Most people are familiar with the term “Web 2.0,” which refers to a second generation of web development and design that focuses on fostering social networking via the web. Innovative companies are beginning to embrace Web 2.0 as a way to enhance communication, information sharing, and collaboration, thereby allowing them to work smarter rather than harder.
Unfortunately, many businesses feel that Web 2.0 and social networking are for the younger generation and a waste of time when used by employees. However, once you understand the power of these applications and how to use them in your company, you’ll quickly find that they can be invaluable tools to boost your bottom line. Following is an overview of some of the best Business 2.0 tools that are personal tools with business applicability.
Facebook enables you to connect and share with the people in your life. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with others. People can add friends, send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Business 2.0 use: Large organizations can connect all of their employees, or members, with Facebook. Some are finding an added advantage of using an internal, secure version of Facebook. This has helped organizations to dramatically increase their internal networking and collaboration. Ask yourself: Could we use Facebook, or our own internal version, to get people to collaborate at a higher level?
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can use to find information on virtually any topic. Anyone can edit the content as well. Business 2.0 use: A large manufacturing company with engineers in locations around the world increased problem solving and collaboration by creating an internal, secure version of Wikipedia for sharing information on parts and service offerings as well as repair and maintenance instructions. Retailers and suppliers could create a version of Wikipedia to foster education and training as well as enhanced information sharing. Ask yourself: Could we create an internal version of Wikipedia to foster better information and knowledge sharing?
YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view, and share video clips. YouTube displays a wide variety of user-generated video content as well as movie clips, product demonstrations, and commercials. Unregistered users can watch the videos, while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Business 2.0 use: Businesses are posting humorous commercial videos to generate interest in their products with great success. The more entertaining it is, the more people watch it. Business partners could create a YouTube like channel for the purpose of educating and training. Ask Yourself: Could we enhance our marketing efforts as well as general communication by using YouTube?
Digg is a social news web site made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the Internet, by submitting and accessing links and stories. Voting stories thumbs up or a thumb down is the site’s cornerstone function, respectively called digging and burying. Business 2.0 use: Many organizations have found this to be a good way to track the most interesting advances in technology or the most useful business news. Large organizations can create their own internal version for sharing what employees consider to be the most useful information. Ask yourself: Could we use Digg, or our own internal version, to get people to share their most interesting and valuable web-based information with each other?
Next month, I will share two more personal tools along with some purely business 2.0 tools that will help create collaboration in a low-cost seamless way.