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5/18/2009
06:30 PM
Stowe Boyd
Stowe Boyd
Commentary
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Open Enterprise 2009: Interview with Jordan Frank, Traction Software

I interviewed Jordan Frank, of Traction Software, recently, an old friend that I haven't spoken to in several years. Jordan and Traction have been working with companies applying social tools for quite a long time -- almost ten years -- and his insights are quite interesting, and detailed. A few highlights:

  • Jordan makes a distinction between Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 as being based on individual versus group rights and responsibilities. It's interesting that this difference is one of the key elements that I have stated for years actually define Web 2.0 social tools, where Web 2.0 social dynamics are based on the individual. From my perspective, Jordan's distinction is not where things are headed, although it might be the case that today enterprise software is still very Web 1.0.Frank points out that the majority of what workers write about is work related, not about personal activities, so even though personal authorship is still primary, the contributions are oriented toward shared, or company-defined, activities or projects.
  • Jordan characterizes the company's ten year mission as being 'page-based' collaboration. When asked about the rise of 'streaming', Jordan agrees that microstreaming and the asymmetric follow model of Twitter offers something new, and Traction has adopted some part of those innovations in recent releases.
  • Jordan makes a great case for the ticker-toy nature of social software, where from a small set of elements -- like posts, tags, groups, and so on -- an amazing number of use cases can be satisfied.
Jordan describes a number of case studies that are extremely interesting (I hope they apply to our case study program), and covers some interesting sales motivations: a great interview.

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