When people started to day-trade in the suburbs of Ohio in the late 1990s, we knew the first dot-com goldrush was about over. Housing bubble? Knew it was about to burst when bidding wars erupted for homes in towns like Salinas, CA or Lincoln, Nebraska.
And now that mainstream media outlets like Business Week are telling us that "Social Media Will Change Your Business"it tells me that finally, social networking and web 2.0 is now A Part of Everyone's Business. Or at least it should be. No, it better be.
Most new Internet technologies, while cool, really don't impact the average business. But social media, social networking and other web 2.0 technologies are different - yes, even Widgets have a place in your B2B business (more about that later).
I don't like to make business predictions so I usually do not. But in a blog posting last September titled A Part of Everyone's Business I wrote that “as social networking becomes more mainstream, these technologies are being adopted by many established [HR software] suppliers.....and at some point the features associated with social networking will become a ‘commodity function’ on the Internet and get tacked on to existing sites. It's happening now.”
Yes, it is.
The posting continued........."Social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies have evolved enough whereby every business with a web site should begin to figure out a way to incorporate them into their core business to improve their customer experience or product/service delivery.....".
Which brings me back to today's Business Week story. Here are some excerpts:
- Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business—including yours.
- VC investment in Web 2.0 companies rose to $464 million in the first half of 2007, according to data released by Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young.
- The dot-com era was powered by companies—complete with programmers, marketing budgets, Aeron chairs, and burn rates. The masses of bloggers, by contrast, are normal folks with computers: no budget, no business plan, no burn rate, and—that's right—no bubble.
- Aggregators (e.g., RSS) could turn the Web on its head. Why? They discourage surfing as users increasingly just wait for interesting items to drop onto their page or e-mailbox. Internet advertising, which traditionally counts on page views and clicks, could be thrown for a loop. But here's the really insidious part. If you set up your own aggregator page [on Yahoo! or Google] and subscribe to feeds, you soon discover that blog and mainstream postings mingle side by side.
We've spent a lot of time the last year thinking about what all this means to our business, HRmarketer.com, and as a result we started to upgrade our entire platform to incorporate more social networking, social media and web 2.0 features. The results of our work will be seen next month (April at the latest - this is why I hate making predictions) when we launch the new HRmarketer.com. I've been involved with Internet companies since the beginning and I'm not easily impressed but I can say with absolute certainty that the new HRmarketer.com will raise eyebrows. It's really, really cool stuff. But more importantly, it's a more useful business tool that allows HR suppliers to choose the marketing and PR information they want, in the format they want (email, web site, RSS, desktop widget, etc.), when they want it. And it will give suppliers even more ways to generate publicity, traffic, leads - and higher search engine rankings. Stay tuned..........
- Podcasting grew from 2,000 to 5,000 downloads a week to 340,000 a week after Apple's iTunes incorporated podcasts in 2005. Research company eMarketer reckons the market for podcasts in the U.S. was 18.5 million people in 2007, and will reach 28 million in 2008.
Have you started to think about how to integrate social networking and other web 2.0 technologies into your business - your recruiting, your marketing, your PR, and your product/service? It's not too late but start it in 08 or it just very well may be too late.
Posted by Mark Willaman.
Labels: HRmarketer.com Platform Upgrade, social media, web 2.0