Tag Archives: RSS Feeds

Can Web 2.0 Work for Enterprise 2.0?

By Madan Sheina, Ovum analyst

In spite of its roaring success on consumer IT desktops, considerable skepticism still remains about the value of Web 2.0 in business organizations. Can Web 2.0 technologies like wikis, blogs, and social networking really help to grow a business and make the leap to Enterprise 2.0?

It used to be the case that open source was a momentary distraction for CIOs and IT directors. Not any more. More companies are asking their IT leaders to apply open source to their corporate IT strategies. The same cannot be said of Web 2.0 technologies. However, Web 2.0 is expected to creep its way into the vernacular of business software over the coming years.

The success of consumer-led Web 2.0 technologies cannot be ignored. Facebook, MySpace, blogs, RSS, mash-ups, Ajax, and a myriad of other web-based technologies all now rally under the Web 2.0 banner.

Some of these are now starting to show potential behind corporate firewalls to facilitate more effective forms of collaboration (beyond standard email) and provide a richer, more interactive information experience for business IT users, including the two-way use of the Web that allows users not only to access information but also to express their own knowledge.

Enterprise software vendors are also starting to bake 2.0 capabilities into their applications. For example, SAP uses wikis and blogs extensively on its SDN, and Oracle has built social networking into a broad-release CRM offering.

While many Web 2.0 technologies are now deployed for enterprise use, they are still a long way from being mature or universal. The trick is to figure out how to take Web 2.0 ideas and use them in a business environment to interact better with employees, customers, and suppliers. It is not a direct translation. IT users have distinct needs from consumers, and organizations will have to carefully target, evaluate, and refine their initial Web 2.0 deployments.

In particular, companies should consider Web 2.0 not in terms of technology but as an enhanced web information experience for solving business problems. For example, instead of looking at blog-style publishing, wiki-style editing, and social networking as just tools, enterprises should frame their use in business scenarios or goals, both within and outside the four walls of the enterprise as a way to better engage with their most profitable customers or build up a stronger corporate online brand.

Importantly, Web 2.0 is also about advancing information experiences for business users, helping them to make the most of the systems and data management investments that a company has already put in place. Web 2.0 helps to make IT systems user-friendly and accessible. It allows for communities of interest to be built from crowds of business users looking at certain slices of corporate information.

Finally, Web 2.0 information experience also calls for a bi-directional link between users and information. One of the biggest benefits of Web 2.0 is the opportunity to use the activities and business domain expertise within businesses as they interact with information. Rather than being passive information consumers, users participate in its creation and organization through tagging, commentary, and ranking.

Adding Web 2.0 to an enterprise context also represents a democratic and social shift for a company’s IT strategy, moving control from the organization’s IT department to individual users. But traditional views of enterprise IT are still relatively conservative. Few companies are prepared to look outside the box at unproven Web 2.0 models, especially in tight economic times.

As with any new and evolving technology, implementing Web 2.0 tools is a risk. The risk is more pronounced given the unclear return on investment from their use, which is ultimately measured in how effectively people collaborate, as opposed to business optimization or revenue-generating ideas.

Only when companies start to understand the information-democratizing benefits of these tools, the specific business case scenarios for uses of the applications, and the effort and cost of implementing them, will there be widescale adoption.

Related research

Beyond Web 2.0: what’s in store

How do people use their RSS feeds?

An interesting poll taken by the Social Media Club shows where people read their RSS feeds. Out of his 170 respondents, 146 people read their readers during work hours. Following that, 96 people read their feeds in the living room. Interesting numbers may be that 18 people read while in the car and 11 while walking.

What do you think? When do your posts go live? How can you take this information and promote your blog?

How to Efficiently Blog and Tweet

For many with the advent of community 2.0, there came an onslaught of tasks designed to take up our time. Just the simple tasks of reading and managing all of the blogs, and Twitter streams we subscibe to can take hours out of our day. The author of this post, that I just came across today from sagecircle, provides tips and tricks oh how to manage social networking time better. In the authors own words, by using the tips listed in the post, he has:

“reduced my social media traffic monitoring time from several hours a day to 30 to 45 minutes. The process now feels much less burdensome and much more efficient. I now look forward to the times when I check the blogs and Twitter because it’s a fun break from my other tasks.”

Pick and Choose Tweets That Appear on your Blog

I came across this post on Mashable today which reveals a new way to give bloggers more control over which tweets get published on their blogs. Tweet Remote recognizes hashtags like #text, #link, and #image, puts them in a separate RSS-style feed, and then formats them accordingly. The end result is a more aesthetically pleasing blog.

The only downside is the ‘tweet stream pollution’ you might experience by sending nicely formatted hyperlinks to you blog via twitter. Many users on twitter do not like hashtags, and so you can potentially lose some followers.
Tweet Remote seems like a great application to clean up a lot of clutter in blogs but the question you might find yourself asking is what’s more important to you, your blog or who’s following you on twitter?

GNIP Offers Service to Increase Efficiency

This blog post discusses a new company, GNIP, which is helping to solve the problem of delay in viewing content that many consumers have with sites such as MyBlogLog. While the goal is to make life more efficient for the end consumer, GNIP, is selling to companies that could utilize their product, so there is no need for the individual to sign up. This article in TechCrunch describes the service best:
Gnip isn’t a consumer service. Rather, it’s designed to sit in between social networks and other web services that produce a lot of user content and data (like Digg, Delicious, Flickr, etc.) and data consumers (like Plaxo, SocialThing, MyBlogLog, etc.) with the express goal of reducing API load and making the services more efficient.
Other new services that GNIP is planning to launch, as mentioned in this article from ReadWriteWeb, include: Protocol switching to translate XMPP/Jabber into RSS feeds, standardized metadata which creates the opportunity for interoperability, and identity discovery to allow users to see where else their usernames and emails are being used.