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Monday, March 5, 2007

Hype 2.0

7:20:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , No comments
Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration 2.0…the list goes on and on. There seems to have gone inflation in “2.0”.

It is interesting to note the trend of putting a version number after basically anything in order to launch it as something new and improved. Because this happens in a time when every major software vendor tries to avoid putting version numbers on their new major versions. XP, Vista, Creative Studio, Leopard, Tiger. They know from experience that a new major version number also promises major flaws, and that its release will be followed by numerous patches and service packs.

One can also be entirely sure that the marketing campaigns following the release of the new major version will be overloaded with new and exciting buzzwords that only make sense on a slide in a PowerPoint presentation but has no bearing to real world businesses. Just take a look at this definition of Enterprise 2.0 I found on The Enterprise 2.0 Conference web site:

"Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility."

Wait a minute. Has anybody proved that these technologies and business practices actually lead to "increased innovation, productivity and agility"? Or where is the business case that proves it? And what technologies and business practices is this definition referring to? Blogs, wikis and group messenging software? Give me a break. Here’s a more humble and usable definition provided by Andrew McAfee, associate professor at Harvard Business School:

"Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers."

This definition does not promise you the world. It tells you in clear and simple words what Enterprise 2.0 is about and leaves it to you to make something good out of it.

It is easy to get carried away and think that these new hyped technologies and buzzwords automatically will solve all problems for an enterprise. In most (if not all) organisations there are still lots of quite basic communication problems that have not been resolved, communication processes that are missing or not working properly. How do Enterprise 2.0 technologies help to solve these? Well, they don't. It is still up to humans to identify the problems, establish human-to-human communication processes to resolve them, and then, possibly, employ a certain choice of technology that can help to make the communication processes more efficient.

By the way, I expect to see Web .Biz, Enterprise .Net and Collaboration Whatever buzzing around on the web soon. If they aren’t already…

If you are looking for Web 2.0 sites, why not try the Hype 2.0 search engine?

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