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Waking Up to Web 2.0

Despite the best efforts of such companies as EMC and IBM, the business potential of social networking Websites, remains largely untapped, according to a report released yesterday by analyst firm Gartner.

Social networking software holds enormous potential for improving the management of large enterprises,” says Nick Ingelbrecht, Gartner research director. “However, work in this area is still immature, and enterprises should be aware of what is happening in the world of consumer social networking.”

Gartner’s survey of 18 countries and territories found that, out of 4,000 PC and mobile phone users, 38 percent connected to social networking sites via PC, and just 1 percent via mobile phone.

The analyst firm predicts that online social networking will come to be regarded as “the latest expression” of a long-standing pattern of human behavior, involving an increasing range of technologies.

”Social networking has found new forms of expression on the Internet, which has helped to reshape the purpose and protocols of social networking in an online world,” says Julia Lin, Gartner’s project manager of research data and analytics. “How to apply this in a corporate environment will be the next major challenge.”

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