Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Erica Naone

User-Generated Content Comes to Businesses

At Venture Summit East, companies look to move social technologies into businesses.

  • April 9, 2008

This morning at Venture Summit East in Boston, I talked with Tony Perkins, founder of AlwaysOn, the company that puts on the event, about the trend of user-generated content moving into the workplace. Increasingly, companies are finding uses for social networking, blogging, and mashups (which are online applications that combine data and tools from different websites). IBM, for example, released more information yesterday about IBM Mashup Center, the company’s software designed for making business mashups, adapted to the level of security companies require. GoingOn, a company with which Perkins is also involved, is an example of social-networking technology designed to include features of interest to businesses, such as e-commerce and advertising management.

Perkins suggests that businesses are relying more on these tools in part because people who grew up using technologies such as IM have now started their careers and are bringing their favorite online tools with them. Michael Rhodin, general manager of IBM’s Lotus division, expressed a similar opinion earlier this year at Lotusphere in Orlando.

Perkins sees this move as the next wave for Internet companies. While consumer startups can be built with increasingly low initial investment, Perkins says things work a little differently in the business world. “You have to build ultrareliable infrastructure for your service, because companies can’t afford to have a system break down and not have access to their information,” he says. He adds that marketing to businesses can be more challenging than getting early adopters to try out a new Web service for fun.

Northeastern companies stand to benefit from the transfer of consumer technologies into businesses, Perkins says, suggesting that the traditional hard-technology expertise here will prove useful in adapting technologies to the levels of security and infrastructure robustness required by businesses.

More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.