One of the big announcements out of this week's Lotusphere show was about how IBM's Lotus division is now adding social networking capabilities. Wow, this is big news! So now Lotus is joining the Web 2.0, or more specifically, Enterprise 2.0, wave and adding the most hyped capabilities of the day, which on top of social networking will include blogs, personal and project dashboards, and interactive community capabilities. All right! It's about time. Finally Lotus products will let businesses offer users personal and team site pages that can be edited interactively. It will now be easy to scan through employees in a company and know who is working on what, who is linked to whom and who is the biggest expert on key topics. Isn't this great! Mmmm. Now that I think about it, haven't I always been able to do these things with Lotus products? Outside of real specific Web 2.0 functionality like RSS feeds, most of these highly touted new technologies are basically just updated Web 2.0-ified versions of the collaboration features that Lotus has always offered. So like most other "Enterprise 2.0" announcements (and if you want to know what I really think about Enterprise 2.0, look for my column next week), this Lotusphere social networking announcement is mainly about trying to change the perception of Lotus from a company that is all about aging legacy systems to a company that is hip to all the cool new technologies that the kids are using today. That's OK from a marketing perspective. But I think it must burn some of the longtime Lotus engineers to see all of these Web 2.0 technologies getting the fanfare for basically adapting technologies and capabilities that Lotus pioneered many years ago.
Lotus Does Web 2.0
Most of these highly touted new technologies are basically just updated Web 2.0-ified versions of the collaboration features that Lotus has always offered.