Web 2.0 isn't just about helping kids find new mates on
social-networking sites — it could also solve one of the trickiest
problems facing businesses.
The same technologies used to build reputations and communities on
networking sites could also be used to help companies make better use
of the vast piles of unstructured data they have hanging around in
their databases, according to Lars Rabbe, chief information
officer of Internet giant Yahoo, kicking off a series of exclusive
interviews — the CIO Vision Series.
Speaking in the interview — which you can watch here
— Rabbe said: "Web 2.0 is really the ability for a lot of people to
produce content, and the social network really has all the elements
that will allow you to discern the quality of the content and find the
He added: "You can find the information, you have an overlay of
reputations and rating and community that allow you to know exactly
what it is that you are looking at."
And these techniques that allow Web users to trust content can also
be used by business, he said. "One of the big challenges that we've had
for many years and one of the last great frontiers of CIO-dom is the
ability to organise and retrieve unstructured information.
"We still haven't broken the issue of unstructured information.
There are lots of content management systems around and lots of
document management systems but it still doesn't give you that
assessment of quality and I think the tools that we are developing for
social network and Web 2.0 are really going to be very applicable
inside the enterprise to solve this problem."
And he revealed that building the credibility of the tech team is
vital if the department is to be involved with innovative projects.
Rabbe said: "As a CIO, one of the things I've experienced in several
companies is that you absolutely have to have the interaction between
IT and engineering, R&D and so on. Usually that only happens if you
can establish a reputation for the IT department, that... creates the
basis for that interaction.
"That really comes out of IT creating great products that
demonstrate they can do the innovation as well as the R&D people."
in the CIO Vision Series of interviews — Stephen Tame, chief
information officer of Jetstar, the low-cost offshoot of Australian
national carrier Qantas.