Enterprise 2.0 was once a trendy designation, a moniker for corporate social media use that has been in decline in the past 18 months. Such is the way of popular and acceptable nomenclature; trend setters, mavens and gurus generate and push buzz words to the background while elevating new ones to the public discourse.

Enterprise 2.0 is still a relevant label and designation that’s been around longer than intranet 2.0, the social intranet, and nearly as long as web 2.0, all being related in their focus on social media (though the application and audience varies). Social business has become the more common, de rigueur term used to describe an increasingly important discipline: using technology (namely, social media) to achieve and advance business goals.

It's Not the Term, It's the Tool

Three years ago, I wrote a somewhat prescient opine (Enterprise 2.0 vs. Intranet 2.0) on the use of such monikers…

More people cooler than I have mused openly about the value and coolness of Enterprise 2.0. At the risk of sounding bitter and like a kid who 'missed-the-boat’ on the latest craze (think the comeback rage of Hush Puppies that came and went and still left me baffled and feeling extraordinarily uncool in my Basses), enterprise 2.0 is much the same as intranet 2.0 (note how I effortlessly and carelessly alternate between capitalized and non-capitalized versions of said buzz phrase) but potentially bigger (depending on which consultant or maven’s definition).

Blogging, wikiing, podcasting, social bookmarking -- all within the confines of the enterprise, and usually on the intranet -- possess the power to make everyone’s life a little better, a little more empowered and informed, and a little cooler. Throw out your Sketchers and burn your tickets to the next MTV 'unplugged' show, there’s a new fashion sweeping the corporate world. Strip away my outwardly facetious tone and awkward outsider approach and you do have a trend, a means, a collaborative ecosystem and set of tools that could transform a poor or average enterprise into something that is good or possibly exceptional."

Fast forward three years, and enterprise 2.0 is still relevant, if not critical, in spite of its catchy, trendy origins as a buzz phrase. Formally defined by the user community on Wikipedia, Enterprise 2.0 is “the use of 'Web 2.0' technologies within an organization to enable or streamline business processes while enhancing collaboration -- connecting people through the use of social-media tools.” At the center of enterprise 2.0 universe is "the social intranet."

The Center of Activity

The social intranet, first formally defined in The Social Intranet White Paper, is defined as:

An intranet that features multiple social media tools for most or all employees to use as collaboration vehicles for sharing knowledge with other employees. A social intranet may feature blogs, wikis, discussion forums, social networking, or a combination of these or any other Web 2.0 (intranet 2.0) tool with at least some or limited exposure (optional) from the main intranet or portal home page."

social intranet inforgraphic MED 2012.png

The Social Intranet Infographic

While enterprise 2.0 and social business speaks to all of an organization's social media and business activity, the social intranet is the hub or portal at the center of this activity: where employees work, and collaborate, not only for their own personal aims, but on behalf of their coworkers, customers and partners. A successful social intranet supports all of the business, and all employees, including those key staff in customer facing roles such as sales, customer service and operations.

The Social Intranet Video Infographic helps breakdown the needs, requirements, and drivers of a successful intranet, including the barriers, and the recommended path or steps for success:

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