Reflecting on the Enterprise RSS Day of Action

Just less than a week ago a few people with an eye on the big picture of Enterprise Web 2.0 joined me for a global Enterprise RSS Day of Action. I’ve already thanked a whole bunch of people on Twitter and tried to link to every post I could find that talked about Enterprise RSS (If I missed you, add a link to your post as a comment below). But just to be sure I wanted to say to everyone who contributed to the wiki, shared their experiences with Enterprise RSS directly with me or joined us online for the conversation about Enterprise RSS on the day… a big, big thank you!

Now, what did I learn from the day?

  • People are interested in using “feeds” inside organisations, although most of the people I spoke with are only at the stage of RSS-ifying existing content and providing users with desktop RSS reader. Some are constrained by the dependency on other software deployments – either at the server (waiting for a version of their CMS or portal that supports RSS) or the desktop (waiting for an upgrade to an email client with RSS support built in). Unfortunately RSS isn’t seen yet as a key part of the messaging infrastructure.
  • Enterprise RSS is one of two things to most people – its either part of the Enterprise 2.0 infrastructure, what you might call “social middleware” (from Mike Gotta), or a solution to a particular business problem. I think the challenge for the business issue perspective is that it may not require Enterprise RSS infrastructure to solve it (which is typical of the first step being taken by many organisations, as described above), but without an Enterprise RSS infrastructure you don’t offer the best possible user experience. In the longer term it also means that there is no platform for adding value or for meeting emerging needs as the use of RSS grows. This just means we have to be smart – to champion Enterprise RSS you need to understand the big picture, but to sell it to individuals inside an organisations (particularly the decision makers) you need to make sure you know why it might be important to them.
  • If you take the time to explain what RSS and Enterprise RSS is all about, people want it. Unfortunately even people who live and breath information technology all day long aren’t always across every information technology out there. During my own internal brown bag session I could see that as people understood more, they could see the opportunities for using Enterprise RSS as part of the mix with other enterprise information management solutions. In some respects, Enterprise RSS is a missing link.
  • Also, in most cases you can’t talk about Enterprise RSS without talking about email!

Overall, I don’t think that Enterprise RSS Day of Action changed the world, but this was never the intention – I’m just pleased that we’re having this conversation. However, I’m also feeling a bigger disconnect between what excites the external world of Web 2.0 and the reality inside the firewall – more on that in another post, however this post from Jeremy Thomas is one of a few out there that captures something of what I’m talking about:

When I started I came in guns ablazing with a consultant’s mindset. “What, no data warehouse, no sweat. We’ll implement a master data management strategy and breathe life into dying data. And let me tell you about this nifty little thing called Enterprise 2.0. It’s going to revolutionize the world, man. Ever heard of SLATES?”. Sarcasm aside, people had actually heard about Enterprise 2.0 and were actually keen on the idea. But seeing things from the other side I’m starting to think Enterprise 2.0 will be overwhelming for many.

In these still early days, being an Enterprise RSS champion requires a delicate balance between being visionary and pragmatic.

BTW The Enterprise RSS Day of Action was overshadowed by other Web 2.0 related events going on around the world, but it didn’t go unnoticed that Microsoft‘s big new Web 2.0 move, Live Mesh, is underpinned by RSS. Quite funny really to see this blog comment about Mesh:

One of my pain point has been the lack of syncronisation of RSS feeds that I’ve read between my PC, laptop and work PC. I’m hoping Live Mesh may be the solution for this.

Hmm. And so the story of Enterprise RSS continues…

What did you do about the Enterprise RSS Day of Action or think about Enterprise RSS more generally? Add your comments and experiences below.

From Melcrum’s Internal Comms Hub: Making sense of Enterprise RSS

To coincide with the Enterprise RSS Day of Action last week, I wrote a short article for Melcrum‘s Internal Comms Hub, titled Making sense of Enterprise RSS. Due to some technical issues it couldn’t be published as normal on the day and instead a special PDF version was posted here (my article is on pages 3-4 of the PDF).

BTW the Internal Comms Hub is a subscription site, but you can sign up for a 7-day free trial to check out the rest of the content they have available.

