Inspiration for this post:
Although the Tech4PD show is still in its infancy, it has certainly captured the attention of its ever-growing audience. As good as the show is, often times the best parts of the show happens in the discussions in the comments on the show's web page.
For example, after last week's debut of Episode #3 which asked the question: Is social technology ready for business?, Jim Brown of tech clarity took the position that it is ready for business, while Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insights took the opposing stance. Several audience members chimed in and offered their opinions.
"...in order for social to be successful in business you have to drive user adoption…
"... it was even announced! People just kind of 'found out'. And you know what? It started to get used. People 'found' the right ways to use it. Not everyone. But many did. And it didn't supplant email, but it augmented it, and it reduced the reliability on it..."
Allan Belniak re: case of Biz adopting Yammer
Mark Burhop also stopped by to drop a gem into the discussion…
" ...I do think the toe hold of social technologies starts with organic growth and not some company mandate."
The way that started, it made me think he would go along with Jim Brown's side, but reading on…
"...There are cases with certain people (like the people reading this) or with forward thinking companies where it is time. However, for most companies I think its still too early."
The twists and turns never end.
This is better than an Agatha Christie novel. But then again, I'm a geek. My sisters never let me forget.
Of all the episodes so far this episode resonates the strongest with me. But frankly, the subject and the passion it generates, baffle me. There were two points that stand out to me; The question of social technologies in business in general. And the question of transitioning to social tools.
First, social technologies in general...
From my perspective, social media is simply another form of communication. Nothing more. Nothing less. We don't have to learn to speak a foreign language. We don't have to bring in any code talkers. It's simply talking over a different channel. Some people may find it useful. Others may not. No big deal.
I'm one of the old guys that remembers when Post-it notes were invented in the mid-1970s, and how quickly society stated using them. Anyone hear of any anti-Post-It note corporate policies?
Get off my lawn.
As for driving adoption...
Let's think about this another way. I buy into the old adage that history repeats itself. So once again, I'll use another example for you. And once again, email.
In 1989, before the internet, I went to work for a new company, and my boss told me that they used email (GroupWise) to communicate business matters. He made sure it happened by sending e-mail to everyone on a daily basis. I didn't have a choice to participate. We didn’t have a formal policy or mandate. We just used it based on a champion leading the way. Although none of our external partners used email, it didn't matter. We did. Six years later, the laggards that were late adopters were all using email. In the meantime, we'd reaped the benefits of being an early adopter.
This can happen with social media as well.
There’s no reason to think we must transition from email to social. I don’t see why both can’t co-exist. even though we use email now, we still get up and talk to the people in the cube next to us. We still use the telephone. We still leave post-it notes. Sometimes we even get in the car and drive to meetings.
Can’t we all just be social too?
Get off my lawn.
To me, voting on this topic was simple. There's only one right answer...
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