This was a vendor driven session presented by David Carter, CTO of Awareness. Awareness helps companies build web 2.0 communities for internal or external use.
David started off the session stating that the challenges we faced in 1988 haven't changed within an enterprise. I thought this was interesting because as much as things changed they also stay the same. We are still trying to improve collaboration, trying to connect the right people and trying to make information easier to find (that's always fun). And these challenges only get harder as the organization grows.
David continued to talk about why this is a problem internally and that "the" collaboration tool within the enterprise is still EMAIL. Why is that a problem? Well, when people leave the organization so does all of that intellectual property. Common sense for most of my readers but it's still a problem most enterprises haven't solved. There's still a need to figure out what content to pull out of email and into collaboration tools like blogs, wiki's and discussion forums.
In the case of McDonald’s, Awareness was looking for creative ways to engage people and get them to share ideas. They did this during an event registration process which simultaneously built a person's online profile and with an optional question at the end. Hundreds of people were contributing content that was then made public and shared with the rest of the organization. By doing this they removed the barrier of entry and made it very easy and convenient for people to contribute. This was one of my favorite examples and I think it can be leveraged in multiple ways to kick start a new community.