What, exactly, is Web 2.0? How does it apply within the Enterprise and to the web at large? What technologies are involved and what are the benefits?
Ross Dawson, of Future Exploration Network tackles these questions in his recently launched Web 2.0 Framework, an excellent work which describes the many aspects of Web 2.0, both within the Enterprise and on the web at large. This unifying framework is remarkable because it brings together the definitions, characteristics, mechanisms, major players and outcomes of Web 2.0, in a simple and intuitive way.
Ross describes the objective as follows:
The intention of the Web 2.0 Framework is to provide a clear, concise view of the nature of Web 2.0, particularly for senior executives or other non-technical people who are trying to grasp the scope of Web 2.0, and the implications and opportunities for their organizations.
I see this as a critical area: in order to effectively sell the ideas of Enterprise 2.0 to the CxO, we have to be able to explain the mechanisms (the "how") in simple terms and focus on the expected outcomes in terms of helping the organization meet its goals ("the why"). Web 2.0 is made up of many different parts. Like the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant, when we focus on a variety of specific perspectives, we experience it in different ways; the framework does a great job of taking these different aspects and putting it all together.
One area ripe for discussion, where my thinking diverges somewhat from Ross's framework, is in the Emergent Outcomes section. I see three core outcomes from an implementation of Web 2.0 technologies:
- Collective Intelligence
- Semantic appreciation of content
In many ways, I see the other items - finding relevant content, enhanced usability, visibility of interesting content and even community - as inherent in, or following from, the three core outcomes described above.
In any case, this framework certainly moves things forward in the collective wisdom about Web 2.0; I look forward to continuing this discussion further.