The Guerilla Guide to Social Business

I don’t quite recall how it happened anymore, but in September 2008, I wrote a post for the Enterprise 2.0 blog titled Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War.  The post — probably the purest piece of deliberate flamebait I’ve ever written — went viral. Many of you found ribbonfarm via that post.

I continued writing about the Enterprise 2.0 theme irregularly after that, first on the E 2.0 blog and then on Information Week. I recently decided to wrap up my thoughts on the theme and close out this thread of blogging with a final post: The Enterprise 2.0 Backlog: 100 Ideas.

This close-out post is about as close as I’ve ever gotten to outright prescription. It is also the only significant list post I’ve done in my life (list blogging is the lowest kind of blogging there is of course, but there is some redemption to be found in epic-sized lists that cross 100 items).

Anyway, I figured I’d put together the essays into a convenient PDF collection. So here you go: about 29,000 words and 104 pages worth of slightly evil thoughts on social business: The Guerilla Guide to Social Business.

Read it, share it, print it out and leave it lying around, pass it along to friends, bosses, unsuspecting VPs with budget money to run through before year-end who might hire a consultant in an unguarded moment, etc.

It was a fun ride, the first bandwagon I rode from start to finish, through the ups and downs of the hype cycle. The ride also helped kick off my consulting business.

I think it is safe to say now that the ride is mostly over. The conversation has matured. Andrew McAfee’s well-timed phrase heralding the trend, “Enterprise 2.0,” has been replaced by the more permanent-sounding (ominously so?) “Social Business.”  The Enterprise 2.0 conference has rebranded itself (rather cryptically) as E2 and settled in as steward of a long-haul conversation.

Thanks are due to Rob Preston, Steve Wylie and Paige Finkelman at TechWeb for providing a platform and tolerating my grumpy, dystopian blogging through the hype cycle. Also thanks to Mark Masterson and Doug Neal at CSC and Daniel Pritchett, for many interesting conversations on E 2.0/Social Business. Apologies if I missed anyone.

For those of you who follow me primarily on Information Week, I’ll be taking a sabbatical from that site, until I find another suitable theme for which that’s the appropriate channel. If and when I start a new theme there, I’ll do a heads-up here.

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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter


  1. Thanks for sharing the book will start reading over lunch.

    > (list blogging is the lowest kind of blogging there is of course, but there is some
    > redemption to be found in epic-sized lists that cross 100 items).

    So you created a list just short of being redemptive ;)

  2. Thanks – I’ll be reading it.

  3. Alexander Boland says

    Wait a second, I thought the Lewis Black routine used a spoon and some other body part that I’m not going to mention… Or is that why you paraphrased it?