Social Software Trends in Business

Social Software Trends in Business

Peter Burkhardt (IBM, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-122-3.ch001
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Abstract

Social networking and Web 2.0 are the hottest words in technology right now; but is there more than just hype? This chapter will define and describe social software and Web 2.0, separate their true concepts from the marketing and buzz, and follow by identifying what might be next for this dynamic technology space. After establishing the social software and Web 2.0 concepts, this chapter identifies the value that they can bring to a company when used in a business context and the shortcomings or pitfalls. This chapter will set the foundation for subsequent discussions of social software and Web 2.0 for specific industry applications.
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Background

One of the most common issues that leads to confusion in this space and obfuscates the ability to see the value in social software is the interchangeable usage of terms. Just about everyone who talks and writes about this technology space freely and openly substitutes terms such as Web 2.0, social networking, and collaboration as though they all mean the same thing. This only serves to make this market space appear more nebulous than it needs to be and confuses those who are not already knowledgeable on the topic.

Perhaps all of this confusion should be an indicator that there is more marketing hype than substance in the social software trend. However, there are also examples and data to substantiate the validity of the use of social software for the benefit of business. The reality of the situation is that it is quite a bit of both. While there is true business value to be derived from social software, it takes the ability to see through the “buzzword bingo” that regularly occurs.

This is not to say that all terms have been clearly defined to date either. There are many experts in this space who still cannot seem to reach agreement on what certain terms, such as Web 2.0, really mean. Therefore, it is important to establish some definitions in order to build our social software foundation of understanding and to see the business benefits of social software.

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