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Wither Web 2.0? Come to Boston

Perhaps it’s cyclical — like the long Indian summer we’ve been having here in the Northeast. The Web/Enterprise/stuff “2.0” buzz has died down (for now) and we seem to be into the hard business of real application development. Perhaps this is a good thing — running on hype does little to transform businesses or pay the bills.

Certainly there’s been a lot of excitement around Facebook as a collaborative platform for digital natives (and fellow travelers). Yet the long-lasting innovation, I think, is around the APIs and the notion of “open platforms.” Of course Google was first to open the komono with its wildly popular Web services API into Google Maps. Now we’re trying to make mashups of social networks.

I’m curious but not convinced. Facebook is building out its community — Google is not far behind, pursuing the notion of social graphing. So far we can do all kinds of useful things in the consumer space. My favorite this week is friend finding — which also leverages GPS technology. But business applications? I haven’t heard of anything really compelling, yet. I’m still looking.

Which brings me to a preview of coming attractions. My colleagues Steve Paxhia, Nora Barnes, and I expect to cut through the Web 2.0 hype next month and shed some light on industry trends. We’ll be reporting the results of our industry survey at our Boston conference. We’ll have a statistically significant profille of what collaboration and social computing tools are being using in American businesses — beginning with email and Web sites and assessing many popular forms of social media. We’ll snapshot how effective companies rate these tools and also report on what each tool is best suited for. And I expect that before we’re done, we’ll have a few indicators of next generation collaborative business applications.

So join us, November 27th – November 29th in Boston.

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