What do 320,000 blogging IBMers have to do with the death of Lotus Notes? Everything.

Congratulations to IBM which is on the verge of launching the world’s largest corporate blogging initiative. NOW try and find that article you wrote on “corporate blogs” in Google!  (Thanks to Robin M. for passing this link on to me.)

What I find most interesting is the very brief reference to the fact that IBM owns Lotus Notes…but are using blogs and wikis. This is like saying that humans are going to stop using high-tech alloys and super duper expensive military contractorsto go into space and start using el cheapo planes that can be built for 1/1000th the cost. OH WAIT… THEY ARE!

Lotus Notes for those of you who don’t know is the old-school, command-and-control, hierarchically designed knowledge management system invented many years ago by Ray Ozzie. It was the world’s first complete Public Key infrastructure tool and was fantastically useful if it was deployed correctly. Unfortunately it also had (has) an 80% failure rate and is stuupendously expensive to maintain and/or upgrade.

Ozzie himself realized the inherent design flaws in Notes and set out to rectify them by building Groove Networks, a dynamic, build-the-network-on-the-fly program which was recently acquired by Microsoft.

But while these older systems have been following their standard technology development curves, the open source movement has made huge leaps and strides. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that blogs, wikis, and RSS, will disrupt the entire content management space and will very likely collapse the pricing structures in very short order. Companies that were looking at $1-5M content management systems (CMS) will be revisiting those plans this year with an eye towards deploying social software applicances such as Social Text’s Enterprise product – a 1U rack server that contains their entire collaborative tool-set that costs about 1% of what a traditional CMS would have cost 2 or 3 years ago.

By the way, if you own any CMS company shares, you may want to short them…quickly.