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Enterprise 2.0, SoA and the Freeform Advantage

Source :

Andrew , who first mentioned the term Enterprise 2.0 to me on December 1st 2005, provides a definition:Now, since I was the first to write extensively about Enterprise 2.01 I feel I'm entitled to define it:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of freeform social software within companies.

'Freeform' in this case means that the software is most or all of the following:


Free of up-front workflow

Egalitarian, or indifferent to formal organizational identities

Accepting of many types of data

'Social' means that there's always a person on at least one end of the wire with Enterprise 2.0 technologies.  With wikis, prediction markets, blogs, del.icio.us, and other Web 2.0 technologies with clear enterprise applications people are doing all the interacting and providing some or all of the content; the IT is just doing housekeeping and/or bookkeeping.

I'm in agreement, and find it easier to be than naming debates of the past (and reminiscent at my first stab at naming: “Social Software adapts to its environment, instead of requiring its environment to adapt to software”).

If there is debate, it will be on two fonts: the role of organizational identities (Egalitarian) or an emaphasis on technology over social dynamics.  focuses on the second, that of Enterprise 2.0 vs. SoA:

Jeff Nolan insightfully points out that Web 2.0 is greatly aided by things like scripting and REST architectures, and I agree that Enterprise 2.0 applications are a lot easier to use if users can drag and drop and do other cool AJAX-enabled things from within the browser.  But to me these components aren't even enabling technologies, since Enterprise 2.0 could happen without them. They're clearly accelerating technologies, but keep in mind that the first wiki was built in 1994 and put on the Web in 1995, well before the initial XML spec was submitted.

Programmers could build fully-functional wikis, blogs, tagging systems, and prediction markets by carving them out of solid COBOL and serving them through the first Netscape browser.  They'd be clunky, but they'd work.  And I bet they'd draw users, too, because they'd tap into our desire to use technology to interact with each other, and also tap into the good stuff that emerges when we do so.  As I wrote earlier, I think of Web 2.0 as the era when technologists really woke up to this;  Enterprise 2.0 will be the era when business leaders join them...

Claims about the power and benefits of SOA and its predecessors have been running ahead of reality for years.  Claims about the power and benefits of freeform social software, on the other hand, mostly cropped up in the wake of real-world examples...

A second difference between SOA and Enterprise 2.0 (which I think is closely connected to the first one) is that a service oriented architecture has to be imposed up front, while an Enterprise 2.0 environment emerges over time...

The second front, that Enterprise 2.0 is Egalitarian, or indifferent to formal organizational identities, not only flys in the face of enterprise culture and convention, but previously encoded political bargains.  For example, a primary property of social software is easy group forming -- but most enterprise systems expressly prevent it [..]

Ross Mayfield le 21.05.06 à 17:22 dans Wikisphère - Version imprimable
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