Following the sun… more on the Enterprise RSS Day of Action

As the Enterprise RSS Day of Action around the world draws to a close (its already Friday here in Australia – incidentally our ANZAC day public holiday), here are some links to some more coverage:

  • Our Legal industry Enterprise RSS champion, Doug Cornelius, puts forward his argument for Enterprise RSS by asking you to “Take a look at your email inbox. If your inbox looks anything like my inbox, it is full of email from the administrative departments transmitting updated policies, events and information. Almost none of these emails are urgent or require me to take any action. So why are they clogging up my inbox, getting in the way of client communication and urgent communication?
  • Ed Brill comments, “I worry slightly about focusing on the protocol itself versus the content and delivery approach, but we can use this to move beyond RSS as a buzzword towards solution-oriented value”, and also link to a useful new article about RSS in Lotus Notes (probably a good starting point for any Lotus Notes shops out there).
  • Corey Lewis at the LaunchSquad (Newsgator is their client) marks the day and writes, “For anybody who deals with high volumes of information on a daily basis, RSS is an essential work tool. We’d be swamped without it, and waste many hours a week trolling through different blogs and news sources looking for the information we could have had delivered right to us. If you’re not using RSS already (you admittedly may be even if you don’t know it), hop on board – today’s as good a day as any.”
  • Meanwhile over on the Newsgator blog, they remind us about their widget for “the Day of Action. If you would like to track the day’s activities, you can add this widget to your start page, social networking site, or blog with one simple click.
  • Scott Niesen at Attensa also blogs about their day presenting about Enterprise RSS at a chocolate factory – hmm, my kind of Enterprise RSS 😉
  • Thanks also to Jesse Wilkins for helping to spread the word.

BTW Check out links to some other posts from the day here and here.

If I’ve missed anyone, let me know – just comment here or drop me a line.

A few more Enterprise RSS Day of Action posts

A few more Enterprise RSS Day of Action posts:

  • David Hobbie is “up to my elbows in Enterprise RSS as my firm has been evaluating various vendors and I’ve been making presentations to groups and individuals about RSS over the last two weeks in particular” and shares some links where he is discovering the power of RSS;
  • Chris Heller from Grey Sparling Solutions blogged about using a PeopleSoft solution they provide to allow desktop RSS readers to access secure RSS feeds from PeopleSoft… they have also announced a competition for a free copy of their software – what a great idea!
  • Hat tips also to Jasbinder Bains and fredscapes (in Dutch, but I presume its positive as the Dutch are pretty switched on kinds of people).

Also, while checking out who is saying what, I found this article from last September, Is Enterprise RSS the Next Killer App?, quoting Forrester Research.

PS I’ve also spotted a few people twittering about the day of action – so thanks for helping to spread the word.

Welcome to the start of the Enterprise RSS Day of Action

This morning, a couple of things to get us started:

  • Attensa shares their own 10 Things About Attensa Enterprise RSS in response to the 10 things I want!
  • Doug Cornelius helps to promote the day of action, and says “I consider RSS to be the glue that holds together Web 2.0 and especially Enterprise 2.0. Blogs and wikis are great tools. But they are even more powerful when they are pushing content out through RSS feeds. It is much more efficient to have relevant content pushed to you, rather than you having to seek it out.
  • Janet Johnson unpacks the debate about Enterprise 2.0 technology adoption, saying “enterprise RSS adoption is coming into fruition – but why has it taken us so many years to finally get here? Why do the folks considering enterprise RSS today have to be the ‘forward thinking’ ones? Because of fear” and then quoting some good advice from Martin Koser, “Don’t spend hours pondering the details and splitting hairs – actually use this stuff and find out.

I do hope you enjoy the Enterprise RSS Day of Action – it is as Martin says, a day to find out about this stuff. Now, I have to go, as I have my own brown bag presentation to prepare for later today. 🙂

Enterprise RSS in the news

As we approach the Enterprise RSS Day of Action tomorrow, just a quick round up of posts talking about Enterprise RSS:

Have you written a post about Enterprise RSS that I’ve missed? Let me know.

If you could be a social technology, be RSS/XML

Charlene Li is Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research was asked, if she could be a social technology, which would she be? Charlene Li replied:

RSS/XML. Nobody would know who I am or what my initials mean, but I make everything work together. I’d be the foundation of mashups, social applications, and widgets. Without me, the social Web would grind to a halt.

Nice reply 😉

And remember, the Enterprise RSS Day of Action is only a day away!