Web X.0

A lot continues to be said about Web 2/3/4.0, and as always, it’s fascinating to see what the various conceptions, definitions and understandings of it seem to be. From a very technical perspective, Google’s Eric Schmidt recently gave an explanation of what he believes it to be, and predictably, he looks at it from the standpoint of architecture:

It’s an interesting perspective, and is clearly at the heart of Google’s approach to computing.But what’s of greater interest to me is what WebX.0 means socially.A very concisely written paper which I read today argues that the phenomenon is more about shifting the relationships between companies, their employees and their customers.

This, to me, strikes at the heart of the shift, and is the reason that so many struggle with it.Treating WebX.0 as a mere technological shift leads companies to blindly pour money into Second Life, or to get burned by opening themselves to messages they’re not prepared to respond to.

And that’s where it gets fascinating. Though it’s a movement being enabled and driven by technology, it’s really more of a social trend, a shift from traditional centralized, vertical, hierarchical models to distributed, flat models of interaction.

The challenge for the enterprise, then, is not “which technology will make me WebX.0?”, but comes down to this:1.) how do I meet the sudden expectation of intimacy my customers have?
2.) now that I interact with my customers, am I prepared to respond?
and the interesting part in the ASE…
3.) how do I work more collaboratively to leverage the collective intelligence of those in my organization…and beyond?

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