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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If your company has an intranet, this book is for you., November 13, 2009
This review is from: Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization's Toughest Challenges (Hardcover)
Which is easier: finding information on the Internet using Google or finding information in your corporate intranet? If you say that finding information on the Internet is easier then this book is for you. If you said the opposite, then you are probably lying (and I bet you are a salesman for an intranet search company too). It seems illogical that your intranet (which you pay good money to have) fails to perform nearly as well as the public Internet (which costs you nothing). Enterprise 2.0 by Andrew McAfee explains why corporate information sharing has failed to live up to our expectations - and more importantly what you can do about it. Read this book to learn what companies are doing that fundamentally changes the way they view their information, their intranets, and the teams of people who come to work every day to turn that information into business results.

Enterprise 2.0 is a book about the definition, motivation, challenges, and direction of a movement that many companies are taking to rethink the way information is created and shared within the corporate structure. The change in thinking is inspired by a change in the way we use computers in general. We once viewed our computers as a terminal connection, a publishing station, or a emailing device - the explosion of social networking behaviors in the personal lives of many are causing many businesses to consider the potential for harnessing analogous social behaviors (of documenting work activities, asking questions publicly, and reaching beyond to people you don't know well - but can trust by virtue of their reputation of connections to people you do know.) The discussion frequently references Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Delicious - but the topic of the book is squarely focused on business, not social activities.

The first half of the book is anchored by four very different case studies that each illustrates examples of where an organization had a business problem that could not be solved any other way than with an Enterprise 2.0 solution. Through the lens of these four cases (and a one other mentioned in less detail) McAfee explores the unique and compelling way Enterprise 2.0 can improve and indeed transform the workplace into a place of greater trust and access to information. McAfee gets into enough detail to be perfectly clear. But this is not a technical review the topic. This book is for a thinker who is willing to be challenged to think and be challenged.

It is primarily a management book that discusses IT-related topics from a non-IT perspective. But IT thought-leaders should read this too. The book directly addresses three audiences: The primary reader is any line manager, director, VP, or business leader who is involved in working with groups of people in large office environments. If your employees use computers at work to create and share information, you'll want to read this book. But there are two other reader-types that will get direct benefit too: Anyone involved in the Enterprise 2.0 industry (Chapter 6 in particular, also Chapter 7). And I think that any CEO, firm partner, or senior executive will benefit greatly from Chapter 8 (which I think should be Chapter 1 or 2 of McAfee's next book).

Andrew McAfee has the perspective and reach that few in our industry enjoy. The fact that he holds positions at Harvard Business School and at MIT indicates impressive credentials. This alone, not the reason I recommend this book. Rather it is the consistent manner in which McAfee provides one more level of insight than you might expect for everything he says. So even if you think you know a lot about this topic, you'll finish the book knowing much more. And yet, the book is targeting people who don't know what term "Enterprise 2.0" means.

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