Enterprise 2.0/Social Media/Web 2.0

You’ve probably heard these terms buzzing about, but what do they mean and how do they apply to you?

First – welcome to Generation Y. Over the next few years the baby boombers generation will be retiring and in their place will fill the new generation in the work place who will be expecting the tools they use at home to be available where they work.  This generation are currently avid users of social media with a large percentage of them acting as content creators.

So, Enterprise 2.0 – what is it?

Enterprise 2.0 makes use of Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis and blogs inside the corporate intranet. Enterprise 2.0 is the concept of using tools and services that employ Web 2.0 techniques such as tagging, ratings, networking, RSS, and sharing in the context of the enterprise. If you look at companies websites you can see corporate blogs inviting consumers to comment and discuss their content.

Enterprise 2.0 tools and services take advantage of social software features such as social bookmarking and linking, tagging, rating, user commenting and discussion, open creation and editing policies, syndication via RSS feeds, and so on. These tools also incorporate sharing and networking to invite and encourage collaboration and contribution.

A report by Forrester Research is predicting that by2013 the enterprise spending on Web 2.0 technologies will result in a market of $4.6 billion – this will be a result of an increase in spend on social networking tools, mashups and RSS – with a high percentage of this money going to the major software vendors.

Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0? Huh?

Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 are two different concepts that are build on similar foundations. A great example of this are the evolution of blogs, the excerpt below gives a great overview of how they have shifted from Web 2.0 to Enterprise 2.0

…blogs have been around much longer than the term Web 2.0, they are one of the finest examples of what Web 2.0 is all about. Before blogs, some people published personal Web sites. These were static pages that usually provided biographical information about the owner of the Web site and potentially some photos of his or her family and pets, along with a page containing information on how to be contacted. All of this information is one-way and static. There is no room for interactivity, and as a result, the content becomes dated and useless before long. Once people have seen your photos the first time, they are not likely to feel the need to see them again. If you put new photos on the site, your visitors have no way of knowing you have done so without revisiting the site.

Enter Web 2.0 and blogging. Most popular blogging platforms such as WordPress, Moveable Type, and Blogger allow for the creation of “pages” where you can put biographical information (and easily update it as it becomes outdated) and “posts” where you can write your articles and express your opinions. But blogs are much more than an easy-to-use content management system. Blogs automatically syndicate your content using RSS feeds so that people can “subscribe” to your Web site using an RSS reader and receive timely updates whenever you publish new content. Blogs allow your visitors to comment on your posts, allowing interaction and discussion about the topics at hand. Also, features such as trackbacks and pingbacks notify you when someone has mentioned your blog post on his or her Web site or blog.

The Enterprise 2.0 view of blogging is slightly different. A corporate blog will often be a multi-user blog with multiple authors and contributors, or it will be a platform made up of many different blogs, each individually owned by a different person in the organization. Also, corporate blogging is not so much an extension of any prior concept. Sure, many companies posted bios for their employees on their Web sites in the past, but these were rarely controlled by the employees themselves. Blogging opens the door for employees to express their thoughts on the products and services they are working on and to interact with the community on any new ideas they may have for these products and services.

Web 2.0 is moving fast,  Generation Y consider email as passée, Boston College stopped giving out email addresses to freshmen as they already have well established digital identities before they’ve made it to college.

Moving forward, Enterprise 2.0 will be in the form of products and services that are specifically targeted at businesses. Major vendors such as Microsoft, IBM have and are releasing Enterprise 2.0 platforms and products. Enterprise marketing tools have also expanded to include Web 2.0 technologies. For example, money spent on the creation and syndication of a Facebook app, a web site or social network widget could be considered Enterprise 2.0. However, pure ad spending, including those spent on consumer Web 2.0 sites, will not count as Enterprise 2.0.

I’m not allowed on facebook!

Social networks such as facebook, MySpace, Bebo have taken the world by storm with millions of users across the globe signing up to have a digital presence.  These networks are the essence of what Web 2.0 is all about but many companies/organisations look at these as a time waster, distracting employees from their 9-5 job and have resulted in banning access to them whilst in the work place.  Although in part this may be correct, they’re over looking an important aspect of  them…..connecting.

These sites allow people to connect to others, build networks of friends, colleagues, clients, prospects and other companies – any of which could lead to a potential sales lead. Potential loss of productivity is still high though, so along came business social networks such as LinkedIn and PairUp. A LinkedIn profile is much like a CV, detailing employment history and allowing others to recommend you in the style of a referal.  One of it’s most important roles is recruitment. Hiring new staff can be time consuming and expensive, LinkedIn allows you to get in touch with the right people.

Enterprise 2.0 has been slow to grow because companies have been afraid that’s its just another fad that would die out as quickly as it came on-board.  New companies have and will grow from Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 but only time will tell to see how long these will last but Enterprise 2.0 will be making its way rapidly into the business market now that the major software vendors are offering technologies for for an Enterpirse 2.0 work space.

What’s your experience of Enterprise 2.0? Can  you see movements within your company?


One thought on “Enterprise 2.0/Social Media/Web 2.0

  1. Wow. I somehow missed the Boston College’s decision to no longer give out email accounts. That is a bold decision. Thanks for mentioning it here. 🙂

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