The Boston Globe follows up on last week's Enterprise 2.0 conference with thoughts about Lotus Connections and other social software in the enterprise:

"It is the high-school- and college-age children of executives who are spreading the word," said Andrew MacAfee , a Harvard Business School associate professor credited with coining the phrase Enterprise 2.0. "What people are cluing into now is that software is an interactive social tool and should be exploited to that effect." ...

IBM unveiled "Web 2.0 Goes to Work," which includes "social software" developed at its Cambridge research lab. Lotus Connections enables blogging, tagging, and bookmarking, while Lotus Quickr lets employees work together within and outside of their organizations. And a new version of the IBM Websphere portal allows workers to rapidly assemble mashups (websites that combine content from more than one Web source) by combining data and other features from different websites for business purposes.

"We're moving this technology into a space where people can take advantage of it to create communities of interest among employees and suppliers," said Ambuj Goyal , an ex-Lotus general manager who now leads the IBM Software information management team.
The article goes on to cite skeptics who say that this is technology looking for a problem to solve.  Not that this would be so unusual, but in the case of social software, there are already many examples of the business benefits of blogging, tagging, sharing, networking.  Lotus Connections extends this further with new paradigms like Activities.  I believe, like the adoption cycle of unified communications, instant messaging, e-meetings, and of e-mail before it, that a natural evolution will occur to bring these technologies into the workplace.  It's not if but when.

There's also a great writeup about Lotus Connections from the Clipper Group: "Lotus Connections Reinvigorates the Community of Business".

Link: Boston Globe: Social-network sites give businesses ideas for new collaboration > (Thanks, Rob and Henry)

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