Surfing the Web, I come across different interpretations of the notion of Enterprise 2.0. Since the initial definition of Web 2.0 refers to a perceived, not an undoubted, second generation of Web-based communities, there is no strict, common definition of Enterprise 2.0. So it’s not surprising that many people get confused and mix up Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. So I decided to sum up my thoughts on this topic here to make the matter clearer.

I suppose that the key difference between Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 is in which users benefit from the technology utilization. On one hand, there are applications designed for consumers and primarily used by consumers. On the other hand, these applications are sometimes used for a company’s needs.

Web 2.0 technologies were designed for consumers’ everyday use. Let’s take a look at Flickr, MySpace or thousands of other sites made for the personal use of people. These services are mostly free and are made for people to share their photos, thoughts, contacts, interests and what not. People get personal benefit from using such a community and socializing. Therefore, sites like Flickr represent Web 2.0. However, these sites can sometimes be used for business purposes, if a company needs to share files on the Web, for example. This can be a great opportunity to reach its existing and potential customers, get closer to them and therefore keep them more satisfied. If this is the case, you can call it an example of Enterprise 2.0, as the company benefits from using a community site.

If we talk about wikis, there are also different examples of their usage. The biggest wiki used by people all over the world is the well-known Wikipedia. Wikipedia is used by different people who need information for their studies, work or to broaden their mental outlook. This is a clear example of Web 2.0. But can we treat wikis as Enterprise 2.0? We surely can because intranet wikis like socialtext.com were designed as enterprise tools and are mostly used by enterprises.

Blogs were originated for sharing personal ideas and for self-expression. Livejournal.com is an excellent example of an online personal diary. However, if you use a blog as a Web-space to discuss your company's products with customers, then we have an example of Enterprise 2.0.

Some bloggers use terms like Enterprise Web 2.0 and draw a distinct line between this term and Enterprise 2.0. They say that Enterprise 2.0 tools change the organizational structure and relationships inside of a company and that Enterprise Web 2.0 technologies are less powerful and are not able to bring profound shifts in organizational paradigm. I guess if there is a slight difference, then it’s too vague to actually separate these two terms. Both types of technology, that designed especially for enterprises and that brought to organizations by user communities and by employees, influence collaboration patterns within companies. This change in collaboration can affect management standards and the structure of a company. Anyway, I guess it is a good topic for discussion, so I’ll be happy to get your feedback on this post.