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July 15, 2009

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Dave Feineman

I think you may have mixed together two different problems. I agree that someone involved in technology development sees the technology as maleable and is potentially capable of engineering useability into the design of products - whereas the people working on adoption of that same product recognize that in a pragmatic sense the technology is temporarily fixed, and that is is people and processes that are the only real levers that can be adjusted in the short haul to get to adoption and value. Their contexts/worldviews/realities are different - so the remedies are different. Not different aspects of the same elephant as you sugggest - but really different animals.

But that doesn't get to the heart of the Enterprise 2.0 question that you started with. There, I think you would need a model that looks at at least 5 factors:
Does the appplication give me a personal benefit?
Is this application aligned with my own peer group's norms?
What is the cost of promiscuity (abandoning the application entirely or switching to another)?
Is the application fit for purpose and have high useability?

I think this might begin to let you answer questions like why do so many people start blogs and then abandon them? Or, will you ever convince many 60+ year olds that there is a real benefit for them to use Twitter? Or, does having a mashup capability matter? Etc.

This might also be a segway into thinking about a root cause issue - what are the differences in the social network ecology in a corporate environment compared to that in the open internet?

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