If you haven’t heard of Web 2.0, where have you been? If you actually know what Web 2.0 is, then congratulations. I believe the best definition of Web 2.0 is given by Tim O’Reilly who arguably created the term. Web 2.0 has generally referred to the new breed of start-up who provides a new level of user service, but it also applies to a new wave in technology supporting that user service.

Web 2.0 is radically changing the experience in which end users interact with enterprises and types of user experiences that we now expect from on-line systems. Going hand in hand with Web 2.0 are the raised expectations users have of the interactivity of content, how content is managed and how personal that content is. Providing a self-service experience and to automatically deliver necessary content to new and interactive contexts has put a burden on the existing infrastructure of current generation content management systems. A new generation of enterprise content management is needed to meet the challenges of Web 2.0.

Content Management 2.0 is my term for this new generation of content management. Given everyone is starting to talk about Security 2.0, Virtualization 2.0, etc., I thought I would stake out the term after a brief search on Google seemed to indicate no one has talked about it before. (If you are aware of someone using it, please let me know. I’ll give them credit.) IBM has talked about next generation content management, but the term Content Management 2.0 seems to go along with the phenomenon that is finally injecting innovation back into the content management market. These new technologies provide greater interactivity through AJAX, new collaborative styles of classification and tagging, and user driven configuration are being led more by open source than the traditional engines of enterprise content management expansion.

I recently gave a presentation at the University of Oxford where I discussed the concept to the people concerned with the various web sites and content services in the university. The concept originated after an internal discussion about where content management is going. It became clear to us that many new things were happening to content management with blogs, wikis, syndication and new styles of user interface affecting how people build web sites, content, and new web frameworks.

The presentation explained the challenges that existing enterprise content management has in addressing Web 2.0, what needs are not currently being met for end users, what technology changes are required, and how do these technologies “mash-up” to be able to glue systems together through web services and other web-oriented protocols. It also discussed the role that open source will play in this next generation of enterprise content management.

It will be interesting to see how the ECM vendors and specialist WCM vendors react to Web 2.0 and whether they aim for a new Content Management 2.0.