Last week, I headed into Boston for Frank Gilbane's content management conference where I started out as a co-presenter in a session on wikis and blogs. Wikis and blogs have a huge amount of relevance in the content management space since content management is sometimes thought of as an uber-category that includes disciplines like knowledge management or what some folks refer to as corporate memory. When it was my turn to talk, I predicted that most of half the exhibitors over in the trade show part of the event would be out of business in the next five to ten years and the only thing propping up the other half will be the number of legacy systems in the market that still need support. That's because the RSS protocol (which is in the DNA of both blogs and wikis), as I've written several times before, is really the new Intranet protocol.
As well it should be.
My basic argument is that once organizations discover the efficiency of RSS as a notification mechanism (instead of e-mail) and the elegance of archiving knowledge in Web-based technologies (blogs, wikis qualify) instead of far less searchable and proprietary document formats and document management systems (and once they start thinking about knowledge instead of documents) there will be a massive shift that will leave some software giants wondering what just happened. RSS just happened. The Web happened. It's like gravity. What goes up (proprietary software fortunes) must come down.
I was the last speaker in the panel discussion. But just because the panel discussion was over didn't necessarily mean my work was done. Next, I switched hats and switched on the video camera and took to the exhibition floor to find out if anything interesting was really happening in the content management space. Content management isn't the sexiest topic so I got answers to four basic questions in just under five minutes.