Thursday, August 14, 2008

ThoughtFarmer Brings Order to Organization 2.0

One of the greatest inventions of the naught decade is the wiki, a place for democracy style collaboration and information sharing. I know of many companies that are currently using this marvelous system to speed information sharing and just plain make things better through shared knowledge and perspective.

ThoughtFarmer, a product of Vancouver-based OpenRoad Communications, is an enterprise scale intranet solution that starts with the wiki, but then thicks it up with a variety of other social media apps and platforms, including a bona fide internal social network.

Check out the feature list:

Blogs: A Feature to enable employs to blog on work and project related issues.
Branding: A customizable branded environment.
Calendars: A great way to track projects and people and get people staying on a schedge.
Discussions: Nuff said. No more email strings.
Documents: Ways to address the leading organizational problem, communication.
Feeds: To push out team and project information so it goes to people instead of vice versa.
Microsoft: Compatibility with Office applications
Multilingual: It ain't English only.
Org Chart: A way to know who's who and what's what.
People: Profiles for teammembers that work in the familiar FaceBook/MySpace format.
Search: What I am told is a pretty good search engine.
Security: Nuff said.
Tags: An ability to tag data, info, and projects to spread info across projects and teams
Version History: An automatic versioning system that keeps the latest on "top of the stack."
Wikis: The core
Workstream: A slider that shows you the "news" that is relevant to you, the core team, or the total network of involved people.

Checkout their 60 second Crunchy pitch:

I am impressed with the impact that 2.0 can have INTERNALLY on a company -- it really is amazing how people ache for ways to communicate better and make more progress. I must admit I was a skeptic about this stuff -- by which I don't mean ThoughtFarmer but rather Internal 2.0, but I am a believer now, and Thoughtfarmer would appear to be a comprehensive collection of such features that uses structures and functions that people are already familiar with. That has to help in the training process.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.


  1. Jim, thanks for your ThoughtFarmer review! You mentioned the training process. As you said, we use structures and functions that people are already familiar with. So our training focuses on getting them to *try* it -- just once. Try "edit". Try "comment". Try "create". After a 45-minute training session, users are ready to go. So Step 8 in our article Intranet 2.0 in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps is, "Make them use it. Once."

  2. I love this training approach! As with most "new" things, you gotta play a little. There was nothing intuitive about embeds on Youtube, for example, until ya did it once. Many thanks for your comment.


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