Welcome!

Security Authors: Lisa Pope, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Bill Mann

Related Topics: Web 2.0, Java, XML, Wireless, Websphere, PowerBuilder, Weblogic, Linux, Adobe Flex, Symbian, Open Source, Eclipse, PODCAST.SYS-CON.COM, Search, AJAX & REA, Silverlight, PHP, iPhone

Web 2.0: 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
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.