Fun or real value?

image_crowd_of_eccentric_japaneese_teens1

Frequently I see in the discussions of web 2.0 that it’s enough to participate. That it’s amazing what’s going on. Networking, possibilities, a “brand new world” is out there and we all have to join in. Any one asked the question why?


What’s “new? ”Where are the differences between the old fashioned fan clubs, Amcar or sailing clubs? Beside that you now can be in touch via the web. Don’t get me wrong. I’m there, not all over the place, but as you can see I do blog. I do have a facebook profile. LinkedIn is a definite must for a professional as me. I’m at Slideshare and I do twitter. I comment on articles about stuff I have some knowledge, and things that pisses me off. (By the way “Twitter” – us not native English spoken, might not know – twitter means something like bird sounds/singing)

But why? Why am I there, what’s in it for me? I will avoid boring you all with my reasons, they are no different from yours. A real question is if it at all is an important question why we individuals are there – more important would it be to look at the possible effects. Heard of the “Obama effect”? Was that you and I that made him president?  – not me; I can’t vote – or? Did our participation in social media influence the opinion? Maybe it’s wrong questions – why did Obama focus on social media? Maybe it’s his campaign that got the benefits – and not you and I? I can imagine lots of arguments coming up here now – and you are very welcome to bring them on.  One thing is for sure. The owners of the virtual locations ( Facebook, my space, twitter and so on) They got huge benefits out of it, as they do every time one of us consultants praise web.2.0, social media, the “new and brave future” I don’t want to be a parrot marketing the owners of these places –without getting real value back.

Another , maybe the most important thing to understand is the shifts in how our societies act. Long ago we got “trained” in democracy and that we should join our “crowd” and by being many have the influence we wanted to achieve what we all wanted. We needed a party or a fix organization to fight for all of what we wanted. Now we act far more in a way that’s : “I want to make this XX matter change/ happen” – and then find someone around that are up to the same as me – when we made this “something happen” we don’t need to be a part of that group anymore – we find new groups for new topics we want to change.

This is why a lot of activities from businesses, organizations, individuals will not gain on being active in social media. The reasons why participating, and the level of how to act (and knowledge about it) in this environment is simply not developed by far too many companies OR their advisors. It’s just not enough to participate. You need to know where you are going to be, and why. You need to know what to do there, and have knowledge of how to do it.

The most simple way to put it: It’s like any other activity you involve in, you need to know your environment, and understand it’s rules. This goes for you and me as individuals – or companies or the public sector for that matter.

2 Responses to “Fun or real value?”

  1. Chuck Peters Says:

    Geir –

    Being 55, I am having many discussions with my friends about why I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Of course, we would not have met without these. But more importantly, as our company wrestles with new and difficult issues being able to connect both internally and with the wider world at all times, and in unanticipated ways does give us a better view of the environment and possibilities.

    The CEO of Zappos gives a different personal perspective at http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs/ceo-and-coo-blog/2009/01/25/how-twitter-can-make-you-a-better-and-happier-person

    I agree with him as well!

    Chuck

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