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The last 20 years have witnessed many success stories over the net: sites such as Yahoo!, Altavista, Geocities, AOL, Google, Amazon, WordPress, eBay, Hotmail, Wikipedia, MySpace, Flickr, Delicious, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest all had their days of glory. Some are still around, others fell into obsolescence, but each one of them changed the way users perceived and used the Internet. Vendors of enterprise software naturally followed suit and came up with a number of corporate solutions to mimic the capabilities of those popular online services. However, often the results observed inside the firewall were disappointing. Our corporate intranets are often uninteresting, inefficient and outdated, a pale shadow of the vibrant sites that keep popping up beyond our corporate boundaries. Why does that happen? If page-rank search, blogs, wikis, social networks and microblogging work so well out there, they should just thrive in the workplace too, but we now know for a fact that they often don’t. Understanding the reasons why Internet success is not easily reproduced in a corporate environment is the fundamental first step to change that pattern.
As companies go through their social business journey, there are several “truths” about their use of social media that are not necessarily observed in real life, but still get treated as dogma, as if social technologies were so special and enigmatic that deserve a quasi-religious status. In this post, I’ll elect my top 5 social business myths, but of course, lists shouldn’t be dogmatic either: the intent of this post is just to raise awareness that statements are not truer just because they are repeated a lot.
Many hands make light work. Changing your reputation online is no small task. It’s also a house of cards. You can either do it yourself, about yourself, for yourself; or, you can start the equivalent of an online reputation club, inviting friends, family, your colleagues, and your industry to start building a universe of content that is germane and salient to who you are, what you believe, what you’ve done, and what you’re doing as well as who they are, what they believe, what they’ve done, and what they’re doing.
As Social Business Platforms make their headway into corporate environments, many people start asking why we are trying to change something that served us so well for many years. After all, face-to-face meetings, emails, telephone and shared files have all proven their value, and are alive and well in most enterprises. The answer may not seem obvious now, but it will be in a few years. Keep reading, and find out why.
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 »