IBM has got it all wrong with its latest strategy for Lotus Notes. Trying to zest up the old fella, IBM has tacked on social computing features, but it’s missed the Web 2.0 platform that will hammer in the last couple of nails in the Notes coffin, namely Wikis.
I’ve been a Lotus user and supporter for a good decade. It enabled me to develop a website that would be the foundation of my business, MediaConnect. Without Lotus Notes and it’s ease of development, my business would never have got off the ground.
We dumped Lotus last year, to move to the more prevalent and far more flexible LAMP platform, but even having done so I was never able to find a platform better suited for doing what Lotus has always done best – that is building departmental, hack-your-own apps.
As such, I’ve been hanging onto Notes as our Intranet platform, but I’ve finally found a way to move on, and that’s Google’s recently acquired Jotspot platform.
I’d played with Jotspot before and been moderately impressed, but it wasn’t until I recently started delving into its markup language and app-building capabilities, that it became very apparent to me that this was the future.
Let’s face it, most intranets and indeed most websites are simply a collection of documents. That’s what made Lotus so perfect, being a document-based database. To hack up an app you simply built a wysiwyg form, modified a view and you were away.
Wikis are even more simple. You just type.
However, I’d always considered wikis to lack power until I lifted the covers of Jotspot. I’ve also been checking out competing wikis like the offering from Australian company Atlassian, and I’ve finally found the direction that has enabled me to put to bed Lotus.
Social networking and social bookmarking are trendy, but thats not how real collaboration is done. Someone should have taken a good look at Wikipedia and how successful that’s been in terms of what Notes is really all about, knowledge management and collaboration, before they got carried away with trying to build corporate equivalent of MySpace or delicious.
RIP Lotus Notes. Long live the wiki.