09 Feb Three thoughts on social media for 2010
The hype around social media continues unabated – business, marketing, government, NFPs; everyone is getting involved. But to my mind, we’re still somewhat missing the point. Making it a part of our lives in a way that avoids the hype and adds real benefit to our own lives and the lives of others will be the the real tipping point of the acceptance of social media in business and amongst those who are still cautious about its adoption or perceive no need for it in their lives.
Additionally, there’s a large part of the world that simply doesn’t share our echo chamber. In the developing world connectedness is critical, as we continue to see in the management of disasters around the world (as in this great presentation from BarCamp Canberra 2010 by Shoaib Burq showing the massive increase in data available about Port au Prince since the earthquake) and in the continuing emergence of mobile data driven innovation in SE Asia and Africa. But for these folks, iPhones, Nexus Ones and iPads are still part of a distant future. Even a decent desktop PC may not be a reality. Rather, a grey-screen Nokia phone may be their tool for connectedness. We must engage with them on their terms.
So, here are my three big ideas for social media in 2010, distilled into some quick thoughts
We are still a long way from social media use in business as a given. Large numbers of businesses altogether and many more people within businesses of all sorts do not understand social media and perceive no value for it in their lives, the lives of their staff or their work. Education, valid, real case studies rather than theory, governance, mentoring, support from leadership are all critical factors in its success and as practitioners and consultants, we must enable that by speaking the language of business.
The developing world is yet to discover social media in the way the developed world has. And they may not want to. We must engage with the developing world to enable connections to happen and create great social innovation where infrastructure and tools may not be a rich as we have.
There will always be people for whom social media is not a priority. We must find ways to engage with them on their terms and integrate it with the things we are doing.
So, in the spirit of my last post, what do we DO from here to progress these ideas and the actions that can make a difference from them?