Why is it that enterprise-related news, discussions and analysis in the blogosphere takes such a backseat to the latest over-funded "me too" VC-backed consumer startup that's got about as much chance of generating a positive IRR as I do of winning the New York marathon?
Look, we know our place...we get that for every blogger who likes to talk about enterprise software, global outsourcing, corporate governance and the like, there are roughly 8.3 million blogs ready to dissect the latest YouTube clone, or calendaring tool, or best garage band on MySpace.
But today when I read that Wikipedia deleted the term "Enterprise 2.0", I nearly lost my mind. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales describes Wikipedia as:
- ..."an effort to create and distribute a multilingual free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language."
OK, a bold doctrine to be sure, and one whereby you could see Wales making the argument that some things are worthy of deletion (under the "highest possible quality" argument). So maybe there was a good reason for the term Enterprise 2.0 to be deleted? Here is the explanation from the editor:
Neologism of dubious utility. I can find examples of it's use online but there doesn't seem to be a consensus on what it means other than "sort of like Web2.0, but businessy" Artw 22:23, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, so the main issues are:
- It's a neologism
- It has "dubious utility" with no consensus of meaning
- It's sort of like Web2.0 but "businessy"
Where should I begin?
- Neologism, by definition, is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created ("coined") — often to apply to new concepts, or to reshape older terms in newer language form. Neologisms are especially useful in identifying inventions, new phenomena, or old idea which have taken on a new cultural context.
- "Dubious Utility"...can the editor who deleted Enterprise 2.0 articulate the utility of the term Web 2.0? What's the consensus definition of Web 2.0, I ask? Yet, it's not deigned worthy of deletion, far from it. That term has been viciously debated, defended, assaulted and dissected and yet, it's become one of undeniable presence; so much so that Tim O'Reilly actually service marked the term.
- For someone who's assailing the validity of a neologism, does anyone else find it downright ridiculous that he used the term "businessy?" in defense of the deletion? "Businessy?!?!?"...if that half-cocked neologism isn't a clear indication of just how out of focus the editor is with the business world, I don't know what more needs to be said.
I know there's been a fair amount of debate lately regarding Wikipedia and the editing policies; and up to now I've stayed out of the fray because, frankly, I didn't care all that much. But this one has hit close to home. As much as so many bloggers feel they are part of Web 2.0 in some small way, I am most certainly part of Enterprise 2.0 in my own way; as are most of my fellow Irregulars and other business-focused bloggers.
Where's the logic in this deletion? Clearly, there are people passionate about the concept:
- Thomas Otter
- Andrew McAfee
- Dennis McDonald
- Jeff Nolan
- Mike Stopforth
- Ismael Ghalimi
- Jerry Bowles
- Ross Mayfield
- Deepak Alur
- Rod Boothby
- Charlie Wood
- Peter Rip
- Vinnie Mirchandani
- Zoli Erdos
...and thousands more; but you get the picture. Truthfully, if Wikipedia is REALLY about being the ultimate reference source for every human being on the Earth, it shouldn't matter if ONE or ONE BILLION people care about the term "Enterprise 2.0." But when you realize that it's a term at the epicenter of a lot of creative thought and debate, I'm incensed that someone so UNFOCUSED on the business world would simply delete the entry. How is Wikipedia better for the deletion?
On another note, what's done is done. But in the interest of fairness, here are a few items in Wikipedia that need to be deleted as they violate the same criteria that "Enterprise 2.0" fell victim to:
- God [Reason: No consensus]
- The Meaning of Life [Reason: No consensus]
- MySpace [Reason: Neologism]
- Wikipedia [Reason: Neologism]
- New York Stock Exchange [Reason: Too "Businessy"]
- Capitalism [Reason: Too "Businessy"]