This week i was in a virtual meeting with one of my product folks back in corporate. He commented on my recent Web 2.0 job title post validating my point on that post that at factiva many of us consider ourselves 'Web 2.0' driven although our titles might not be searchable with those terms- he even signed his latest e-mail to me with 'web 2.0 enthusiast' tagline under his name-which i thought was quite clever.
During our meeting, i found something out- which prompted me to whine how i miss being in the middle of the action back in corporate when it comes to discussing new technologies and user needs in today's enterprise.
Later on in the evening as i was going out with some friends- the conversation in the car turned to corporate cafeterias- someone said that they love lunch time because they get to spend time talking to people that work in other departments/projects that they probably would never learn from. I made this little 'uhmm' sound- which prompted my every knowing husband to say- oh looks like this conversation is going to be a blog post-
There is always a lot of talk about the great corporate cafeterias in the Valley with a lot of focus on the food and the physical space, but it is the conversations that occur in those cafeterias that i am most jealous of. I have been invited to lunch at some of the cafeterias out here-some are damn nice- but they have either been clients or acquitances that work there. At the office, i tend to eat my lunch at my desk- i browse my rss feeds, listen to podcasts or watch videoblog posts-many of which i ping my colleagues with via IM. In our SF office we have a nice office space with a eat-in-kitchen (image above left is from the main conference room)- but it just isn't the same as the corporate cafeteria back at the NJ Factiva office where product, customer service, finance, HR, content,taxonomy,sales etc. meetup on a daily basis. Now that i look back at it- even the 6 yrs i worked there i didn't use the cafeteria like i should have- i ate a lot at my desk just trying to do more work when important conversations could have been happening.
So i can't do anything about the physical cafeteria so what can replace a corporate cafeteria in a virtual world? Things which we are using internally to combat my lunchless interaction could include any of the following that we already have access to:
- Internal Blogs
- Internal Wikis
- Shared RSS feeds
- Social Bookmarking
- Collaboration portals
- Virtual presentations
- Live Web Meetings