Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Web 2.0?

Loraine Lawson

Business is really dragging its collective feet on Web 2.0. Nearly every article I read about adoption rates comes with a headline that reads something like this: "Enterprises told to/admit they must adopt Web 2.0 even though they really don't want to."


Just this month, CIO.com ran a feature poising the question, "Is the Enterprise Afraid of Web 2.0?" The article's answer, of course, is yes, but that's just too bad, because here it comes.


Many of the fears about Web 2.0 are just updated versions of what we heard during the 1980s and '90s with when websites and e-mail proved to be more than just a geek trend.


Businesses fear what they can't control. But the thing is, Web 2.0 doesn't really change what you can and can't control. It just changes the location. And possibly the broadcasting power of your critics.


Anxieties aside, the big puzzler has been whether Web 2.0 technology has any real business value. While there are a few hypothetical examples, there aren't a lot of testimonials from the business world.


An that's why I love, love, love this story on how Stormhoek Vineyards used Web 2.0 technology to turn a simple marketing idea -- 100 wine parties in 100 days -- into a major campaign that built brand loyalty and -- here's the best part -- more than tripled revenue to $10 million within two years. All for a Web 2.0 technology investment of about $500 and a marketing budget of $50,000 in 2006 and $100,000 in 2007.


Now that's a nice ROI. Particularly when you're making that much money selling $10-15 bottles of wine.


This article focuses primarily on how Stormhoek used Web 2.0 technology to market and grow its business. That said, it also covers several technical issues CIOs should know before embarking on Web 2.0 projects.


For instance, Stormhoek's website is actually a blog, which Stormhoek bloggers update regularly. But it's integrated with an XML feed, a e-store and supports video links.


Once businesses and IT divisions overcome their Web 2.0 fears, I think they'll find other ways to successfully use Web 2.0 technology as a marketing tool and potentially revenue stream. And it looks like IT will as well. Already, Web 2.0 is being cast as the next integration tool. How many knowledge management tools would we need today if we' had wikis 15 years ago?

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 7, 2007 10:33 AM George S. George S.  says:
A nice article Loraine. I would add that it is easy to explain why businesses have an inherent fair of new technologies. A new technology to a business means not only an investment, but a commitment as well. For an enterprise a failure of a particular technology (in which an enterprise has invested) is far costlier than for an individual. Another factor has nothing to do with fears at all. Simply, many CEOs do underestimate the power of Web 2.0. Many CEOs see blogs, RSS just a waste of time, which is not true of course and Stormhoek's example is an excellent proof of it. Reply
Jun 13, 2007 9:07 AM Mike Wagner Mike Wagner  says:
Wow, we received fantastic feedback on our the last post, Differences in 2.0's. In particular, we received emails asking for more clarification about the difference of Enterprise Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. I created a pic that I hope will help. Reply
Jun 15, 2007 3:32 PM Bruce Anderson Bruce Anderson  says:
So what is web 2 - how about for process control other than just "IT" BACK OFFICE - FRONT OFFICE OPERATIONS>>>> Reply

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