Today marks another milestone in my social networking life—and another one to boot—I now joined Google Plus, thanks to the invitation of a close friend who hails from Sri Lanka.
Needless to say that’s how engrossed I am with whatever’s gravitating around my web browsers. And yes, perhaps you’ve guessed it—anything or any word followed by 2.0 (I know you’ve probably have had enough of me mentioning it).
As a matter of fact, the most common, if not only executive, response to hearing any word followed by 2.0 is “Huh?” or “Hmm…” and isn’t all this just about a workmate of yours or practically anybody “doing Facebook” on company time? But really why should you care about Enterprise 2.0? To add more reasons to prove my point, some companies even thought the solution was just to shut down access to technology.
Let’s talk figures, according to AIIM 2010 State of the Industry Survey, they found out that staff access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instant Messaging is barred in 45% of organizations. In addition, instant messages, Twitter feeds and blog posts are not archived in 80% of some organizations using them. This is now the challenge and an opportunity.
Whatever those figures are suggesting, I would like to believe that if organizations aren’t connected to today’s emergent technologies, chances are they are not being as effective as they could be. But surprisingly though from that same survey 54% of organizations consider Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success. That’s why I totally agree with what Andy McLoughlin, Co-founder and Global VP Business Development for Huddle, said about the issue at the heart of the enterprise social software debate is CONTROL.
He explains further that,
By introducing the likes of wikis, blogs, podcasting and instant messaging into the work environment, IT departments are relinquishing their control over what users can and can’t do. However, by barring such tools in the workplace, an organization is sending out a clear message that it doesn’t trust its workforce. Banning such tools could also result in failure to stay ahead of your competitors.
What’s directly shocking to me as a mass communication/journalism graduate is that newspaper readership continues to decline, 106 million people read at least some of their news online, 70 million read actual newspapers online, and 88 million people use a social networking like Facebook or MySpace. Sixty million bank online, and 55 million now read blogs (yehey!), creating an explosion of new writers, readers, and new forms of customer feedback that did not exist before. (Pew Internet and American Life, 2009).
Adding to this mix of social media, allow me to cite Vistaprint as an example for us to grasp on developing a social media strategy, opportunities and increase the digits along this three letters—ROI. With some assistance from a previous research conducted by Jacob Morgan, author of “TwittFaced: Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media,” let’s pick up some lessons learned as to why it’s important to put into place a strong emphasis on the “wisdom of the crowd”:
“Vistaprint is an online supplier of printed and promotional material as well as marketing services, and is one of the fastest growing printing companies in North America. Within the enterprise 2.0 space, Vistaprint currently focuses on two things: an enterprise wiki and an internal ideation platform powered by Inutit. The ideation platform was focused around improving the customer experience; the wiki was focused on knowledge sharing and information.”
- The collaboration and knowledge sharing problem was not a technology problem. It was a people, process, and culture problem (and thus needed change)
- Whatever platform/tool you go with needs to be frictionless and people have to love it
- The technology solution that is going to solve your business needs must be fantastic
- People who say they are too busy to edit or contribute to the wiki really aren’t, they just think they are. Everyone always have time for micro edits and inputting bits and pieces of information at a time.
Briefly, it’s a new world of doing business, one that will greatly affect your future business career. Along with the changes in business come changes in jobs and careers. No matter whether you are a finance, accounting, management, marketing, operations management, or information systems major, how you work, where you work, and how well you are so compensated will all be affected by… (thinking of that word ending in 2.0 again?) …emergent outcomes—see Web 2.0 Framework—where most interesting becomes visible, personalized recommendations, meaningful communities, relevant content easily found, enhanced usability and COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE!
SO FINALLY, no more “Huh?” for me as it could only be “Hmm…” for I now have a real definition of what “wisdom of the crowd” ought to be!
- Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. (2011). Essentials of Management Information Systems. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.