This post elaborates on wikis and office 2.o…how an online office may change your personal desktop to a personal website view.
Access, permissions, collaborating, track changes, version history
We left off saying that with office 2.0, wordprocessing files would be webpages, not files…and the the wordprocessor application would be able to store version history and allow you to share your URL with people for communal editing. We also would hope for it to have all the benefits of red mark-up to track text changes.
Since version control and communal editing and access of a document (sharing) is done within the office 2.0 application, the EDMS (Electronic Document Management system) is no longer needed for this function
…so then what will an EDMS have that is unique compared to a folder directory.
I’m refering to fundamental features…like mentioned before an EDMS can store metadata, do full-text or fielded searching, do reporting, etc…
NOTE: we no longer need a share drive as the sharing is enabled in the application itself (EDMS or wiki)…and the document permissions are set by the document service itself eg. online spreadsheet.
Folders and files vs. Web pages and links
Since office 2.0 is online based, we don’t have to have the folder and files metaphor, usually if you are looking for the project ABC folder, navigate to this folder and click on it, instead what could happen is this folder can instead be a webpage (a wiki page), and this wiki page will contain links to the document URL’s (instead of files).
The wiki (I guess the c: drive or “My Documents”) that this wiki page is on can have a link to the sitemap this way you can click straight to a document (similar to MSWindows Explorer or a file tree in an EDMS).
The homepage can also list other wonderful things like blog content and favourite links, news…you see, now that it is a website and not a folder, you can take advantage of the web real estate and make it a project portal.
Anyway, each time you click on a new wiki page, it is like clicking into a folder, on that wiki page will be a list of links to all the documents.
Also since your folders are wiki pages, you can invite people to share a wiki page (you set the permissons, read-only, read/write, etc…). This means you are inviting someone into your c: drive, but we probably won’t have c: drives, it will just be inviting someone to see a part of your server space.
If you give people read/write access to one of your personal folders (wiki page), then they can edit this wiki page or even make a new wiki page (I guess you can’t restict making new pages)…people could add their own documents to the wiki page (folder).
Or perhaps they can just have read-only access to your wiki page, but they have read/write access to a document (eg. writely) listed in this wiki page…if they were to delete a document (which can also be a level of permissions, this would mean it will be deleted for good).
NOTE: the wiki is acting as a repository for documents, these documents are links…but the wiki also doubles up as a full-fledged website.
What I like about it is a wiki page is acting like a folder, that is holding links to office 2.0 URL’s, but besides acting like a folder is also a webpage which means you can dress it up with text and images.
My Documents 2.0
Lets put it another way what if a wiki was a replacement for “My Documents”, or as an alternative…instead of your “My Documents” containing folders and files, it could just be webpages linking to webpages.
That is, each folder would be a wiki page, and each file would be a link (eg. online spreadsheet) in the wiki page…this means your whole “My Documents” is one big wiki.
Like now there will be 2 ways to get to a webpage
eg. open your online spreadsheet document from the application itself…or open the wiki, navigate to your wiki page using the sitemap on your wiki homepage, and choose the online spreadsheet link.
So, everyone’s “My Documents” or server space is a wiki, the wiki pages are folders, the files are links (to office 2.0 documents) displayed in the wiki page.
Also to note is the same document can live in multiple folders (wiki pages) on your server space, ie. the same document can be linked to from any webpage…after all they are just URL’s (at the moment we use shortcuts to achieve this).
NOTE: some of your documents could even live in other peoples wikis, some of your wiki pages (folders) could be part of a group wiki, etc…re-mixing the desktop.
If I choose to share (turn on communal editing for a guest) one of my office 2.0 documents and also share the wiki page (folder) it is in, then I’m giving someone access to part of my server space where they can open a folder (wiki page) and edit a document (eg. online word document).
I’d have to be careful of the access I give others to my wiki page, I may not want them to add or delete documents (URL links). Even if they did delete a link to an online spreadsheet, it is not going to delete the original…I hope…perhaps only the owner can do this.
Besides adding/deleting a link in a wiki page (folder) they may also have access to edit the text or images in the wiki page…it’s not just a folder it is a web page.
In theory if everyone in the enterprise turned on their “My Documents wiki” to at least read-only and set it to invite all (public URL), then we could all connect our “My Documents”…an enterprise desktop webosphere.
NOTE: you could also have a permisson where a certain person won’t even know a document exists (this is lower than “read-only”, it is “no-see”), and of course these permissions can be set for different wiki pages for different people with different access levels.
NOTE: I wrote this post about a month ago and then this week something interesting happened, Jotspot 2.0 was released, and it indeed is more than just a wiki.
It also allows you to make pre-defined pages, such as shared spreadsheets and calendars, and also file sharing.
I was thinking of wiki pages as folders that are web pages (so inside the folder you can have text and images, perhaps describing the contents of the folder)…and on these wiki pages are links to office 2.0 documents.
But Jotspot 2.0 seems to have office 2.0 services such as online spreadsheets actually created within the wiki page…so now a wiki page is not just a web page, it can be a spreadsheet, a calendar entry, etc…
This is really an advancement, at the moment in an Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) you can store, for eg, excel files, but you cannot create them, ie, the EDMS doesn’t have a built in spreadsheet creator.
It seems with JotSpot 2.0, the creation, storage, collaboration, version controlling, sharing is done within the one service…ie. you can create a spreadsheet in the same system you are storing it in
…an office 2.0 suite within a wiki.
[ADDED: It seems an online word processor can track changes, set permissions, set communal editing, document version history…and I guess what it also does is store the documents…ie. each user has a DMS within the service such as online word, online spreadsheets, online presentations, etc…
Now if the online word processor is installed at a server level then those documents that are set for at least read-only access will be available in one document management system for all users.
So a staff member could open up the online wordprocessor and see all documents that all users have chosen to share…the online wordprocessor stores the documents in its own DMS, instead of using Windows.
Same goes with online spreadsheets, online presentations, online (web) email, etc…if each service itself has its own DMS then there must be a way to simply join them up into a DMS suite. Since Zoho are setting up office 2.0, perhaps the DMS in each product could be joined into one DMS.
Then we could search/browse any document format, by any user in the one repository…OK I’ve hit a block, how are documents organised, my theory leads to everyone’s personal folders coming together into one mesh.
So the DMS only exists when we merge everyone’s personal folders containing documents, the DMS itself doesn’t create folders.
But then what if you work on a project with others, maybe all participants can use the same folder structure template in their personal area, so when their accounts are joined in the DMS there is a clean folder structure.]