What defines Enterprise 2.0

Andrew McAfee, who popularized the term “Enterprise 2.0″ in a 2006 MIT Sloan Management Review article, has three criteria for what makes a given technology environment an Enterprise 2.0 one.

What makes a technology offering an "Enterprise 2.0" product? Andrew McAfee of the Harvard Business School has an interesting blog post on that question this week.

McAfee first used the term Enterprise 2.0 in his influential 2006 MIT Sloan Management Review article exploring the use of collaborative Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs as part of information platforms within cormpanies.   Now, McAfee reports, he increasingly gets asked if such-and-such product qualifies as an Enterprise 2.0 one.

McAfee's response? He uses three criteria to judge whether a particular use of technology qualifies as an Enterprise 2. 0 one:

  • "Is it freeform?
  • How frictionless is contribution?
  • And is it emergent?"

What does all that mean, exactly? By "freeform," McAfee explains, he means that "people  come together as equals within the environment created by technology, and do pretty much whatever they want" -- rather than having roles already defined by the technology. "Frictionless" refers to ease of participation and contribution. And "emergent," for McAfee,  refers to "the appearance over time within a system of higher-level patterns or structures arising from large numbers of unplanned and undirected low-level interactions" -- in other words, techniques such as tagging and linking that allow some content to emerge and rise to the top.