Lotus makes Connections

… and on the day I can’t make use of my normal connectivity, comes the news I’ve been waiting to talk about!

Ed Brill is the first blogger I’ve found who mentions one of the major Lotusphere 2007 announcements: Lotus Connections. This is a culmination of a lot of the work we’ve been doing internally around collaborative “Web 2.0” tools such as blogs, social bookmarking, and social networks (I talked about it briefly before, in a post about Ventura).

The International Herald Tribune likens the release to MySpace for corporations. Some people might feel that MySpace is a bit frivolous, and I’d agree – in my opinion, it is largely aimed at teens. However, the technology and trends that it (and other social networking sites) represents are enormously important to business, and several of us have been evangelising this message for some time now. When I’ve talked about it with colleagues, I’ve sometimes encountered the reaction “where’s the value?” or “surely this is all going to eat into my time…” – both perfectly valid points, but I think they are answered quite straightforwardly.

A recent BBC News report mentioned that over half of American teenagers were familiar with social networking sites. The next generation of workers are already beginning to absorb these technologies into their lifestyles. Businesses can now start to build these kinds of networks internally, and there is real value in doing so.

If you’re not sure about the power of these kinds of tools within a company, witness my own blogging network. To pick individuals from my blogroll at random, without having an internal blogging platform, I simply would never have communicated with people such as Ed, Per, Cesar or Dan… or worked with Hannah, Andrew, Chris, Kelly or the eightbar crowd. These tools have transformed the way that we work, and the way in which I see the world.

More links:

Incidentally, there’s a Lotusphere location in Second Life, too… again, I’m unable to go and check it out for myself right now due to connectivity issues. See Per’s post for more. I’ll be online later.

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