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3/22/2011
10:28 AM
Rob Preston
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Down To Business: The BrainYard Tackles The Hairiest Business Collaboration Issues

Our new site delivers news and analysis you can trust -- and practical advice you can use -- in your mission to connect people, generate ideas, and create business opportunities.

Welcome to the BrainYard, a brand new site and community dedicated to helping business and IT pros with a huge challenge: improving how their companies hatch ideas, share best practices, manage and execute projects, identify business opportunities, get closer to partners and suppliers, and tap into and anticipate customer needs. It's about the latest technology tools, platforms, and services -- as well as organizational approaches -- for fostering business collaboration, social networking, and community building. You may know the subject matter by a couple of other names: Enterprise 2.0 or the social enterprise.

Companies in a range of industries, from giants like Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola to small and midsize businesses, have identified improving collaboration among far-flung employees, suppliers, partners, and customers as one of their biggest strategic priorities. In our recent InformationWeek Analytics IT Pro survey of 619 business technology professionals, 68% said their organizations have adopted at least one Enterprise 2.0 application, and the rest are either rolling them out or testing them. The most entrenched vendors are Microsoft with SharePoint and Office, IBM with LotusLive and Lotus Connections, and Salesforce.com with Chatter. But a range of smaller software and service vendors are making their mark, including Yammer, Drupal, Jive, Open Text, and SuccessFactors.

Why do we call this site the BrainYard? Well, this is heady stuff, and the practitioners, consultants, journalists, and other writers and participants on this site will bring their expert perspectives.

BrainYard shouldn't imply theoretical or wonky, however. Yes, plenty of big thinkers will write for this site -- the likes of Xerox Innovation Group's Venkatesh Rao, Community Roundtable co-founder Rachel Happe, CMS Watch's Tony Byrne, and collaboration strategist Michael Sampson. But our mission is to deliver news, case studies, opinion columns, and other content that is practical and actionable.

And we won't be a bunch of industry or Enterprise 2.0 movement cheerleaders, either. The BrainYard's editors will analyze the best practices and products that are delivering true business value, but we'll also extract the bloviation and hyperbole. If we don't, call us on it.

Along those lines, we'd like you to not only read and view what's on the BrainYard site, but also participate. After all, what would a site dedicated to social business be without social participation? Those who register will get commenting privileges, our weekly BrainYard e-mail newsletter, access to certain InformationWeek Analytics in-depth reports, and other premium content.

Later this year, in the BrainYard's community area, participants will be able to share documents, upload files, participate in discussion forums, and create private groups. All site registrants also get attendee discounts at UBM TechWeb events, including the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston and Interop in Las Vegas. (The BrainYard is a partnership between the editors of InformationWeek and the organizers of the E2.0 Conference.)

As always, the editors welcome -- no, encourage -- your feedback. Write to me at rpreston@techweb.com with your suggestions and critiques, and please dive directly into the site with your comments.

Rob Preston,
VP and Editor in Chief, InformationWeek
rpreston@techweb.com

twitterFollow Rob Preston and InformationWeek on Twitter:
@robpreston @InformationWeek @IWpremium

To find out more about Rob Preston, please visit his page.

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