I read with interest Chris Koch’s blog post yesterday, “Web 2.0: a Community in Denial.” Chris is a longtime writer/editor at CIO Magazine. You can read his thoughts yourself, but his basic argument is social networks are not delivering any real benefits to businesses or business users. I brought attention to Chris’s post in one of the communities I belong to: The Social Media Club. Some of the community members commented on Chris’s post, but what I found so ironic is the very act of discussing and evaluating his post in a community is proof of social media in action. There is even value in understanding Chris’s ignorance of the value of social networking. I belong to a few communities and wholly credit my relationships– mostly digital– with tremendous strides in my understanding of this sector and new opportunities for my business. I’ve seen first-hand proof of companies who are implementing web 2.0 solutions for their businesses reaping the value in enhanced collaboration and knowledge-sharing.
It’s what a few of the enterprise 2.0 evangelists have been saying for a long time: it’s not about the technology or the platform, it’s about the people and the relationships. In the new era of Enterprise 2.0, social networks are delivering a new metric– I’m calling it “Relationship Equity.” Depending on how you behave and contribute to a community, you accumulate relationship equity points. These points can be stock-piled or traded for strategic gains opportunistically.
In other words, the 60 million+ of us who are blogging and joining communities to share our experiences and insights are all part of a new generation of social crusaders. We’re an army of “get-its.” It concerns me that an IT voice such as CIO magazine would proliferate such a negative spin on the benefits of web 2.0 (ironically though a blog), but not too much. The numbers are in our favor.