Moving on from Web 2.0?

A report published on the Computerworld website this week hints that the era of Web 2.0 and social media may already be on its way out. The Demo Fall 2008 conference in San Diego, which gave 72 start-ups six minutes each to display their wares, included plenty of social networking tools, but also saw an increasing number of business-related collaborative tools, perhaps suggesting a shift from the emphasis on social aspects back to business aspects of the web.

The report said, “Demo executive producer Chris Shipley and AllThingsD.com co-executive editor Kara Swisher… both suggested that the ‘hanging out’ type of Web 2.0 environments like Facebook and MySpace wouldn’t stay relevant much longer. In their place, Shipley predicted the rise of “collaboration for a purpose” sites and services that would come with lucrative business cases. Sites like Facebook certainly were critical for showing that the Web was about more than informational pages and transactions, but they wouldn’t have the same financial effects as either of the previous Web generations, she said. The purposeful sites she saw emerging would have that impact, Shipley proposed.

“….there were some indications of a change toward purposeful collaboration, Shipley predicted. Compared to two other project-collaboration services at the Demo Fall show, Qtask’s project service seemed to be viable, covering not just shared documents and messaging but actual project management tools to track schedules, approvals, and assignments. Given how much time people spend in e-mail anyhow, it’s unclear whether they can be convinced to use such a service and not fall back to sending out mass e-mails to project participants instead.

“Another example was Cinergix’s Creately, an online business process modeling tool that, in Microsoft Visio fashion, lets you diagram processes such as network design or mortgage approval workflows, with embedded rules that let you validate the process as you diagram it. Such tools have long existed, but not in a collaborative Web environment in which users can propose their own business logic.”

With the amount of time people are spending on the Internet at work, it had to be only a matter of time before more work-related options were created to stop people from spending so much time updating their Facebook pages on company time!

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