Why Your Business Should Embrace Web 2.0
There is a mighty bitter irony which is hindering the Web 2.0 revolution. Web 2.0 holds the key to change social organisation and the place where it is being left unturned is the place where it could be most useful – in the corporation.
Most corporate culture is characterised by hierarchies and managed from the top. Suggesting ‘Facebook Fridays’ would be anathema to most large companies. There are indeed some employees already being fired when they are found ‘Facebooking’ their friends instead of crunching the numbers.
Social online platforms have revolutionised the interaction between people, they build social clout, even afford some people fame and fortune. However, when Web 2.0 social technologies invade corporate bureaucracies, they are seen as invasive and a threat.
The main point of social networking is that it is open and honest and puts the information in the public domain. The thinking behind corporate bureaucracies is completely the opposite. I.e. only some people have all the information (people at the top) and the rest have only fragments.
Aficionados of Web 2.0 believe that there will be a social revolution and it will change this corporate mindset. There are many words used to describe this: virtual corporation, open innovation, distributed co-creation, bottom-up management, networked organisation and so on. When Web 2.0 does get a grip the biggest impact in these corporations will be transference of power towards employees and consumers.
The Web as we know it now is only a seed of the web of the future. The first signs of Web 2.0 are starting to appear and we will see in the coming years how that seed will grow and develop. The Web will be understood as a transport system, the highway where interactivity happens and speeds along.
Non-interactive websites limit users to viewing the information that is provided to them whereas a Web 2.0 website gives the user the possibility of interacting with other users and to change website content.
As the world is tightening its global belt, the idea of the low cost Web 2.0 is becoming more and more attractive. Tight budgets could be beneficial to the smaller Web 2.0 users as companies strive to move on from the major IT companies.
For corporations, Web 2.0 is a platform for business. For marketers, it is a tool for communications, for journalists, a platform for new media, for IT experts, a platform for software development. Whoever and whatever you are, it is the exciting way forward.
Technological change is increasing, challenging the 21st century organisations, which still tend to adopt progress in the corporate way. Modern technology is forging ahead and we are very fortunate that, given present day challenges, we have tools at our fingertips that our predecessors could not possibly imagine.
Web 2.0 offers one of the most powerful ways we presently have at our fingertips to regroup, reorganise and systematically improve what we’re doing in terms of private enterprise, government and public service. This is a very exciting time indeed to be in business, for better or worse, for richer… for richer.