In an interview for CIO.com, Harvard Business School CIO Stephen Laster talks about the future of Web 2.0 technologies. He's bullish about the collaboration opportunities created by Web 2.0 technologies, especially the growth of virtual communities online:
"I'm excited about the evolution of virtual communities and the technologies that support them. We've moved from the idea of a community as a discussion board to a suite of synchronous and asynchronous technologies woven together that gives you social presence and allows you to find trusted people and content. At HBS, we're trying to figure out how to bring together a Skype, a LinkedIn, some SharePoint sites, and get really good at integrating incomplete solutions in order to arrive at a very powerful notion of community..."
He also gives a major thumbs up to the latest generation of online video tools:
"The other thing that I'm very excited about is the rise of self-published video as a means of communicating concepts. The barriers to entry in terms of creating video of a reasonable quality have really come down. The ability to house, find, stream and tag video is here thanks to tools in the marketplace. [Because of this trend] we have the opportunity to take concepts that we've portrayed in two dimensions—on paper—and bring them to life in a way that's economical. Not everything needs to be a Hollywood production. I've been involved with e-learning since 1999. An hour of good production then cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now you can get the same quality for 15 grand. That's a phenomenal opportunity..."
That being said, however, he sounds a cautionary note when it comes to the continued proliferation of blogs, podcasts and wikis.
[image: Harvard Business School]