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“This is just Facebook for the Enterprise” is the most common way most people describe enterprise social networking platforms. After all, the look and feel of those platforms borrow a lot from the Facebook interface: status updates, @mentioning, groups, walls, profile pictures, direct messages, and so on. However, when implementing a social networking platform at your workplace, you’ll soon find that the resemblance with Facebook pretty much stops there: even though the building blocks are very similar, the overall playbook is very different. If you are trying to find a reference to guide you through the journey of making your enterprise social networking successful, consider going back in the timeline 10 years before Facebook, and set your eyes on another Internet titan: Amazon.com. I kid you not: even though Amazon predated the whole Web 2.0 and online social networking concepts, their evolution from an online bookstore to become the world’s largest online retailer is a much better model for enterprise social platforms to follow. Read on to understand why.
When the Web was first available as a business tool, there were many debates about its value. Populated by pornography, bulletin boards, and chat rooms, there was little to recommend it the business community. And, yet, there were visionary leaders who saw behind the naked Barbies and recognized the potential that lay there. The initial wave of entrepreneurs experimented with this new medium and came up with interesting ideas with limited monetization. Not surprisingly, most failed. Those who did succeed, such as Amazon.com, made it very big and fundamentally shifted the world of commerce. Read the remainder of this entry »
As the Facebook IPO story developed over the last few weeks, people started wondering what was real and what was just smoke and mirrors. Being very active in this “social business” world for over six years now, several people came to me asking about what I thought it was going to happen with Zuckerberg’s creation and other popular social websites:
- Is Facebook here to stay?
- Is Twitter going to be a ghost town of 150 million users?
- Will Google+ ever going to take over the social networking crown?
- Is Pinterest a fad?
My sincere answer is “I have no idea”, and so should be yours. I remember back in 2006 people asking very similar questions about MySpace, Del.icio.us, and Flickr. My least favorite question was a popular one: “What Web 3.0 will look like?” Read the remainder of this entry »
Back in 2006, when the hype around the then-called Web 2.0 “thing” was reaching its peak of inflated expectations, much was said about an article published by Nature the year before, which boldly stated:
“Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries, a Nature investigation finds. “
Many organizations then started placing high hopes that all their knowledge management woes would have found their savior. If Wikipedia can be as good as Britannica, we could replace all our outdated corporate knowledge repositories with wikis. The wisdom of crowds would run its magic, and we’d have high quality and up-to-date content we can rely upon. Read the remainder of this entry »
Back in the days when “Web 2.0″ was a hot buzzword, many people asked what “Web 3.0″ would look like. Even though that question sounds now as outdated as an X-Files re-run episode, the quest for “what’s next?” is always in our minds. I’m no better prognosticator than anybody else, but my best answer would be: look at where the inefficiencies are. In no way is that a good indicator of what 2012 or 2013 will look like. Some inefficiencies may take decades to be properly addressed. But if you are trying to guess where we’ll see the next revolutionary step in social media–as opposed to the much-easier-to-predict incremental improvements–you have to focus where the biggest opportunities are, the undiscovered country somewhere out there. Analyzing the current landscape and the evolution of information markets by borrowing from a product life cycle framework may assist in developing some educated guesses about what the future may bring. Read the remainder of this entry »