Work 2.0 Unplugged

As the technology industry experiences a resurgance of venture capital, it becomes increasingly important for Web 2.0 platforms to provide value in the enterprise.

The largest blip on the Work 2.0 radar is without question Google Docs & Spreadsheets. This is a wordpressor and spreadsheet application embedded in a browser window with a minimal compliment of document editing ability. For example, the wordpressor allows you to enter text but is limited to HTML editing capability. This makes it difficult to create your own document styles and image layout in your document is certainly not intuitive. There is no spell check and if you want a synonym you will need your own thesaurus. While Google Docs provides a document upload to your blog, most good blogging software like WordPress already provide these kinds of editing features.

GoogleSpreadsheets

Work 2.0 can include other community application platforms like YouTube and Wikipedia, but for any of these platforms to work the applications need to move off the Internet and onto application servers within the enterprise setting. Companies are not going to let sensitive content exist on servers hosted by other companies, especially when the host provider has no solid business model or revenue stream.

The alternative approach is a Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA), which is the motivation for products like Microsoft Office and .NET. Technologies like WebDav and ODMA already exist for content management and version control, so this is certainly not something unique to Google.

Rather than focus on squeezing our content editing tools onto a website, using a web service it is trivial to send documents to remote systems as needed. A single Word document can be sent to one or more clients, and if the content can be made publically accessible it can also be sent to a public website. It is ironic that users on Google Docs are busy working on ways to get all of the content downloaded to their local computer – while there are conveniences in having your documents on the Internet there is a sense of security that only a local copy on your computer can provide.