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Enterprise 2.0

Like other 2.0 terms (learning, school, web, education), enterprise 2.0 is a catch-all term expressing something foundational is changing in how organizations function. Jim McGee presents a compilation of important articles relating to this foundation enterprise-level change. My ongoing resistance to the “2.0″ tag is that it sets up each subsequent small iteration as “3.0, 4.0″ and so on. It’s great for consultants and pundits. But rather irritating for actual practitioners in, or new comers to, a field. While many of my presentations over the last few years have been directed to more technologically aware audiences, the last few have been directed to educators or trainers who are not necessarily involved with technology. Terms like wikis, blogs, podcasts, and web 2.0 are absolutely foreign. They do, however, recognize something is changing. They just aren’t as burdened with buzzwords as many of us are to describe the phenomenon. Our terminology and vision for change needs to be revisited if we expect our message to be heard.


  1. Jim McGee wrote:

    I, too, hate the version numbering convention that seems to have infected the pundit/consulting class. Even as a short hand it’s misleading and confusing. Given that the ‘lazy’ answer appears biased in favor of these labels, what have you found helpful in talking about what is changing and what to make of it?

    Monday, December 17, 2007 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  2. John Thompson wrote:

    Why the resistance to “2.0″? The computer industry has long used numbering to denote product changes/upgrades. Why not apply these long used conventions to the change in the Internet? So we should dumb down the terminology?

    Friday, December 21, 2007 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  3. Hi Jim – you raise an important question about alternative terminology to web 2.0. While I lament the poor value of “2.0″, I haven’t a suitable alternative. The concept of web 2.0 has value in that it indicates a break from traditional approaches and it provides an easy term to broadly capture many of the changes we are experiencing. But, as a hype term, its use indicates that previous versions (i.e. enterprise, education, and learning 1.0) aren’t desirable anymore (i.e. they have been replaced). With software, a new version makes the old less desirable. Yet, in many instances, education as we have previously “done it” still has value.

    Your point about alternatives is one that I need to think more about. Thanks for bringing it up.

    I should mention as well that your reading list is very useful in helping people understand the changes we are facing, and my reaction to the “2.0″ term was not directed at your article but its common use.

    Take care

    Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  4. Hi John,

    My resistance to the term “2.0″ comes from how it objectifies a process (i.e. it takes the process of continual change and makes it a product). Learning 2.0, enterprise 2.0, etc. are not products as reflected in the common use for software. They are continual ongoing processes. It works for software. But not for more fluid concepts that are never frozen in form as with a new piece of software.


    Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 10:54 am | Permalink