Click here to close now.


Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Mav Turner, Betty Zakheim, David Dodd, Steve Watts

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, API Journal, IoT User Interface, 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 ( 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 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 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 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
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.