Putting Web 2.0 to Use in the Enterprise
Chapter 9: Putting Web 2.0 to Use in the Enterprise: Higher Value from Greater Participation
Table of contents:
Web 2.0 users, community and participation in the enterprise
Enterprise search and links for Web 2.0
Enterprise Web 2.0 blogs, wikis and content management
Tips for Web 2.0 success and setting Web 2.0 goals in the enterprise
New Web 2.0 tools: Beyond the basics
The importance of scale reappears when considering another defining trait of the Web to the enterprise: search. More specifically, the scale issue is partly at play when considering the role of links in establishing the relevance of search results. It's no mystery that Google and other search engines took search results to a high level when their algorithms started leveraging links as a key measure of relevance. The more inbound links into a given document, with surrounding text related to a given query, the higher the rank of the page in the results.
Incidentally, this approach isn't without side effects. Scientist and author Tom Slee (see References) likens the approach to the one in favor at some universities when it comes to laying down footpaths across campus: At first, let everyone walk around the campus any way they choose. Then, lay paving stones where the most natural traffic is observed. The catch is that after the initial phase emerges from natural behavior, the paths are frozen, making it difficult for new patterns to emerge, and each step merely reinforces the existing pattern. The same is true of linking: Once discovery is mostly derived from linking, it becomes difficult for new content to achieve high visibility.
With search and discovery being such key aspects of facilitating Web 2.0, it is essential to consider means to increase link density. As much content as possible should be web-addressable, and as many applications as possible should be linkaware. And if necessary, links should be derived from implicit behaviors.
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