CIOs are definitely interested in the potential for Web 2.0 technology. SRO tells me so.

John Soat, Contributor

September 14, 2007

3 Min Read

CIOs are definitely interested in the potential for Web 2.0 technology. SRO tells me so.In a recent blog entry I wrote about a CIO symposium I attended earlier this week in Indiana. There were several involving presentations, but the most exciting one, in terms of the content and the interest level exhibited by the audience, was about Web 2.0 technology, specifically social networking.

For one thing, it was standing-room only crowd. For another, it was about the Indianapolis Colts.

The presentation was entitled "Community Based Architecture: Building Online Communities to Add Value to Your Organization." It was supposed to be given by A.J. Macht, director of Internet Services for the Indianapolis Colts, but apparently he was called away at the last moment. Instead, a gentleman by the name of Mark Strawmyer, from Crowe Chizek And Co., gave a very detailed and enlightening presentation on a new effort by the Indianapolis Colts to create a social network around their brand.

According to Strawmyer, the Colts are in the process of redesigning and rearchitecting their Web site, Colts.com. Crowe Chizek, an Indianapolis accounting firm, also provides IT services to its clients, and is helping with the web site overhaul, Strawmyer says.

As part of that redesign and rearchitecting, and with the encouragement and help of the team's marketing department, the Colts launched a social network site called MyColts.net, which can be accessed on the Colts' home page. It was launched last June. It already has 10,000 registered users

"Crowe Cizek was working on it for over a year," says Strawmyer. "There were lots of stops and starts. We were creating something literally brand new."

The network is hosted by a local co-location service, the same one that hosts Colts.com. It was originally conceived using Microsoft's Sharepoint technology, "but we wanted to limit the number of products we have in there," Strawmyer says. It's based on Microsoft's ASP.net framework.

The network supports most of the features anyone familiar with the most popular social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace, would expect. Strawmyer says they're looking to add e-mail, instant messaging, and video capabilities as well. The Colts are able to monetize the network through banner ads and recently signed a sponsorship campaign with AT&T.

Strawmyer says the Colts use the network as a media portal, to provide photos and press clippings. Also, they're working on connecting the network with the company's customer-relationship management technology to create a technology infrastructure that exploits the "lifetime value of a fan." There are plans for three other NFL teams to hook into the network, as well.

Okay,so maybe the Indianapolis Colts had something to do with the SRO interest level for this presentation -- after all, this was Indianapolis. But the business potential of Web 2.0 technology made for equally compelling content.

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