In an e-mail correspondence with Tim Spalding from LibraryThing about Enterprise 2.0 I finally put my finger on why I don't like SharePoint.If social computing is going to be effective in the workplace things have to be different - fundamentally.
When we started building this stuff at the BBC we were consciously trying to build the online equivalent of a collection of Cotswold villages with lots of footpaths between them. You know where the pub and church are, you’re comfortable in the environment and you can locate yourself. Corporate systems tend to be more like Milton Keynes. On the surface they’re efficient with lots of straight lines and signposting, but you get lost because everything looks the same.
Using a new tool really does feel like walking into a room and working out what the atmosphere is like, what the other people are like, whether they feel like people I could get on with and whether we will be allowed to take our time to form a relationship and begin to get things done. Dave Snowden was right when he said that you can’t manage knowledge but you can create a knowledge ecology.
I can't put my finger in what it is - the graphics, the language used or the intentions behind the software but I rarely get this feeling from Microsoft stuff especially not SharePoint. They are too good at creating sterile environments run by control freaks who hate messiness, consider conversations unprofessional and rarely understand the true pulse of their organisations.
This stuff may be seen as "business-like" at the moment but I don't believe it will be what business is like in the future.