Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Web 2.0 and the Enterprise: Duller Than Tweets, but More Important

While the tech blogosphere fiddles away on navel-gazing stories–Who are the top tech bloggers? Do they Twitter to get to the top? Or do they FriendFeed? Do they feed friends while tweeting? More importantly, will there be chicken wings?–I’d advise anyone interested in the much more serious issue of making some money from Web 2.0 to take a gander at ReadWriteWeb’s piece yesterday on enterprise spending in the arena.

According to a new report from Forrester Research (FORR) the site references in the post, enterprises will spend much more in the coming years on social networking, RSS, blogs, widgets and such, making it a $4.6 billion market by 2013.

Here is an interesting data table from the ReadWriteWeb post (click on the image to make it larger):

web20spending

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Twitter’s creators should be jumping up and down now that an actual business plan might be surfacing.

In fact, a lot of popular consumer products might not port over to the business market, even if the concept does.

And, naturally, the old grumps in the IT departments loom large over what gets into corporations and what does not, the ReadWriteWeb piece notes, although other enterprise departments like marketing are already enamored with Web 2.0 tools.

Still security and scaling issues remain paramount, and start-ups that have pioneered these apps in the consumer space might lose business to big copycats like IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT).

I saw real evidence of the shift at an event in Silicon Valley last week, related to Rohit Bhargava’s new book “Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity and How Great Brands Get It Back.”

And, although I expected much more of a corporate love fest, since the affable Bhargava is an SVP of digital strategy and marketing at Ogilvy Public Relations, it turned out to be a very interesting discussion of ways companies could embrace Web 2.0.

I was particularly struck with the very sharp questions from the Silicon Valley-heavy corporate audience too, who were savvy but still curious about the potential pitfalls and benefits of such tools.

Such discussions will be even more interesting, as they percolate across the country to places where most people are just hearing the word widget.

You know, pretty much everywhere except here.


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— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post