Web 2.0 followed by Enterprise 2.0

From the article: How to Harness the Power of Web 2.0 – BusinessWeek

Link to article

FOLLOWED BY SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ON ENTERPRISE 2.0

DO

Watch the kids: Children lead the way with new Web services such as the social network MySpace, the video sharing service YouTube, and personal blogs. It won’t be long before they’re in the workforce, bringing their networks with them.

The ‘kids’ or ‘children’ described by the author actually started using social networks, like Friendster or Ryze, when they were just out of college (these sites ‘hit’ in 2002). They were 21-23 then…they are 25-27 now (hardly children; unless you are thinking about retirement). They are already in the workforce…and about to reach a critical mass (especially in young companies).

Watch the kids—in your company, too. You may be surprised to find that young folks in a department are using the Internet phone service Skype or a group-editable wiki Web site. Find out what’s working and what isn’t.

Again, the author refers to ‘kids’. I think that if you have ever USED the internet, you will be easily able to grasp Enterprise 2.0. It will be as easy as a Google search, or a quick read of nytimes.com, or even simply using your blackberry. Then again, if you are reading this right now, I don’t need to tell you that. You most likely understand a lot more than most people if you, a) know what a blog is, or b) have ever read one!

– Almost everyone in a large corporations use computers each day. Enterprise 2.0, if implemented correctly, will allow knowledge workers a seemless transition from desktop applications to online applications.

Try it yourself: Create a MySpace page. Open a Flickr account and upload a few photos. Write a Wikipedia entry. Program a Web mashup at Ning.com. The only way to understand this stuff is to use it. And it’s easy.

For those reading this blog, I suggest:

– Create a LinkedIn account.

– Do a blog search on ‘anything that you are interested in knowing more about’ (click here).

– Then set up a RSS reader and start subscribing to the blogs and sources that appear in the search results…or subscribe to the search result feed itself (which works really well to stay informed about a particular subject) (click here).

– Lastly, write or update a Wikipedia entry…just pick a topic you think you know a lot about, search on Wikipedia, then feel free to edit!! (it’s that easy!…and it works be when EVERYONE participates)

Join the feed frenzy: Read some popular blogs to get a feel for how the online party line works. You can find them at Technorati.com and Techmeme.com, or better yet, subscribe to them with a so-called RSS feed reader, the most popular of which are listed on each
BusinessWeek blog.

Good advice!

Write your own blog: Or if that feels too forced, at least encourage other people in the company who want to. Strive for authenticity, even at the risk of self-criticism, because blog readers will quickly jump on spin.

I like this advice, but only if you and your company are ready for it…and know what you are getting into. I hope that what has been dubed Web 2.0 translated into Enteprise 2.0, will eventually be built into and around normal workflow systems (blackberry & email (blogging, reading blogs, RSS), home pages (personalize spaces), corporate directories (online networking), office applications (content publishing), etc.). That sounds good!

Elicit customer input: Many people love to offer their own expertise, and often it’s pretty darn useful. Mars asked people to vote on a new M&M candy color, drawing 10 million votes—and a lot of attention.

I would say, elicit employee contribution: ‘Many people love to offer their own expertise, and often it’s pretty darn useful’ (agreed!) – I say, allow people to ‘share’ their expertise and in return benefit from everyone’s collective knowledge.

DON’T

Assume Web 2.0 is just for consumers: The online customer-management service Salesforce.com just did $105 million in sales, up 63%. Even the college social network Facebook recently allowed companies to create profiles.

Enterprise 2.0!

Put up walls: Resist strict limits on employees’ on-the-job Web use. The more they can connect the innovation in Web 2.0 with their own jobs, the better off your company will be.

The key is to harness the willingness to ‘participate’ that is being demonstrated outside of the Intranet (if that makes sense; LinkedIn)…and benefit from using the same tools at the Enterprise level! (internal networking)

Take it personally: Opening up blogs to comments from customers inevitably will attract complaints and criticism. That’s OK. Consider it market research. Respond honestly, and watch your company’s credibility soar.

In Enteprise 2.0, this comment is directed at managers (at ANY level) and ‘organizations’. The key is to being open to change and new ways of doing things, both at the individual AND the enterprise level. If you can harness Enterprise 2.0 as a manager (there will surely be a few bumps in the road), then you are in a natural position to retain/regain/or grow your managerial effectiveness.

Sweat the details. You can’t personally keep up on every new Web 2.0 startup on TechCrunch.com, unless you don’t need much sleep. You’re running a company, remember? But make sure someone else is paying attention to these guys.

I say, give it a try…then give it a chance…then another try…then another chance. Each time hopefully you will see the potential…at some point, it’s going to hit home just how powerful Enterprise 2.0 could be. Then you will be hooked.

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7 Responses to “Web 2.0 followed by Enterprise 2.0”

  1. Susan Scrupski Says:

    Hey Adam. This is a great post. I have found myself on your blog a few times… can you add an “About me” page? I love your education and evangelizing, but I’m wondering what is motivating you? Are you a CEO of an enterprise 2.0 company?, a fan?, working on enterprise 2.0 initiatives at your company? You get the idea. Thanks! Susan

  2. Lucas Mast Says:

    Adam:

    And for those who want to continue to harness the power of Web 2.0, they can search for jobs, either on SimplyHired (www.simplyhired.com) or on MySpace Jobs, which is powered by SimplyHired. We aggregate listings from 1000+ sites, including Monster.com, CareerBuilder, Yahoo! HotJobs, etc.

    Thanks for such an insightful post–I hope people try out your suggestions!

    Lucas

  3. J. Day Says:

    Adam,

    As you’re well aware, I fully agree and support your enthusiasm on this subject…however, i’m curious how you believe our generation’s incredibly short attention span impacts the long-term adoption prospects of such technologies both in terms of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. In particular, RSS…it’s clearly a technology that can and should streamline information gathering and constant learning; however, that assumes that people continue to check items consistently.

    I suppose though, that within a corporate environment, it actually should empower those throughout an organization via the prospect of becoming and, more importantly, being recognized as a true expert on a particular topic. I guess I just answered my own question to a large degree…that said, any thoughts?

  4. Adam Carson Says:

    Susan, thanks for the suggestion. I had already filled out an ‘About Me’ section, but forgot to post a link to it…

    You can now find the link near the top-right side of my blog.

  5. Adam Carson Says:

    John,

    I think that attention span and usage of Enterprise 2.0 both fall into a category that I call ‘adoption issues’.

    There are many things to think about regarding adoption…but I think that one of the most important is building Enterprise 2.0 tools into the way that people already work…so that they don’t have to do anything different.

    For instance, convert the corporate directory into an online networking tool. People use the corporate directory…now they will be networking. Another example, build blogging, wiki and RSS into and around the current email system. An RSS reader is just a tweak of the Inbox. Publishing a blog entry can be as easy as writing a quick email. And we know that people use the blackberry and email…so in general, Enterprise 2.0 stuff better be user friendly (or it won’t work)!!

  6. John Day Says:

    Well put…

    Did you get my email?

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