In the broadest sense, Web 2.0 refers to the next generation of web applications. One example is social bookmarking. For most people, social bookmarking involves the use of sites such as del.icio.us and digg.com, where users find interesting content and bookmark it on the social bookmarking site of their choice. Not only can users return to those sites to see their centrally stored bookmarks, but the entire community around the site can navigate public bookmarks by short keywords or tags.
While this model works well for the Internet at large, social bookmarking at the enterprise level has an entirely different set of rules and goals. People within an enterprise use social bookmarking to organize documentation and resources to share with individuals, discrete groups, and the entire organization. That said, people won't be using del.icio.us to bookmark research for internal company projects, nor will they use it to bookmark documents created by people within the enterprise. For social bookmarking within the enterprise to be effective, a new model is required that caters to the needs and desires of enterprise social bookmarking.
When we first began evaluating the efficacy of social bookmarking within our enterprise, we started with Scuttle (sourceforge.net/projects/scuttle/), an open-source application written in PHP and running on MySQL. Scuttle shares its design with del.icio.us and digg.com and is a bookmarking platform for general public consumption. While this meets some of the needs of the enterprise, it doesn't deal with the additional security and ease of maintenance and enhancement that we wanted for our Enterprise Social Bookmarking (ESB) platform. The scope and volume of enterprise data that is of interest to public consumers can differ greatly from that of ESB platform consumers. Trying to satisfy both audiences with the same tool would fail to completely satisfy either.
Knowing that we needed something built specifically for social bookmarking within the enterprise, we decided to kick the tires on ASP.NET 2.0 to see if it could provide the base platform on which we could build our new ESB tool. In this article, I give you an inside look at the applications we produced and the insights we gleaned while creating them.