re: A BrainYard Experiment: Let's Have A Social Conversation
Thanks for your polite and constructive reply to a fundamentally unpleasant comment. I'm not saying you need to be actively hostile to every new idea-- but a little bit of skepticism-- or at least reserve-- would be nice.
Case in point is a piece that didn't even exist when I filed my comment-- Eric Zeman's "OMG!!!! GOOGLE DRIVE TOTALLY ROCKS!!!! I LUVLUVLUVLUV IT!!! <3 GOOGLE!!!! SQUEEEE!!!!!!" that's adorning your front page. How would you describe a piece that calls something-- after it has been up for one day-- "Hands-On Winner" (over Dropbox, Box, iCloud and SkyDrive) and "another transformation for the world of collaborative file management"?
At the very least, we know Zeman can have absolutely no knowledge of its bugginess, stability, interoperability and customer service, He doesn't bother to address the issue that would concern my clients-- encryption and privacy. He's ecstatic that you can search (OMG!!!) what you store. I'm wondering if the terms of service permits Google to suck down all the data in anything it searches, drop it into its profile of me and use what it finds to sell ads. That's a critical concern for anyone who handles confidential information and is looking for storage.
Zeman does, at least, makes his prejudices clear in paragraph three. ("I've used Google Docs every day for more than five years. Its online document and sharing/collaboration tools are an essential element to my workflow.") The review doesn't have to be done by Dan Tynan, Bob Cringely, John Dvorak (or whatever curmudgeon you like). But it might have been nice to have a piece filed by someone who isn't a lovesick fanboy.
After reading the piece, I certainly feel I can't trust Zeman's opinion unless I vet the product myself-- and it raises questions about people who gave him the podium and ran it as-is.
I'm likely to be one of the least receptive people to the virtues of Enterprise Social Networks, because I worked with Notes and Groove, and used BBS software before that to try to manage a community. My feeling is that it only takes a couple of clueless middle managers complaining that there have been 45 posts about the technology shown on last night's episode of 24 (or the online poker site one of the engineers saw his uncle playing) to scare everyone off and kill your chances of duplicating Bell Labs, Xerox PARC or the 'Skunk Works' at 3M. The enemy of these things is always the "This stuff isn't making us any money-- everyone get back to work" mindset.
I recognize that the first implementation of an idea doesn't always work (see Engine, Analytical) and that mindsets change. But maybe it would be nice to adopt a "wait and see" approach toward an idea that has been tried and found wanting, rather than assume it's All That And A Bag Of Chips?
I haven't said anything in the past because I assume a new content site has implemented its model after considerable thought about the market, and the niche that it can best fill. If what you're doing is working, that's fine-- there are sites that are run by people (like me) who were working during the Internet bubble in the 1990's, have read Charles Mackay and do not assume that every startup or new concepts will work. I had expected more from a site branded by Information Week, but maybe that's just me.
If you are looked to be useful to me, and people like me, understand that the first questions I want answered is "Does this idea, product or strategy work? Does it really do what the proponent claims? How do you know these things? Who has done them and gotten these results? How well does it perform in real-world conditions? What's the catch?" And most importantly, "Can I recommend it to clients without being yelled at, fired or sued?
The degree to which you satisfy that is the degree that I engage with you. Thanks for your time.