In some ways Web 2.0 is just like Web 1.0 in the late 1990s. There is plenty hype about what social media in particular, and new media generally, can help achieve and how everyone is using these new tools on their new sites. The problem with this is that this sort of hype led to a monumental bubble burst that led to a fairly dramatic downturn of the global IT industry. The reason much of the hype turned to vapour is because it was all about the technology and had very little in the way of a sound rationale for implementation of those emerging technologies. In other words, all the promises made about the newfangled Web thing were a load of bull.
Almost a decade after that crazy time we find ourselves with a far more developed version of the Web with improved infrastructure and capability. Ironically we now have the bandwidth to realise some of the dreams of the dotcom era and yet we have our own hype and range of promises about the current Big Thing. The question is whether we can back up those promises with something real and tangible for people and companies that want to get stuff done better and not get caught up in fancy pictures and promises of 1% of 1% of a gazillion visitors to their website. Is there is a good reason to set up a blog or a podcast or a wiki for a company? Answering these questions involves asking a couple of pretty sensible questions, namely why, what, when and how/who? There is really no point installing a blog because it is the dine thing, especially if you are not going to maintain it.
On this note, Christopher Carfi has a great post on The Social Customer titled "Prerequisites For Setting Up A Business-Driven Web 2.0 Effort" which asks these questions and suggests ways to constructively answer these questions to ensure that when you do set up a "business-driven Web 2.0 effort", that it makes sense and is more likely to be sustained by that business.