We weren't able to attend Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara this week, but we were able to learn a lot anyway. Sometimes it's better to watch things from a distance. Here's a quick overview of the trends and announcements that came out of the events, including: a growing interest in enterprise 2.0 from HR, the Launch Pad winner, vendor aggression and good old fashioned semantic argument.

Enterprise 2.0 Becoming Mainstream

My post last week on how enterprise 2.0 is becoming mainstream attracted some criticism. It would probably have been more accurate to say that enterprise 2.0 is becoming mainstream, rather than that it is already mainstream. That said, as Isaac Garcia writes, "You know that things are mainstreamed when Novell is discussing them on stage."

Sameer Patel told me that there were far more sanctioned projects at the conference this time around, and sanctioned projected from very large companies at that. He says in the past there's been a lot of people who were essentially trying to go behind IT's back to get social media solutions implemented, but there was much less of that this time around.

This time around the "strategy" track was split into two separate tracks: "HR" and "social CRM." As a result, many more HR professionals were in attendance.

Social CRM

Speaking of social CRM, it remains one of hottest topics. I covered this this week's social CRM developments already.

Meetzi won the Launch Pad Competition

I gave an overview a few days ago of the four Launch Pad finalists. Congratulations are in order to Meetzi, which ended up winning. We'll be doing a profile on the company in the future.

Vendors on the Offensive

Jive CEO's Tony Zingale took a pretty aggressive tone in his keynote, and that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. It could be a sign that competition in this space is going to get more aggressive and the messaging more pointed. There are a lot of very similar products out there, so vendors will have to be more vocal about how their solution differs from Brand X.

A Constellation of Rock Stars

We covered the founding of Constellation Research, a new firm formed by several of the most prominent names in enterprise 2.0, including: Patel and Oliver Marks of the Sovos Group, Dennis Howlett, Vinnie Mirchandani, Phil Fersht, Paul Papadimitriou, Paul Greenberg, Brian Solis and R "Ray" Wang. This was one of the most talked about events of the week.

Social Business vs. Enterprise 2.0

Finally, in the back channel, was the "social business" vs. "enterprise 2.0" debate. Much of it seemed like a grudge-match between two different camps, both wanting to define the conversation and neither making too much sense. I think Mark Fidelman has the best take on it.

Personally, I like "read/write enterprise," but I'm obviously quite biased. "Social enterprise" makes more sense to me than "social business" because it's more inclusive of public and non-profit organizations.