David Weinberger has an incredible knack for putting information management issues into perspective, and always does so with just the right amount of humor and sarcasm (something I generally aim to achieve - but I imagine I fall short of a perfect Weinberger).
He's done it again in a speech about "The Information Mess and Why You Should Love it.
He spoke about the power of digital disorder, and how we need to unlearn what we think that we know about the best ways to organize information.
He looked at how many projects, typically physical projects, require a much greater degree of control as they increase in size, but contrasts that with the web, which has growth only because of the lack of control.
Control doesn’t scale.
Controlled information systems don't scale, but the web does.
Putting the Enterprise in Wiki and Blog Software requires both deploying tools that allow your users to build an intranet out of pages and links as well as creating an IT architecture mandate to allow for the digital disorder which Weinberger argues is the ultimate tool in creating order at scale.
In yesterday's note Control Doesn't Scale, I talked about how Enterprise 2.
The irony of enterprise 2.
0 is that you actually get more control because the free form nature of the tools allow the business people to decide on where structure occurs, not the people who make the software.
By giving up control of a system, you allow business people to build structure on an emergent basis rather than entirely pre-planning systems and, as a result, making them too rigid to be useable by knowledge workers.
Ives, like me, believes "total free form is not always what you want - often you need to start a wiki with some structure.
Writing about the same speech, Sandy Kemsley captures this bullet point from McAfee:
Excellent gardeners exist to accelerate the emergence of structure, whether or not they contribute content.
So, in an uncontrolled wiki environment, where some users are born to tag and others not, its still important to provide some starting structure and to proactively build and manage that structure as the users of the sytem exert their own influence by publishing, editing and using (or not using) tags.