My fellow Media Socialists Ben Koe and Walter Lim are quoted in today’s Digital Life article on Web 2.0 for companies. I won’t copy the full article, but here are the myths that were debunked:
** MYTH 1: Web 2.0 technologies are fine for building social networks, but they are not relevant to my business.
MYTH 2: I don’t want my employees using social networking tools in the office because productivity will fall.
MYTH 3: My employees are used to working via e-mail, so there’s no need for these new Web 2.0 collaboration tools.
MYTH 4: My company is too small to take advantage of social computing and Web 2.0 tools.
MYTH 5: It is difficult to manage social computing tools because they are too unstructured. **
My take: Web 2.0 is more than just a technology. Setting up the technology today is actually the relatively easy part. Building a successful Web 2.0 app or community requires a mindset change from within, first.
Examples abound. You may start a corporate blog because ‘everyone else is doing it’. But you’re afraid of publishing negative comments, or think it is a chore to reply to them, not understanding that a blog can facilitate real conversations and garner genuine feedback.
You may love control, and want to build your own social network instead of using existing networks - where everybody is already at. Web 2.0 is all about collaboration. You don’t have to own everything to get the most exposure for your brand.
Or, you can build numerous Facebook Apps, but as over 120+ other Apps are launched every day (and growing), you are lost in the sea of anonymity.
Many organisations are leaping onto the New Media / Web 2.0 bandwagon, but not always for the right reason. If it is just to make you or your organisation look ‘cool’, time will reveal whether your actions will reap any meaningful rewards.
And if you jump onto it expecting immediate returns on investment above everything else, you have not fully comprehended the nature of social media. Treat everybody as your friend and not some soulless cash cow; tell them things they are interested in. Keep in touch with them regularly - don’t go to them only when you want something out of them.
New media / social media / Web 2.0 technologies are not an end in themselves. They are enablers and facilitators; a means to an end. They can make it more obvious which organisations are more open and sincere, and therefore more prepared for the business of the future.