Networks vs Mass Communications: Using Disruption to Compete

oreilleBased on numerous executive conversations I’ve had over the past few months, I’m struck by the staying power of 20th century “communications” rules, which still govern many brands today. Therefore, I’ll reveal hidden assumptions that lurk in too many boardrooms in the desire that you root them out before your rivals, so you can outmaneuver them before they disrupt you.

20th century success formulas offer very thin ice on which to skate, and many brands will have a cold awakening. Periods of disruption make assumptions lethal because disruptions change past rules or invalidate them completely, which leads executives and brand stewards astray. In this brief treatement of a complex subject, I’ll show why executives unwittingly sabotage social business’s network-based communications by using mass communications principles.


Increasing Customer Transparency: Real Threat or a Paper Tiger for Marketers?

Should you worry that interacting with your customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs will let your competitors poach your customers? How increased transparency affects business and how you can use the trend to drive your competitiveness […]

Noodle VII: Tombstones and Milestones in Publishing

Reflections on the collapse of Chicago’s legacy publishing economy: Britannica, Encarta, Wikipedia, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times […]

Realizing Value: The Social Network Life Cycle Model

Life cycle model for social networks provides a blueprint for investment, along with goals, activities and milestones for each stage. A plan of action for creating value from enterprise social networking initiatives. […]

Web 2.0 Adoption Curve, 2009-2015

This Web 2.0 adoption curve helps commercial and government executives make investments in social networks, social media and Web 2.0 in 2009 and 2010: use this realistic adoption model to manage expectations and risk. […]

Social Networks Reach Puberty: 2009 Miami Social Networking Conference Shows Broad Enterprise Case Studies

Twitter and Facebook Top of Mind | #snc2009 | Awaiting Discovery: The Nascent Power of Weak Ties and Small Touches

Design 4What a difference a year makes! The Social Networking Conference debuted several years ago as a forum for social networking sites and vendors, with enterprise clients few and far between. Miami 2009 took place January 22-23, 2009 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and it was a veritable enterprise 2.0 conference. Many of the presenters hailed from enterprise-focused high technology vendors, but they spoke as social networking practitioners. The good practices they shared reflected the maturation of social networks. Don’t get me wrong, we are still in early days, but it was obvious to see that social networks would be completely mainstream this year. Enterprise-focused vendors provided additional evidence by explaining some of the new social network features in their offerings.

Social Networking Watch’s Mark Brooks gave an overview of key trends, while jetBlue’s Morgan Johnston and IBM’s Adam Christensen drove home the message that companies could be rewarded for trusting their customers in social networks. Ford’s Scott Monty, Sun’s Lou Ordorica and Microsoft’s Marty Collins shared how they were […]

Enterprise Digital Social Networks: Executive Adoption Snapshot 2008

2009 Poised as Inflection Point in Enterprise Usage—LinkedIn Increases Relevance to B2B Executives

P2P_worldDuring the 1990s, I was intimately involved with helping global organizations to decentralize their information technology—as a management consultant and marketing executive. However, a far more disruptive force is imminent today: communications and marketing are rapidly evolving into a networked, distributed pattern, following IT’s lead. Individuals that congregate online will have an increasing role in affecting how other people make decisions, significantly weakening the influence of the mass media on which many marketing strategies depend. Organizations that depend on centralized, controlled communications will be astonished at how fast they become irrelevant over the next five years. Although the case studies are still being written, I’ll go on record as saying that the 2008 U.S. presidential election will prove to be an inflection point of digital social networks’ disruptive potential.

LinkedIn is a leading venue for B2B and B2C executives, so it merits significant attention. The inputs for this Executive Adoption Snapshot are varied: I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of executives to apply LinkedIn to their business processes in 2008. I met two LinkedIn executives […]

The Dirty Dozen: Are You Experiencing Symptoms of Web 2.0 Misalignment?

As “the Internet” changed the rules of information access, Web 2.0 is changing how people are connecting with other people. Most organizations are not ready for it: all their stakeholders can find each other and start sharing insights without the organization even knowing about it. They are experiencing the slow boil*. […]

The Nonpartisan Global Human Capital Journal Endorses Barack Obama for U.S. President

Cites International Mindset, Judgment and Flexibility—Ambiguity and Global Transformation Form the Backdrop

Obama_PresidentThe 2008 U.S. presidential election has been the most dramatic in recent history by any measure. Converging economic, cultural and political issues are increasing the level of discomfort among voters and raising the stakes. In endorsing Barack Obama, I have considered the candidates in several dimensions, but my primary perspective has been that of a management consultant. The United States is a client in crisis, and I have asked myself, “What kind of leader does the country need, given the challenges it faces?” Barack Obama is my prescription, although there may be unwelcome side effects. If circumstances were different, I might well have favored John McCain.


San Francisco Social Networking Conference Provides 2008 Mid-Year Adoption Snapshot

Enterprise 2.0 and B2C Web 2.0 Show Serious Traction—But Social Sticky Wickets Remain—How to Trust?

SNC-logoThe Social Networking Conference (SNC) was an excellent place to check the pulse of Web 2.0 adoption from customer and provider perspectives. Producer Marc Lesnick explained in his opening remarks that, in the months preceding this conference, corporations had knocked on his door asking to get involved. His Ticonderoga Ventures had held several SNCs over the past few years, and it had been largely the purview of social networking start-ups and their facilitators. This is a very apt indication of the enterprise adoption predicted by my State of Social Networking Forrester coverage and 2007 Review.

SNC SF 2008 took place July 10-11, 2008 at the UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center. It was a focused conference that balanced start-ups’ and enterprises’ innovation—with a dash of perspective from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Social Networking Watch’s Mark Brooks. On the enterprise side, GE’s Grewal and GM’s Denison covered the enterprise 2.0 and B2C Web 2.0 perspectives respectively, while the U.S. Air Force’s Adkins presented nascent cross-boundary collaboration in […]