While scanning through InsideKnowledge I bumped into a very short article titled Blogs and wikis “ten years in the making” by Graeme Burton where he comes to talk how there have been some people out there who have been indicating all along how weblogs and wikis are actually something not really that new and refreshing. In fact, Graeme comments how Rangaswami has actually been using both of them since 1995. So it looks like we should not be surprised at something so relatively old as both weblogs and wikis.
That thought actually got me thinking. I started weblogging about end of 2003 on IBM‘s Intranet and my participation in wikis goes perhaps a while back in the past from that same date. So I feel I can relate very well to the same thoughts that Rangaswami has shared over at that particular article.
However, even though those particular social software offerings have been there for a number of years it clearly shows how sometimes having refreshing technology at hand is not always going to work very well if people do not want to. And we have got the proof with wikis and weblogs taking so long to reach that status where everyone talks about it has. Yes, I am sure you know where I am heading…
Yes, indeed, the key message towards the successful adoption of both wikis and weblogs, amongst other social software available out there, is not the tools themselves, although there have been huge improvements about usability, scalability and accessibility all along, but more the people themselves. That critical mass of knowledge workers that I have talked about in the past and which are the main responsible parties of this hyped social media tools all along.
It is that same critical mass the one that is helping push the adoption of those tools because they themselves are acting as technical facilitators as well in the acceptance of such technologies amongst the non-tech savvy folks out there so that the initial technical barriers can be overcome and people get a chance to share what they know and collaborate with others. And that is the huge power of wikis and weblogs, amongst others. The fact that, thanks to that critical mass, everyone has got the opportunity to share their best know-how without spending too much time trying to figure out how to make best use of those tools. That is perhaps the main reason why all this social software is just so hot at the moment. What do you think?