E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Social Bookmarking in the Enterprise – IBM’s Internal Tagging Tool – Dogear as a Weblog Engine

Yesterday, Bill Ives created another interesting weblog post where he provided some further detailed information on one of beta tools that IBM is making use of for social bookmarking: Dogear. He briefly mentioned as well how he recently attended an IBM media event on the same subject, and which I have weblogged about myself not too long ago, and finally referenced the main article that describes how Dogear actually works.

In this last weblog post on the topic he provides a very good overview of some of the most relevant features from the application itself and since I have been using it myself internally for quite some time I thought I would also share one other feature that may have gone unnoticed by many but which it still provides a very powerful capability. And that is the fact that Dogear can also be used as a weblogging engine. Yes, indeed, it can be used as your own personal and independent weblog. How ? You may be asking yourself, right? Very easily. Let me explain.

For anybody out there who may have been weblogging for some time now you would agree that one of the commonest practices from us all is to basically share our two cents worth of comments from different web links that we find out there: news items, useful tools links, reviews, books and a long etc. are some of the topical areas we use for our weblog(s). Yes, perhaps what you could classify that as Linkblogs. Well, Dogear in itself has got that weblogging lookalike user interface that allows you not only to annotate those web links like you could do with other social bookmarking tools but people who bump into your links could also add comments and engage in some sort of conversation similar to what you get with standard weblogs.

And before you know it you have got yourself an audience that follows up not only the original link you are sharing but also your thoughts on it, and where applicable (To them, that is) they will engage with you in a conversation where everybody has got the opportunity to get to interact with you and others. And by clicking on the tags of those links and also with the graphical reference on the number of people who may have bookmarked that web link as well as the RSS Newsfeeds before you know it you have got your own weblogging platform alive and kicking and all of that thanks to sharing your bookmarks with others. Just brilliant !

That is another way how people are making use of Dogear inside IBM and how a traditionally identified as a social bookmarking tool could also be adapted to becoming a powerful weblogging platform for people -and for communities of practice– to leverage not only their web links but also what they think about each of them and share it with others. Collaborative web at its best.

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  1. Clipmarks is a public social bookmarking engine that works pretty much as you are describing here. They are working hard to enhance the social aspect of the bookmarking in addition to just providing a place to store your bookmarks online.

  2. hehe .. It may (or may not) surprise you to learn this, but Qumana’s *parent* or precursor was an *enterprise social bookmarking* application called Thoughtshare, which went under in the dot.bomb bitbag of 2000 – 2001.

    We hacked it and simplified it as blogging opened up a practical place for its use, but maybe now is the time to start thinking about bringing it back .. conceptually it was cool, probably overloaded with some features, solid roots in cognitive science, etc.

  3. Hello folks and welcome to elsua! Thanks very much for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Nels, thanks for the tip on Clipmarks. I have actually been using it for some time now and was preparing a short review of it to then share it over here (And that will come). I agree with you that it could provide a similar kind of functionality. Yet, you know and have been using both applications and I still think that Dogear is a lot easier and simpler to use to get the same effect. I like Clipmarks quite a bit, but I think it is far too complicated, specially for people who may not be that tech savvy in getting their way around. There are far too many options available and till people get used to how the flow works it would probably take a bit of time. As I said, I am working on a review of this particular application, where we will see some more of this, thus stay tuned !

    Jon, I have just browsed through the couple of links you shared above and I have found them fascinating. I haven’t read them yet in their full detail but from just peeking through it sounds like Thoughtshare would have a tremendous opportunity to succeed in the current environment where productivity and knowledge sharing, along with collaborating is taking a much more interesting relevance in the so-called Web 2.0 space. I, for sure, would be one of those who would love to be able to test it out and experience it first hand. It just fits in perfectly within the scope of a powerful KM and social networking tool and I was wondering what are the chances to bring it back to live. Even if it is just as a proof of concept. With the all of the startups out there I would be it would be able to make itself have a space where knowledge workers could divert to and stick around with it. Any chance on bringing it back, you think ?

  4. Well .. the company Qumana still has the rights to develop the initial IP, which was licensed from one of the universities up here, and of course has the software whichg had two + years of development thrown into it. My partner at Q and I have often talked about how best to use some of the parts of it to add to a more advanced version of Qumana .. the issue, as you will know nbetter than me, is that for amass adoption things have to be made pretty darned simple these days, and there was a reasonable amount of feature bloat on T’Share (Qumana being one result of unbundling and simplifying) .. not to mention the fact that in 2001 as T’share was nearing the end of its 3 year life absolutely no organizatins were doing any kind of investment in KM software, and that’s what KM was positioned as .. a sort of del.ici.ous for insiode the firewall. There was ZERO interest at that time .. very few people knew what the bleep we were talking about.

    Today I think it would probably be a different story, and of course once the interest becomes real, through implementations and experiences of what works and what doesn’t .. we (you, i and others who have been following or in this area for some years) know that the nature of work will in all likelihood change dramatically over the next decade or so … exchanging, sharing info flows and building knowledge together in a hyperlinked environment is fundamentally erosive of the traditional dynamics of traditional hierarchy.

    It’s ulitmately all about people, and all social .. T’share and Q have been designed and built to start with how people instantiate, then build and then share ideas .. a knowledge construction zone, if you will.

  5. hat’s what KM was positioned as .. a sort of del.ici.ous for insiode the firewall

    This phrase should read “that’s what Thoughtshare was positioned as, in 2001 .. a sort of del.ici.ous for inside the firewall”

  6. Excellent feedback comments, Jon ! You are just so spot on ! I surely agree with you 100% that it is all about people, and all social, and, whether we like it or not, we are just witnessing something that has been started not long ago: the transition from labour-based companies to knowledge / asset based companies. And one of the key success factors would be the implementation and adoption of different KM tools so that those knowledge workers are able to provide, share and collaborate with their peers, sharing their knowledge, their experiences, their best know-how so that people can be much more productive but with much less effort.

    Regarding your comments about Thoughtshare, it is a pity that we might not be able to see it come back, but I would think that perhaps some time in the near future that may change as I feel that it could provide an interesting alternative towards facilitating the ease of use in knowledge sharing, if we take the example of what Qumana does at the moment, specially with the latest beta release(s). Thus we shall see what will happen.

  7. I’m doing some research on social bookmarking or tagging in the Intranet. My company deploys Microsoft SharePoint for portal and content management. It makes sense to have a SharePoint solution of social bookmarking for us. I found a free extension online for enterprise social bookmarking on SharePoint, and would like to share my research. It’s easy to implement.

    Enterprise Social Bookmarking for the intranet

  8. Take a look at http://www.entopica.com/, a new social bookmarking website
    It is an online system that allows you to easily access, categorize, share and store your bookmarks online
    Entopica offers a free registration and it is both quick and easy. Register now and discover a whole new world of social bookmarking

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