So much of the Web 2.0 Expo conversation about Social Media will be obvious to blog readers. But what is so interesting and invaluable for long term adoption is that multiple sciences are brought here in this conference to bear out what we have instinctively found: that online/Social Media and Social Networking offers us tremendous value. Social Media brings us value to our every day lives on a personal level, for example, connecting with our friends on facebook. Social Media offers us a deep value by connecting us with our families through share sites like flicker or 12Seconds.tv. And Social Networking offers us immeasurable value professionally and intellectually whether through sites like LinkedIn, Dopplr or blogs that bring like-minded people together for conversation, debate, travel or inspiration.
Seth Godin has famously having dubbed these collectives or groups of people tribes.
It is fascinating to watch giant corporations like Ford level their full array of resources, people, funding, third party consulting and enough legal freedom to pursue a social media program. They seem to be doing everything right, even when they make mistakes…because they’ll need the grassroots groundswell of support to survive the current organizational and financial fiasco their industry is going through; however, I am left with the question that is always a bottom line for any business…”Is the product really that good?” I know, I know, forgive me! The Mustang is a classic…and Ford = American business success…perhaps. But only if they can deliver on all cylinders (I couldn’t resist)…product, conversation, community, service.
Social Media and its place in business is still in its infancy. But you are all early adopters and therefore building the structure, creating the atmosphere and guidelines and therefore the climate within which this space develops and thrives. Another relevant, interesting session was specifically dedicated to the sociology and metrics of “the conversation” called Beyond Buzz: On Measuring a Conversation. More on that in follow-up.
There is also the session talking more about the people than anything else: It’s the People, Stupid, hosted by Debs Schultz and Brian Oberkirch. They talk about human interaction as being at the very core of this technology and online medium. While it can be so easy to forget while you are posted at your keyboard that your communication goal is to reach another person, the people who can remember that you are connecting with real people with real needs, feelings, quirkiness, passions and so on…those people will succeed the most in this space.
There will be much more in follow up and conversation I hope. I’m about at my word limit for a single summary. But because I’d like to leave you with a smile…enjoy the LolCats…and please post your comments and thoughts.