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Why Web 2.0 Matters to your Business - Concluding Thoughts

There are those of you out there that have read through my series on Why Web 2.0 Matters to your Business and thought to yourself things like, “Yarmosh, you’re crazy.”, “You’ve completely missed the boat here.”, or “Web 2.0 is just a buzz word. It doesn’t mean anything and is going to have no effect on the enterprise.” I can’t deny the crazy part. But would take issue with the latter statements.

I hope if you learned anything from the thoughts I’ve shared, it’s that regardless of the phrase “Web 2.0″, many of these technologies have already impacted businesses around the world. Even for the organizations they still haven’t touched, blogs, podcasts, wikis, and RSS are on many of their radars.

But you don’t have to my word for it. Besides showing you specific examples of their uses, others are thinking about Web 2.0 and its place in the enterprise.

Nicholas Carr recently asked the question Is Web 2.0 enterprise ready?, pointing to an article by Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee. Carr’s take on the piece:

McAfee makes a strong case for why Web 2.0 technologies may succeed where earlier technologies didn’t. The new technologies have other practical advantages as well: they’re cheap, fairly simple to set up, and fairly straightforward to use. Companies can test them without much expense or pain.

Robin Good looked at this issue too:

Personal knowledge management is making strong inroads into enterprise environments where individual users can be motivated to publish quality (commercial) information effectively and with the ease that “bloggers” enjoy.

…personal knowledge management is really about eliminating the IT gibberish that hangs up so many collaborative efforts and getting to the important thing: passionate professionals communicating effectively with peers through flexible, easy-to-use publishing tools.

Of course, as I alluded to earlier, in the business world, especially a larger corporate environment, there will be challenges to change – as always. And that’s fine. I don’t think everyone should have a blog, just to have a blog. It’s use should be strategic.

At the very least, I’d encourage your business to stay informed and educated about these trends. Even if you are not ready to implement them – know their capabilities, know how other businesses are using them, ask the tough questions about what it would look like to use them within and without the corporate firewall. Remember that smart business decisions are absolutely tied to quality information – get informed, get educated. You can’t hide from change forever.

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