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Enterprise 2.0: The phrase, the concept, the time scale

Terrific post by Euan Semple (responding to a post by Stowe Boyd) about why he does not love the phrase “Enterprise 2.0”: “…it’s too narrow, too corporate and too managerial!”

The name will work itself out, as names do. I have problems with entire “2.0” meme — I like that it calls attention to important changes, but am uncomfortable about its implication of discontinuity. But, the phrase has stuck, and it has had the advantage of unsticking lots of thinking. The same for “Enterprise 2.0.” I understand Stowe and Euan’s discomfort, but all names are inadequate, and “Enterprise 2.0” gives some businesses a frame and a justification for thinking about changing. The phrase’s author, Andrew McAfee, probably agrees the name is imperfect, and probably agrees with much of what Euan says about the changes awaiting business. [Disclosure: Andrew is a Berkman Fellow. And Euan, Stowe, and Andrew are all friends of mine. And, while I’m at it, Euan’s post positively cites something I once said.]

Beyond Euan’s discussion of the phrase itself, he maintains a Web Exceptionalist and Web Utopian position, albeit he is a Slow Utopian. Not that Euan’s slow. On the contrary. But he believes the changes businesses are going through are deep and will take decades to accomplish. After all, as he says, “‘the Internet has been around for the best part of 30 years and most people don’t know what the back button on their browser is for!”

9 Responses to “Enterprise 2.0: The phrase, the concept, the time scale”

  1. During the recent European Semantic Web Conference there was a discussion panel entitled “Science 2.0”. And my impressions were as are yours of “Enterprise 2.0” – a bit of disappointment and confusion.

    Final conclusion is simple – many activities try to adopt the revolution we witness in “web 2.0”

  2. my previous post was cut … :-)

    See the event descripotionlment: “Web 2.0, semantic web: etc

  3. […] his post today, “Enterprise 2.0: The phrase, the concept, the time scale,” David Weinberger models in-post disclosure which goes above and beyond “the call of […]

  4. While I share the idea that the 2.0 term itself is too broad of a tag for the varied content it contains, “Enterprise 2.0” by definition *has* to be narrow, corporate and managerial in some sense.

    While breaking down silos and improving connectivity and collaboration are an essential part of Enterprise 2.0, at the same time using ‘2.0’ in the enterprise you are, in part, using it to improve the way those silo’d organizations, projects and teams are run. There has to be some corporate and managerial aspect there – those same silos drive the need for the answers E2.0 provides.

  5. Well, I remember when 3.1 was considered a real breakthrough number :-)

  6. I poke a little fun at this whole ‘2.0’ thing at this post:

    To me, we are essentially using the ‘2.0’ meme as describing an evolution of sorts not a version, per se.

  7. […] Shared Enterprise 2.0: The phrase, the concept, the time scale. […]

  8. good

  9. […] net triumphalism I can take comfort in not actually being the “web utopian” that David suggests I am. Whenever I get the chance I make a point of saying that I don’t believe that the web in […]

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