On Wednesday this week I was Simon the cruel English judge at the Gilbane Event Wiki Idol.
For a more sober and considered blog on this with fulsome links check out the one I have posted today on CMS Watch...
I was not keen on doing this in the first place, fearing potential stereotyping, and though I am certainly opinionated I am at the end of the day a bit of a softie and really hate to hurt any ones feelings. Hence before the competition began I went up the assembling contestants and apologized in advance for what I was going to do to them. By the way at this point I realized that none of the vendors knew what they were getting themselves into - suffice to say that each vendor made a bit of a mess of their presentation and were verbally slaughtered by the judges. (far far worse than the other CM Idols event I had seen)
Did anything good come of this blood fest - well yes, ironically a lot of good. The next day I know that at least 3 of the vendors had notably increased traffic to their booths. But maybe more importantly we all got to see:
- The Emperor New Clothes
- Something cool looking to find its place in the World
Wiki's are I think smoke and mirrors, KM software and WCM software pretending that they are something new and hip. With little understanding in some cases of what real businesses are looking for, and an almost naive innocence that people will buy new 'stuff'. I have been around long enough to know there is a buyer somewhere for anything, but to achieve real market mass - and to cross the chasm, you need to do something that add's value. It was hard to see what value this software would bring. Also interesting was to see how many of these products are targeted at Techie's, and if one takes the Open Source model then one can see how there might be a willing niche audience for this kind of software. Beyond that I think the appeal is very limited.