much all the actual information.
    Thanks for your time-Felipa

  6. 2013-03-01 at 02:26

    You truly constructed many wonderful points inside ur blog, “Enterprise 2.
    0 and the collaborative workspace | We are looking for the perfect tool/workspace for the knowledge worker.
    Applying the tools and mindset now available on the Internet’s Social Network arena in the
    Enterprise in a dynamic collaborative workspace allow us now to come closer to that vision than ever.

    ” Blackout Shades . I will be coming back to your webpage in the near future.
    With thanks -Thorsten

  1. 2010-02-07 at 22:01

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