Enterprise 2.0 – Boston – Day 1

Enterprise 2.0 started Monday with a day 0 of tutorials. That was a travel day for me, so not much to say there 🙂

Day 1 was filled with keynotes and talks, followed by a cocktail reception in the demo pavilion.

The morning kicked off with David Weinberger (author Everything is Miscellaneous) who gave a great talk about data, meta data, and how not imposing physical world limitations on organizing data is a key to making it as accessible as it can be. There is a great synopsis of the book (or at least the talk) in one of the reviews at amazon.com – a snippet:

David Weinberger, internet visionary, has again synthesized an intellectual romp through another important topic – Information. We, humans, are obsessed with defining, categorizing and organizing information as our way of bringing some order to the chaotic world we live in.
Weinberger explores our obsession with information from Plato and Aristotle to our modern-day digital explosion of information.
He frames this exploration by defining 3 orders of organizing information:

1) 1st Order organization is of the physical world, manipulating physical objects and organizing them,
2) 2nd Order of organization is the use of metadata to organize and categorize physical objects i.e. library card catalogs. This is still limited by physical constraints.
3) 3rd Order of organization is the world we live in today, as we move from the physical to the digital, organizing information becomes freed from physical constraints allows us to simultaneously define, categorize and organize information into a million different taxonomies.

The next talk was from Andrew McAfee of Havard Business School. He gave a "report card on the state of the enterprise 2.0 meme." One of my big take away’s from his talk was the lack of (real) evidence supporting the value of web 2.0 technologies for business. At least beyond the few examples he said that he uses over and over again. This is also a point that I’ve been making in presentation I’ve been giving inside of IBM. He called for a repository to be build that we could all use to store (and borrow) success stories.

Then came the corporate talks. The room took a bit of turn. These talks were really more product pitches than anything else. Clearly there was some sponsorship precedence here, and companies have to get their messages out. The chunking seemed really discongruous and really seemed to "harsh the buzz" of the room. We heard from IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Cisco.

Between two of the talks Jessica Lipack and Jeffrey Stamps of NetAge gave a talk about their long history in social networking and online communications network. One memorable story about how they used snail mail years before the Internet to reach out to their immediate network (and higher order degrees) find people interested in creating an international communications network. I believe their initial request went out to 9 people and they ended up with 50,000 people at one point.

Unfortunately I missed a couple of great sessions after lunch due to customer / partner commitments. Hopefully I’ll get to some today…

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