A couple of weeks ago... I came across a comment that I found interesting: "Web 2.0 hasn't shown any real bottom line improvement, despite all of the hype over the past couple years." Now I think that there have been some rather remarkable successes of Web 2.0. Wikipedia being the single most staggering example. But, there is some truth, I think, to the comment. The part that I deem important, is that Web 2.0 may not live up to the “hype”. Based on some of the articles on Web 2.0 you'd think that by simply adopting a Web 2.0 suite of tools any given organization will have an epiphany and increase productivity. That is, quite obviously, not the case.

Foresight 2.0?

We've already discussed blogging, and whether it makes sense to your organization. Do forums make sense? What about Wiki? Some organizations will have use for all of the technologies. Others may understand the benefits, but not have an effective implementation strategy. But the ones that really strike me are the ones that really don't understand why they're looking at this expense. "We don't know if Web 2.0 is going to have any impact on our business or not, but we're hopeful that we'll be successful". Hope is not a strategy. Are the officers looking to you to help identify a Web 2.0 strategy? Are you trying to decide if your organization needs Web 2.0? Web 2.0 is effective at some things. It's effective at expanding perspective. It's effective at adding depth of perspective. But, it's not a silver bullet. You can't just “Web 2.0-ify” your business and have it magically improve its operation.

But with a little foresight...

You can harness the collective intelligence. Think about what parts of your operation could use some help. Claims processing? Putting toothpaste in a tube? These days, there are Ideagoras out there that function as a place for organizations to post their issues. Freelance “problem solvers” peruse the site and try to come up with a solution. In the event that the company likes the solution, the company will pay for it. Everybody's happy. But...for a successful implementation, it's necessary to understand what you want out of the process. Until you've given your endeavor that kind of respect, you shouldn't be implementing Web 2.0.