Open Letter to @dahowlett… Customers at #e20conf?

My good friend, Dennis Howlett (@dahowlett), has been a thoughtful critic of Enterprise 2.0 for many years.   Most of the time I agree with his analysis (unfortunately, as he tends to suck the wind out of the hype balloon).  I saw a tweet this morning from Dennis who was simply asking, “…many customers with stories at E20?”  Sorry for eavesdropping on your question to @rhappe, but I felt compelled to blog my answer.

The answer from my vantage point is: this year’s customers/buyers are so plentiful, I am falling over them.  In our unconference session yesterday, the customer stories were riveting.  They came to find answers to their roll-out questions, not necessarily from us (the spin/guru machine), but from each other.  I was rendered speechless for most of the discussion topics.

In short, the Enterprise 2.0 movement is beginning to show real life.  There are real war stories replete with joys and challenges.  And even though I’d probably say the “0” in Enterprise 2.0 still stands for startup profitability, I will definitely confirm: Yes, @dahowlett, there is a Santa Claus.  Customers are interested and engaged in socio-collaborative technology.  So much so that I’ve finally found a business model that makes sense for my own company here. (More on that later.)

This post is just a quick update.  I will be posting my annual “reflections” post when I return to Austin.

p.s. I wish you were here, really! (@dahowlett and all skeptics).

Author: Susan Scrupski

Longtime fan of technology to improve humanity.

2 thoughts on “Open Letter to @dahowlett… Customers at #e20conf?”

  1. I’m not sure that destination conferences (i.e. fly to Boston, pay for a week’s stay) are the way to go right now, whether we’re talking about the enterprise collaboration community or just tech in general.

    The people Dennis really wants to hear from probably aren’t getting budget approval to fly to so-called “vendor sponsored conferences” anyway. We’ve got 3 or 4 FTEs devoted to Sharepoint here at my Fortune 100 employer but I don’t know that we’ve really got any official investment in conferences.

    I get my engagement from local events (BarCamp, Social Media Breakfast, etc.) and from free online resources like Twitter and Friendfeed and some well-written blogs.

    I’m glad both of you are passionate enough to keep filling my readers with E2.0 content by the way. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks for that Susan – reality is that I am going to very few vendor sponsored conferences. Almost nothing of interest. It is quickly becoming obvious the model is utterly broken.

    Much of what I heard via Twitter etc was a re-hash of last year, mostly vendor led, with nothing outstanding (except perhaps details on BAH which even then were lacking.) Until ‘we’ get past the old war stories (which I heard again – yawn) then this remains a pimp’s playground.

    I’d be much more impressed to hear users Twittering their stories – as example.

    I’m not sure that saying ‘falling over customers’ is a good metric when I saw half empty halls from images posted.

    As far as I can tell, the focus is on culture but then this is something I’ve argued for YEARS. I know maybe a handful or two of people who really understand the issues because they are social scientists, not product evangelists.

    Glad it’s given you a good thought for a business model.

Comments are closed.