I suggested yesterday that the unidentified analyst who wanted to now why blogs and wikis are not on Lotus' roadmap should come to my session on Tuesday, but I also hope that he or she attended STR115 Glimpsing the future Report from IBM Research in Cambridge. Irene Greif spoke about several projects IBM has underway that are dealing directly with wikis, or which are wiki-inspired. They are also dealing extensively -- very extensively -- with social network analysis in their projects and in their work with customers. Mike Rhodin, IBM Lotus Software VP of Development and Support also spoke for a few minutes about how he and Irene are accelerating the pace of moving projects from pure research into the product development cycle. As Activity Explorer shows, Mike and Irene are working to belie the old adage that "products are released by IBM... they escape".
And here's an (almost) direct quote from Rhodin: "Things like blogs and wikis are not orthogonal to what we are doing in IBM Workplace".
IBM is clearly paying a great deal of attention to blogs, wikis, social collaboration, lightweight collaboration, and all the trendy things going on in the industry. So am I. The truth is that these technologies, these ideas really, are still too immature to make the grade as an IBM product or to appear on any roadmap. The shape of the solutions that IBM can offer, and even the general directions where they may be looking for solutions are not ready to be limited by definite announcements. It's not that they're vague or disinteresting. Not at all. They're still too wide open, and there's nothing wrong with that. A few tiny players will innovate with social software, but it will be on the small scale for now, and they won't integrate with each other or with the enterprise particularly well. This is how it should be, and it does not in any way shape or form mean that IBM is falling behind.
Irene showed several research projects of interest. Kontiki, in particular, is inspired by wiki technology, but it goes beyond it. Instead of just enabling collaborative editing of hypertext content, it allows collaborative editing of hypertext forms. Very cool. Still an early stage research project, but very cool. She also showed a glimpse of something that sounded very much like a real-time collaborative editor, possibly inspired by SubEthaEdit, but also with wiki-like features. There was more, but my laptop battery won't allow me to cover it now.
1. Stan Rogers01/24/2005 04:46:49 PM
The "unidentified analyst" link is missing the "/plinks/" bit.
2. Leonardo Burci01/26/2005 08:12:13 AM
I see you have Jon Udell on your Blogroll.
You might be interested at his recent screencast showing some features of JotSpot:
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