The Enterprise 2.0 conference is winding down in Boston today so it’s a good time to reflect on the “two dot oh” phenomena. As industry watchers and marketers, we’ve come a long way since Tim O’Reilly coined the concept two years ago. With hordes of people crowded into the new Westin Hotel in South Boston and the exhibit hall packed like Grand Central at rush hour (I’ve yet to hear an attendance count) I felt a rush of excitement in the air. There’s a certain sense of headiness when talking with entrepreneurs about their latest products and solutions. I was floored by the breadth of creativity.
But what struck me most is the vision thing – the gulf between the claims about Enterprise 2.0 and the realities of how work gets done. Enterprise 2.0 seems to be about blogging for a living, putting up a wiki, realizing that email is broken, and communicating with customers. Oh yes, then there’s unleashing the power of teams, user generated content, and building communities. The list goes on . . .
Yet two words are missing – management and process. In our always on world, we are inundated with information, and constrained by the limits of the twenty-four hour day. We need to take a hard look at how sharing information online creates new sources of value and better modes of organization. David Weinberger said it best in his opening keynote – everything is now metadata. We need to figure out how to harness this incredible openness at our fingertips. Developing a compelling information architecture is going to be even harder than an effective technical architecture.
What comes next? I’m now planning the collaboration and social computing track for our fall conference. (Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing the program later this summer.) I think we need to take a look at the hard issues of designing collaborative business processes. What do you think? I’m open to suggestions. Let me know, beginning by responding to this post. I look forward to our continuing conversation.

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