Enterprise 2.0 and Defrag

Eric Norlin has a good post up titled Enterprise 2.0 as part of a larger theme.  In it he addresses the question "Is enterprise 2.0 bullshit?"  Eric doesn’t think it is, nor do I.  However, there is still a lot of difficultly getting real alignment on what it means, what is unique about the enterprise characteristics, and why anyone should really care.

I’ve seeing an interesting and predictable phenomenon occurring.  Corporate IT has gotten energized about implementing "social computing" and "all that Web 2.0 stuff."  The analyst crowd is writing about all the different Enterprise 2.0 categories and starting to extensively position products in pretty matrices.  Several big software companies, including Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle are making major pushes into this "category."  Loads of startups are emerging in every segment.  TechCrunch even has an a new property called TechCrunchIT.

Early adopters are doing what they always do – pilots, proof of concepts, workgroup deployments.  White papers are appearing.  Web conferences are happening.  Inevitably an "Enterprise 2.0 Conference" (or several derivatives) will appear.

But Eric and I think something is missing.  What is going round and round as Enterprise 2.0 is a subset of something bigger.  For example, we are in the beginning phase of new issues surrounding the entirety of identity computing and the web.  We are now in a land where people have multiple online personas – their "work self", their "home friend self", their "secret second life self", their "hidden porn login self", and their "this is what I wish I was like self".  While "identity management" has been an endless "IT problem to solve", this isn’t really "identity management" anymore – it’s "I consume and generate a shitload of data in different contexts that are persistently stored out in the open for all to see – how do I deal with that?"

I could give another dozen examples of the subset issues contained in what we are trying to explore with Defrag.  I expect Eric will keep banging away on them on his blog.  And – more importantly – I hope you’ll come join us at Defrag on November 3rd and 4th in Denver as a group of really interesting and smart people attack some of these issues and try to make sense of them.  If you register this month, use the code "brad1" and get $100 off your registration fee.