Sunday, June 15, 2008

Social media and Enterprise 2.0

There is a much deeper application of Web 2.0 technologies and concepts possible in the enterprise than is currently being contemplated and implemented. Some companies have an early effort to use some of the tools but have not noticed that the concepts themselves can be applied to generate significant benefit. Worse, misapplication is also occurring such as the creation of Social Media Officers oblivious to the bottom-up rather than top-down property of social media.

Future of social media
The long-term future of social media is lifelogging - the auto-capture and permissioned auto-posting or archiving of every person’s every thought and experience. Feedhavior’s digital footprints continue to drive individual actions. The corporation goes away. Artificial intelligence becomes the most efficient form of outsourcing. People and organizations spend more time in simulation worlds than physical worlds. Entrepreneurs and organizations provide goods and services by making offerings proactively to groups of potential customers aggregated through their web-based interest communities. Marketing must be relevant to avoid being perceived as advertising.

Applying Web 2.0 Technologies to the Enterprise
There is no part of the firm at present that cannot make use of Web 2.0 and social media technologies. There are two dimensions for application:

External and Internal
Externally, a firm can use Web 2.0 and social media technologies for branding, re-inventing and testing business models, product and service sales, customer relationship management (CRM), partner ecosystem management, R&D outsourcing and recruiting. Internally, firms can use Web 2.0 and social media technologies for communication, collaboration, work assignment, task and project management, resource allocation and performance feedback.

Tools, Concepts and Values
Some examples of the direct application of social media and Web 2.0 tools are using blogs to supplement or replace marketing, APIs to supplement or replace business development, and crowdsourcing ideagoras to supplement or replace R&D. Applying concepts is for example not just using Digg for the firm’s industry news feeds but Digg functionality to bid up and down work assignments or performance feedback. Using Web 2.0 in the enterprise is not using mash-ups but mashing up internal applications, putting a virtual world front-end on any data application to represent the information in a high-resolution way. Internal trainings and meetings are conducted as open space unconferences. Everyone can participate in everything.

The values of social media are also applied internally and externally: authenticity, openness, transparency, participation, creativity, perpetual beta, new linkages, asking the wisdom of crowds (web, twitter), acknowledgement that everyone can have good ideas and contribute and using freemium and open-source business models (free + fee-based).

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