Innovation 2.0: Business Networks in the Global Innovation Ecology

Innovation 2.0: Business Networks in the Global Innovation Ecology

Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-168-9.ch031
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In this chapter we analyze business networks as a part of a multi-domain innovation ecology, which includes global production and innovation ecosystems, institutional network facilitators, and local communities and users. Their interplay is a reflection of the reconfiguration of inter-sectoral relations, in which business, government, and citizens may produce collaborative synergies and, thus, contribute to growth, competitiveness, and social development. Web 2.0 is not a panacea, nor does it bring benefits automatically. On the contrary, companies need to be sensitive to the network logic and partners’ orientations in order to maximize the innovation potential of global innovation networks facilitated by social network sites and other Web 2.0 tools and services.
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Towards Enterprise 2.0

In the 2000s new forms of online communities, social networking and content sharing started to change the logic of the use of the Internet. These new forms became known as Web 2.0, a concept launched by consultants aspiring to map out the new trends revolving then around the Internet and WWW in particular. The term appeared for the first time at the Web 2.0 conference held in San Francisco in 2004. (O’Reilly, 2005.)

Web 2.0 does not refer to technology as such but rather to the way software developers and end-users use the Web. Cook (2008) has identified the following four functions of social software (4Cs):

  • 1.

    Communication (platforms): blogs, instant messaging, etc.

  • 2.

    Cooperation (sharing software): content sharing and social bookmarking

  • 3.

    Collaboration (collaboration tools): wikis and human-based computation

  • 4.

    Connection (networking technologies): social networking, tagging, RSS and mashups

Another way of showing what Web 2.0 and its ‘social’ dimension or social media is about is to pay attention to its applications, which are illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Illustration of the Web 2.0 application field (Anttiroiko, 2009)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Social media: A new media that uses the “wisdom of crowds” to connect and share information and content in a collaborative manner. It is an online media where news, photos, videos, podcasts and other media content are made public and shared via dedicated Web sites. Sometimes a similar kind of activity area is referred to as social computing or Web 2.0.

Innovation 2.0: A new form of innovation that leverages emerging social and technological trends. From the point of view of business, this translates into an idea of utilizing user communities with the help of Web 2.0 tools and services in product design and other aspects of innovation.

Network: Loose set of actors who work together in order to promote their interests within a common framework, which is held together by shared interests, reciprocity, and trust. In their most characteristic form, networks are flexible ways of organizing activities that require the competences of several independent actors.

Social Network: In the Web 2.0 context, an online social network for people who share some interests and activities. Paradigmatic forms of social networks focus on human interaction for the purpose of gaining some instrumental benefits from gathering at some virtual meeting place or marketplace, usually associated with dating, friendships, lifestyles, hobbies, marketing, professional life, or business.

Social Network Service (SNS): Web-based service that facilitates social and special-interest networking. Such services provide electronic social spaces or social network sites designed to facilitate communication, collaboration and content sharing across networks of contacts. The most famous SNSs include genuine social network sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Tagged or Friendster and various kinds of special interest sites. Usually content-sharing sites and media communities, such as YouTube or Flickr, are also included in this category due to their social networking features.

Wiki: A Web application that allows users to create and edit content in a collaborative manner, usually for the purpose of forming a user-generated systematic set of knowledge, such as work process descriptions, manuals, or encyclopedias. A pioneer and currently the best-known example of this service is Wikipedia.

Enterprise 2.0: A company that utilizes Web 2.0-style collaborative software in order to achieve business goals.

Web 2.0: The second generation of Web-based communities, networking and hosted services, which aim to facilitate creativity, sharing and interaction between users.

Blog (abbreviated from Web log): A form of Web-based micropublishing, i.e. a Web site designed for personalized content creation and sharing, having typically a form of an online diary. The whole formed by blogs is called the blogosphere. Examples of blogging services are TypePad, Blogger, Multiply, and WordPress.

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