Social networking tools are here to stay, and grow. According to Forrester Research, enterprise spending on Web 2.0 technologies will grow strongly over the next five years, reaching $4.6 billion globally by 2013, with social networking, mashups, and RSS capturing the greatest share.
What makes these new tools so attractive to the corporate world? Is everybody starting to get sucked into the virtual world, building avatars, blogging, twitting and exposing themselves in one form or another? The truth is probably much more pragmatic.
Functional Specs in a wiki
Take an exemple from the software development world: functional specifications. You could write a heavy duty word document of a couple of 100 pages, insert screen captures made in visio to illustrate the screens and process flows, send out new version update alerts so that everybody is kept on the same page (so to speak)
...or: you use a wiki. Cross-references are made easily, and components are only explained once. Different people can collaborate together on the specifications at the same time, since it's just one page and not the whole document that gets locked. Issues can be discussed and resolved in the context of the screen or schema. The whole structure can evolve over time and everybody can be sure to be looking at the latest version. It also helps tremendiously when you have a team that works remotely. Having experienced both worlds, there is no doubt for me that the wiki rules!