I started to think this morning about possible ways that new developments in social intranet technologies might disrupt and accelerate the old formations of 1.0 intranets. For a good into into the evolution see The social Intranet by Toby Ward. Toby rightly points out that not many, in fact only 15% of companies have a full portal solution. Even those with apparent portal solutions often have in reality either a more ‘bespoke’ approach underneath the top layer code or a SharePoint supported deployment.
In Cisco’s case for example, when I worked on it this comprised a rich layer of XML that supports a wide range of social technologies and rich media such as industrial grade Video on Demand and self-serve ‘YouTube’ style video. The aim here, was to bring these together to create what I dubbed at the time a ‘collaboration layer‘ of social technologies embedded into the local intranet.
Let’s get back to the more mundane and prosaic, for many organisations their intranet is simply ‘flat html’. What started to get me thinking was what might change to disrupt a ‘traditional’ intranet, what Toby calls the 1.3 and 1.4 models and to potentially catapult it into a 2.0 world.
One such way might be the evolution of existing tools into something much more social. One obvious candidate, at least to me is Windows Media Player (WMP). This tool does what it says, it plays media and has been doing that in pretty much unchanged form since Windows 3.0. What if it were social? This could be completely disruptive but very productive.
Here’s the original and XP version:
What a Windows Social Media Player might do
A windows social media player might for example support feedback – embed it into an intranet page and hey presto, native supported feedback on the video. And then tagging, I might want to tag the video and any comments made. And of course I’d want to rate it. If the video was on topic x or y then I might also want to synch it up to a discussion forum, to drop it into a blog and link it up. Or basically let it stand alone, my imagined Windows Social Media Player would become a self-standing fully SLATES supported video blogging platform.
You can see how this all fits together (and what I’ve described isn’t so far from the collaborative layer I mentioned above). If such a Windows Media Player were to be built I think Microsoft’s temptation and inclination might be to simply hitch it up to just the MOSS architecture. I think this would be a shame and it would be much more productive (and in the long-run lucrative for Microsoft) if it could connect to other APIs, LAMP technologies such as WordPress or the leading Enterprise 2.0 platform, Jive.
Maybe there’s an opportunity here for Jive, Apple or an open source player. The first hurdle would be the fact that for many companies Windows Media Player is the default player on the corporate image. It could be an opportunity for Real to get back into the central game. The Real media player does support a social element in that users can share videos on Twitter and Facebook but it’s not geared for the Enterprise market.
But then of course if someone were to make a fully social media player for the consumer market? All we need is some venture capital…or has someone beat me to it??