02 September 2005

Web 2.0 Ecademy - learning from imeem?

I have been a member of various social networks for quite a while now. One of these networks, Ecademy, seems to have very high quality people and content. I think there are several reasons, including:
  • Payment - Ecademy membership is not free, so people have to commit to using the network to get value. As everyone commit you know people here as serious. Welcome.
  • Rich profiles - Fifty words focusing on you as a person rather than on your commercial skills is a great concept. At the end of the day we want to work with people whom we share some common ground. Fifty words let you find people that share similar views and interest as yourself.
  • Off-line events - Probably the most important element. I have always had the opinion that once I got a face to an email address, then cyberspace can really accelerate collaboration. Off-line events is an institution in order to ensure that you get a face to the email address. Did I mention that Ecademy host people's pictures - something that makes offline meetings far easier, as you can easily spot people in a cafe.

The main drawbacks of Ecademy and other social networks is the portal (Web 1.0) concept, where you access Ecademy from your browser. Integration with common business tools such as Outlook and Word is not existent. As most people use these tools in their daily work, it is difficult to use Ecademy in your daily business. This is not to say that Ecademy doesn't have value already (probably 50% of my business contacts, partners and customers as coming from that channel today), but you can get even more value if the integration was closer.

To solve some of these issues, I created a tool that download contacts from networks such as Ecademy, LinkedIn and OpenBC. I suggest you read more about the tool here. The tool helps you get your contact database in order, as well as to structure email correspondence, as all emails are marked with the company, and using Outlook journal technologies, it is easy to get an overview of the correspondence with various people. So far so good.

But what about documents that we share between a group of people? We are used to email these forward and backward - and everyone knows the difficulty managing content and keeping everything up-to-date. What you really need is a way to save documents into, say, your local harddrive, knowning that content at this location will be shared with specific people in specific workgroups. This is what imeem can do for you!

imeem use peer-to-peer technology, which also solves some of the security and intellectual property issues that you probably face with Ecademy and other networks. As documents are shared directly from your machine to your workgroup, no third party will hold the document at any time!

Combining Ecademy's brilliant concepts with the tools and techniques offered by imeem would make it an even better place to network as well as deal with your daily business.

Alternatively you might wish to take a look at Groove networks which is a peer-2-peer tool for collaboration.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 7:45 am