"Web 2.0" technologies such as blogs and social networking sites are baffling businesses. No one's quite sure if these technologies count as a boon or a bust for corporate communications.Some organizations have forbidden employees from accessing Facebook, one of the most popular social networking websites going, from work computers. They're worried that staffers would spend too much time catching up with old high school friends, and not enough time on the job. But other firms have embraced Facebook for marketing, organizing work-related activities, and maintaining professional contacts.Is Facebook a corporate curse, or a useful tool? Should businesses celebrate employee usage, perhaps as a kind of extended communication system, an inexpensive manner of reaching out to the world at large, including potential new customers? Or should companies follow the lead of the US Army, the Ontario civil service and the Toronto bureaucracy have done, and shutter access?Similar questions stump businesses when they turn their attention to Second Life, the Web-based virtual world. Some organizations are using it to host global press conferences, and for meetings that would otherwise cost a small fortune in teleconferencing costs. Instead of setting up call-in numbers, these corporations simply tell meeting participants to log onto Second Life and gather at a particular spot there. The conversation happens by instant messaging.But some people contend that Second Life is just a haven for people who don't care for their real lives - a virtual distraction from genuine challenges.Is Second Life a game that will distract workers? Or is it a communication platform?Telemanagement contends that the answer depends on whether the company can find business value in these systems. Perhaps experimentation is the key: log onto Second Life, visit Cisco Systems Inc.'s and IBM Corp.'s pavilions, and see what they're up to. Join Facebook, explore it, and consider the possibilities. That way, when company executives come hunting for advice on Web 2.0, you'll have a well-researched opinion ready to go.