Web 2.0 and beyond: Social Tools Hit The Mainstream

I’m at Web 2.0 and Beyond – Applying Social and Collaborative Tools To Business .

Social Tools Hit The Mainstream

Lee Bryant, Headshift

Ideas behind social tools now ready to challenge lots of existing IT and Internal Communications practices inside organisations – Tim O’Reilly

The social stack:

  • Personal tools – organise your “stuff” by tags- personal portals, manage networks and feeds.
  • Group Collaboration – wikis and group systems
  • Blogs and networks
  • Bookmarks and Tags
  • Public feeds and flows

Proven benefits:

  • Simpler, smarter, cheaper enterprise computing.
  • Better personal productivity – move stuff email that doesn’t need to be in it, social network as information filter, better findability.
  • Network productivity and presence sharing – “flow”formal
  • Better informal collaboration and sharing
  • Collaboration and networking – including with other businesses you are partnering with
  • Open innovation
  • Internal communications – more interactive engagement, combination of tools and media two-way not just broadcast.
  • Recruiting and retaining emergent talent – the “digital native” expect to participate. Many of their IT skills being wasted by forcing them into traditional IT environment.
  • In-context, continual informal learning

Success factors:

  • Start with small, simple self-powered projects.
  • Create conditions for shared meaning e.g. a shared del.icio.us account – share social objects


  • Enterprise IT sucks badly – IT industry still centralising, internet is about intelligence at the edges.
  • Try to put IT in the hands of the users – IT governance processes can slow things down so much that costs can be an order of magnitude higher.
  • Moving from .doc and email to the wiki way
  • Iterative approach, agile development. Get something done, expose it to users, adapt to feedback.
  • Enterprise Information Architecture – moving away from a priori taxonomies to folksonomies. Individual tagging actions lead to collective benefit.
  • Information Professional become network nodes.
  • Support the early adopters, but avoid it being a geek ghetto. Make more intimate collaboration environments. Everything needs to be based on a real-world use case. Think of the web as an innovation lab.

Three Myths

  • Social Networking is a waste of time – recognise that online life is distributed, don’t cut it off when they come through the door.
  • New security risks? – yes, but the old ones are worse, because people work around bad old unusable IT
  • Sharing is dangerous? We cannot stem the tide of sharing – better to teach responsibility than police use
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change