Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer, Glenda Sims, Paul Simmons, APM Blog

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Mobile IoT, IBM Cloud, PowerBuilder, Weblogic, Linux Containers, Adobe Flex, Symbian, Open Source Cloud, Eclipse, PODCAST.SYS-CON.COM, Cognitive Computing , Machine Learning , Silverlight, PHP, Wearables

Agile Computing: Article

Web 2.0 - Web 3.0 - The "Social Web"

The Web is very different now, some call it Web 2.0 or even 3.0, perhaps we should just call it the "Social Web"

Jeremiah Owyang, of the popular Web Strategy by Jeremiah blog (and now an analyst at Forrester), wrote a post several months ago entitled The Irrelevant Corporate Website. And in typical Owyang style, it is thought-provoking and has been translated into several languages, including Greek, Swedish, and German. As one of the owners of a digital marketing and communications company, I'd like to extend Owyang’s argument that the corporate Website is irrelevant, and present a framework that just might make it more relevant than ever.

Let's consider the pages of a traditional corporate Website. They include an “about me” page, a contact page, a careers section, and probably a page with news and press releases. The words look good on paper, and, more than likely, a committee gave the final sign-off on the site's content. Visitors frequented these pages because they wanted to learn about the company's products and services, contact the company by phone to request more information, or find a job.

The Web is very different now. Some call it Web 2.0 or even 3.0. Perhaps we should just call it the Social Web, because that is exactly what it is. Communities have formed. People are socializing around products and writing reviews, leaving job tips for one another, and even filming do-it-yourself commercials for the products that they are passionate about.

On a daily basis, I am reminded of the pioneering book on networked marketing, The Clue Train Manifesto, whose premise was that markets were conversations: You and me, over a cup of coffee talking about great (maybe even bad) products, except that we are separated by thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable. I'll be honest – it’s an exciting time to be in marketing.

It is important to remember, though, that your market isn't stupid. They are the ones who really know about your products, and they use natural language to tell their friends about them. So when the coffee is too hot at the drive-through, they’ll use simple and poignant language when describing the experience. When your cable technician falls asleep on their living room sofa, they’re going to talk about that – perhaps with a video to help tell the story. When they try to cancel their Internet access and can't, your market is going to talk about that, too. And these conversations have been taken to the Web.

Social networks, social media, and online communities have received a lot of hype; however, they are not a fad. These tools complement how people naturally interact with one another. People are social. Not only are people social, but they are naturally curious. Imagine a customer performs a Google search on your company and the results include a reported problem with your product. If this person investigates the issue and the trail goes cold in the comments, what does this say to the searcher? Now let’s imagine the same situation, but the comments includes a representative of your firm providing some clarity on the issue or even demonstrating how they have incorporated changes for the next release. Of the two scenarios, which would you rather see as a social and curious person?

At my company, we have designed a social media distribution framework (www.r2integrated.com/social). After several conversations with my team, I realized that we weren't necessarily distributing social media; rather, we were aggregating it from the outer edges of the Web where the conversations were. Because we know that customers are out on the Web socializing, our thought process behind the framework was that we would create content for these communities in order to connect to the market. The following framework illustrates how you can use social media as part of your comprehensive Web strategy. We like this framework because it presents an opportunity for all companies to experiment and work within their comfort levels. For this scenario, we have framed these examples within the context of a product release.

If you are new to social media, in terms of the tools and technology or how to integrate them into your product release strategy, consider the following activities.

Sign up for a del.icio.us account. It’s a free social bookmarking service. As you release your product, find some interesting articles or blog posts on the Web and bookmark them. Because your prospects and customers typically search the Web for reviews and recommendations, you can help them save time by rounding up some of the more interesting ones. Even when the articles that you find aren't necessarily positive, you should bookmark those, too. Your customers will find them anyway (you did), and you'll earn their trust by presenting a different viewpoint. Furthermore, your R&D department will appreciate the fact you did some of their work for them. By using some of the tools that come with a del.icio.us account, you can even integrate those links directly into your Website.

If you want to try some more intermediate or even advanced techniques for using social media, you can move from collecting third-party content to producing your own. There are two principal ways that you can do this. First, as part of your product release strategy, you can develop some video content. Because we know that customers and prospects are searching the Web for reviews and testimonials, you have a lot of in-house knowledge that you can tap and distribute on the Web. For example, as part of your product release strategy, you can interview some of the engineers and quality assurance personnel who ensure product quality or safety. Start with an inexpensive video camera and conduct some informal interviews. Ask them about your product and how their role at the company directly shaped the product that we see in the marketplace.

Just as your del.icio.us account provided the tools for embedding its content, popular video sharing platforms, such as YouTube or Blip.TV, also provide this functionality. If you’re not sure where to put these bookmarks and video on your Website, you can always start a blog. WordPress is a popular open source blogging product that is easy to install and configure, and the framework allows multiple content items from various sources. As your product gains or loses traction in the market, consider posting some additional videos. If you really want to be out on the edge, interview your customers and ask them what they think, what they like, and what they dislike.

If you’re ready to move beyond bookmarks and video, you can always release your product in a blog post and experiment with comments. If the thought of not having control over the content comments is worrisome, we recommend having a solid set of guiding principles in place that illustrate what behavior is suitable. Because comments can always be placed in a queue, you can always review them for quality and value.

Social media isn't for everyone. If you are the type of company with enthusiastic customers, it might just be the type of content that you need – not only for R&D, but also to earn trust. If you are committed to innovation and customer loyalty, consider adopting some of the tools that we have discussed here. If you are as honest with your customers as they are with you, your products and services will only get better. So, Jeremiah, we think the corporate Website is as relevant as ever.

More Stories By Matt Goddard

Matt Goddard, head of digital marketing strategy and operations, leads R2i's strategic direction while providing valuable support to client digital marketing projects. Hid business expertise and understanding of social network theory are frequently called upon by R2i clients and partners as they develop their short- and long-term strategic plans. Matt is also responsible for R2 ventures, a division of R2i that makes equity investments in start-up companies launching unique and innovative technologies. Prior to his work with R2i, Matt was co-founder of Impreza, a leading website development and software firm. Impreza was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) in 2000.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Paul Chaney 10/31/07 12:35:20 PM EDT

You included a hyperlink to a site that was password protected. Why? You yanked my chain!

Jeremiah Owyang 10/31/07 11:23:15 AM EDT

Thank you so much for extending the conversation, you've provided some practical 'how to' steps for those to start and keep relevant.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.