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Companies as communities May 25, 2008

Posted by James Warren in Uncategorized.

As any fule kno, the future of corporate ‘communications’ is determined not by technology, but ideology.  Sure, technology helps open up the lines of communication (and very (cost) effectively too), but just plugging social media into your organisation won’t help – unless your business also makes wholesale changes to the way it manages all its relationships.  This requires internal change and a repurposing of many departments and processes – plugging the organisation into social media, if you like.  By social media, I don’t mean Facebook, blogs etc – I mean the fundamental technologies and techniques that enable socialisation.  Openness, sharing and listening, basically – alien processes to many organisations, I fancy.  Cleverness from Jeff Jarvis:

Three years ago, blogs were still a curiosity to a business audience—new enough to warrant a cover story, strange enough to require explaining. Now blogs and social media are not only better understood and accepted, but they are coming to be seen as a necessity in media and, more and more, in business.

Next, I think, BusinessWeek’s readers will see that social media are changing their fundamental relationship with customers to be less about serving and more about collaborating. No, I don’t mean that every product will be the product of a committee. But customers who want to talk will, and smart companies will not just listen but will engage them in decisions. This will have an impact not just on PR and image but on product design, marketing, sales, customer service—the whole company.

Three years from now, I predict BusinessWeek’s cover won’t be about blogs or tools but about companies as communities.

Wise words.  Taken from a great BusinessWeek update (hat tip to Steve Clayton).


1. Alex - May 25, 2008

Entirely agree. However, naming companies currently doing it is harder. Dell, MSoft etc often discussed in this context [with varying levels of endorsement], but how about outside tech sector? Still slim pickings, I fear.

2. Unfelt - June 19, 2008

Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

cheers, Unfelt.

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