Enterprise 2.0: failures aside, it's amazing stuff

Enterprise 2.0: failures aside, it's amazing stuff

Summary: This blog is about IT-related failures, so of course that's where we focus. A recent series of high profile failures have provided an easy platform for discussing Enterprise 2.


This blog is about IT-related failures, so of course that's where we focus. A recent series of high profile failures have provided an easy platform for discussing Enterprise 2.0 weaknesses. These failures, however, should not obscure the incredible power of Enterprise 2.0 and social media tools.

This point was brought home to me today in a personal way, when an image of a cat and a gnome I posted on this blog was placed onto Fark. In almost no time, the original image ran up close to more than 15,000 hits on Flickr, and there are now about 75 new variants of this picture, all created by Fark users. This is pretty extraordinary: a temporary and ephemeral social collective came together around a picture of a garden gnome and cat. While many of the variants are just silly, quite a few represent serious photo-manipulation skills. Think about the power that could be harnessed if this group was specifically organized and coordinated toward a common objective.

Although I came down pretty hard on Skype during their recent outage, we must remember that, at any given moment, millions of Skype users are online simultaneously. This represents a consumer-level force that can affect economies and politics, and eventually will. Perhaps even more meaningful in the short run is the way Skype, and similar VOIP tools, have changed international commerce for small business. These tools have effectively reduced international telecommunications costs close to zero for many companies. One can only marvel at the level of innovation, creativity, and commerce that has been engendered as a result. And oh by the way, the implications for established telecommunications utilities are equally considerable.

As described in the Failure 2.0 post (and also here), Enterprise 2.0 companies and their traditional business counterparts should be held to equal levels of customer accountability and responsibility. Failures in these areas can, and should, be brought to the surface. At the same time, let's not forget the genuine innovation, power, and benefit that these Enterprise 2.0 firms collectively bring to the market.

Update: In a kind of weird, self-referential twist, this post has now made it to the front page of Fark, for Sunday 8/19/07.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration

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  • E 2.0

    Hi Michael,

    I blog about weaknesses of the web 2.0 is understood as a series of commentaries focusing the particularities of the facts of a particular company and not speculation of rumors.

    I must say, this post is a much better approach, in my modest opinion (for whatever it is worth to you). A humble position is always appreciated, because the truth does not need force.

    Let me give you an example how I differ in your past over all position about Skype. Although I do not defend to Skype at all, I think we have become dependent to a low cost communication solution. At the time Skype has been explaining what happen, I see an opportunity for Gizmo. Plenty of people are trying them no; whereas before people thought Skype was a monopoly.

    In a much higher level I express my position in my post today.

    Truly Yours,

    Mario Ruiz
    @ http://www.oursheet.com
    • There are multiple perspectives


      Thank you for the kind comments. My goal in this blog is to present facts and then interpret those facts as I see them. I have a particular perspective and make no attempt to hide it.

      In the case of E2.0, without a doubt it is driving significant change in business and society. At the same time, in my opinion, people are building tools and attracting large numbers of consumers, without necessarily taking stock of the level of responsibility that implies.

      Of course, old-line traditional businesses share this problem as well. However, my focus is on IT-related failures, so I tend to focus on technology issues.

      Thanks again for your insightful comments, and hope your blog is successful!