Clarity Amid the Hype
Mike Gotta posted Enterprise Twitter: Clarity Amid The Hype analyzing - and generally agreeing with - points raised by Adina Levin (Socialtext) in her excellent post What's Different about Enterprise Twitter? I agree with Mike's analysis and Adina's thoughtful points (read them both) but want to focus on Mike's conclusion:
[like fragmented email conversations] .
. . Twitter-like systems are also difficult to follow - the tools so far do not do a great job of isolating conversation threads, manage/ filter messages over time, etc. On top of this - do we really think that companies will have wide-open conversation spaces without applying permission models that limit access rights based on a variety of business reasons? I don't disagree with the concept of transparency - but you have to consider policies related to role, separation of duties, security, confidentiality, intellectual property, compliance and so on. There are very good reasons to have bigger walled gardens within enterprise organizations - and some organizations will be much more public than others - but we do get back to addressing barriers encountered by other messaging tools.
BTW - many (if not all) of these concerns and issues apply equally to "activity streams".
The need for activity streams to support permission models, and comply with logging/ audit/ compliance/ discovery requirements should be pretty clear. For vendors offering "Twitter for the Enterprise" or "Activity Streams" - making sure you support security (permission/ access controls), identity, and records management requirements has no down side. - Mike Gotta
The concept of transparency and "borders that seem appropriate to users" (to borrow Andrew McAfee's phrase) are closely related to people's natural expectations for shaded degrees of privacy based on the context of the conversation or activity - and apply to blog posts, wiki pages, comments, rss feeds, and search results as well as enterprise "tweets".
I won't claim that Traction TeamPage's security model "has no downside", but we've worked pretty diligently with some of the most demanding - and innovative - customers in the world.
For an enthusiastic ("I think that rocks") reaction from collaboration and Microsoft Sharepoint expert Michael Sampson, see his Traction TeamPage: The One System to Rule It All posted Feb 23, 2009.