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« Social Science and Design Questions | Main | News of Wikipedia's Death Greatly Exaggerated »

May 22, 2006

Enterprise 2.0, SoA and the Freeform Advantage

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Posted by Ross Mayfield

Andrew McAfee, who first mentioned the term Enterprise 2.0 to me on December 1st 2005, provides a definition:

Now, since I was the first to write extensively about Enterprise 2.01 I feel I’m entitled to define it:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of freeform social software within companies.

‘Freeform’ in this case means that the software is most or all of the following:

  • Optional
  • Free of up-front workflow
  • Egalitarian, or indifferent to formal organizational identities
  • Accepting of many types of data

‘Social’ means that there’s always a person on at least one end of the wire with Enterprise 2.0 technologies.  With wikis, prediction
markets, blogs,, and other Web 2.0 technologies with clear
enterprise applications people are doing all the interacting and
providing some or all of the content; the IT is just doing housekeeping
and/or bookkeeping.

I’m in agreement, and find it easier to be than naming debates of the past (and reminiscent at my first stab at naming: “Social Software adapts to its environment, instead of requiring its environment to adapt to software”).

If there is debate, it will be on two fonts: the role of organizational identities (Egalitarian) or an emaphasis on technology over social dynamics.  McAfee focuses on the second, that of Enterprise 2.0 vs. SoA:

Full post is on my blog…

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