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January 5, 2007

Avenue A | Razorfish wiki winner

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 10:43 AM

Avenue A | Razorfish, the interactive marketing and technology firm that's part of Seattle-based aQuantive, said it has been recognized for an internally produced portal that links together 16 of the company's offices worldwide.

The portal uses wiki technology and was awarded a Portal Excellence Award at the Shared Insights Portal Conference in the "Best Team Collaboration Application" category, the company said today.

The Avenue A | Razorfish wiki was recognized for making use of innovative collaborative technologies such as Web-based discussion groups.

In a release, the company quotes Andrew McAfee, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, who wrote on his blog:

"I find that the sites I visit most often these days are ones that give me 'the latest.' They help me stay on top of the world, the blogosphere, and my personal network of people and content. This page does the same thing at the company level for Avenue A | Razorfish employees."

But maybe it's not just at the company level, bringing into question the amount of information a company wants to share. An update on McAfee's blog says the wiki is not as internal as the company thinks:.

After I posted on Avenue A | Razorfish's Enterprise 2.0 Intranet, a few commenters pointed out a potentially troublesome feature.
When employees (or anyone else, for that matter) add the tag "AARF" [Avenue A Razorfish] in, Flickr, or Digg, the so-tagged items show up within the company's Intranet. The intent of this feature, as I wrote, is to let employees easily and automatically make each other aware of potentially interesting content on the Internet.
Because these "AARF" tags are universally visible, however, other companies can also see them and take advantage of them. It would be technically straightforward for a competitor to scan, Flickr, and Digg for the "AARF" tag, thereby seeing what Avenue A | Razorfish employees are highlighting for each other.

Alex Barnett, a Microsoft employee who works with developers, posted on McAfee's site:

We'll, it's good for me . But is that good for AARF? Look, here is a sample. From a cursory look at the AARF tagged bookmarks, I can tell:
-- Someone is probably lobbying HR for Starbucks coffee machines at the office (I can't blame them...)
-- Someone is studying Second Life's audience size, probably as an opportunity to either establish their own presence for the agency, or collating info so they can advise clients
-- Someone is trying to figure out the ROI on blogging (rather you than me...)
-- Someone is interested in mobile social software apps

Avenue A | Razorfish's Ray Velez responded:

"anyone can use the aarf tag and associate it with a bookmark. This potentially lets us get information from a larger audience. Which may turn out to be a bigger spam issue more than anything else. The only information that can be gleaned from this is what we think is interesting in terms of websites out there. Check out Alex Barnett's post for a good explanation and yes I do like Starbucks coffee. If it's a site we want to keep behind a firewall we can make it private. The tagging algorithm and keywords we use internally to add metadata to wiki content and documents is completely behind the firewall."

For more discussion, check out the Nov. 27 blog post here.

The discussion is valid. How open do companies want to be on their innerworkings? Is it becoming increasingly difficult in the Web 2.0 world?

The debate is reminescent of how Jobster's Jason Goldberg aired some of his company's dirty laundry on his blog -- about how the company is going through a restructuring and laying off nearly half of its staff.

Goldberg is a huge fan of transparency.

Goldberg said during a call with the media to announce the layoffs that since the company was founded, he has blogged multiple times a day and has sometimes gotten positive or negative feedback.

"Sometimes I share too much or too little, but from the beginning I've taken a transparent approach, that's not typical of any private company."

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee

Angel Gonzalez
Angel Gonzalez

Kristi Heim
Kristi Heim

Benjamin J. Romano
Benjamin J. Romano

Mark Watanabe